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Having Neck Surgery.. Can you offer any advice?

tmn0142ttmn0142 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, I am 25 years old and have had a totsl so far of 4 spinal surgeries. I had a harrington rod placed in because I had scoliosis. Then a month later a few screws came loose so they had to go back in and correct the loose screws. Still in pain 2-3 years later, L4-L5 S1 was leaking fluid. Discs were fussed. Body rejected hardware had to go back in and remove hardware. Now have 4 herinated discs in neck, and now will be having 5th surgery. With every surgery so far having done something worse came out of it. For those who have had the surgery what advice can you offer me, and what did you go thru, and what made you more comfortable?



  • Tina,

    I too am a multiple fusion patient. I working towards my 3rd fusion shortly. I did the lumbar PLIF l4-s1 in 2008, then my neck went in 2009- so I had the acdf c5-6-7 in 2010.

    If you are having an acdf,make certain you have plenty of soft foods since swallowing can be an issue for the first week. loved jello, soup, mashed potatoes etc...

    Keep plenty o soft gel packs in the the freezer. The are easy to bend to fit the contours of your neck. I had a hard time sleeping so lots of extra pillows (I made a mountain and gently layed down). Others report liking the reclyning chairs (I prefer my bed). I have a 4" memory foam mattress topper on my firm mattress and nothing beats it. I was turned onto these when I had my first lumbar fusion (nothing less than 2" will work incase you want to buy one).

    Also the long handle back scratcher (keep it with you at all times) and the grabber (I have one up & one down stairs).

    If you research your surgeons preferred hardware & surgery plan you may be able to get a better ide of how it will work and what to expect. Do you have your date yet?

    My cervical fusion was to remove large bone spurs, remove the herniated discs, clean out the crowded foramin and then he put wafers in between the discs that were stuffed with my bone shavings). After that be placed a titanium plate on the vertabrae and used titanium screws to hold it down.

    Have you looked at ADR? I wasn't a candidate because I have instabilty issues but maybe you are?

    Feel better,

  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a wealth of information throughout this site and the forum members are very thoughtful, knowledgeable and supportive.

    I've had both a lumbar surgery and a cervical ACDF. I can tell you with absolute certainty that for me, the ACDF was a much easier recovery, and quicker, than the lumbar surgery.

    Julie offered great advice with finding your "station" (where you'll be planting yourself) - mine was a recliner with a rolling table beside it. The grabbers are necessary, as well as having soft foods, although I had few problems swallowing after my surgery, just a sore throat and a bit of raspy talking. (Hubby liked that.)

    How many levels will you be having and will you be wearing a brace? Hard or soft if so? When is your surgery?

    We're here to help you all along the way, from pre-op to recovery questions and concerns. Don't hesitate to ask any questions you have and research throughout the site. If you'd like to see the procedure, there's a video on the site - it's animated, so no gore at all.

    Take care and please keep us posted.

  • Hi there!

    What surgery are you having on your neck (ACDF?) How many levels. Sorry to hear you have such a crappy spine. Especially at your (our) age, it is really rough. We just want to live our life!

    I had an acdf in June. I went back to work 2 months post op but I do still have quite a bit of pain. It is better than before surgery though, so it is all worth it. I am doing PT now and seeing a psyiatrist.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
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