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ACDF, 2 levels, 4 weeks post op

hopetogetwellhhopetogetwell Posts: 35
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All --

Hoping for the benefit of some advice/input, please....

I'm 4 weeks post op and guessing things are progressing normally, except that I have developed persistent low to mid back pain, which I have never had before. In PT, they say that it's because that area is compensating and is over worked, hence the pain and weakness. The thing is that I had my severe and unrelenting thoracic pain for 2 years pre-op caused by two bad cervical disks and even then didn't have lower back pain.

Also, I'm always exhausted ...sleeping 12 hours a night and expected to go back to work (desk job) on Monday full-time. That's making me nervous for sure.

I had my 2 week post op appt with the PA who only checked the incision and then said that they would see me in three months for CT Scan to check the fusion. I'm finding that most people have a 6 or 8 week check up/x-ray in between, but that's not the case with my Dr. Granted, I never really asked many questions after i found this surgeon because I had tried many Docs and every treatment known for my situation....I just wanted to get into surgery and get fixed. Although, he certainly didn't offer much info. Therefore, I really know next to nothing about what happened or will happen....that's definitely my fault. The surgeon I selected is very well known for his skill, but I guess we all know that skill doesn't translate into communication!

Anyway, if anyone has had similar problems....would love to hear back. Thanks so much!!



  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Muscle relaxants, pain, or anti-inflammatory(s)?

    If so ... that could be the cause for the tiredness.

    Have you discussed this with your doc or PA yet....? if not I would do that and get their feedback.... 4 weeks maybe too soon to return to full time work whether your at a desk or laying bricks! .... the part that everyone seems to short change themselves on is appropriate convalescing!!

    Take it EASY,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Thanks, Dave! After 2 years on pain meds, (Gross!)...I am only on a way lower level medicince now and only take them intermittently. Some days nothing and other days maybe one dose. That's extremely low considering the tolerance I had built up. I even surprised all the docs with my tolerance considering my 100lbs weight. Again, Gross! So, my best guess is not the meds for sleeping...

    My surgeon, as you can tell, from my message is hands off, so I've taken to seeing my PCP for monitoring my meds, weight loss, etc. I see her next and will certainly check with her.

    I'm not sure if anyone will help me figure out the low/mid back pain. They all just say....big surgery, compensating, need time, etc.

    Am taking your words to heart regarding return to work. :) Thanks again....
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    maybe allowing some back pain to break through that has been there for a while .... and/or the reduction of meds and the drowsiness maybe a side effect of reducing the meds....

    our bodies are funny things .... ok my body is a funny thing!! .... I can't speak for yours!! but it sounds like you doing the right thing by keeping your PCP updated on how and what your feeling.

    Follow their directions and when in doubt push them for the straight answers!!

    I hope things continue to improve all around!!

    Warm Regards,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Oh yes....my body is a funny (if funny means hater :) ) too. Didn't mention, I tore my ACL in March and had that reconstruction in May. Two surgeries in 4 months....maybe I am ignoring the obvious. Body tired???????

    Looks like you have some serious metal in your neck. I haven't seen what mine looks like, but want to see it for sure.

    And....super interesting comment about perhaps pain breaking through that was there before. That's fascinating and you could be exactly right. Thank you!!
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    department .... I've been on pain meds for pushing 6+ years and yes when I taper down ... I discover all sorts of new aches and pains that the meds have been keeping at bay....

    in addition to my neck (thats now has another level thats in jeopardy) I have 3 - 4 herniated lumbar discs that are blown or are slipping away.

    So I'm now a neckie and a backie!! (but not yet a "triple crown" (Cervial - thoracic - & lumbar)

    Two areas (and associated radiculopathy(s)) are plenty for me - for now!!

    Go Slow ..... Convalesce!!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Oh my goodness, Dave....you poor thing!!! Because we know the stats on having one spine surgery leads to others, how did that happen to you? Is it genes, DDD, or accident if you don't mind me asking? My ACL was a skiing accident....which make sense if you think you can take on DBL Diamond moguls runs all day (stupid!!!), but other than that, no troubles before this back pain that starting Jan. 2010, which is actually why i went skiing that day. Was so tired of being chronic back pain girl and I thought skiing would take my mind off the back. Sheesh. There are so many people on this site that have had multiple procedures, it just make me curious.

    *You* take it easy! :) Wow, Dave....
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Motor Vehicle Accidents 90% of them not my fault over a 20 year period. (I don't drive anymore)!

    Had a FAILED 2 level because I returned to work at 12 days post surgery ... wound up with non-union .... I blame the number one cause on me NOT given my sudion time to generate.

    Thats why I so strongly advocate appropriate down time .... fusions are NOT "simple surgeries" that many Neuro's and other docs and ignorant patients (me!)can believe them to be.

    Warm Regards

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Wow!!! And... you are right, it was obvious that my neuro, well...his PA -- don't really know either one of them (this was a quick hitter)....did not give any indication that this was a big deal. Hhhhmmmmm

    Thanks again for all the great info/insight. I really appreciate it!

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