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having a 4 level fusion c3-c7

bigbrain172bbigbrain172 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in New Member Introductions
hello everybody,
I am new to this forum, but have been reading it for months. I am getting ready to have a stage 1 of two cervical
surgeries on November 16th. It is an ACDF C3-C7.
Can anyone give me some info on what to expect. I would really like to know how long the sore throat and swallowing problems last, as well as how long I will be in a brace.
Any information you can give me would be helpful...


  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am so glad you decided to drop in! please be sure and check out the "Back and Neck Surgery forum" for more input on your upcoming surgery!! good luck as you prepare for your surgery!! be sure and follow all your doctor's orders!! this is the best way to insure a successful recovery!! i am sure some spineys will drop by with some welcome advice!! take care of yourself!! stop by anytime! Jenny :)
  • Hi Brian,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find other multi-level fusions here. As far as the surgery goes, everyone is different and heals at a different rate. I am a bit confused on your having a surgery in two parts, or maybe I didn't understand that right. I myself am fused at those same levels, but not all done on the same surgery, but over multiple surgeries from adjacent disc disease and some other issues.

    As far as the length of time in the brace my suspicion would be 3 months, but that could also be as little as 6 weeks. That question would be best answered by your surgeon. As far as the swallowing issue, like I said i have had multiple surgeries, and each time it felt different, once I was eating a sandwich a few hours after waking the other time it took about two weeks for it to go down, but had a hardware issue and some swallowing issues continued.

    One thing that is important is what type of bone are you using, for instance autograft(your bone), or allograft(cadaver bone), or something else. If bmp is being used be aware that it is not to be used on the anterior side of the neck. The reason I ask about the bone replacement is failure rates go up with the multiple levels. Also the other thing you should be concerned about is your ROM(range of motion). With a four level fusion you won't have much movement in your neck, so not sure how that will play out with your employment. But if the surgery needs to be done then it needs to be done.

    If you will look in the surgery forum, at the top of the page you will find a list of post-op needs, and it is good read. While not everything will apply to you a lot will. The best thing I can tell you is to have bendy straws, throat lozenges, shirt that button rather than pull overs, and be sure you get a extra set of pads for the brace. AS far as sleeping everyone is different, but most find it more comfortable in a recliner. If you don't have one, you can arrange pillows to do the same. Also understand all you will be able to lift is a gallon of milk, so be sure that you don't do anymore than that. Find lots of things that will keep you busy while your recovering that are not physical in nature. The best thing you can do for yourself is walk. You can look on the web for a walking program, such as 10,000 steps. If you need to pick something up, don't bend over but rather bend at the knee's if for some reason you can't be sure to get a grabber.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If I can be of anymore assistance don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and keep me post on how you do.
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