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Possible to have surgery alone?

JackEarlyJJackEarly Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have a herniated disc in my neck that may require surgery. I'm completely socially isolated - no friends, family, etc.

What I'm wondering is, from anyone that has experience with this type of surgery, is it possible to have the surgery, do the recovery with 0 assistance?



  • Jack,

    Please explain what kind of surgery you are contemplating - ACDF 1 level? If so, if you look around the site you will find a lot of tips for before and after surgery. A big thing is being prepared. Maybe there will be home health care checking in? You might be able to talk to the hospital discharge planner to get suggestions.

    Please let us know a little more about what you are facing.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Well, I know it's ACDF but i don't know what the level means. Basically the doctor said they will remove the disc and replace it with a bone graft.
  • There are C1-C7 vertebrae, so people refer to C3-C4 if the problem is with the disc between those vertebrae. The more levels involved and needing surgery, the more complex the surgery. I know, it can be confusing.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Ok, well it's only 1 disc that is a problem right now, C - 4 I believe.
  • Jack-

    I am a "spiney" and not a "necky" so I unfortunately can offer absolutely no information about neck surgery.

    What I do have, however, is a very strong belief in God. This knowledge gives me a firm conviction that nobody ever, ever has surgery alone!!

    My advice to you is simple: pray. Pray before surgery, during surgery (at least before your anesthesia) takes effect, and of course after surgery and all the way through your recovery.

    I also suggest you ask the chaplain at whatever hospital you will be in to come to your room and pray with you.

    Finally, remember nobody ever prays alone. I would like to know when your surgery is and I will add my prayers to yours.

    You say that you are socially isolated. Now that you have become a member of this website, that is no longer true.

  • Thanks for the kind words.
  • I had my surgeries 20 years ago. My C5-6 fusion had to be redone one year after the first one came undone.
    What is an ACDF?

    My 2nd surgery, I didn't have anyone around to help me recover so I made sure I planned carefully. I couldn't lift anything heavier than a gallon of water so I made sure I could stay home and have everything I need.

    What type of surgery is it? bone fusion? disc replacement?

    neck pain since 2004
  • I had the same surgery and can tell you that you will need someone there with you. You won't be allowed to drive or do simple things as fix a meal for the first few days. I hope that you can find someone to help you out. Best of luck.
  • Hi, I had a one level ACDF about 9 weeks ago. I have a supportive husband and great friends. However, I will tell you I did quite a bit of cooking prior to surgery and froze stuff, which worked out great. My husband thought he would need to stay home with me at least a week but after one day home, I told him I was fine by myself. I was not pain free, but could easily bend down to pick stuff up, feed the dog and cat, shower, wash hair, etc.

    I did not drive until 3 weeks and didn't really prepare any food for a couple of weeks. One thing you are supposed to do is walk every day and they advise you not do do that alone. I had a few different friends stop by the first few weeks and had them go with me. I went back to work at week 6 part time and am now working full time. I would say the only things I am still not doing is vacuuming, did that last week and it flared me up really bad for about four days, and lifting anything too heavy. I am back to the gym, only cardio, no weights.

    I think you could do it alone, but it would be easier if you at least had a friend that could stop by and walk with you and maybe pick anything up that you might need until you can drive.

    Good luck!
  • I don't think I would try it alone. I haven't had it but I would have a plan in place first. Talk to a social worker and see what you can set up at least short term, possibly a rehab facility before you go home.
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