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Questions after ACDF 5-6

Hello All,

As you know I am only 1 week post-op, but have a few questions for those who've been here and done this.

I was told to expect a sore throat after surgery - which is understandable and an understatement. Is anyone else experiencing a nagging sore throat and cough? This cough is so annoying - I drink lots of water, and have mints but it will not go away. Is this normal? I am limited to what I eat, some food feels like it is stuck in my throat, so it is taking awhile to eat. Talk about a diet plan - I just might lose a few pounds!!! :) I have to find the positives.

Also, anyone else find they have a tingling sensation just below their chin? It feels like pins and needles and when I touch there, it is very sensitive?

Thanks for sharing your experiences with me.

Kris :)



  • When you are post surgery you will find all kind of little odd sensations, but you shouldn't be to worried as most of that will go away. Keep in mind your body just went through major surgery and needs time to adjust. As to the sore throat issue, yes it is normal, sometimes it can take a few weeks to resolve. Just be sure to mention to your surgeon on your post-op if it is not getting any better by then.
  • I have had 3, two-level, cervical fusions....levels C5-C6 and C6-C7. And yes, the sore throat is par for the course.

    The downside of even coughing a bit is that it starts to break up more mucus and phlegm which then will cause more coughing. Make sure that you get up each morning and blow your nose to make it clear. As well as brush/scrape your tongue at least twice a day as mucus sits at the back of your tongue.

    As well as stay away from orange juice or things that can cause buildup of mucus. And lastly you can try to sit in the bathroom with the shower on hot to get the steam to loosen up everything.

    These things will help a bit.

    I just stuck to foods/protein shakes that were easy to swallow and just added in regular foods little by little when you feel comfortable. The key if you are eating less is still getting the appropriate nutrients as keeping our strength up and immune system strong is crucial to the healing process.

    This type of surgery takes time and it's all about baby steps. As mentioned, if you feel you are getting worse or have any type of fever or having puss ooze from your surgery site...then that is cause for concern to tell the Dr.

    The tingling sensations on your chin are very normal as our body has over 100 BILLION neurons and during this surgery so many of them are moved, cut through, as well as the interior swelling that comes from the surgery all cause them to misfire or even "go to sleep" for a bit and then they start waking back up again (using words for the visual) so you will feel these twinges all around your head, neck, and even down your arm, hand, or fingers.

    How is your pain level overall? I hope it's doing well and you just take it easy....follow the Drs. orders as far as any type of light walking/exercise, and hopefully you have some good movies/tv shows to watch as well as the Olympics.

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