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One week after 4 level ACDF

This has been a rough week. Surgery was Thursday the 3rd. I was released from hospital on monday and I still really hurt. Percoset every 6 hours and all the problems that come along with that. I haven't yet had a BM. Eating is a challenge. I am still on soups and managed some mac and cheese tonight.I take pills in applesauce.

I really want to start feeling better. My doctor's appointment is a week from today. I am hoping to see substantial improvement by then.

4 level ACDF completed on January 3rd.
I developed an infection which required reopening the wound on January17th
Looking forward to life without as much pain!


  • I feel for you. A 4 level ACDF is going to be more difficult to recover from.
    Are you taking anything for the constipation? I suggest you let your doctor know and ask what he advises to deal with it. It is very common after surgery, but you don't want to let it continue for too long. I have read of people who have had to go back into hospital to get help to get things started. Hopefully that won't be necessary.

    Have you tried ice cream? I found that the easiest thing to eat. Smoothies are also good. Ice cold is best. I also found that meals with a sauce went down well.

    Things will get easier, honest!
    Here is a place you can come and talk about it - we understand :-) xxx
  • ...Be patient! I am sure you feel like you were hit by a MAC Truck, but it will ease, I have no doubt.

    Regarding your constipation - have you tried Ducolax and Senokot or prune juice -- anything like that? Being on pain meds is going to make it even tougher to get things started again. Most pain meds cause constipation, unfortunately.

    When I was in the hospital, they immediately started giving me the Ducolax and Senokot, because well - they knew it was going to take time. If I recall correctly, when I got home, it too more than a week to get things going and then it took a MONTH for me to be regular on a daily basis.

    Partially, it was my fault because I didn't take the two pills each day when I got home. I was trying to take nothing because I was not on pain meds. But finally, I broke down and started. Those were the only things that made things happen, and when I didn't take them, nothing happened.

    And then, I finally broke down and drank some of the prune juice I bought. I downed a little 4oz can of it and let me tell you - between that, and the two pills - within about 2 hours -- first I had some cramps and let me just say that ever since, I have been regular. But again, I was on no pain meds and everyone reacts differently.

    Now, if I had surgery again, I would start with the two types of pills daily as soon as I got home AND with prune juice. For me, that combo seemed to work.

    in addition to making smoothies, I bought some frozen 100% fruit juice pops. I was getting some "fruit" and I was also able to manage swallowing that.

    I agree with jellyhall, - for me, cold and thicker consistency worked better than thinner, waterlike consistencies. Scrambled eggs and cream of wheat also went down easily, for me.

    We're here! Holler if you need to vent. You'll see. You'll feel terrible for a while and then suddenly, you'll make leaps and bounds towards feeling better.

    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • bpreachersbbpreachers Posts: 147
    edited 01/09/2013 - 2:39 PM
    The throat pain and swallowing issues are the worst of an ACDF but you will get past it. The timeframe is different for everyone.

    I found jello, soup, and ensure to be the best things to eat when I was recovering from my ACDF. Also, you should be taking a stool softener of some type. I, possibly like you, was actually afraid of that first BM as I was worried as to what stress I may put my neck under. Even a standard store brand stool softener.
  • I worked in nursing home at one time and believe me you do not want to let issue go on to long. Lets just say it is not a very pleasant procedure for patient or nurse. We made a concoction of a 4oz can of prune juice a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of Lactulose or Miralax and warm in microwave just until butter melts and it will work in under an hour and the taste enough to make them rmember to drink their prune juice from then on out...lol

  • Still no moving experiences here. I have been taking colace and today started on a stimulant laxitive. I have some prune juice. I will start wth that as well..
    Thanks for all the kind words.
    4 level ACDF completed on January 3rd.
    I developed an infection which required reopening the wound on January17th
    Looking forward to life without as much pain!
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