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C5, 6, & 7 ACDF this coming Thursday

Maybe you can help shed some light on a topic that I can't seem to get a straight answer on. This coming Thursday, after a year of pain and agony and misdiagnoses, I'm having ACDF surgery - C5, 6, & 7. Seems as though they've degenerated, crumbled, made toast out of the disks which has wreaked havoc on the nerves and my left shoulder and arm.

Five years ago I wouldn't have cared. I was fat and lazy and would have enjoyed another excuse to feel sorry for myself and have access to narcotics.

Today, I am an incredibly active individual, healthy, with a full schedule of weight lifting, swimming, and yoga. Last fall I even began yoga teacher training which I am smack dab in the middle of.

Now, I'm reading and hearing that my recovery might be long, and painful, and restrictive. Funny, my neurosurgeon, who everyone here where I live, claims to be superior quality, never mentioned excessive difficulty with recovery.

He did say no yoga for 3 months which is pretty much gonna kill me. I was told treadmill was fine.

As I said, I've read so many differing opinions, and enough horror stories to make me want to back out of the surgery.

Does anyone have any good news?

Anyone out there who has had this surgery and an extremely active adult?



  • But I can tell you my surgeon's physicians assistant had 2 levels done (at different times) and she lifts weights competitively. This lady is buff. I know she also rides a bike. One look at her and you know she works out, very defined muscle. She is beautiful and obviously very active.
    I am told I will be in an Aspen collar for 3 months. I use a bone stimulator once a day. My surgery was January 3rd and I hope I am cleared to drive at my next appointment on Feb 20. They did have to clean up my wound because of infection on January 17th. I think that restarted the clock on my healing. Right now, not quite a month from my second procedure, my stamina is increasing. I walked two miles yesterday. I have been working up to that, adding distance every couple of days. I suspended my membership at the Ymca as I have been unable to use the facilities for several weeks prior to my surgery. Before that, I would go to spin class a couple of times a week, work out on the weight equipment or use elliptical. After stopping, I started walking 4 miles several times a week. I hope to build up to that. I was told that a walking program is crucial to recovery.

    I know you are considering not having the surgery. With me, I was at a point where my life was seriously impaired because of the pain. Driving was difficult and I could only drive short distances. I would have to accomplish anything I needed to in the morning and every afternoon I rested. I did not want to live the rest of my life that way.
    I talked with several people who had the surgery, at least 5 or 6. ALL said they were pleased with the results. I think you have to be careful with this site as people who have a successful outcome tend to move on and don't continue to post. Those who continue to post with problems are over represented when total outcomes are considered. It is very scary surgery and deserves consideration before jumping. good luck
    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 am also very active and an avid golfer. I am expecting to be back playing golf by June.

    Considering how I feel and the last report from my surgeon on Friday I don't see any problems.

    My surgery was on the 8th of January and I just got off needing to use the collar and have been fine without it.
    Every day I get a little bit better. My range of motion is good and getting better but I am not pushing things to see how far I can turn my head. Also, because I am active my surgeon did not believe I needed physical therapy.

    I was very careful during the 5 weeks with the collar on and never really had any pain to speak of.

    The surgery seemed to eliminate or greatly reduce every problem I had to include a chronic cough of twenty years.

    Hope your surgery goes as well as mine has! Look for my other post on my rehab for a little more information.
    US Army Retired
    Olympia WA
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