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Sorry I think I have posted this some where else.I think now I'm at the right place! I'm Having Surgery Feb 28 ACDF
C/3/6 C6/7 Would like to know who has had this done and what to expect coming out of surgery. I'm scared to death on how I'm going to feel with that brace on my neck when I wake up. not being able to move my neck, ect ect I know I will be spending the night at the hospital, will be leaving the nx day around noon.doctor said I need to sleep in a recliner, not good sleeping any where but my BED!LOL! Just need to know a little bit of what to expect and hope to here some encouraging words but I'll take the good and bad just want honesty I 'M so glade I found this site.hope someone can help.
thank you all for your posting have been readig lots!..........:)


  • We all need encouragement to deal with our issues... especially when it comes to surgery. The good news is, the pain medicine WILL help you sleep, even in a recliner. I'd also be terrified over a neck surgery. I've never had surgery there, but it is such a sensitive area. Just think, obviously your life experience has declined or you wouldn't have surgery... so try to concentrate on months from now when you are feeling so much better and less on waking up from the surgery. Best of luck to you.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • The ACDF surgery is not as bad as sone other surgeries. Like you have been told I was also out the next day by around 1pm. I was not placed in a neck brace, my NS felt it was not neccessary with the hardware he used. I was not told to sleep in a recliner but i was told I would need to sleep in an inclined position (i used it as an excise to buy myself a nice recliner haha). I was able to sleep flat in my bed with 2 pillows after 4 days.

    I think the most important thing is to have someone to help you out the first few days. I needed a cane to get around safely for the forst few weeks due to feeling unsteady. Second most important thing is going to be to have soft/easy to swallow foods. I bought packs of single serve instant mashed potatoes, many different soups, single serve mac n cheese, and yogurt. You will also want to take a stool softener as it is painful to have to strain at all (meds dry you out so the stool softener keeps things in a position to "flow" easily).

    Oh and entertainment. My Nook was a lifesaver for both my surgeries. Since my first surgery in August I have probably read 50-60 books and watched a ton of shows on Netflix. That plus my college work kept me sane while I was house bound. Best of luck to you and dont payche yourself out. If you trust your doctor the. Trust that he/she will do a fabulous job :)
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 02/25/2013 - 10:20 AM

    and having had a lumbar and cervical fusion, I would say that the ACDF is easier to recover from.

    I didn't have a neck brace and didn't feel that I needed one. I did manage to sleep lying on my side from the second night, once the drain was removed. I had a pillow between my knees, one pillow with a rolled towel under the front, to create a raised roll to support my neck, and a soft pillow to cuddle to stop my head dropping down.

    I agree that you will need soft/easy to swallow foods for a while. Sometimes, quite a while. I found the absolute easiest thing to eat was ice cream! The cold helped and it just slid down. Bendy straws are useful, so you can drink without having to tilt your head back, which is a no no.

    You will need things to pass the time while you relax and recover.
    Good luck, and do ask if you have any other questions :-) .
  • including this sticky.. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/post-op-must-haves-0
    I had 4 level acdf on january 3rd. I slept in a recliner and had little problem sleeping even though I too am very partial to my own bed. The pain meds will help you sleep. The collar is not as bad as I feared, in fact, it is sort of a security blanket. I now feel unprotected without it and at over 7 weeks out I was told to keep it on. The soft food is a must. I still have swallowing issues, I believe because of the 4 levels. One of the handiest things I bought was a grabber stick. I know there must be a better name but I just call it my grabber. You are not to lean over and it is amazing how many things end up on the floor especially when you are still shaky from surgery. I will say honestly, It has been rough but I can tell it will be worth it. The pain was/is manageable but for at least a month it was never ending and only the intensity varied. I was also astounded at how weak I was. All that is better now and I am up to walking 3 miles 4 or 5 days a week. I don't walk on the days I have outings. Take some time to rearrange your living area to prevent excessive leaning or reaching. I changed my kitchen and pantry. I also moved my clothing around. If things have to sit of top instead of in a drawer, so be it. It will only last a short time. You will find the preparation will help your anxiety. Good luck and keep posting

    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!
  • Oh bendy straws
    I totally forgot about tht

    Yes bendy straws are a MUST have for this because you wont want to bend your head much at all for a bit
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