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c5/6 discectomy with fusion

had acdf at c5/6 on nhs 2 weeks ago no collar full movement, and been told i need 6 weeks off work and be careful what im lifting, thats the part i dont understand what would happen if i lifted something too heavy before the 6 weeks is up


  • Hi,
    I had same op as you on 22/2 through NHS but my consultant says I have to wear a foam collar for 6 weeks! Did you have screws in your metal work? I haven't even been able to raise my arms above head height, let alone lift anything. I hate to think what might happen if I was to lift something heavy, so I'm not about to try!
    :) PS Where in the UK are you based. I'm in Nottingham (Hence the NOTTS Countyfan)
  • Sorry to hear your not great after your operation. must be screws in there no collar full neck movement the nerve pain from before has more or less gone not taking gabapentin anymore just zapain for pain in my back from operation plenty of walking seems to help. Sleeping in bed feel great. I'm in South Wales
  • chuckb67cchuckb67 Posts: 17
    edited 03/04/2013 - 6:20 PM
    If you lift something heavy with one hand you tend to put a lot of strain on your neck that side. This strain would be unbalanced and something could give... like the screws. If you are lifting with each arm equally then the strain would be more balanced but could be enough to affect the screws or the fusion process.

    My 2 cents worth....
    US Army Retired
    Olympia WA
  • countyfanccountyfan Posts: 61
    edited 03/04/2013 - 11:20 PM
    I don't have any screws, just the cage. I suppose that is why I need to wear the collar. I feel really nervous that there is actually nothing else holding the cage in place in my spine. I suppose that is why I'm so cautious about lifting. I can just about manage to lift the kettle to pour a coffee (As long as its less than half full) Someone on here mentioned nothing more than a gallon of milk but I find a full 4 pint carton too heavy at the moment. :(
  • Do you mean it hurts to lift the kettle or its just too heavy for you. Also although there's just a cage in there, the height of the cage is milametres and its like a disc in there then all your muscles around it are holding it all down by all accounts it's a tight fit. Ive read that aswell about the weight to lift, but i dont understand it. Do you have good movement in your neck. And have you got much pain
  • It hurts and feels like its pulling the muscles around my neck. I was told by physiotherapist that the doc didn't want me doing any neck exercises, so not sure how much movement, as not actually tried. If I want to look at something to the side of me I end up turning my whole body in that direction! As regards pain, straight after the op I was put on the HDU and had a self-activated morphine drip. I can honestly say, after giving birth to 3 kids and breaking my femur skiing, that this op was the worst pain I'd ever experienced. I still wake at least once a night and need to take tramadol to get back to sleep but obviously not as bad as at first.. :(
  • Sorry to hear this I'm great after this operation I can drive. pain I got is more discomfort now was painful at first but has been getting better with each day now nothing compared to what your describing if you saw me apart from the staples in my neck you wouldn't know anything was wrong never went on Hdu 9.15 went for op 1.15 back on ward 1.30 eating dinner walking round went to toilet. I suppose its how it was done. And I use to go to the gym a lot before operation so I believe that has helped with my recovery
  • went to see consultant today to have my staples removed asked what was actually in my neck he said, a plastic disc with synthetic bone, amazing showed me the x-ray little disc at the front of my spine,no plates or screws, astounded said im now able to pick my son up cleared me for driving,cycling, swimming, cross trainer. 2 weeks and im able to do all this amazing i've read so many horror stories on here but i'd recommend the surgery to anyone who is experiencing pain due to nerve compression, also said at the six week mark im all healed
  • That's amazing. And you are in the UK.I haven't got an appointment to go back to my consultant yet but he said 6 weeks so..,
    Still not sleeping through the night again yet. Find it easier laying on angled pillow than flat though.
    Hope my news is as good as yours, when I finally see the Consultant! :)
  • yes im in s/wales uk, my next appointment to see my consultant is in 8 weeks said he'd do an xray to make sure its all done, sorry to hear your still not sleeping through the night, yeah i found it best to sleep at an angle on the settee when i first come home, are you still in pain? hope your consultant sorts you out.
  • I gather that you had an artificial disc replacement. I am considering this as a better option than the acdf. I was diagnosed with Cervical Myelopathy from Cord Compression at the C6-7 level with severe cord edema. Basically a big ol pain in the neck!! HAha. The neurosurgeon wants to do his traditional ACDF with bank bone and titanium plating. He is also open to doing a total disc replacement. I have done a lot of web searching (ie., company websites, patient stories, professional studies, etc.,) and find that the ProDisc C seems to be a better product than some others out there. No screws to loosen at least!
    I am following your recovery online now and hope to share a glowing review with this forum. My wife and I have 3 kids. 14yo, 11yo, and 14months. Our daughter is rambunctious and quite a joy. I hope the recovery will be quick enough so that I can pick her up and play again soon. Let me know how you are doing and I will share my story as well. Cheers!!!
  • hi thanks for the post, i had nerve compression at c5/6 so yours sounds like its a lot more severe than what i experienced which was very painfull and taking lots of drugs keeping the pain at bay. so i now sympathise with anyone experiencing this kind of pain. and its difficult because you look ok on the outside like no open wounds anything visually wrong its seems very difficult to get proper help quickly to relieve the problem
    yes my recovery is going very well, i did have acdf not an artifical disc it was as the surgeon described it to me " a very expensive piece of plastic with, artifical bone in it" no plating or screws, and at six weeks he said all should be fused and healed inside, and i believe him.
    The first week i felt good after the op. Now(three weeks on) i just get a little stiff first thing in the morning from sleeping on my front all night, wake up like this nothing really. And towards the evening about seven little discomfort across my traps i suppose its muscle fatigue from where its still all settling in.
    if i role my head, around the world sort of movement i use to get crunching now nothing its like i got a new neck.
    i started back at the gym monday doing ten mins on the cross trainer and 20 minutes on the runner been doing a couple of the machines high reps very low weights just to get a sweat on and to build myself back up again, after two weeks like i already posted i could pick my kids up ages 4, 2 and 7months which is awesome. and at six weeks i can go back to work get back on the motorcycle and continue with the rest of my life pain free.and carry on where i left off...

    glad you have found my post and hope you have found it of use, there is light at the end of the tunnel, for most.
    but most people only post the bad, so im glad i can share my recovery and hope it will help others.
    i also look forward to reading your story i will continue to update this page now till my recovery is complete
  • samksmithssamksmith Posts: 15
    edited 03/14/2013 - 12:14 AM
    Thank you. Your post is just what I needed this morning.
  • Haven't been on here for a while so i thought i'd come on here to give everyone an update.
    It's coming up on five weeks now and all the pain has gone the only thing im left with, only the last two days is tight ache either side of my neck when i angle my head left to right hoping its where it is all healing inside.
    movement is still good, i didn't think though that now i've lost movement at one level my muscles have to learn how to move my neck differently so i suppose that could cause aches and tiredness,
    back to work next week (forklift truck driver). and as far as im aware it'll be all healed by then.
    so sorted. best thing i ever done well worth it for the pain relief
  • Just to let you all know how my Consultant check-up went. Had an X-ray and shows that the cage is perfectly positioned and bone has even started to fuse to C5 (not C6 yet though) Consultant really pleased with results although I do still have some pain down right shoulder /arm. That always was the worst side and he did say that it could take up to a year for the nerves to fully recover and at least the numbness has gone on both sides. One slight thing he was concerned to hear was that I had lifted my Grandchildren onto my knee at times, during the last 6 weeks (2 and a half and 15months) So now, although I can remove the collar I have been wearing for the last 6 weeks , I now have to tell my grandchildren that I can't pick them up yet! Consultant also thinks I need another month off work :(
  • thanks for the update on your progress glad to hear your on the mend now, but thats not good with you not being able to pick your grandchildren up yet. and for you to have another month off work, i went back to work last tuesday (forklift driver) in newport docks, little bit slow, nervous, and tired but otherwise o.k, i hadnt recieved a letter off my hospital about my follow up appointment, so i rang them and was told that no appointment had been made and that i had been put on a follow up list, and the women told me on the phone that i should have made the appointment when i was there to have my staples out, to which i replied that i did, then she told me that the desk is busy and i should have made an appointment, she wouldnt have it that they had messed up. And that it is my fault, anyway i got to wait now until the 12th of june for my follow up appointment to know if its all healed or not, but i feel pretty good few aches and pains, anjust getting on with it under the assumption that it is healed. i waited over a year to have the operation so i suppose i got to wait another year to know if its healed.

    did they do the xray at the follow up appointment and give you the results then or did you have to go back for the results
  • SeknigSSeknig Posts: 1
    edited 09/02/2014 - 4:15 AM
    Hi C56man, I'm from Caerleon and considering ACDF surgery. seems like yours was successful, EDITED

    Post edited by Sandi- Please see the forum rules at the link below for more information.
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  • c56mancc56man Posts: 14
    edited 09/02/2014 - 4:12 AM
    Hi yes my surgery was successful, I'm from malpas and had the surgery , EDITED I'd say I'm about 95% better the 5% being slight nerve pain now and then but pain killers aren't needed anymore. Haven't noticed any loss in Movement in my neck, currently back doing weightlifting and cycling

    Post edited to remove physician and medical facility name. You are not allowed to use the names of specific doctors or medical facilities while posting at Spine Health forums. Please read the forum rules. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/forum-rules
    5.10 You agree not to post specific physician names or health care facilities names on Spine-Health.com.

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