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Help for how long?

This is my first post so I hope I follow the proper rules. I am single and am preparing for a ACDF, C4-6. How long will I need someone with me before I can move around and take care of myself...really just cooking and caring for my dog?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    edited 03/07/2013 - 4:06 AM
    I hope you find your stay here rewarding. The Spine-Health main-site medical library is full of detailed articles and videos that cover almost all spinal conditions and treatments. The forum part (which you are on now) consists of thousands of international members who you can reach out to and discuss your situation. Just always keep in mind, that the members here are not doctors.

    I have had two ACDF. Both times they were very successful in addressing the problem. As far as time you will need someone, depends on if you have a collar or not. Having a collar can add to the limitations. I had to wear a hard collar 24x7 for 7 weeks. I was able to do more by myself, but not with the collar.

    My guess, and it is only based on my experiences is that within 7-10 days you should be able to do some minor things.
    (Cooking, minor cleaning, and as for a taking care of your dog - is that walking or just general activieis. If it is a big dog and can pull, I would stay away from that)

    But everyone is different. This is a question that you doctor would be able to provide you with accurate medical advice.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 03/07/2013 - 7:23 PM
    Who will be taking care of your dog while you are in the hospital. Can you ask this person if they could keep the dog (of course bring the dog for visits) but keep the dog at least for a few days after you return to your home? I'd suggest letting your friends/family know when they ask what they can do, that you might need help with some puppy sitting. Try to work out some of those details before the surgery so you know your doggie will get plenty of attention while you are not able to do that.

    Is family going to be staying with you over night when you get home? If so, great! Do you have other friends that might could spend the night some once you are home?

    When is your surgery? Best of luck!
    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.

  • Sorry to hear that you are facing a C4/6 ACDF, but hopefully it will give you the much needed relief.

    There is an enormous variety in people's recovery time and also what the surgeon's give as restrictions and instructions for after care.
    I had a C3/4/5 ACDF last November.
    My husband took two weeks off work after the surgery which was very helpful. I could have managed a little before that, but we don't have a dog. He did the cooking for about 3 weeks, and I still needed him to lift heavy pans even after that.

    As far as your dog in concerned, it will depend largely how well behaved it it. If it jumps up or pulls on the lead, that will be a problem. A large dog can cause problems because of its weight and size, but a small dog can also be a problem because you will not be able to look down when walking and you could trip over it if it is walking close to you.

    There is a list at the top of the Back and Neck Surgery thread which has all sorts of things that will be useful to you after your surgery. The list is very long, so don't be put off by it. You won't need everything because this list covers lumbar surgery too. It will give you a good idea of the likely problems you may have and things that will help.

    How soon is your surgery? Do ask any other questions you may have. Many of us have faced this, and can really understand the anxiety in the time leading up to surgery. :-)
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