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surgery tomorrow, nervous

Hello everyone. I am so grateful to have found this site. My problem is minor compared to many here. I've had neck problems on and off for years but early Dec. suddenly got severe arm pain with tingly fingers as well. Had a MRI in Jan. impression: large right lateral disc herniation at c6-c7 with moderate compression of cord. Tried physical therapy, home traction and various meds. Had some improvement and by the time I had surgery consult 3-5-13 thought I could avoid ACDF. 8 days ago pain got worse with a vengeance, not able to function, worse than onset. Went to walk in clinic of ortho practice, told them I had decided to schedule surgery and was waiting on office to call back. Was prescribed oxycodone given toradol shot and they said they would contact surgeon. Had pre op Fri. surgery tomorrow nerves kicking in now. First surgery of this sort and went from not thinking it was worth it at consult to having it in the morning. I have found a lot of valuable info here especially the hospital list and I'm sure there's more I just can't stay on computer very long to read at a time. Would love to hear from anyone with similar circumstances. Wish I had asked dr. more questions. Expecting 23 hr. hospital stay, c6-c7 ACDF using hip bone graft and hard collar.


  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 03/17/2013 - 3:55 PM
    Just wanted to say you've come to the right place for support. Please consider joining the "March Surgery Buddies" http://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/march-surgery-buddies
    We can't be there for you before your surgery, but we can certainly be here for you during your recovery. Best of luck tomorrow. Please let us here from you once you are settled back at home.
    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.
  • with your surgery tomorrow. Glad you found us but sorry you have to be here :( I am sorry I don't have experience with cervical spine just thoracic and lumbar. I agree, you need to go to the March surgery forum so others who are having or had surgery this month can be there for you. Please keep in touch and let us know how things go.

  • FrancineSFFFrancineSF Posts: 318
    edited 03/18/2013 - 2:50 PM
    I posted a journal for my ACDF C3/4 and C4/5 fusion I had done in October. My surgeon preferred to use cadaver bone because he didn't want me to have to heal from the hip portion of the surgery, too. The cadaver bone was mixed with my own (that which he removed from my neck) and in 4 months I am fully fused.

    If you get this before you go to the hospital - I think the most helpful thing I did while in the hospital was that I downloaded some music and some 'guided imagery' audio selections - and it was the first thing I asked for when they rolled me into my hospital room. I listened to all of it during my time in the hospital and it was a lifesaver.

    I now firmly believe that the reason that I had no pain whatsoever - and never had the need to use pain meds was because of the guided imagery audio selections I downloaded from Amazon.com and put right onto my smart phone.

    Oh yeah, while in the hospital, I also played a lot of Words with Friends and Scramble - beause I couldn't talk! :)
    Texting and email was very helpful, too.

    When home - soft foods - swallowing may be a challenge - for me - cream of wheat, oatmeal, mac and cheese, pudding - things that slid down easily made a difference. If I tried eating something drier - crackers, for example - forget it! :)

    I also wore a hard collar - Miami J Collar - for 3 months.
    I also wore a bone growth stimulator for 3 months - which is an external device that sends warmth to the healing area which brings more blood and oxygen to the area, which is what is needed for fusion to be successful.

    The biggest thing I can say is to BE PATIENT and allow your body to heal. I had a 2-level fusion and it appears yours is 1-level, so that should help with the healing.

    I was told I was going to have a terrible sore throat. I had no sore throat. I did lose my voice, but it is now back in full force. :)

    I was in the hospital for 3 days - it was supposed to be two days, but I had a bizarre blood pressure spike that they wanted to watch. I didn't mind being in the hospital that extra day.

    So, breathe deep, be patient and surrender to the fact that you will have gone through an operation and need to heal.

    I wish you well.
    Let us know how it goes while you are home healing. :)

    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
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