I am a 53 yr old man from the Midwest. I had an acdf with instrumentation at c6-7. I am 5 weeks post-op and so far am glad I had the surgery. A little background. I am a truck driver and do a lot of heavy lifting. On Jan. 4th of this year I woke up on the weekend with a sore, stiff neck. I figured I probably strained it at work or by helping my daughter move a couple of days previous.The next day the pain was much worse. I noticed when I tried to do my usual pushup routine I could barely do three because of the weakness in my right triceps. I saw my pcp and he ordered an emg which showed nerve impingement at c6-c7 level. My doc then ordered an mri which confirmed a herniated disk at c6-7. My doc then referred me to a neurosurgeon. I had to wait almost a month to get in to see him. While I waited on my appt. with the surgeon the pain was getting worse. It was a horrible nerve pain that started between my shoulder blades and radiated to my upper right arm. I was also having muscle spasms in my shoulder under my right arm and in my triceps.When I saw the neurosurgeon I was floored when he told me surgery was my only option in his opinion. He told me the herniation was very large and compressing my spinal cord. I knew from a couple of friends who had used my surgeon that he usually favored a conservative approach. But still I wanted another opinion. I saw another neurosurgeon who also said that because of the size of the herniation and my other symptoms that surgery was my best option. I made an appt. for surgery in two weeks which was March 6th with my original surgeon. While waiting for my surgery I noticed some tingling and numbness in my groin. I also noticed my right index finger and thumb were starting to get numb. Since the start of my symptoms I was living on vicodin and ultram. As afraid as I was of the surgery I was more afraid of ending up with more problems or becoming paralyzed. I had my surgery on March 6th around 8:30 am and woke up with very little pain. The surgery took about an hour. My main complaint was difficulty swallowing. After I got to my room I slept most of the day. In the evening I felt well enough to eat a small meal and I had some visitors. That night I slept on and off as well as you can in a hospital. The next morning I woke up very weak but in little pain. My surgeon came by to check on my progress and told me that if I met his goals for the day I could go home later that afternoon. After breakfast the nurse took out my catheter and I was able to go to the bathroom under my own power. My pain was being controlled so the occ. therapist took me for a walk and showed me how to get in and out of bed and a chair and how to handle stairs. After lunch someone from a medical supply store came and fitted me with my Aspen neck brace. Later that day I was released from the hospital. I was really surprised to be going home that fast. The first few days at home were kind of difficult but I had my daughter with me while my fiancé went to work. The difficulty swallowing was probably the worst part the first week, so I had a lot of yogurt,soup and applesauce on hand. I took a shower with some assistance a couple of days after being home. I just made sure I didn't let the water hit my incision directly. I stopped taking pain meds after about 5 days and the muscle relaxer after about 2 weeks.I started to take short walks inside the house and by the third day I was walking outside.My incision was completely healed at 4 weeks. As I had mentioned I am now 5wks. post-op and I feel blessed that I am doing as well as I am. I am walking about 3 miles a day now. The most difficult part of my recovery is the boredom and wearing the neck brace 24/7 and not being able to drive. I guess my surgeon is very conservative so I will have to wear my brace for 7 more weeks! After 12 weeks I can start physical therapy for a month then I hope I can go back to work. I am very happy so far with the outcome of my surgery and I am glad I had it done. I was wondering if there are any truck drivers out there that had this surgery, and if you were able to go back to your old job? God Bless.