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Darn lucky

Hi all. I'm 38 and had an emergency 2-level ACDF on June 4, 2013 after getting acute spinal cord compression. I abruptly lost feeling and motor function in my arms and had trouble walking. Fortunately we got the problem fixed quickly and most of the issues are gone :)

I'm doing well, just trying to figure out all the postop stuff and what my new normal will be.
2-level ACDF
Acute myelopathy


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Sounds as though you were darn lucky. As to the question what is your new normal, well first you need to give your body a chance to heal, to figure out what is the new normal. If there is no permanent damage or motor loss the new normal maybe, close to the old normal. Keep in mind your going to feel some odd things as your body adjust to the metal and not moving the way you once did, but you will soon learn ways around. But this soon out surgery it is very hard to tell, what your going to have. Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones and there is no longer term damage done. But only time will tell. AS far postop stuff, I am not sure what you mean, if you just had surgery like yesterday? If so check out the surgery forum and at the top you will find a thread that contains things needed for post-op. While you won't be working out soon, one thing you can do is walk. If you don't have a walking program check the net out there are some good ones available. One of the good ones is 10,000 steps. What is important is to maintain your core body strength and that is about all you can do at this point and time. If you have a brace, be sure to ask for extra pads as summer months than can get quite smelly. If you have a collar you can use socks to keep it clean, if you have some old ones, you don't mind cutting a whole in. Also try to use button up shirts as not move your neck around to much with pullovers. Although it is summer and most summer clothes have wider openings. Be sure to keep to your wait lifting limit, typical no more than a gallon of milk which is 8LBS. Also be sure to stay ahead of the pain so your not playing catch up with the medications, it will help you heal faster. If you smoke, stop, while your fusing. Keep your body hydrated well, with water.

    Read around in the neck forum and you will see many other suggestions. Once again welcome to spine-health, and if I can do anything, please don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and keep us posted on your recovery.
  • Thanks Tamtam. I've already navigated the early postop stuff, had my 2 week f/u this week. I just don't know what to expect from now until 6 weeks. I have more confusion about when the swallowing gets better, how the heck do you sleep and stuff like that. I have been walking and am just trying to stay positive and not get too ahead of myself.
    2-level ACDF
    Acute myelopathy
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