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Acdf surgery

Hi there, I'm new on here joined today. I'm going for acdf surgery in less than 2 weeks, c6/c7 and an very worried, as I don't really know what to expect? And I know there taking bone from my hip to put in where the disc is being removed then a metal plate fitted over the disc to keep it in place would be great fuk if some1 could reply wiv any info they have as not spoke to any1 about this thanks in advance Nessie x
V. Sweeby


  • I am have an ACDF soon too. You can join the September Surgery Buddies if you want. There is a thread already started under the surgery heading.

    One Love,

  • xtraviraxxtravira Posts: 27
    edited 08/22/2013 - 5:05 AM
    The surgery only took a few hours. They used donor bone for me, not bone out of my hip. One thing that no one told me was you cannot cough afterwards because it hurts the throat, so I ordered Cloraseptic max from Amazon and I was always sucking on cough drops. I have really bad allergies so that was really important for me. At the hospital, I didn't know that I had to order my food so I didn't get anything to eat the day of my surgery.

    When the surgery is done and you wake up, the OR nurse will ask you to move your toes and fingers. When I woke up, the tingling down my arms and in my hands was gone! I was amazed. When I needed to go to the bathroom in the OR recovery room, they wheeled me over to the bathroom and the nurse helped me get up (I guess just in case). I didn't need help. The rest of my body felt fine. :) My C5 herniated disc felt like someone was pushing their finger into the back of my neck. My neurosurgeon said that if he didn't operate soon, I might be paralyzed. I scheduled the surgery for the soonest opening- which was in 2 weeks.

    At the hospital, I had to ask for a soft-sided neck brace. It wasn't required. Unfortunately, the OR recovery room nursing staff was really great but the nurse who took care of me all night wasn't the smartest. I had diuladid administered via pain pump. My mother was surprised that I was completely normal. I have a high tolerance for opiates, so my pain was at like a 4, but I felt that with IV drugs, it really should be 0 or 1. The anesthesiologist said I could have a dose of pain meds every 6 minutes instead of every 10 minutes, as was initially set up. But the nurse couldn't do basic math. The pain pump had 2 numbers on it- one was for how many minutes had to pass between doses and she changed that one to 6. But there was one that said how many doses per hour and she didn't change that. It should have been changed from 6 per hour to 10 per hour. I told her twice but she didn't listen. I was too tired to complain. I should have made a big fuss about it but it was 2am and I really just didn't have the energy. Also, the Tagaderm (clear sticky covering that was put over the neck incision) is waterproof so I could shower right away. No one told me that at the hospital. I was really ready to leave by 9am but I had to wait for my neurosurgeon to come visit at noon. I had surgery at INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital in Northern Virginina.

    Before surgery, you have to wash with an antibacterial body wash/soap. I scrubbed the back of my neck so hard until I realized- oops, they are going to do the incision on the front of my neck.

    Riding in the car afterwards, you can feel every bump in the road. It is hard to hold your head up. 4-6 weeks after surgery, I started PT with my chiropractor. My Range of Motion (ROM) returned to better than normal (better than my grandfather- he told me he has 60 degrees and mine is past 90 degrees). The hardest thing which exhausted me the most was holding up my head.

    OK, have to go to a meeting now, I may write more later. The surgery will be fine and you will recover. My fusion was at 90% by 1 year. The bones fused as they should. However, I am still exhausted and in pain but I have other back issues too.

    Best of wishes to both of you!
    Chronic pain since 2007. Have scoliosis. Had ACDF surgery for C5 Dec 2011. Sick of dealing with pain. I just turned 32 and struggle through but work full-time in IT.
  • Thank you for sharing your experience. I am also 32, and this will be my third surgery. Blech.

    One Love,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Anytime surgery is scheduled it is something to worry about. The most important thing for you to realize is that you have faith and confidence in the doctor that is performing the surgery and the hospital staff.
    I've had two separate ACDFs along with some additional fusion tuneup. I have to say, I found my ACDF surgeries to be much easier recovering than any of my lumbar surgery.

    Take a look at some details regarding ACDF: ACDF Surgery

    Honestly, the pain in my hop where they took the bone graft was sorer than my neck. When I had it done (1996-2000) they were big on Hard Cervical Collars. I had to wear one for 7 weeks 24x7... Not fun. Many doctors dont go for the collars any more. Main thing is just follow all the restrictions and limitations that your doctor gives you.

    Also for me, sleeping was so much easier when we put one of those foam wedges under the bed.

    Good luck, it will go fine

    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
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