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C5/6 ACDF Recovery 33 yr old with 5 month baby.

Hi alll - I am 33 years old and have had recurrent c5/6 disc herniations. After 2 epidural shots w/little relief I have been told that surrgery is basically my only option. I have a 5 month old bby. The surgeons that I have seen all have said that I can return to holding my baby / picking him up soon after surgery, if not a day or 2 after. Are they being truthful? He is about 15lbs at this point. The only reason why I am debating not having surgery is bc of my baby. It took me 3 years to have him, it just breks my heart that I can hardly lift and play with him now. I would love to hear your recovery stories, etc.

Thanks in advance!


  • I had 4 levels fused and for the first several weeks I was restricted to 5 pounds. I can't see them approving you bending and lifting 15 or more likely 20 pounds for awhile after surgery. Did you make it clear to them exactly what a Mom does? Apparently they are unaware or have forgotten. pardon the snarky tone :-)

    4 level ACDF completed on January 3rd.
    I developed an infection which required reopening the wound on January17th
    Looking forward to life without as much pain!
  • that you really need to go back and discuss your post op restrictions again with this surgeon or surgeons. Most everyone that I have read post op from cervical surgery has had some weight restrictions, and some wore neck braces for weeks postop, as well as restrictions in other areas.
    If someone is not there to care for the baby, and you go ahead and pick him up too early, you can wind up damaging things that will result in more damage later....
  • From my experience you will definitely need help with the baby. There are restrictions and there also is a lot of pain afterwards.
  • Hi Becky! I am having a one level ACDF C5-C6 on Thursday, 9/26. While I am not a 33 year old mom with a five month old, I am a 55 year old with an eight month old granddaughter who I take care of one day a week for my daughter. This is my biggest concern too! My surgeon said at least four weeks with absolutely no picking her up. I haven't asked yet about laundry and housework. I hope to be back at work within two weeks. He said that I should be okay for my desk job in two weeks. I would definitely discuss your situation more, especially since your child is so young.

  • Hi Becky, I had 1 level ACDF c4 - c5 9/4/2013. 42 yr with children 10 and 17 so I completely understand how much moving around is involved with an infant. I had 2 rounds of epid. and then scheduled surgery - nerve and cord compression - I had lost almost 70% movement in my left arm so I had no choice. I stayed one night in the hospital, Aspen collar for two weeks - more to keep me from doing things that I shouldn't - my doctor told me that on most single level ACDF with plating collars are usually only used to set limits. Anyway - sore throat was not too bad. I used Perc at home for the first two weeks - anticipating my pain - by my two week follow up I was doing light housework. I was released to drive and will fu with xrays 4 weeks post op - if the xrays look good I will then start PT.
    The doctor has a 10 pd limit on me for picking items up. The doctor prescribed a bone stimulator which I started 3 days ago - my doctor does this on all his cervical patients regardless of number of levels involved - to speed up fusion and cut time in 1/2. My pain at this point is tight muscles in my shoulders and neck but I have read on this forum that this is common.
    Something to consider is that your baby is not mobile yet, it will be more difficult in another couple of months when the baby is bigger and requires much more movement.

    Good luck, Michele
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  • xtraviraxxtravira Posts: 27
    edited 09/28/2013 - 6:11 PM
    I went back to work after using up all my PTO. I started with only 1-2 hours in the office per day because my neck would get so tired from holding my head up. That's the longest I could go. I should have taken 4 weeks off or 8 weeks to start the recovery and healing strong. Don't think of doing housework at all. It's not worth your health! I'm still not back to my old energy levels. I wouldn't plan on picking up your 15 pound baby after surgery for a long while. At least until you start getting stronger from PT. sorry. Put it off a little longer if you can safely do that, for your baby's sake. But you might be hurting yourself more by picking up your baby every day. Good luck! Go back to your surgeon and tell him about your concerns. Doctors think every procedure is routine. Spinal fusion is major surgery.
    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.
  • wyatt13wwyatt13 WashingtonPosts: 4
    I have c6-c7 bilateral moderate to severe spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.  I don't meet with my surgeon for another 3 weeks.  I've had all of the conservative treatments and 2 epidural injections over the last 5 years.  Any input on what usually happens next?  Should I expect surgery?...thx
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello wyatt13....
    This is a very old discussion.
    May I suggest you start your own New Discussion..?
    More member's will see you and be able to reply with their shared experiences.

    Thank you
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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