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Problems with swelling after ACDF

Hi everyone! My sister had a 3 level ACDF yesterday. She's doing okay so far. The pain in her shoulder and arm is gone. The numbness in her hand and foot are still there but we knew that might take a while to subside. No major problems with swallowing or post op pain ... she hasn't needed any pain meds at all so far!

But her legs are very weak and she's not able to stand. The nurses and therapists say this is probably the result of post op swelling putting pressure on the spinal cord and will get better as the swelling subsides. It hasn't even been 24 hours since surgery so it's way too early to panic but I can't help but worry. I'd love to hear from anyone who might have had a similar problem after ACDF surgery. She's feeling pretty blue right now and could use some encouragement.



  • Is she still in the hospital? If not, you might want to contact her surgeon and discuss her symptoms with him.. Swelling is normal after surgery in any area but it can be dangerous if it occurs in the spine and her experiencing leg symptoms is concerning. I would want to make sure that things are okay, just for peace of mind.
  • Yes, she's still in the hospital. She didn't get out of the OR until 10pm Friday night so she's just barely 24 hours post op at this point. They're going to try to get her up again in the morning and see what happens. But until she can walk she's not going home.
  • I hope that she is feeling much better today and that the leg issue is better. If it is not, then insist that they do something to see why, a CT scan or better yet an MRI.....one way or another , don't just let them make assumptions about the cause of the leg weakness, since she is inpatient, they can easily take her to the radiology department and make sure.
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