I am 10 days post op from a 4 level fusion. I had herniated discs from levels 4-7 with stenosis and my neck / shoulders bothered me for years. I also have something called spondylosis or something like that. My neurologist firmly stated that this needed to be surgically addressed because if I fell or got hit from behind, I could paralyze myself. So, surgery was not an option for me - it was medically necessary.
I wasn't sure what to expect after the surgery. I did not know all that was involved with the surgery and that they would be moving vocal chords, esophagus, etc.
I was released the next day and for several days afterwards, my throat was so sore and swollen, I could not get anything past it. Even taking chopped up meds gagged me. The surgeon's PA called to follow up with me and explained the swelling threshold and that I was in it at the time. Thank God every day it is getting easier. I still can't get pills or food down with the first swallow, but usually it will go down with the second.
I still have a lot of pain in my shoulders. After reading threads on here, it seems like it's a side affect of the positioning of our bodies during the surgery. Can someone describe the positioning for me so I understand exactly why this is happening?
I'm currently wearing a VISTA collar - I'm supposed to wear it 24/7 (with the exception of showering) but I feel strangled in it and take a break with it off for a few hours at a time. I still cannot find a comfortable position sleeping. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm tired of changing sides every hour just to get comfy. The shoulders are a huge problem right now.. they ache.
I was given muscle relaxers and Norco pain pills. I try and only use them when necessary, and I was told today that I needed to take them both, regardless, as I'm healing from the inside out.
Also, it's very hard to shower and do my hair since my neck has to stay looking straight ahead. How does one wash their hair if they can't look up to rinse? Does anyone have any suggestions?
I was given a Bone Growth Stimulator - used it my first day yesterday. Now that's a weird contraption. Do these really work?
Sorry, for the long winded post
I just have a lot of questions and I see a lot of others had the same surgery and have experience in this
2013-4 Level ACDF C4-C7 herniation with severe spinal stenosis at C4-C5. .Bulging disk at L3-L4, and L4-L5. Herniation at L5-S1. As of 8/29/14 Bulging disc at L2-L5-S1 and disc protrusion at L3-L4.