I am a 36yo male, healthy and am on my 3rd day post op of c6/c7 acdf with instrumentation...have read so many different things about recovery and instructions from my surgeon and none of them seem to be the same...so here are a few of my worries and questions:
Incision- do I keep it covered? I am in a hard shell neck brace I was told to wear 24/7 for one week, was told I can uncover the incision but doesn't seem feasible with a hard brace rubbing against the wound...anyone have experience with this? When can I shower?
Swallowing- I can only swallow half way comfortably when on the pain meds...how long does this sore throat last?
Bowel movement- been taking stool softness since I've been home but still no movement, no sensation of even having to go...should I worry?
Sleeping in a hard shell brace...any tips are appreciated...this seems impossible...I have no recliner, I'm typically a side sleeper, been trying the best I can on my back and propped up on pillows.
Returning to work- they released me from the hospital the same day as surgery even though I was told before hand I'd have to stay overnight. I don't have a very physically demanding job, but I do have to move..bend..lift at times. Also, I work in NYC and getting to work involves bus, subway and walking. Ideally I want to return to work no later than 2/3/14. Does this seem feasible if I limit my movement at work?
Any other advice is appreciated. Thanks all!!