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Pain at incision site 3 weeks after ACDF

It has been 3 weeks since my surgery. I still have a lot of pain and swelling on and off at incision site in my throat. The surgeon did tell my daughter that he had a hard time getting in there is what she said he told her. I have called his office and they said this is normal. As long as I am not running a fever and there is no discharge from the site. I found when I wake up its not to bad . but by the evening. It is very sore and swollen, also my incision looks terrible. I think he did a crappy job of cutting me open. I have to keep ice packs on both front and back of my neck . Has anyone had this problem and if so how long until it gets better. It has been 18 days .


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 08/25/2014 - 4:02 AM
    You are only 18 days post op, and swelling is expected at this stage of recovery. Didn't you talk to your surgeon about the post op recovery period? Ask questions about expectations and what to watch out for?

    Spine fusion surgery recovery is a process and the swelling may continue on and off for several weeks yet, as your body heals, the scar will heal and fade over time as well.
    Ice, before the swelling starts, 15 minutes on and then off for an hour will help immensely in getting swelling down and keeping it under control. Sucking on ice cubes may help the tissues on the inside heal and not swell as much also, or frozen drinks like smoothies can ease some of the tissue swelling.
  • Well I did try to ask him he just sends all questions to his nurse. I have an appointment tomorrow morning because of this , it looks like maybe a stitch is working its way out and has the incision site very red and sore. Heck I got more information off of this site than I got from my surgeon.But so far except for this things are going good . The pain and pressure is gone that I had non stop between my shoulder blades I can feel the strength coming back in my left arm. And I start physical therapy next week. I am just praying I can do my job . I am an union Industrial Electrician and my job is very physical. I guess time will tell. I hope they numb this incision when they take this stitch out. I think it is a knot,at first I thought it was a scab. But it is not going away and it has the incision site really irritated. Will let you know how it goes.
  • Well got the knot out. What a difference that made. It was like having a sliver in my neck. Other wise she said my incision looks good.
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