I am a new member, but have been watching posts and researching on this site since I found out I was going to have my surgery. It helped me understand a lot of what I was going to be going through before I had my surgery. Thanks for all the pre op info.
On 8/11/2014 I had my 4 level anterior cervical fusion ACDF with Instrumentation, C3 through C7.Rather than harvesting bone from my hip, the DR used a PEEK Cage. with plated to straighten and strengthen my posture because I had a large curvature in my spine.
I am four weeks post op today and am doing pretty good I think. I had a one night stay in the hospital and was up and walking a little the first night. by the time I went home, I was walking by myself. Slowly of course, but I was doing it. After getting home, I have listened to my release orders by the book. After my third day home, I started feeling this horrible pain in my shoulders and arms like my arms were on fire and being pulled out of their sockets! The pain meds didn't touch it. I was taking muscle relaxers and pain meds on a routine, just to try and keep the pain from getting any worse. A call to my Dr. indicated it was nerve pain. Normal right after surgery. They prescribed a patch to help with the breakthrough pain and boy was is a life saver! Two weeks post op I was able to wean myself off so many pain meds, and am only taking them as needed now. I am still wearing the patch, but will be stopping it within the week.
I started out wearing my hard collar, only to realize, it was part of the reason I was having pain on my collar bone. Switched over to my soft collar while I was at home, and only wear the hard collar when I am riding in the car. Still not driving, but can ride. I wear my soft collar all day except when I am sleeping, or can lay my head back and rest. My DR. said I would be wearing it for two months, so I am doing what I am told. I had steri strips on my incision, and they came off about three weeks after surgery. I think they would have come off sooner if I had messed with them, but I didn't want to risk opening the incision. By the time it was coming off on its own, the incision was totally closed and was almost healed. Looked great
I am now 4 weeks post op, and in the last few days have started having the numbness return to my fingers on my right side. I am thinking this may be from all the repair they had to do while they were in there. I am hopeful that this will go away when I start Physical Therapy. I am starting to do a little more, but I can tell when I am pushing it too much. I am trying very hard to do what is best for my long term healing process. From what I understand, it is a long time. My first post op appointment isn't until Sept 30th, so I am anxious to see what my progress is. Thanks so much for reading my experience, and if anyone has any input they can give, I would love to hear from you. I do have one question.....is the numbness returning normal?
Happy Healing Everyone!!