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ACDF surgery - 5 weeks post op

Hi All

New to this - I found this site before my operation (which was on 13th August) and I found it very helpful to me in preparation.

I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in 2007. I avoided an operation for as long as I could. I was lucky that my pain came and went and over the years it must have flared up about 4 or 5 times. But it was never as bad as the pain I had in my arm in 2007 - apparently, or so the surgeon told me, after a while the nerve endings die off and that is why I was never in as much pain. In fact, when I was operated on I was in no pain at all! Imagine my dismay when I came around from the anaesthetic in sheer agony!!! My arms were both aching and my neck was throbbing......but!!! Within 2 days my pain was under control and I felt absolutely relieved!!! I am telling this because when I came around, I immediately thought that it hadn't worked and that I would be in agony for the rest of my life!! I hadn't been under the knife before and so I was in the dark as to what to expect. Logically thinking, of COURSE I was going to be in pain - but once the doctors and nurses sort out the right medication for YOU, then it starts to ease.
5 weeks on I am back in work - half days (I came back after 4 weeks). I have a desk job so I find I get really tired by lunch time, but I put that down to the healing process. Apparently it takes 6 months for your spine to fuse completely.
My question is this: When I came home from my surgery, I had telephone consultations with my speech and language therapist (I had terrible problems swallowing, but that is ok now except for a sensation of a ump in my throat which is getting better every day) I have had one Physio session (she made me feel I shouldn't be there!) and I have a telephone consultation with my surgeon on the 13th October, 2 months after the op. What happened to aftercare??? I thought I 2would be going for x-rays or MRI's to check the neck was fusing properly but nobody has said a word. I guess I will have to wait and ask the surgeon in October, but I just wondered if anyone had had the same experience of lack of aftercare. To be honest I am ok really except for the odd twinge, but in the back of my mind I am worrying that the odd twinge may lead to something worse if the bone does not fuse properly. Another question is - how likely is it that I may have a recurrence in a lower or higher invertebrate?
Feel free to answer...



  • Most post op visits are scheduled first for incision checks /or staple/stitch removal. If your surgeon used steri -strips or dissolving stitches, you may not see the doctor for 8 weeks, at which time they will have you get an xray to check the status of the fusion, placement of the hardware etc.
    If a patient is having no complications post op, then your first visit may not be in the office until the 6-8 week mark. What I would do is contact your surgeon's office and make sure that you are scheduled to see him at the 8 week mark for your followup.
    As to how likely it may be for adjacent segment problems, there is no easy answer......they may occur in some patients and in others they may never occur.
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