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4 weeks post-op ACDF

I'm currently 4 weeks post op for a 3 level ACDF, A4-7. The first 2 weeks were pretty rough, but now 4 weeks out I can say that my pre-surgery pain/issues are gone! That's the good news, the not great news is part of my post-op experience is basically no functionality with my left arm due to something with the nerve root during surgery at A4/5. The Dr. told me that by 1 month out I should start to get some functionality back, and by 5 months I should be back to normal. I have started to get some movement back, but this has made some of the basic things like showering/washing hair, putting on shirts etc. very difficult and requiring assistance.

I'm feeling optimistic that I'm on track with what the Dr. said, however super frustrated that it happened in the first place (they never quite answered my question as to what happened) and thinking about 3-4 months of needing assistance for basic things makes me nuts.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Anything that you've done to make things easier? Thanks in advance!! -Sue


  • Have you gotten a copy of your surgery report? Did you have these symptoms prior to your surgery? Or did they develop post op?
    Nerves can take some months to recover, but I would want to know exactly what occurred and why.
  • Sandi, I did not have these symptoms pre-surgery…I woke up from surgery with them. I have not received a copy of my surgery report, but when I asked why it happened he said it was swelling, inflammation, and the spinal cord compression coming back into shape. The PA told me that if the nerve route is even touched this can happen.
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