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ACDF c-6-7, seven days post op

claydohcclaydoh Posts: 19
edited 10/21/2014 - 6:06 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to follow up with my progress -- I had an ACDF at the c6/7 level last Tuesday, October 14th. Prior to the operation, I had struggled with a herniated disc and foraminal stenosis, the later of which was causing me an enormous amount of pain.

The associated back/arm pain that came with the stenosis had vanished once I'd woken up from the anesthesia. Obviously I was a little sore after the surgery and also found it somewhat difficult to swallow food (I could swallow spit just fine, so don't worry about that). The anesthesia also gave me a massive migraine which I was not surprised by because that's happened to me before.

The doctor let me out of my neck brace yesterday after my post-op. My activities are still restricted until the 12 week mark.

Right now I have a pain level of about 0 without any sort of medication. My muscle weakness bounced back rather quickly, too -- its not 100% but its definitely better. My neck feels a little stiff and once in a while I get a very brief, very mild burst or twinge of nerve pain, but other than that I'm feeling pretty excellent.

I think it's still to soon to call, but based on my experience so far, I think I would recommend this procedure to anyone suffering a similar ailment.

I think what I am struggling with right now is the anxiety/paranoia that the pain is going to come back. It scares the hell out of me, and I think that part is just going to take time for that to resolve.

I'll continue to post in this thread so that it can serve as a personal record and also as a possible reference for others who are looking down the same path as I was.





  • I had the same procedure done on March 19th of this year so I am just over 7 months. I too would definately reccommend the procedure to anyone who has had that sort of pain. I was in terrible shape before surgery, I went through so many doctors because they just didn't think I was really hurting that bad or didn't want to help with the pain. I had to jump through all the insurance hoops and get epidural injections even when the didn't work I had to do more, I had facet block injections that didn't work and had to do another round of those too. Finally after 6 months of getting worse and worse every day I had my surgery and let me tell you, as soon as I woke up from surgery I was almost in tears because of the miracle. I just could not understand how the pain could just go away like that. It was completely gone. Unfortunately I didn't get my strength back the way you did, I am still fighting to regain all my strength but I would say I am in the high 90% to where my strength was before all this. I took my pain meds less and less and finally got off of them, but feel absolutely awesome compared to what I did the day before my surgery.
    I still freak out about messing something up and getting all that pain back, I know in the back of my head that it will be almost impossible to screw things up now but still worry.
    At 3 months out I was almost completely fused (that is where you are now). I was released from my surgeon and he told me to do anything that I wanted to do. I was cleared to even ride roller coasters if I wanted to. I was shocked.
    I still get that twinge of nerve pain once in a while but I was told that would probably take up to a year or more for my nerves to heal because my cord was compressed pretty bad but I expect to make a complete revovery.
    I am so glad that there is someone else out there that is telling their success stories. Mine went great and I think the sooner you have the surgery the faster your recovery.
  • I read that you were at the 12 week mark, I must have overlooked the 7 days thing. I think that is great that you feel that good at 7 days, I wasn't quite that good at 7 days but was really trying. I went back to work after 2 weeks so that will give you something to look forward to doing too. I had 8 pound lifting restriction though for my entire 12 weeks. Just be careful and don't overdo anything, just because you feel good doesn't mean you are healed. You have to give your body time to heal properly.
  • So glad to hear a success story. I am scheduled for surgery 11/3. I wish I had a crystal ball. Please keep updating.
  • I had the same surgery on Momday the 20th. I feel better other than the surgical area.
    I have strength in my arm now that was gone the previous 6 months.
  • hi guys -- I am now exactly 2 weeks post op.

    i am pessimistic by nature -- and so i'm always afraid to "count my chickens", but in all honesty i'm feeling better than I have since January, which is when this all started.

    once in a while i feel what I would describe as "ghost" pains along the nerve path that was afflicted by the herniation. these little twinges or pangs scare me more than they actually hurt. if i'd never had a herniation to begin with, I guarantee I wouldn't even notice them. but since I have, the very slightest twinge sends me into a small panic that the pain is going to come back full force and all of this will have been for nothing.

    such is my nature.

    aside from that the only discomfort I have is that sometimes toward the end of the day my muscles around my shoulders get a little tight. i take a flexeril & hot shower and all of that usually goes away. i think once I get clearance from the surgeon i'm going to start doing yoga and visit a massage therapist to help with these minor issues.

    i also thing something like yoga is important, as a preventative measure for this happening again in the future.

    the neurological symptoms that i experienced prior to the surgery have also subsided to a degree. i was having some weird paralysis issues with my thumb, and that has gotten a lot better. much of the strength in my right arm also seems to have returned, but not 100%

    i've returned to work as of yesterday with full clearance from the doctor. i work in front of a computer all day, and so far all of that is fine. i've been using my neck brace for added support.

    anyhow, i'll update again in a week or two to let everyone know what is going on or if things change.

    so far, so good i'd say. ciao for now!
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 10/28/2014 - 8:31 AM
    I too have some issues with anxiety. I take clonazepam and it works like a charm within minutes. Do some research on the drug and see what your Doctor thinks. It can be addictive, so the idea is to take it as needed ONLY! 1MG works charms for me. I wish you well with your progress. Best.

    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • Love reading positive stories. I can't wait to get back to yoga after surgery. I will be practicing up to the day of surgery.
  • 3 weeks post op today -- nothing much to report. feeling great. almost no pain, just some stiffness from time to time.

    i go back in two weeks to talk to my doc and take xrays -- i hope everything is staying in place like its supposed to.


  • yogarunskiyyogarunski Posts: 23
    edited 11/04/2014 - 10:43 AM
    And I feel better than I thought I possibly could. The day of surgery was rough. Last night I turned a corner and feel good Except the incision site. I will continue to update as well. Cheers to a speedy recovery.
  • Glad to read that you both are doing so well.......Congratulations........
  • claydohcclaydoh Posts: 19
    edited 11/05/2014 - 5:03 AM
    yogarunski said:
    And I feel better than I thought I possibly could. The day of surgery was rough. Last night I turned a corner and feel good Except the incision site. I will continue to update as well. Cheers to a speedy recovery.
    excellent!!! i'm very happy to hear that. please let us know how you progress.
  • I am scheduled for a C6/7 ACDF on Nov. 11th. Good to read a positive outcome! I'm hoping my recovery is smooth, but know it varies from person to person.
  • sarahk said:
    I am scheduled for a C6/7 ACDF on Nov. 11th. Good to read a positive outcome! I'm hoping my recovery is smooth, but know it varies from person to person.
    Sarahk, my surgery is also that day! Having 4, 5 and 6 done. Maybe we share our journeys to keep us moving forward. Hope yours goes well. You using a NS?
    Scheduled 3 level Cervical Anterior Fusion at 5, 6, & 7
  • good luck @sarahk -- please let us know how things go.
  • Two weeks post op for me. My issue was loss of fine motor skills in my hands and loss of strength in shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms. Lived with it for about 5 years and it progressively worse and had to have the surgery to stop the progression and glad I did. Fine motor skills in hands have improved. Right index finger is tingly/numb but gets a little better each day. Been walking and resting as the Dr instructed and actually feel like I could run but not going to. I am an avid mountain biker, enduro motorcycle rider and weight lifter and can't wait to get back to those activities. Dr told me at least six months until I can do any of that.....My follow-up with him is in 7 days. Hopefully things will look good and they put me on a PT program.
  • hi guys, i thought i would throw out an update on this very fine thanksgiving eve. i am indeed feeling very thankful.

    i'm a little over 6 weeks post op now. i'm doing really well -- i had some x-rays 2 weeks ago and the surgeon told me everything looked great. he released me to ride my bike & so i've been going to the park and taking some easy rides there. nothing too crazy. he said no running or physical sports are allowed yet, obviously.

    over the course of six weeks i've had a very small amount of the original pain return here and there -- its very mild & usually fades after a good night's sleep. if my "worst" day pre-surgey was a 10 then I would rank this pain maybe a 0.5.

    i assume i'll maybe live with that for the rest of my life, and i'm totally fine with that!!!

    anyhow, i feel like i'm starting to finally make the first steps of moving on with my life, that is unless i see another problem on another level down the road. i plan to start yoga as soon as the doctor releases me, to help avoid that.

    i'll check back in after a few weeks and let you guys know how things are going.

    happy thanksgiving!
  • Hi all, I'm new here and I apologize if I'm not asking questions in the right place. I was hoping some of you could share your injury history with me or let me know where I could find them. I'm 5 weeks into severe pain from c5-7 herniation and interested in hearing your journeys.

    I am sending you all good thoughts.

    Current dx:
    herniated c-2/3, c6-7
    bulging c-4/5
    2014 Dec
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