Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

ACDF was a success!

I spent 2 1/2 days in the hospital due to low blood pressure and a low grade fever. I was also in a tremendous amount of pain in addition to a terrible migraine. Release day They gave me 2 doses of steroids through my IV and within the hour the migraine was gone as well as 90% of the neck pain I was having! I do still have significant soreness in the back of my neck but hoping that is surgical soreness that will subside over time. Oh, and my incision is not on the prominent crease of my neck, but at the base of my neck and it's about 3 inches long. They said I'm in the minority to have been cut so low. My throat also gets better everyday. It feels weird when I swallow like a golf ball is traveling down vs a drink of water. But that's not every time. It is definitely better than I thought it would be.
All in all I am glad to have it behind me and I am anxious to see what I will be left with once the surgical soreness is gone.
Thanks for all of the thoughts, well wishes and prayers. It means a lot <3
ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
...and it was the best decision of my life :-)


  • Hi, so glad the surgery is over and you are at home resting. I was in the hospital for a few extra hours because of high blood pressure and fast heart rate. Glad the throat thingy is better than you expected, I remember you were concerned about it. Soreness in neck will get better and better, keep up with the meds!!

    Incision will be much better in a few months, don't worry about it. My arm strength is slowly (very) coming back around the 4th week post op so be patient with recovery and don't over do it. To me and a few others, the weeks and month of recovery is almost harder than the surgery itself, I was not ready for it.

    Again, very happy for you that the surgery is over and you're on the road to recovery.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Very good to share in success stories!
    So happy for you.
    Best of luck to you during your recovery!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I was wondering how you made out. I'm glad to hear that you're recovering well. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I'm still recovering from my 2 level ACDF that was done in December. Expect to have some shoulder and base of neck discomfort and occasional spasming. I use a lot of ice packs and TENS therapy. Good luck in your recovery.

    2 level ACDF Surgery
  • I have so been looking forward to hearing from you and so happy it is good news. Yay! What a trooper you are. I have dreaded and feared my surgery and am more and more looking forward to relief of symptoms because of you guys. Denise you are going to continue to do great! Please keep us posted.

  • The neck soreness is from your neck muscles being stretched because the device they put in between the vertebrae is a little taller than the actual disc so the muscles have to stretch to accommodate it. It slowly decreases day by day. Hot packs help a lot as well as muscle relaxers.
    I'm so happy to hear that it is better than you expected. I think for all of us because it's "spine" surgery we put a lot more fear into it than any other surgery. But in all reality it is really doable and a lot less horrible than we all expected. I hope you continue to feel well every day and will continue to keep you in our thoughts. Now be a good girl and don't lift anything above 8 lbs. hugs to you Denise!
  • I'm happy for you Denise! Way to go. Each day will get better.
  • Each day truly does get better. I'm wearing my soft collar anytime I'm up and around. My kids have adjusted quite well, I actually think they're a little scared and unsure about what's going on. I haven't tried to look left and right but tilting my head towards the back hurts pretty bad. All in all I am glad I had it done and I feel excited for life after recovery <3
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • kathyykkathyy Posts: 580
    edited 05/27/2015 - 9:31 AM
    So happy to hear a success story and yours is terrific. Keep us all posted please. Best wishes. Kathy
  • Still no major complaints ☺ sometimes I have no pain at all and other times I have little aches and pains but the pain I had before surgery is gone. I am still taking my muscle relaxer faithfully every 6 hours and I'm currently tapering down on the pain meds they prescribed me. I have been sleeping the whole night through which is new and refreshing. Sometimes I get discouraged cause I'll go from no pain to pain again but I try to remind my self that it has only been a week and a day. Being impatient for total relief doesn't make sense and I know that. I'm just anxious to have more good days than bad and I know that will take time.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • I was feeling great like you, tampering off the pain pills when suddenly I tripped over a hose in my back yard and jostled myself. It flared up the surgical pain so bad. Then few days later my incision reopened which further flared things up. Here I am 4 weeks post op and trying to taper off pain meds.
    As you will discover this recovery is a roller coaster. With no rhyme or reason, you will go from totally pain free days to all of a sudden being in pain again. This recovery is more of a mind game than anything else.
    I'm so happy you are doing great. I know you had a a lot of reservations about moving forward with the surgery.
    I wish you continued speedy healing.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    edited 05/29/2015 - 5:19 AM
    I am very happy that so far everything is going fine with your post surgery experience.

    Just make sure that you follow all the rules, restrictions, and limitations that your doctor told you about. This is the more critical time during post surgery. You want to make sure you do not do anything that could create new problems.

    I also want to warn you about the 'not so good days' I dont want to sound like I am being gloomy, just realistic. There is a roller coaster ride that anyone who has spinal surgery realizes. But those bad days are not something you really need to worry about.
    Just try to understand what you may have done to cause a little problem.

    Each week that goes by you will be getting stronger and stronger.. Has your doctor talked to you about when you can drive?
    Thats a major step. While it is not going to impact the ACDF, the fact that you will have some limited mobility and range of motion can make it more difficult to drive.

    I am 15 years since my last ACDF and I still have problems driving. I can not turn my head to the left enough to see on coming traffic plus I can not turn my head around to see whats behind me. I depend on a very over sized mirror to help me.

    Part of my range of motion problem is because I wasn't that diligent when it came to the cervical exercises, plus I was dealing with all the other spinal issues and the rapidly advancing arthritis deterioration.

    Enjoy these time, enjoy the times with your children. Let them understand what you have been through and what you can and cannot do.

    I only hope that your pain free days continue and continue for a long long time

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • BlessedMom74BBlessedMom74 Posts: 322
    edited 05/29/2015 - 8:00 AM
    I am four weeks post op and riding the roller coaster that is spinal surgery recovery. What is it about this surgery that creates the roller coaster? This is my fifth surgery, and I have never experienced a recovery like this before. Some days I feel so great I forget I had surgery, only to be bed ridden with exhaustion and pain a day later.
    My family looks at me like "what's wrong with you, you were fine yesterday". My husband wants to plan some trips this summer and I told him, I can't. I have no idea how I am going to be feeling a week from today, a month. We have to take this recovery a day at a time. And on days that suck, we have to be extra gentle with ourselves.
    I think it is awesome that Denise is already weaning off the pain meds. I started to then, whamo... flare up and back on pain meds. I need to just take it easy and not put so much pressure on myself to be off the meds. Four weeks post op really isn't that long.
    Keep up the good work Denise!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    Here was a post a made quite a while ago

    The Roller Coaster Ride
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Your recovery sounds like a success story to me! I agree with dilauro thought to make sure you do everything your doctor tells you to maximize your healing! I too had fusion a week and a half ago and I'm trying to taper off the meds as they make it impossible to function and to get moving!
    Keep up your positive attitude! :)
  • Thanks y'all. Trust me when I say I am being very careful in the do's and don't . I am terrified of my spine collapsing or otherwise jeopardizing the surgical repair. I know life is different and I'll never be the same, I came to those terms a long time ago. I feel I am able to wean down because of it being mind over matter. Pre surgery I never took major narcotics nor did I have a pain management Dr. The idea of these meds make me uncomfortable in terms of dependency. I have managed with OTC meds and the occasional tramadol. So I'm not fooled or having false confidence by trying to wean off my meds, I just don't want narcotics in my life longer than necessary. I've been on the good and bad day roller coaster even before surgery so as far as I'm concerned nothing has changed in that aspect. I plan to continue looking up and staying positive while also realistic at the same time. I'm babying my self, no doubt as is my wonderful husband. I go back to work next week which is 2 weeks post op. Life has to go on but that doesn't mean I cannot still live very carefully and aware of my condition. I might sound naive in my words but that's just me choosing to focus on the good and feeling thankful but that certainly doesn't = false confidence. Thanks for all the information and experience on the matter.☺
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • I am really glad to hear you are doing so well! I am sure your positivity is definately helping in your recovery. I am a positive person myself and am hoping that it will carry me through my surgery scheduled for next wed.

    I am having a 3 level ACDF with a 1 level Corpectomy. I am nervous but hopeful for a safe surgery and no complications. I have had spinal fusion of my lumbar previously and that was brutal. My surgeon tells me that cervical spinal fusion tends to be less painful than lumbar so I am hoping that is somewhat true.

    I have been off of narcotic pain killers for years other than a week when I had stomach surgery in September. I am hoping I can take those only for the time absolutely necessary and then move past them. I swear weaning off those things actually creates more pain than you actually have. I had been on them for almost 10 years with my lumbar fusion. It took 4 surgeries and many years to get me comfortable enough to move on. I remember when I finally had the pain killers out of my system how much better I felt. Yes I still had pain everyday but it could be managed with ice and change of positions.

    Anyway, I am happy to hear you are weaning off already. It gives me hope for a similiar outcome.

    I hope you continue to get better every single day! Good luck to you and take care of yourself!
  • ivymiivym Posts: 278
    edited 05/30/2015 - 11:32 AM
    I refuse to take narcotics pre op and have not asked for them I would not take them if they were offered because they cannot cure anything. I deal with pain by hot shower, massage, and meditation which help a lot. I am trying to visualize myself taking very little or no medication post op. We will see...

    So happy for your great recovery. You were so worried about your throat and it was not that bad, right?
  • Deb, best wishes for your upcoming surgery. I've always said if there was any positive in this It's that I am glad it's my cervical spine affected because I too heard it's much easier than lumbar. As well as having back issues during pregnancy . That was far worse than my neck ever felt. Its more difficult to move and get comfortable. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

    Ivy, no the throat thing is not bad at all! Sometimes I do feel like there is a lump in my throat but it's not terrible like I imagined. Taking pills requires more water to swallow it down. But all in all, its tolerable and not a big deal. I'm definitely a "glass is half full" kind of gal and so I always, always choose a positive outlook no matter how difficult the situation is. Keep us posted on how you're doing <3
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • Denise,
    Thanks so much. You have definately calmed my nerves a bit tonight. I will keep you posted. I am also glad to hear that your throat is not as bad as you thought. That was something else I got uncomfortable with when reading all the negative posts about it.

    I will keep you posted. You take care of yourself!
Sign In or Register to comment.