Afternoon - I had a C4-C7 fusion in Miami on 9/17, and was back at work on 9/28 (limited duty of course!)
This forum provided a wealth of advice, especially on prepping the home for recovery. Luckily, I did not need much in the way of assistance. The surgery was pretty normal, except there was some spinal fluid leakage when they drilled into the first disc, so I had to spend an extra day in the hospital (PS - ICU beds are much nicer than regular beds at UHealth in Miami!). I was out in 2 days, eating solid food and walking 1-2 miles within 4 days of surgery.
To give you an example of the recovery, on the day of surgery I had no strength in left arm, and the doctor pulled it down with no effort. After surgery 6 hours later, he could not pull down my arm, and I had full strength in it.
Day after surgery I was able to drink water, eat ice chips...and for dinner had veggie lasagna in hospital. On day 2, I got out of bed, and walked up and down the hospital and was home that day. It was the slowest my wife has ever driven on the highway!
Most painful part in hospital was when nurse tripped over my catheter line. Not a happy camper! Also make sure you have an advocate with you in hospital....at 9:30pm Facilities came in, did not wash hands, and stood on a ladder to remove the AC vents in room. That lasted all of 2 minutes with my wife yelling for him to get out (though he didn't speak English, he understoood).
Also, hard to talk after surgery, so pushing nurses button and trying to have them understand gurgles and other noises was not helpful....but I had great nurses, and made sure to let their supervisors know too.
Negatives I have been dealing with:
* allergic reaction to Biozene(?)/surgical tape on both upper arms and chest.....more bothersome than the neck issue actually! No issues with the tape and gauze for the IV, just when I was in surgery.
* constipation from the percosets. Warm prune juice with milk of magnesia and prunes did not help....but magnesium citrate did wonders.
* neck/back pain right between shoulders when at a computer.
* not sleeping through the night, having to readjust bed, pillows - annoying my wife.
* numbness in left thumb
* voice issues, raspy voice and soreness after talking a while
* not being able to drive
* no pain any more
* doing all life chores normally- for most part
* very little pain - doctor and nurses annoyed I was not pushing the drip button more. I was in discomfort, but not pain
I do not have a prognosis on the fusion, too early to tell,,,but so far I am a success, had a great doctor here in Miami, and it was the right decision for me. Thank you for the advice and support from this forum. My goal: get Miami J cervical collar off in December and fly to Maui the next week!
Ft Lauderdale FL
C4-C7 Anterior and Posterior Fusion Candidate