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ACDF as outpatient

edited 11/03/2015 - 8:57 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am scheduled for ACDF surgery on Tuesday for C4/5 and 5/6. I got a call today telling me that my insurance will only pay for an outpatient stay (I had previously been told by NS that I'd be in hospital overnight). This news has really increased my anxiety.
I had an ankle fusion a few years ago and had awful pain the first night. Anyone have experience with both procedures who can speak to the relative pain/recovery issues?
BTW, I will be going to a hotel directly from hospital, since I am from out of town. Not sure if this will be more or less comfortable than a bed in my own home.


ACDF Surgery Postoperative Care


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • I had ACDF C5, 6, 7 on 10/21/15 - Outpatient. I really think I should have stayed there overnight because the instructions my husband received when I was sent home were contradictory to the instructions from the Neurosurgeon. Hindsight being 20/20 - take your pain meds every 4 hours, before they start to wear off and sleep in an oversized recliner.
  • lorijo3llorijo3 Posts: 112
    edited 11/04/2015 - 1:22 PM
    I requested outpatient. I could have stayed overnight I guess but I wanted to be home. I did not have a hard or soft collar and was able to sleep in my bed....on my back or side...right away. A recliner was more comfortable for me the first 2 weeks so maybe get a wedge pillow to use in the hotel bed unless they can provide you with a recliner. I had no pain issues the first few nights. I think the surgery mess were still in me plus I took prescribed mess as directed. My worst issue the first week was horrible congestion! Sitting/sleeping upright helped. I hope it goes well for you.
  • I'm scheduled for 2 level ACDF on 11/17. Nuerosurgeon requested overnight, but insurance says it is outpatient. Makes me kind of nervous too. Can't wrap my head around concept that insurance company knows better than the doctor.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 11/05/2015 - 11:30 PM
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  • i had the same surgery 4/5, 5/6. Went in the surgery center at 6 am had surgery at 7 and was out at 10:15 am. No collar and had 2 hour car ride to get home. I went to my nieces soccer game that night. I took pain meds for 2 days and that was it. Ask for Norco, it was fine. I was also given some muscle relaxers (flexiril) that i have only taken occasionally, but glad I have them as the back of neck gets tight . I took a week off work and drove after one week, but probably should have waited 2. I had really easy drive though. I flew my third week. I never fleet like i needed to sleep in a recliner. i would get a good memory foam type pillow that has additional support under your neck. I slept on my back for about the first 2 weeks and have been sleeping on my side for the last 3. I found that you really need to move around and not keep the same position during the day. I'm 54 and feel like my recover is going very well. You will do just fine not staying in the hospital. i would not have wanted to stay.
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