I wanted to show a positive experience with ACDF surgery with fusion looks like. Backstory -I am a 45 yr old woman. I had neck /shoulder pain a year ago and did nothing but medicate for 3 months till it finally subsided. A year later I stretched before getting out of bed and felt something I thought was a stiff neck. As the days and weeks went on I had unbearable pain that radiated down my left arm and a small amount of numbness in my thumb. I got an appt. with a neurosurgeon got and MRI that confirmed I had 5 bulging discs 2 with severe stenosis. I was recommended to have surgery. I made a date, cancelled and postponed the date. I was pain free and went to have a 2nd opinion who said hey if you're not in pain you can put off the surgery but the risk of paralysis is always a risk. After much research online (lots of negative outcomes online) and educating myself I decided to go ahead with the surgery. I had C5-6, C6-7 ACDF surgery with man made disc replacements and plates and screws. My surgeon does NOT use collars which I found to be rare and unusual but honestly I never felt like I needed one and may be why I feel so great now. I had my surgery 10 days ago I feel on top of the world!!!
I was in some pain about the first 7 days but I have mostly no pain at all except occasional pain when I first get up. I have full mobility as well. I still have restrictions like no lifting and taking it easy and of course no riding or driving in a car. I see the surgeon this week and hope to lift at least the car restrictions. I made sure that during my research stage that I learned what supplements to take and not to take and what foods would encourage bone growth as well. I of course haven't made it that far yet to see if fusion is occurring but am trying to give myself the best possible outcome. I found it beneficial to take vitamin D3, B complex and C. I assure you that after the surgery I was eating next to nothing but found a "green juice " my husband found in the produce section helped coat my stomach for medications etc. I also walk everyday. The first few days I only walked around hospital, and the block, but now I can walk miles with no problem.
I hope this helps someone out there looking to make their decision as to whether or not to do ACDF with fusion surgery. There are not enough positive experience stories out there. I believe that is because most people with good outcomes don't continue to post. Good luck in your journey.
**I am now 4 weeks out and have been back to work about 2 weeks. I have a home daycare. I feel great most of the time. I have some pain sometimes in the evening. I see the dr. tomorrow. He told me have no restrictions 2 1/2 weeks out. I find that crazy and I am trying to take it as easy as my job will let me.