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C4/C5 & C6/C7 (ACDF) 1 Week post surgery, Help!

Rachy72RRachy72 Posts: 1
edited 12/13/2015 - 4:45 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello I'm new to the forum. I'm 6 days post op and feel awful. Throat still very sore if I talk for a while I sound like Marge Simpson. I ache from head to toe. I feel like there's a golf ball down my throat/neck. Pain in arms hasn't gone or numbness in left hand. Right hand feels week. I'm totally exhausted by doing very little. My legs hurt my wrist & thumbs hurt. Is all this normal? I expected to feel bad post surgery but not like this. I guess I was expecting 'me' back but that's looks like a very long way away if at all anyone offer advice help etc please. Thank you

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
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  • . Physical Therapy
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  • . Name of Medication
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Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
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Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/13/15 22:45 est



  • I have not been around the forum much in the last month so did not see your post until today. How are you since you posted 6 days post op? Are things getting better for you? I had a C4-7 acdf on Sept 28 and it was over 8 weeks until I started to really feel like myself again. It is a slow recovery! I hope you are better now.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • lorijo3llorijo3 Posts: 112
    edited 01/08/2016 - 2:43 PM
    At about 8 weeks post op I started feeling more like myself. The arm pain that I also had was pretty much subsided. Until then I had trouble even raising my arms to wash my hair! I also had shoulder pain and was wondering if I had torn a rotator cuff but that has gone away also. I still have occasional tingling in my right fingers and maybe will have my whole life, I don't know, but it does not interfere with my activities. I just started yoga again in the last week and I can feel that in my neck afterward...not pain, just a dull ache. My doctor told me I can resume my life and if I do something that causes me pain....stop. I have another xray and exam in 3 months because I have a loose screw at the C7 level and some plate movement. The surgeon is not concerned about this at all but offered another xray and exam and I said absolutely yes. I hope you start feeling better soon!!
  • Ron1Ron1 CaliforniaPosts: 30
    I had a 3-level (C3-C6) ACDF with instrumentation six months ago. Fortunately my insurance was great & was able to stay in hospital a long time and then transferred to rehab facility. Total of 3-weeks in-hospital care. Not sure if you are home, but hope you had adequate time to be cared for by medical staff.

    As much as I dislike saying this, the pain meds made life bearable. I was on them for at least four months. That's why I don't recall any severe pain despite pretty extensive surgery. I am very much anti-drug, but relaxed my attitude about it & took whatever they'd give to keep me comfortable. When I weaned myself off them, I was surprised at how much pain there was that I had not actually felt! But I treated it with Tylenol and when doctor approved it, ibuprofen. (can't take ibuprofen in early stages because can hinder bone healing)
    Psalm 91
  • Ron...I am fascinated by your post. Three weeks in the hospital for a 3 level acdf?? You must not be in the U.S....or your surgery involved a lot more than mine! We're you in a neck brace afterward? I had no brace. How is your range of motion especially since you had C3 done. I was told my levels don't have a lot to do with motion (C4-7) but I know I have issues with C3 that may one day have to be addessed. I am holding off on the NSAIDS as long as possible! I take Tylenol if I have a flare of pain and the occasional post surgery med if it is really bad (like after starting yoga again!). I am only 3 1/2 months post op and I know it will be over 8 more months until I am "healed" inside and out so I understand why I have occasional flares of pain (more like aches).
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    Today, in USA, the insurance companies want you out almost immediately.
    Years ago, when a mother was having her child, the hospital stay could be 3, 4 or 5 days. Today, they want the mother out the next day.

    The same holds true for spinal surgery and other surgeries. Insurance companies want people out as soon as possible. The down side of that is that when people are let go too early, who knows what complications can set in.

    My wife is running a Pulmonary Rehab program for COPD readmission. Basically , that says if a COPD patient comes into the hospital and released, if for ANY reason they need to be readmiitted within 30 days, their hospital stay is free and the hospital is given a hefty fine.
    Some people get release too quickly and those that are released are probably not given all the information they need to avoid being readmitted.

    Its a sad state. But this incentive is going country wide and with all discplines, cardiac patients, cancer patients... The only group I have not seen so far is spinal patients.

    I know I just got off topic and I apologize. Its just this topic is so very close to my heart.
    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
  • Ron1Ron1 CaliforniaPosts: 30
    I do live in the US, in California. I had severe spinal stenosis and myelopathy. I was barely able to walk or function, was incontinent, numb, kept dropping everything & tremendously fatigued, so my husband took me to the emergency room where they kept me till they were able to get neurosurgeon to operate. ER staff & my neurologist said based on MRI taken in ER, if I fell I could be quadriplegic. So they didn't want to risk it. After the surgery I had immediate physical therapy there and 24/7 care with alarms on my bed. Not allowed to do anything without supervision. About a week later I was asked if I wanted to go to Acute Rehab Unit where they would monitor me & do extensive physical therapy. I agreed of course. I was released 1-1/2 weeks later & received in-home physical therapy and after 2 mos was released to outpatient.
    Psalm 91
  • lorijo3llorijo3 Posts: 112
    edited 01/15/2016 - 4:40 AM
    I am so glad they took care of you so well!! Had I let mine go much longer I would have been where you were before your surgery. My surgeon, his PA and my PT could not believe I had not progressed to much worse in how I felt and my symtpoms. I was just getting to the point of constant headaches and losing feeling in my hands and fingers, dropping things, having to really concentrate to use my computer mouse at work, starting to drop my right foot, etc. I chalked up the lesser symptoms to yoga two or three times a week. When they told me that, if I fell or were in an accident, I could be paralyzed or worse due to my severe spinal cord compression, I went for the surgery.

    I hope the surgery alleviated all your symptoms and opened up your spinal canal. When I saw my MRI just before surgery I could not believe I was functioning either. The spinal cord was so "squished."
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