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24 hours home after ACDF

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Dave had a 2 level on Thursday, C5,6,7. He had severe compression, but surprisingly minimal symptoms. Anyway, he is walking around here like his only issue is wearing that huge collar. He didn't get much continuous sleep last night. He ended up on a chaise with a pad in the family room. He would alternate between that and a rocking chair with a wedge pillow and ottoman. We will probably look for a recliner when he is allowed to go in the car, after 10 days. We will try to use the wedge and pillows to see if he can get comfortable on the bed. His sister ( a hospital speech pathologist) is amazed how well his voice sounds.

This was not a bad surgery at all!!

Linda MI


  • to know that he is doing so well....tell him no over doing it though...follow ALL of the doctor's orders. Thank you for updating us....take care....Miki
  • congrats on such a succesful surgery. that gives me hope. i'm getting the same at c5-7. i hope mine goes as well. what made him get the surgery with no symptoms?

    my doc does not collar at all cause he puts the plate in there. did he get that? so, he's not in any pain?
  • but, his Dr. still wants him in the collar for THREE months (1 month less than was said previously). Probably because he did 2 levels instead of 3.

    As far as his symptoms, I didn't mean he didn't have any. But, it wasn't pain. When he turned his head, his arm started to go numb.This just started in Feb. His Dr. was surprised he didn't have symptoms earlier than that.

    His MRI was bad. There was a white line where the severe compression was.

    I just asked him---his neck and shoulders are a 4 out of 10. Painwise...

    We were both scared to death, but now this feels like a huge weight has been lifted. At least his spine is protected from further damage or paralysis. I tried to keep myself sane by reading sites where they said this was a "safe" surgery!

    Linda MI
  • So glad to hear he is doing well. I will be having the same surgery soon. Please keep us posted of his progress.
  • Linda, please keep us posted. So glad the surgery went well,and Dave is up and around. There are many of us here who would be grateful to learn of Dave's experiences. So, keep posting on his progress. God bless you both!--Mazy
  • I agree that hearing these good experiences are so helpful. I'm having, it sounds like, the same surgery on Aug. 6 and am scared to death, but after reading about Dave's success and relief after surgery, I'm feeling much better! Great news about his voice too! How long was he in the hospital? I'm told 1 - 2 days. I have severe compression and need discs removed. I've had pinkie and ring finger numbness in both hands since May. The NS also spoke about the urgency of having the surgery quickly to prevent paralysis because of the nerve pressing on the spine. I'm feeling the same about wearing that huge collar for 3 months and not being able to drive. I'm waiting to hear whether he is using my bone or a donor bone or plate. The talk about the recliner was very good information. I heard that if the dr. writes a prescription, you can rent a recliner from a hospital supply rental. I may go ahead and ask him to do that anyway. Thanks for the update!
  • Great to hear his surgery went so well and his voice was not bad afterwards. I'm having surgery too. I don't know the date yet. I do know my problems involve c3 to c7. I'm having severe left arm pain. Sometimes I have symptoms on the right. I know there is nerve impingement, stenosis. We do not have a recliner so if we can get one thru prescription that would be good.

    Thanks again for the good report,

    Ken GreyEagle
  • to hear Dave is doing so well. I'm 3 weeks post op for C5-6 & C6-7. Like some have said, don't overdo it. I might have done a little too much the first week and the body will tell you when enough is enough. I still have some numbness but the doctor said most of it should go away soon. I had compression as well. Other than that, I'm wearing the Aspen collar 24/7 still and for the next 3 weeks.

    I was scared too but I'm so glad I had the surgery done.
  • Glad to hear good reports. I am scheduled for multi level on Aug 11th. I also am very nervous. However, hearing positive reports sure helps. I talked at length yesterday with a friend of mine who had a 3 level c4 to c7 fusion and plate several years ago. I knew he had surgery, but was unsure of the extent. He had the same type problem, disc pushing out into the cord, ect. His nurologist told him the same things, possible paralaysis,ect. He had his done just over a week later. He was on a 23 hour admit due to insurance, went home with a collar to wear when he went outside. He was back to work in about 6 weeks. His range of motion is good, can't quite touch his chin to his chest, and has a little trouble getting the last swallow from a soda can. He has good ability from side to side, not quite as good as before, but still very good. He tells me everything the doctor told him about the surgery was exactley how it went for him. I realize we are all different, but this was a big relief for me,knowing things can work out good. I hope this helps whoever else reads it as much as it helped me.
  • I am 8 months out of a 2 level fusion. Dave's recovery sounds much like mine so far. That is a good thing. I had all the discomforts in the first few days but was up and walking. I was off pain meds in 4 days, returned to work (office) in 2 weeks, and now do not even think of neck problems except to reflect on how great it feels now.

    I did have symptoms for years that progressed to nuerological symptoms due to the cord compression. These symptoms scared me into surgery (I was strongly advised to have it 20 years earlier). Tell Dave to stay active and not get down. Bad days are ahead but it sure sound as if he is on his way. I had to have the recliner!

    Good luck to all having surgery!
  • i'm in nyc. where r u guys?

    i'm having the exact same surgery but have terrible weakness in my legs.
  • wow. did you have leg weakness? did everything get healed? i have spinal cord compression and they all say not to wait more than a few months or it won't get fixed if at all.

    did you get ALL better? what state do u live?
  • Age: 57 Male
    Condition: Spinal Stenosis with 4 levels of disk herniation in C7-C6, C6-C5, C5-C4, C4-C3. Was diagnosed 10 Years ago with a minor disk herniation.


    Days prior to Surgery (2/19/08): I was having anxiety attacks. I was thinking of not ever waking up, not able to talk, eat, and take care of myself. I would have limited mobility and possibility of an eventual paralysis and the burden to my family.

    Day of Surgery (2/20/08): Woke up a 4:00 am to shower and scrub from the neck down with the hybyclean solution as instructed by hospital. Dressed with loose clothing and made sure to have my photo id and my insurance card for the hospital. Drove with my wife and daughter to the hospital and it was raining on the way. Come to think of it now, I should have let my daughter drove instead. I was too anxious to get to the hospital and get it over with. I checked in to admittance and paid for our co-pay of $250.00. I signed the consent papers to chop me up. Lady took us to the prep stations. Nurse asked lots of information on medications being taken. Doubled checked my name and date of birth. My neck was again scrubbed were the incision will be made. An IV bottle was hooked up on me. Vital stats and my sugar readings were taken. Anesthesiologist asked me questions and explained what he was to administer. I was wheeled to the OR, saw the anesthesiologist and did not remember a thing after that until I was being awaken at the recovery room. I was told that I was at the OR for 5 hours which only seems like 5 minutes.

    Day after surgery (2/21/08): Did not get much sleep last nigh and refuse the pain medicine the nurse was suggesting. I started walking with the hospital hallway with a therapist. I only had clear soup for my first meal. No problem with my speech. I feel better than I thought.

    I walked the hallway on my own. The therapist had me climbing two flights of stairs up and down. Therapist also showed me some hand exercises to do after my release. PA replaced my incision pad covering. Scar almost healed and was told it is bonded and should be dry soon. Had Breakfast toast, eggs, cereals, and fruits, coffee. Lunch was Salisbury steak and rice, fruits, green beans. No pains just soreness in the neck area. Checked out of hospital at 12:30 pm and pickup my prescribed pain medication and stool softener. A cane was delivered at the house to aid my walking. It is a little hard to find that comfortable sleeping position. I took one vicodin to help me doze off at 9:00 pm and took another at 3:00 am.

    I took my first shower. Had a hand held shower head installed before the surgery. I took a shower sitting down on a chair inside the bath tub with my neck brace on. I used lathered soap in a hand towel to scrub my body. Replace my incision pad. Replaced bone stimulator wires and pads and replaced battery. I replaced my neck brace pads with fresh set of pads. I went to church with Monica and Candy with the aid of a Cane. I had a hamburger and tea for dinner. No problem with my urination and moving my vowel.

    2/24/08: Still taking the vicodin to help me doze off last night. Feel good this morning had cereal + milk, coffee, canned pears. Played a little on-line sit and go poker. No problem urination and vowel movement. Throat is still a little sore and noticeable lump. I was experiencing skin itchiness underneath the bone stimulator electrode pad. Cleaned incision area and replaced incision pad.

    2/25/08: Still taking the vicodin to help me doze off last night. Feel good this morning had toast w/ butter and tea. No problem urination and vowel movement. Throat is still a little sore and noticeable lump still exist. Skin itchiness underneath the neck brace still persist. Cleansed skin and replace left side electrode pad. Replaced bone stimulator battery. My vowel was very loose (liquid).

    2/26/08: Still taking the vicodin to help me doze off last night. I felt good this morning. I woke up early this morning with skin itchiness underneath the right side electrode pad of the battery stimulator. Cleansed skin and replace right side electrode pad. I had toast, scramble eggs, cheese, and coffee for breakfast. No problem urination and vowel movement. Throat is still a little sore when swallowing and noticeable lump still exist. I went with my wife to drop-off daughter’s car to car mechanic. Felt good to be out there even without me driving. Seems like days a longer. Showered today and replace brace pads.

    7/30/08 - All is well. I have a schedule to get another x-ray to see how the fusion is coming along. Good luck to you all.


  • Thanks for posting your journal. It's very informative. God bless you--Mazy
  • sancho,
    that was SO helpful and comforting. did you have to wear a catheter? i hear some people talking about that. u didn't have problems urinating?

    i wonder why my doc doesn't require a collar at all. and i don't think i will have the electric things either at home only in the hospital. hmmm....i mean, i'm glad but that's scary.

    i'm tERRIBLE on meds. i'm not even scared about the surgery. it's the recovery. last time, i couldn't pee at all. it was horrible. just horrible. and then i had allergies to the medicine. so i started breaking out and couldn't breathe. i really hope that doesn't happen again.

    i wouldn't be doing the surgery if it wasn't for the sever spinal compression. i really don't have much pain except my legs give out.

  • My ACDF is coming up end of August. Thank you for the reminder about the hand-held shower head and the cane! Small chair in shower good idea, too! I just bought one of those "extender-arm-reaching-grabber-things". I've never been taller than 5'2 and always wanted one - now I have an excuse! I also have lousy balance now - was going to get a cane to help.
    My biggest concern is the throat pain; but, a lot of you have helped ease that with various info on these boards.
  • to tell your doctor and the hospital staff how you reacted to the meds the last time you had surgery....also be sure to tell them what happened to you previously in the recovery room.
  • I think i will do the journal thing too, Im sure it would help me and maybe help some-one else the way yours did.
    Bless your heart.
  • Same thing, lots of c6 compression, but all in all, not really uncomfortable. Glad to hear that he's recovering very well.

  • I am attaching a link to the old message boards for your reference.


    I had symptoms mostly in my right arm, severe muscle twitching and mild symptoms in right leg right before surgery.

    I had numbness and pain in right hand for many years but the major weakness was a new symptom.

    I now have no symptoms and live in KY east of Louisville.

    My surgeon tells me I am very fortunate.

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