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Newbie that had ACDF on C 4/5 and C 5/6

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi there everyone. My name is Terri and I am a newbie here!!! I hope y'all are having a good friday. I had ACDF with metal plate on C4/5 and C 5/6 with my own bone on July 23,2008. I go back to neurosurgeon on August 6,2008, for 2 week post op. I just can't help, but have this feeling that it isn't healing like it is suppossed to. I guess you could call it a gut instinct. The reason I say this is because I am having numbness, tingling, and burning where I didn't have it before the surgery. I mean I know we all heal differently and at different rates as well. I could be overreacting as well. Any input y'all have would be fantastic.


  • i see noone has commented so i just wanted to say that i dont have the answer. i haven't had surgery but what you are saying is exactly what i'm scared of...having worse pain thatn before...but from what everyone says here things will hurt for awhile until it heals. good luck...
  • dhoward thankyou for commenting i appreciate it. i know things will hurt for a while before they get better, but this feeling i have now is a feeling i have never had with any of the other surgeries i have ever had. i guess i should just wait and talk things over with my neurosurgeon on wednesday.
  • Terri,
    If you are only 2 weeks post surgery, I think you are possibly getting ahead of yourself. The surgeon had to move your esophagus, vocal cords, cut nerves etc. There will be, at least there was in my case, a lot of pain, tingling as the neck and incision heals. At 2 weeks I don't believe there would be any significant fusion taking place yet. At my 6 weeks post surgical checkup, you could barely see the fusion starting. At 3 months, it was very visable. I was told by my neuro-surgeon that it can take up to a year for total fusion. But with titanium plate and screws, it was stronger right after surgery, than it was before. Try to relax, and give your body time to heal. As nerves re-awaken, it can really hurt like he**. So do everything you are supposed to do, and don't be lifting heavy objects or trying to do too much. Good luck, and maay you end up pain free!!
  • MaggieP thankyou and yes I know you are right about the nerves and such. I guess I am just being a big fraidy cat. I'm just glad I finally found a group of people that know exactly how all of this feels!!!!!
  • Terri,
    I was worse for about the 1st three weeks after surgery than I was before. This is a major surgery. There's a lot of swelling and inflammation. All sorts of tissues, organs, bones, nerves, blood vessels, body parts were pushed aside, squeezed, bruised, cut and irritated. It's far different than many other surgeries. When I had my appendix out it was not even comparable to this.

    Just follow doctor's orders, take it easy, let your body heal and you should be fine. However, it's always good to check with your doctor on your progress if you're really concerned that things aren't right.

    Take care and welcome to the "other side". :)
  • Terri, your worry is understandable! I haven't had surgery, and I worry so I'm sure I would be nervous, too! So, be good to yourself!--Mazy
  • for the welcome to the other side...i just wish i could have found this board before my surgery i think i would've been more prepared than what i was.....i will talk to my surgeon wednesday when i go see him....today i had numbness and tingling in my left foot(that wasn't there before the surgery it was my right side that went numb and tingly), but i did notice some numbness and tingling in my right pinky and right part of my hand that i didnt have before the surgery so hopefully it is all of those nerves just waking up to say HELLO :) see i'm thinking positive after all a positive attitude goes a long way in recovery!!!
  • believe me my hubby is making sure i behave myself...he even has our 12 year old spying for him when he is at work...LOL...boy i can't win for losing these days :)
  • Being positive is soooooo very important to your recovery. It's normal to have a bad day every now and then and to feel a bit down about it....it's even okay to cry once in a while if you need to. But don't let it consume you. Have your cry, regain your strength and then continue moving forward. I've had to do that a number of times, but when I look back now I can definitely see the improvements and it's well worth the fight to win. :)

    Take care!
  • Hello there!
    Welcome to Spine Health!

    I have not had ACDF yet. I am still waiting for a date. The docs all said it is needed and I am hoping this months appinments will get me the date. I will be having the same levels as you C 4-5 and C 5-6.

    I am so sorry that the pain is feeling worse and has presented in other area's. I have had many other surgeries in my life as you can see from my signature so I feel the same as all the others that have posted to you.
    The surgeon does go in and disrupt many things while performing this surgery or any surgery for that matter. Just to cut into the tissue is a disruption. When nerves have been dirupted or compressed or that sort of thing they can freak out and cause more pain in the begining of their healing process. It may feel the same or worse then before surgery. I can remember after som of my surgeries the incision line took a long time to get its feeling back.

    Hang in there and lets see what your surgeon says. You did use your own bone for the grafting and I have seen many people on the board say this is a painful way to go but eveyone is different and I am not a doc.

    I wish you well and hope that things will begin to calm down and your body will beign to feel better and stronger eveyday. If you need some extra support please feel free to PM anytime!!
  • I too have had many other surgeries in my life just not of this nature.(Mainly most of them are female surgies) Believe me I am trying to keep a positive attitude, but today is a VERY bad day :( .
  • Just want to say hang in there! I had the same surgery as you did and am 4 weeks post op. Prior to surgery i had numbness and i was very clumbsy but had no pain due to sever cord compression. After surgery i felt all kinds of aches , pains and spasms for about 3 weeks . Everything is setteling day by day . I was told to expect this and to rest according to what my body was telling me . Was also told to medicate regularly to prevent guarding which would make everything worse. I'm curious , collar verses no collar. There is a huge debate as to what is best. Any one have insight into this ?

  • with this type of surgery it takes a while for your body to heal, the pain will get better after a while,just try to rest and not over do it,
  • I will be having ACDF in early September. My surgeon will be putting me in a hard collar for 3 months!! All surgeons are different. I think it is just each surgeons opinion. What ever it is, it is important to follow dr orders.
  • My doctor said that I only had to wear a soft collar when I was sleeping,outside, in the car, or out and about. I didnt have a hard collar. Granted during the day when I feel my neck getting tired I do put the collar back on for awhile. Hang in there yeah I am trying to believe me its just the last several days I have been H***!!! I am having pretty bad muscle spasms(probably from over doing things around here) I cant sit at this computer long because I start having spasms. I still feel like this plate is gonna come out if I sneeze hard enough or cough heck or even swallow for the matter. I dont know what it is but the plate or whatever is causing me to have problems swallowing feels like it has moved further to my right side of my throat area. Anyone else have this problem?
  • for the hard collar. He was totally shocked when I told him that some people here weren't required to wear a collar. He said possibly for a 1 level, but he told me the reasons "why for" a 2 level or more. I can't repeat them, but what he said made perfect sense. His reasons made Dave feel that wearing it for 3 months are the best thing he can do for himself.

  • my dr didn't have me in a collar at all. I don't know why but am going to ask him when I go back in. I had a multi level with hardware so maybe it is the fact that there is hardware in there??? who knows.
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