I had my 3 level ACDF Thursday morning at 9:00 with hardware. The procedure took 2 1/2 hours. Once I was in my room and the anethestic wore off the pain in my arm was gone! Wow!! I did not expect such a quick result. I was sitting in a chair by 4:00 the day of surgery. I have had tingling, numbness, and pain from my neck down my left arm for several years. In early March the weakness was quite noticeable.
I was mostly pain free the first night and only took a minimum of pain medications today (Saturday). I was discharged from the hospital with the Miami J Collar around noon. Yesterday I was walking around the hospital and taking multiple flights of stairs.
The only real pain is some residue tingling in my left arm and fingers. There is significant pain in my upper back, but the surgeon says that is likely a result of the J Collar.
Obviously I have a great surgeon!! Even his assistant said he did a "beautiful job" on my neck. He removed 3 disks, a lots of bone spurs, straightened the spine, added the plactic disks with stem cell bone material, and the metal plate across four disks to stabilize things.
I have had very little difficult talking, even within a few hours after surgery. Swollowing is somewhat painful which is to be expected.
My surgeon says I should eventually regain the strength in my left arm (8-9 months). He said nerves regenerate about 1 mm per day after surgery to remove compression.
All in all I cannot complaine a bit! I am glad I made the decision to have the surgery.
Thanks to all of you who sent your best wishes and posted your experiences. Knowing the facts takes much of the fear out of the decision.
I must say I have never seen so much equipment in a surgical suite. I did have two neural monitors.
I anyone would like a referral to my surgeon or the hospital please send a PM to me.