Hi, I am worried about how much recovery time will be necessary after acdf surgery. I was involved in an accident 18 yrs ago and have had neck/back issues since. Finally got to the point where the wife made an appt to see an orthopedic. MRI showed herniated disc with osteophytes pressing on nerve root. Spoke with chiro and they refuse to treat me saying could worsen the problem. Had 3 injections with no results. My OS suggested acdf of c5-6, but first wanted discogram done to be sure of stability above and below area of fusion. Discogram results showed a severe annular tear in c4-5, so OS suggested fusion at that level also and scheduled surgery for June 19. I can handle pain as I've been dealing with it for the past 18 yrs, but has gotten to the point that I am spending my entire weekends doped up with Vicoden and Flexeril. I have severe pain at base of neck, shoulders and between shoulder blades radiating down to right elbow and right hand gets numb and tingling in pinky and ring fingers. Have had a pretty active lifestyle with 3 children (8, 6, & 4 yrs) and I just want my life back again. I am worried about recovery time as I need to be back to work as soon as possible (6 weeks?). Also, I am a truck driver (local, home nightly) and cannot take meds with narcotics or muscle relaxers while on duty for obvious reasons. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Sorry this is so long, just am kinda spooked, never had surgery in any form, and the thought of having neck cut open and someone digging around my spine is more than a little unnerving.
Also, anyone know how long and often I will have to wear the neck collar, as I obviously can't be wearing it while driving truck.
thanks for any/all replies, God bless.