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Planning ACDF

CRASH21CCRASH21 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I will be having a 2 level ACDF in September. How can I prepare? Not sure what my limitations will be when I am back home and for how long? Any advise would be appreciated.


  • What levels are you having done? Are you having bone taken from your hip? I would prepare with a comfortable place to sit and maybe sleep, a recliner is best. Sleeping in a neck brace takes some getting used to and sleeping inclined may be more comfortable. I needed lots of extra pillows, I am still unable to hold a book up to see it so I have to use pillows to prop it up. Have your medications at hand so you don't have to send someone for them; taking them regularly will alleviate pain issues. Buy some great books and enlist some friends and family to play your favorite games. Have all your favorite foods on hand and include some nausea alleviating things like ginger ale and crackers. This is a great time to watch a great long movie. Remember you won't be able to lift much so look at your refrigerator for things like a gallon of milk, it may hurt to lift at first so opt for the half gallon. If you're using bone from your hip you may need to use a walker the first few days so prepare for that as well. The first week is the worst but it is a long healing process so give yourself the time to heal!! I hope this helps and I'm here, you have a whole community here, take advantage. Best of wishes. When is your surgery date? I can put you on the prayer list at church.

  • I will be having C5-6 and C6-7 anterior fusion on September 10. I have been reading lots of posts about what I may need after surgery. I am sure that the needs are different for low back surgery vs. neck surgery. So if all you neckies can inform me, I would be grateful.
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  • Don't know if I spelled it right. Those cotton house dresses that old ladies wear that we used to make fun of as kids. The zip up ones are the best. I bought some for a friend of mine recently who was going in for a double macectomey. You can get some good ones at Walmart pretty cheap. She called me yesterday and told me how much they had helped.

    You will need some of the very large water proof bandages to have over your incision while it heals. I did not feel like eating much and it is very painful to swallow. Lite cold things were the best. Lots of cold bottled water, maybe pudding cups? Ice cream was too heavy so maybe sorbet? Cold V-8 was good too.

    Have some Miralax or even better prunes and start on them before you need them.

    You did not mention, will you have someone caring for you?

    Last but not least. Computer to keep in touch with neckies who have been there. You can PM me anytime with questions or when you just need a little support

  • Very good advice from the other posts. I also suggest buying some flexible straws like they use in the hospital, jello and pudding cups, and basically if you even think you may need something around your hone before your surgery place things about waist level. Something I drank and still do sometimes is carnation instant breakfast. That way if you dont feel like eating just like with the v8 juice you can still get vitamins and minerals in your body.
  • Someone also suggested protein drinks kept in the fridge. Had not thought of this but sounds like a good idea.
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  • "highlights" (necessities) from my post-op experience -
    double chocolate slim-fast with redi-whip on top
    listening to books on CD that I never had time to read
    bendy straws
    new zip-up hoodies
    mashed potatoes
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