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How to strengthen neck, arms ,and hands -post op?

   I am getting close to my 6 weeks post op for 2 level  spinal cervical  surgery with fusion  to March 7th visit to NS DR. Don't yet know  what his answer will be as to how well I have recovered.  I am of course in up beat hopes that my bone donor grafts are  doing what we all want them to do . FUSE!  I know my neck will be super week if i start going without my hard brace.And my arms are so weak and hurt after the 4 nerves that suffered  being impinged at c5/6& c6-7. My question is how long has someone else needed to get back in  shape after  this acdf surgery that I had Jan.23rd 2018 ? How long working with pt sessions? I am a 77 year old female with all this spinal osteoarthritis to deal with. Also last March I had a bilateral L4 laminectomy, and have damaged nerves that cause problems in my legs.So have to be extra careful about walking. Like to read on here from anyone who has recovered and gotten back to getting reasonably ok  and active.



  • Hi Rigadoon0510

    Welcome to Spine-health

    Good luck with your 6 week check and please update us.

    I was happy to see some bone growth for my lumbar fusion at my 7 month check up.  I was shown a comparison between my first X-Ray, which didn't show bone growth and my second, so I am glad I didn't view that on my 6 week visit.  They confirmed all the metalwork was still in place at my first visit, which I was relieved to hear.

    My physio is still ongoing and my surgery was in June 2017.  I have long breaks inbetween appointments, but new exercises set each time to do at home and a telephone link if I need to speak to my therapist.  Clearly I cannot answer on cervical as I have not had that surgery as yet.  I do my exercises and walking in between my appointments.

    It is a slow but sure recovery for me.  I have other ongoing issues so I know complete recovery is out of the question, but I am happy to still be walking, even though with a stick and slow at times :-)

    Good luck with your ongoing recovery




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • So- Thank you Al! I will be seeing my nsdr. tomorrow mar 7th... for the 6 weeks post op check up .And of course i'm sure hoping he will tell me i did really well since last time he checked on me ..the next day post op  lying flat on my back in the hospital bed. Wonderful surgeon. I  have no idea what he will be looking for in my case for how well i'm coming along. I don't think I will be all total plumb healed up in 6 weeks though. Or if i will be told i can discontinue the wearing of this annoying but for good reason, hard cervical brace. i'll betcha my poor neck muscles will be so achingly weaked after not a bit of moving in any direction for 6 whole weeks. Lot's of drama seems like with this acdf  operation. wonder when i will be able to start my recovery pt. also sure do hope the disc above no.5= c4/5 will keep holding up, ==it's not in very good condition= ostarth there too =dried up disc and foraminal stenosis .probably will have to open up my neck and fix that one too. Thanks again Al.

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