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I need tips on how to get ready for ACDF

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
So now that I have decided to go ahead with the surgery I need some tips on how to prepare. Should I get certain pillows, Should I get a gown or get jammies for the Hospital :? you know that kinda stuff.

Anything is helpfull. :)




  • Hello,
    with my experiences I found larger T-shirts and pj pants the most comfortable. Also a horseshoe neck pillow if it your neck. I also used heat pad and soft fods, again, if it is your neck...
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hi butterfly,
    Make sure you bring a positive upbeat attitude with you, it works wonders.
    Whatever attire makes you comfortable and the hospital will allow you. Clothes that are loose and easy to put on after you are released from the hospital. Lots of liquids and food that is easy to swallow as your throat may or may not be sore post-op. I found out it was easier to sleep in a recliner
    after surgery for a short time and I have found not using a pillow at night when sleeping on my back brings me most comfort.
    I had a multi-level fusion of C3 thru C6 done from both the anterior and posterior in 2007. A corpectomy, discectomy, with a strut, cage, plates, rods, and screws installed for hardware.
    Most of all follow your Dr's directives and don't over do it even if you feel good. Best of luck to you.
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  • I agree with Ranger that going into surgery with a positive attitude will work wonders. You won't need very much in the hospital, but take whatever you think you might want while you are there. Before my surgery last January, I packed a bag full of all kinds of things and used only my robe, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste and hair brush. My ACDF was for C4-6 and my hospital stay was just 24 hours. Sleeping was a little tricky for a couple of weeks after I got home and I discovered through trial and error that a foam wedge worked best for me as a pillow. Lots of people sleep in a recliner, but I couldn't find a comfortable way to sleep or even to sit in our recliner. Be sure to have lots of soft foods on hand for the first week or so in case your throat is sore. Things like applesauce, eggs, yogurt, ice cream (yum!), etc worked well for me and I also crushed pills in the applesauce to get them down. Chloraseptic throat spray was helpful, but the effect doesn't last long and it tastes BAD. Hope that helps.

    Has your surgery been scheduled yet? What levels are being done? Take care and good luck!

  • No not scheduled yet I am going to meet with my surgeon again, I called to make an appt to go over everything again and then I will schedule. He said he was like 1 month behind in his schedule so it will probably be end Sept or begining Oct.

    Levels C4-5,C5-6 and C6-7. Jeee I better go and get a recliner :)


  • first I want to say good luck!
    When I had my ADCF done I found that shirts/tops that had large neck openings worked best. There was NOTHING worse than the neck of a shirt rubbing against the incision. Sleeping was something that took me a while to figure out. It was hard to adjust to the lack of range of motion. I found that my feather/down pillow folded in half and stuck in the bend of my neck worked the best for the first 2 months or so. just make sure that whatever type of pillow you use it's GOOD support. there were a few times I woke myself up from having the pillow slip out of where I'd had it. Though I knew my neck wasn't going to 'snap' it sure felt like it. Support was key (for me).
    Hope all goes well.

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  • I still swear by the grandma Mu Mu's. Some call them house dresses. They zip up in the front so they are very easy to put on. I bought some really big ones size 2X I think so they would be really loose and to allow for shrinkage in the wash.
  • I'm five weeks out from C6-7 ACDF with plating. The most important thing is not to sweat the small stuff. I got really frustrated about my house and the laundry, etc. What you need to do is concentrate on getting better. I used two pillows at night - one folded in half on top of the other. This provides just the right support for me. I slept better in a bed then in the recliner. You will find what is best for you. Don't forget the straws!
  • Goodluck with your surgery!!! Lets see getting ready for acdf. Make sure you have loose fitting clothes that are comfortable. Heck I think for the first week and a half after my surgery I wore big night shirts the whole time. Get your home ready. Put things that are used on a daily basis where they are easy to get to. I stocked up on straws, pudding,jello, nutrition drinks, soups, and other soft foods.Oh and on a personal note get a stool softener because pain pills mess with your system or they did mine. If I think of anything else I'll let you know. >:D<
  • Thank you Teri and all of you guys that gave me these great tips.

    At first I was worried about the surgery, but it is great to get feedback and tips from fellow "neckies" :) It makes things so much easier #:S

    I hope I can still make my jewelry. I'm looking for a recliner now.

    Thank you guys!! and bring on the tips and advise!! I need every one of them.
  • I was where you are a few months ago..it is a hard decision to make. I didn't think to ask this question before and wish I had. I think everyone has given you great suggestions..if I was going to add to this I would say...in reguards to clothes..elastic waist pants/shorts a must, I also found that tank tops really keep the fabric off of the neck. The other thing that came to mind with reading the other posts was..shoes that can be slipped on (not slipery bottoms though) I just got some tennis shoes that are like clog type. I have lots of thong/flip flops but some are not as sturdy as I needed right now.

    Best wishes and I'm sure you will get many more helpful hints.

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