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Scheduled for a ACDF (I think) for June 1st and scared to death of it going wrong.

Hi Everyone, I haven't posted in a while. I was on here back in 2014 when I went through my back surgery. Wow, what an ordeal that was. <span>:neutral:" alt=":neutral:" height="20" /></span> Since then I've had a hip surgery, and ankle fusion. Now, I'm having an issue with Severe carpel tunnel in both wrists and cervical issues I think below C2. This is what the doctor described for my insurance: Neck Spine Fuse & Remove; Description: Arthrodesis, anterior interbody, including disc space Preparation, discectomy, osteophytectomy and decompression of spinal cord and/or nerve roots; cervical below c2. I'm not sure how many levels it will be, so I'm not sure how long I'll be in the hospital.  Reading some of the posts here is really scaring the crap out of me.  I've asked my doc what he thinks "Best case /worst case" would be and he said Best - 2-3 days in the hospital - 2-4 weeks at home. Worst- In rehab learning how to walk again. (OMG).  

I guess what I'm looking for is some support, good news, good outcomes, how to prepare (i knew how to prepare for my back, but with my neck, I feel lost because I'm not sure what I will and won't be able to do). I figured I would need soft/liquid food for a while. 

I just feel lost. I'm a big preparer, but this time, I just don't know.


Thanks for all your help!
Lisa 

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1

Comments

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584
    @Lisamarie Lets start of with some medical articles and videos about ACDF
    Details on ACDF Surgery
    ACDF Video

    I've had two ACDFs (C4/C56/C6/C7) in 1994 and 2000. I have a titanium plate and screws for stability. After both surgeries I stayed in the hospital for 3 days and was wearing a hard cervical collar. Things have changed, some of these surgeries are almost a 1 day affair and some surgeons use soft or no collars. I found sleeping was easiest when I had a foam wedge pillow (ie from a fabric store) and/or sleeping in a recliner.

    I started Physical Therapy 3 weeks post surgery and that lasted for 5 weeks. I started limited driving after 4 weeks and returned to work at week 7. That was delayed a bit because I had an hour commute each way and spent about 7-10 hours a day at the computer.
    Since then, I have zero problems with my neck. I do have some limited range of motion, mostly going from right to left. The only times my neck will bother me is IF I overdo something, ie too much time on the computer or too much rigid work outdoors.
    My best personal advice is to follow all limitations and restrictions that are outlined by your surgeon and your physical therapist. Also treat you neck well, dont over do anything that can hurt it.

    Good luck, before the end of June you be so relieved you had this surgery.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,478

    lisamarie
    please join june surgery buddies! there, you will get support, conversations and advice from other members that are waiting on surgery. after surgery everyone post their recovery process. below is a link for post-op must haves, it's a great list that many members have used.
    post op must haves 

    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,478

    Sorry about that, I see where you did join!! Thanks.

    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 947

    @Lisamarie - I've had three ACDFs.  I'm now fused from C2 to C7. 

    Trust in your surgeon is very important.  Please express your questions/concerns to our surgeon or their office. 

  • @nutcase007 - I do trust my surgeon, very much. I'm in one of the top hospitals in the country and I know that he will take care of me. I guess I'm just having flashbacks to when I had my back fusion and how much pain I was in. I didn't put in my original post that I am also having my right wrist fixed (carpel tunnel) at the same time so won't have the use of my right arm. 

    @dilauro - What kind of neck pillow do you recommend? I don't have a recliner so I think it will be the bed for me. 

    I do plan on contacting my doctor's office for advice and recommendations. I guess I just need to vent. 

    Thank you all for your help! 

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  • Hi Lisamarie,

    I can't help with suggestions. Just wanted to say I'm having a 4 level PLIF the day before your surgery and I understand. I'm getting more anxious every day. Some of the posts I've read are scary!! The pain sounds quite intense!!  Hopefully we'll both make out ok without too much suffering. 

  • Hi Bonnieleeof53 

    What is the difference between PLIF and what I'm having? I wish you the  best! What have you done to prepare? I feel so lost still and it 4 days til my surgery. It is scary for sure.




  • Hi LisaMarie

    Yours is cervical. Mine is lumbar. 4 levels. 

    I changed my clothes in dresser so they are more accessible to me. I'll have a back brace and no bending lifting or twisting for a few months. Got 2 grabbers, a shower chair, a toilet assistant, body and face wipes, a bar for bed to help with positioning and getting in and out if bed. I live alone so don't have help with that. Packed suitcase. I'm going to rehab for a week after the 4 to 5 day hospital stay.

     I'm getting real nervous. I've read so much about how bad the pain is. I have pain everyday. Sometimes it gets pretty bad. Driving is awful.  Only 2 days left. Yikes!!

    I just keep thinking. It has to be better than how it is now. Good luck! We'll need to keep in touch


  • Lumbar is way worse than an ACDF.  ACDF is a walk in the park compared to most other surgeries!  It's just confusing that you have no idea what levels you're having.  And are you definitely having anterior (ACDF), or posterior?  Posterior is a bear to deal with compared to ACDF.  Not sure why you'd need rehab to walk again, unless you're not walking now.  It is very, very rare something that bad goes wrong.

    Keep us posted on what happens!  It's tomorrow!

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 947
    Lisamarie - I wish you all the best on your ACDF surgery tomorrow.  You stated earlier in this posting that you have trust in your surgeon.  Try your best to relax.  Post-op, please ask any questions of your doctors, nurses or other care givers about anything that comes up.  Your care givers have supported many people before you who have had ACDFs.  I look forward to hearing about your post-op progress.  


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