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Surgery date is coming fast! ACDF C 4-5 C 5-6 Lots of questions??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey everyone,

Finally my surgery date is here and coming up quickly. September the 3rd is right around the corner.

I already have my blood work and EKG urine and Chest X-ray finished. I have my pre-op check in appt. set for tuesday. I will be fitted with my Aspen collar the day before surgery.

Possibly today I will go and Buy two wedge pillows at 7" in heigth because that is all I can find in the stores around here and I don't want to wait and have it shipped at this point.

I am wondering about a few things so I will go ahead and ask them now:

1.) After your ACDF surgery when you took a shower did you find it easier to stand or to sit on a shower stool? I will not always have someone here to help with this activity so maybe it would be best to have a stool to minimize any chance to slip.

2.) Post-op what was it like to ride in a car? My Mom can't stay here everyday for two weeks post-op, and I could go to her home for some of the time after surgery. Her home is 2 1/2 hours from my home over a mountain pass then down into the Calif. central valley. What was your experience when riding in a car right after this surgery? Any tips for riding in the car? I also have real bad anxiety when riding in a car. Since the accident that was the casue of the neck injury I get very nervous and tensed up. Mostly this will happen on city streeets and busy highways, not so much on a mountain road with less cars.

3.) What was your Doctors weight limit for when you left the hospital?

4.) I will have a 2 level ACDF C 4-5 and C5-6...how much walking was encouraged to be done? Small short things in the begining and then listen to your bodies limits kind of thing???

5.) I am single and live alone with no children. When do you think I will be able to do thing on my own with th exception of driving? I plann to keep dirty laundry downstairs in a closet so I do not have to lift and carry a basket down stairs. and I can fold clothes right on top of the washer and dryer. What can I expect with these kinds of every day little things.

Thats all the questions at the moment. I am sure I am full of a ton more questions. I did have a Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy in January of this year. It was pretty painful to have had them go through the posterior side. I have heard the anterior approach is less painful and I hope this will be the case for me. So I have had a prior neck surgery, but the ACDF I feel is a bit more complicated as you do NOT want to do anything to compromise the fusion process and the surgeons handy work.

I am in a lot of pain and it has been rising lately. i am sure the extra activity and stress of the upcoming surgery don't help either.
Plese share any and all experiences and suggestions you may have.
Thanks in advance!



  • I just had the exact same surgery as you are going to have. Here are my experiences. I am sure there will be many different ways you can do things but here goes.

    1) Showering, The first time was really hard and it probably would have been better to sit. The hardest thing I think was not bending the neck to rinse my hair and raising my arms to shampoo. If you don't mind your mom in there I would have her help you for a few days.

    2)Strangely enough I live in CA up mountain roads...can't say much good..I just try and keep my neck still and hope my husband misses all the bumps. The one thing I could say about your mom's vs. your home is..where I live I am 20 or 30 minutes away from everything..if your mom's home is like that I would not choose to stay there. Only because at some point you will have to go out and the extra miles are hard sometimes.

    3)five pounds

    4)I'm sure each doctor can be different so you need to follow your doctors advice..but mine encouraged walking right away (now I had the same levels but no collar so see lots can be different) and walk as I could slowly at first then more normal..I'm just still slow/normal. I did use a cane in the beginning.

    5)I know for me the biggest issue that I have to remember which you may not with the collar is bending...so be careful to try and position everything at a good height before your surgery.

    Good luck and I hope some of this helps, PP
  • You mentioned raising you arms to wash hair. It was difficult to raise your arms?

    Also, you mentioned bending. I have read about no BLT. I assumed that was more for lumbar surgeries. Is that a limitation for us neckies?
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  • I have no idea why it was difficult maybe because of the muscles they move about during surgery. I also was told by the pt person in the hospital not to do it at first.

    The bending...again I was told this in the hospital. I assumed it was because of the weight of holding your neck straight. Again though I didn't have a collar after surgery.

    I don't know if I should say this out loud or not (well on here is out loud right? :P ) I was really expecting something a lot worst then I have had so far..I am only 3 weeks out but so far the hardest part over all is finding something to do that I can do and not hurt myself or mess with the fusion.

    I hope that someone else will help you out with your questions that has more experience.

  • I was given a soft collar after surgery instead of the hard plastic on i had been wearing before. You wear the soft collar onyour drive home which isnt bad (we had to drive 40 minutes)
    I had no problem showering and definatley didnt need the chair in there.

    Best wishes on your surgery,
    Christina :)
  • Hey everyone,

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I really appreciate them.

    I think I will ask my neighbor if sh still has her shower stool. She is 78 and a few months back she had lumbar fusion with the same Spine Ortho I will be having do my surgery. She has done really well considering her age. She is a sweet lady! :)

    As for my Moms home it is about a 20 minute ride to everything. She lives in the San Jaquine(sp) valley and everything is pretty spread out. and yes of course bumpy. I think maybe going there right after would be a bad idea but may at the fe weeks out mark. I will just have to guage how I am feeling.

    When riding in a car bumps already cause me bad pain. Every bump is felt and causes pinching and burning. Even with a soft collar on.

    Lotso...When you used the potty was it hard to get up from the potty position??

    When your sleeping are you sleeping in a reclined position?

    I am trying to find a wdge pillow that is made of memory foam and fast! It is only 12 days until surgery and I would like to have it by the time I am home from surgery. I have looked at many on-line but I am unsure of the proper size I think would be comfortable. They come in different heigths.
    I made a post about it I thnk It is in the neck pain area. I even tried to search the old archives and could not find the old posts about it.

    Anyway time to check the other post and then back to my quest to find just the right pillow!!

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