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best position for sleeping and resting after 2 level ACDF???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
hey there friends,

I just got home yesterday from my C 4-5 and C 5-6 ACDF. I had orderd a wedge pillow, a set of 3 pillows actually and it is a bit behind schedule in its arrival time.
So I am left with propping pillows up behind me to try and acheive some kind of comfortable position.

This seems to NOT be a very easy task for my mother and me. I truly can not wait for the pillows to arrive because this is not working well and I do not have a recliner inmy home.

So I was wondering what some of you all did to get comfortable while sleeping.??

Oh and another question?? When In the Hospital It was somewhat easy to get out of the bed because it moved up and down with the head portion, now that I am home it is very painful to lay down and to det myself out of the bed.

Does anyone have any suggestions of this???

Thanks Chrissy


  • Chrissy,
    When you find out how to sleep better let me know....I found that if I rolled over to my stomach, very, very slowly at the side of the bed, my feet would find the floor and I could lift my upper body using my arms for leverage. Kind of a funny way but it worked for me...keep on walking and resting
  • Hi hun,
    Sorry your having a hard time. For the first few days I slept in the recliner. Wasn't that comfy but hey it worked.
    Put a pillow under my head and one for each arm.
    NOW THE TRICKY part was getting out the recliner. I only slept about 2-3 hrs anyway before I needed more ice or meds.

    Then after just a couple days I migrated to the couch. Puffed up HIGH w/ my feather bed and quilts. Just laying on my back. I kept something next to me to grab onto to roll over so I could get up.

    It took me a month to get into my bed to be comfy. I do not think I slept back on my side (normal) till 2 months.

    Luv u!!!!! >:D< >:D< >:D<

    Give it some time hun, it takes a few day up to a week.
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  • I am not a cervical patient, but I am a nurse, and I do believe you should be log-rolling in and out of bed like the rest of us. I put a satin baby blanket on my bed to help with turning. I have had the same problem as far as elevating my head. I took my two propping up pillows and with my sons help put them under my mattress on top of the box springs, then used my favorite pillow for my head. Not the best but seems better than the other option of all being directly under me where they are always getting discombobulated. Also it is good to put a pillow between your knees side-lying, under your knees while on back, and
    I like to have a pillow tucked behind my back so I don't roll back in my sleep and end up twisted which is a big no-no for my fusion. Good-luck, hope you are comfortably resting soon! Sue
  • Thanks for the suggestions,

    I have been trying my best to do the log roll when getting out of the bed, but when trying to get into a comfy position on the bed it is difficult. I have to hold my head with both hads and guide it down to the pillows behind me very gently.

    I seem to only be able to sleep for a few hours and then I need to get up and move.

    It seems that what I do is lay and listen to the TV then sleep then walk...eat something cool or warm for throat then back to the bed. That is about it.

    It this what others have done when they came home from the hospital ofter their ACDF

    Tonight I feel really dirty and need a shower. Believe it or not my Mom had to go all over this darn town I live in just to find a shower stoll.. We were told we could take the brace off for the shower and jut not tilt the head back but we are leary of taking the brace off.

    Any suggestions??
  • I wish i did have some advice for you,im glad your back home and have your mom to help you in your recovery, hmmm if you live close i would be glad to swing by and give your mom and you a hand, I live Illinois
    wishing you lots of luck ...patsy
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  • I was given a different brace for the shower; a Philadelphia collar. it is hard..styrofoam like and flesh colored. If the doctor said it was ok to take it off to shower then I would go with his instructions..just hold your head upright; don't tilt it forward or back. After three weeks he said I didn't need the brace for the shower.

    As for sleeping; my surgery (C5-6) was five weeks ago and I haven't slept an entire nite yet..sleep in spurts just as yo said. I do have a very comfortable recliner, and used pillows under my arms as well. I did my husband to help me get up in the beginning though. He would hold both arms and help pull me up...but now i get out on my own. Try to hang in there..the beginning is the worst..then it does get better. I have a wedge pillow for my bed.but find I keep slipping down. So I am staying with the recliner for now.
  • chrissy,
    The best thing I can say about washing hair is to take your time, don't try to go quick, tends to make one pull there head forward and back,as for towl drying, gently pat your head with your hands, rubbing will be uncomfortable for a while, a blow dryer is probably best. Things will get easier to do as time goes by. I never slept well after my surgeries either, sleep a little up a little, again in time things get more normal than not. Try to walk as much as you can, it helped me a lot.
  • Hello everyone,

    So far I am hanging in there!
    The wedge pillow better be worth it because I am still waiting for that thing! URGH.

    I seem to only sleep in the half reclined half flat position. I am typically a side sleeper so it is difficult for me to sleep on my back.

    Is there any way at all to get comfy on my side? I think there is a few things causeing me to have pain in my shoulders and achiness(sp). One thing is possibly from sleeping on my back in the eclined/flat position with my arms sometimes on pillows and 2.) all the walking I have been doing causes me to swing my arms back and forth. I have been working on not swinging my arms while walking to see if it helps. Not that I am walking fast or anything.

    YEAH!! While I was sitting here and typing the wedge just arrived. I have to wait for 1 hour for it to get to the right size and then I can use it. It came in a really nice resealable vacuume compress storage bage. I did not know about the nice storage bag it was going to be in. That was an added bonus.

    So I will let oyu al know how that turns out later.

    For now I gotta run. I am having an issue with running out of my meds and I am working on trying to get the surgeon to refer me back to my PM because he knows me and knows what meds work for me. So I need to make some phone calls.

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