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Help, ACDF C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6 with plating

mrleemmrlee Posts: 67
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My surgery is 09/25/08. Can anyone tell me somewhat details.
What to expect, how long is rehab, any complications after surgery. This will be my second surgery this year. Had ADIF on L3, L4, L5, L6, & S1 in June this year.


  • I'm only a few days out of surgery (Sept 17th) came home on Friday the 19th but I had the surgery you are going to have. Hmmm.....what can I tell you?

    Sore throat after surgery both from the tube they put down your throat and from them moving stuff to do the surgery. I am only eating soft things like yogart, icecream, mashed potatoes, soup and with a lot of it I have to take a drink after every mouthfull or it feels like it stays in my throat.

    I was allowed to shower on Sat and that was wonderful. Will get stitches out in another week. I have a lot of pain in the back of my neck and shoulders (NS said this is due to the position I was in during surgery). I still have numbness in fingertips on both hands and my right arm hurts worse then before surgery but again I am hoping this will all improve with time. Almost every pain med they tried giving me caused a reaction and I haven't taken anything for pain since yesterday morning. Don't know if I'll make it but for now its better then the alternatives. I am having trouble sleeping, not because I can't sleep but because as soon as I fall asleep I wake up wheezing and feel like I can't breath. I think this is the oxycodrone which is why I stopped taking it.
    By the way before this depresses you or scares you I am still glad I did the surgery, I expect things to improve day by day and I am being patient as I can.
    Good luck to you,\
  • remember to get bendy straws and chloraseptic throat spray....it was a life saver for me. When you eat and drink make sure that you take small sips and small bites , take your time eating....you DO NOT want to get choked. Recovery takes time and will not happen overnight so take it easy , follow the doctor's orders and let your body heal as it needs to.....please keep us posted....Miki
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  • You may want to think about sleeping. I found my recliner a good place for me following the surgery as well as using pillows to support arms so no pressure on the neck. Some other things that may help is to make sure you have half gallons of things. Much easier to lift. My weight restrictions have always been a gallon of milk but at first that was just a bit much for me. You may want to get a grabber if you don't have one already as bending over is a no no. Since i live alone i also had a cooler by the recliner with all my fav's in it for the first few days. Another thing I had done was rearrange my living room so the TV was in front of me so i would not be looking at it to the side. Also before i left for the surgery i set my laptop cord close and the remote as well as plenty of reading material and as Miki said the bendy straws and chloraseptic with in arms reach. If you are going to be in a miami j or aspen make sure you get extra inserts so they can be cleaned. You may not need any of this and might be able to run laps around the house but in the event you do then all there for you. Good luck and make sure you post as to how the surgery went.
  • Mrlee, I'm going to have the same thing done on October 21. :S I've talked with a woman at my work that had a 2-level with hardware a year and a half ago and says we will be so glad that we did it after recovery. Her sister had that surgery also, and she says, they both recovered well, no complications. I am looking forward to being pain free. I'm so sick of bandaids, pain and pills!!

    I'm really scared of going up and down stairs in a hard collar. Thank goodness for railings.

    Good luck to you and like Tamtam says, let us know how it goes. >:D<
  • You will not believe this, but I sold my house two weeks ago, and did the closing of my new house one week ago today. I sold my TWO-story house for a ONE-story. This will help with the bad knees. However, I can't lift anything more than 20-25 lbs rest of my life, Cervical surgery is in three more days, and I have to start moving out of my house in fourteen days. How is that for timing?
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  • Hi Mrlee,
    I sent you a note a few days ago but now I am almost a week post surgery. I am excited to be getting some feeling back in the tips of my fingers on my left hand. My right hand still has numb finger tips but they seem a little less number. I do have pain in my right arm but I am getting very hopeful that this is all due to the surgery and getting all those poor nerves free. I came home with no collar after a 3 level ACDF with plates and screws. My NS said he does not use collars anymore to avoid the muscles in the neck atropying. My neck MOVEs but I am very careful and up and to the right are difficult and I am not sure exaclty what I can and can't do. I will be using a bone stimulator 4 hours a day and plan to start that in a few days. Because I made a decision to not take pain meds I am being very careful not to do anything to make this neck of mine more painful. Here are some help ful hints.

    By a grabber (I have 2, one for upstairs and one for down). The best trick I found is keep a small towel around your shoulders after surgery. You can hold the ends in each hand to help you get up and down from chairs without putting any strain on your neck. Stock up on soft foods like yogurt, icecream, pudding, soup, mashed potatoes, apple sauce,eggs etc. Be careful with anything like tomato soup or orange juice because after surgery the inside of your throat will be sore and these can hurt. Ice is wonderful, my son makes me ice chips and I keep them nearby. I saw someone else mentioned bendy staws and they are a must. easier to get on shirts that button then ones that pull over the head. I am sure I have lots more to say but my mind just went blank (guess that happens if I suddenly find myself home vegging out instead of working LOL). Don't pick up anything heavy after surgery, don't pull a chair in (I did this without thinking, you know how you move closer to the table after sitting down). I'll check back in again to see how things go and add other advice. I wish you lots and lots of luck for an easy surgery, and quick recovery.
  • I had the surgery back in Dec.17,08 so far things has been going good for me.I went back to work Jan.5,2009 I still had a little pain every now and then but it seems to go away on its own,which I'm not one to stay on pain medication.I sometimes do have a problem finding the right way to lay in bed. I did sleep in my recliner when I return home from the hospital. I do get stiff and the mobility of my neck is not the same but I feel that it will get better as time progress.I do have a titanium plate and screws and I did not wear a collar.
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