I had ACDF surgery at the C6-7 with a bone fusion and plating. I am just a couple days past 4 weeks post op.
I spent 3 days in the hospital with alot of pain and vomiting. The sore throat was really tough in the hospital and the first few days home. Up until about a week and a half ago I could still only do a liquid diet it felt like I was swallowing over a speed bump though there was no actual pain in my throat the. Anything that isn't soft gets stuck for lack of a better explanation and I have to swallow a few times to get it down. I can do only very soft foods but truthfully don't have much of an appetite. Has the throat issue been a problemm for anyone else? I also dropped 15 lbs since surgery.
I did have a fall week three post op which ran my bell pretty good but other than increasing the muscle spasms it didn't do any harm to the fusion.
Also this makes surgery #3 since October 2007. Not on my neck but different surgeries. I'm on a total of 15 surgeries at the age of 47. I've always have bounced back much better from other surgeries with maybe the exception of the tonsillectomy and sinus surgery combo at age 40. I've come home from other surgeries take a couple of days of pain meds and I'm on my way to recoopuration.
This surgery has been more difficult. I don't have the horrid crushing pain in my left arm I did before surgery more of an aching in the bicep area of my arm and at the elbow area and that is better some days than others. I still have no feeling in my thumb, pointer finger or middle finger yet and there are days when my hand just aches. The doctor says that the feeling is the last to come back (if it comes back) and that can take months.
My neurosurgeon prescribed pain meds and a muscle relaxer I was worried about the fact I've had to take them for 4 weeks already (although I was assured at my post op visit that some patients have to take them for up to 8 weeks).
I've had a great deal of issues with muscle spasms both in my neck and esophageal area.I don't take any medication during the day now that I'm allowed to drive as I pick up my daughter from school. However by the time I'm home from getting her from school and from her dance classes in the evening I'm very ready for meds. I talked to my doctor on Friday and they had me stay on top of the muscle relaxers this weekend to try and stay ahead of the spasms and said to rest.
I'm taking it easy and wearing my soft collar which feels like someone is choking me (YUCK). It is also VERY hard for me to have my activities limited but I'm doing only the things allowed because I want this fusion to work. Resting and sitting is not in my nature.
I was wondering if anyone else had these issues I'm having and how they've worked through them. I'm feeling a bit wimpy becuase I'm still having to take meds and haven't bounced back like I have from my previous surgeries.
The other complication to this situation is I have rheumatoid arthritis. I've been off my Enbrel since the end of July in preparation for my surgery. I'm not allowed to take my Enbrel injections or any anti-inflammatories because it can cause problems with my bone fusion per my neurosurgeon. So I'm getting stiffer by the day and the disease also causes chronic fatigue.
I'm interested in hearing if anyone has some tips on getting through this recovery (which feels like it is taking forever)!