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Pending ACDF Surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
First time post. Info on this forum has been very informative. I have compression on the spinal cord at C5-C6 and will have surgery sometime next week. How much mobility will I have after surgery? I'm interested in knowing if I will be able to climb stairs in my home post op. Also, how helpful is a recliner post op for rest, sleep, etc. Are people able to sleep in a bed post op or is that out of the question? Any dietary recommendations? Any info that would help me pre op would also be appreciated.


  • I hope your surgery goes well.. I had a level 2 ACDF on October 2nd and I have a 2 story house. After about 3-4 days I was able to climb the stairs. Just took it very slowly. I slept in my bed post-op from they day I got home from the hospital. I don't have a recliner so I'm no help there.. And as for dietary reccomendations-I bought vanilla ice cream and lots of different kinds of fruit and made myself shakes. They were so soothing on my throat (although not so much on my waistline-LOL) I also ate alot of soft things, soup, oatmeal, grits, that sort of thing. Anything easy on the throat will be best for you in the begining..
    Good Luck!
  • Thank you so much for the quick response. It sounds like your relatively well so soon after surgery. I will have a level one ACDF so I guess it is pretty basic. I will take your suggestions to heart. Best wishes on your recovery.
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  • Hi Famous.

    I had my 3-lvl C4-7 surgery with hardware yesterday at 8:30 and am back home today. I'm upstairs replying to this forum as soon as I got home. I didn't have any nausea, eigher. image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />

    Can speak for mobility, as I've got a hard collar on. We bought a recliner just for this occasion, so I'll probably sleep in it tonight and maybe tomorrow. The PT people at the hospital says it's good to sleep in your bed as long as you keep your head level. Sides are good to sleep on to keep all those muscles moving, they say.

    I don't believe I'm going to have much trouble with food, but am going to stick to semi-soft stuff for a bit so I don't irritate my throat.

    All in all, I'm am extremely happy with my surgery and all the arm pain, numbness and tingling are pretty much gone.

    Good luck to you - you'll do great. =D>
  • after a 1 level I felt most comfortable in a recliner durning the day and felt best sleeping in bed from day two post opt. I could do stairs a few times durning the day. lifting even a carton of milk bothered me. I could eat normal food the 2nd day, but did not feel real good swallowing food for about 5-7 days.
    I started short walks 3rd day on street and built up to few miles after 2-3weeks.
  • Famous senior welcome to spine-health. Will you be wearing a collar or any type of brace post surgery> I found sleeping in the recliner more comfortable post surgery. Also you may want to get some bendy straws to use as well. Another thing that helped post surgery was I had everything in small containers. like the milk and juice and anything that i needed to lift. My arms were rather weak from the nerve damage so i also had all the jars and anything i may need to open loose. Get yourself some good books and movies so you can just relax. Since i lived alone also had everything set up such as the remote the phones paper, pens, even had a cooler with all my favs in next to me as well. I used my own bone so getting up and down for the first couple of days was a bit rough. Another thing is you may want to set your shower up so you don't have to bend over for things and it is all right there already. Before surgery one day I wrote down everything I did from getting up to going to bed so I would have all my basis covered of the things I would need post surgery. Good luck on surgery and keep us posted on how you do.
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  • Hi & good luck with your surgery. I had a 1 level like you (C6-7) about 7 weeks ago. I think the stairs may depend on your bone graft. Mine was taken from my hip which made it hard to do the steps, but I was allowed to. Healing in my hip was truly more painful than my neck. I did find a recliner was much more comfortable & slept in mine for about 3 weeks after. It felt really weird to me trying to lay down flat. It may depend on whether you have to wear a collar. Everyone here will tell you that soft foods are a must-your throat will be sore for a week or so after. Bendy straws were a godsend as well. All in all, the worry leading up to the surgery was worse than actually having it done-for me anyway. Recovery is a little slower than you might want, but if you take it easy & listen to your docs, you'll do great.
    Good luck again, and just know that everyone here is really great-a BIG help!
    Kim Fitz
  • I live in an upstairs Condo. 14 stairs. So in order to get home, I had to climb the stairs :))( It took awhile, but I did it, just slow but no real problems. I slept in my bed from day 1. Soft foods, mashed potatos and gravy, milkshakes, soft puddings etc. You won't want to eat anything hard or scratchy for a couple of weeks at least. Or I didn't anyway. Pull on sweats, slip on slippers, button shirts make it easier to dress. You really need help for at a minimum of a week, IMHO. My daughter stayed with me, and it was a real help, as you can't lift anything over 10 lbs. And showering or bathing at first you need someone there in case of problems. Books to read, movies to watch, also help to pass the time. Good luck on your surgery.
  • Many thanks to all for the great advice. Fortunately, I have help (wife and sister-in-law) to take care of me post op. It is apparent the key to a successful surgery is: Follow dr's orders to the letter, don't over do it, avoid any activity to may compromise disc fusion. I'm a good patient and you can be sure I will take it easy.

    I'll be monitoring the forum during my down time post op. Best regards to all.
  • I wish you all the best in your upcoming surgery.

    The best thing that you can do for yourself is to get walking as soon as you feel up to it. Walking increases bone growth and will make you feel better as a whole. I had my first surgery in the coldest months and had to get a treadmill but a good book or an ipod can make a couple of miles fly by quickly.

    Stock soft foods, as the others suggested, but also think about some crunchy ones as well. After my second surgery soft foods made me gag. It took me a few days to realize that I needed to eat harder foods. I ate nachos for about 2 weeks LOL! I guess the lesson is be prepared for anything.

    I'm so glad that you have help. It's amazing how much a good support system can help you heal. Just remember that we're all here for you too.

    All the best,

  • Famoussenior said:
    First time post. Info on this forum has been very informative. I have compression on the spinal cord at C5-C6 and will have surgery sometime next week. How much mobility will I have after surgery? .
    YOu got lots of good information. I guess I will add my 2 cents worth as well. I am about 5.5 weeks post op from a 3 level ACDF. I was in the hospital 2 nights and 3 days. I went upstairs the morning after I came home (shower was upstairs). My throat bothered me enough to effect eating for over 2 weeks and I still have some problems but my surgery was much more extensive then yours will be. I stocked up on lots of what I call "smooth foods". I also found that after a while I could eat things as long as I made them wet. For instance I would make a tunafish sandwich and soup and dip the tuna fish sandwich in the soup (sorry if this sounds gross). I still find that I need to drink something after amost every bite of food I take but I been eating all kinds of food. I love salad but have found that lettuce bothers me, it just seems to get in my throat and stay there.
    About sleeping arrangements, I slept in a recliner for two weeks and then back in my own bed with lots of pillows. I also keep a lot of pillows in the recliner as I feel much more comfortable with my arms elevated.
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