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C5/C6 and C6/C7 ACDF 10/29/08

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone my name is Trish and I can relate to many of you. I have 2 large ruptered cervical disc with cervical cord compression. It all started a couple months ago. I woke up one morning with a severe crick in my neck. After a few days there was no improvement, in fact, it was getting worse. After a couple weeks I went to a chiropractor-Bad mistake :''( I went twice and after he induced almost more pain than I could physically tolerate, I did not go back. The next week I went to my family M.D. She ordered the MRI that revealed the large ruptures at C5/6 and C6/7 with compression on the cervical cord. She then referred me to a neurosurgeon who said that normally he always tried the injections or theray but in my case the rupture's were to large and those treatments would be ineffective. He also said if I chose not to have the surgery (ACDF) that the edema of the cord would in time worsen with possible irreversible damage. So like everything else I laid it on the alter. My pastor has gone through no telling how much oil in laying hands on me in the last couple months. It has been miserable. God does not put us through more than we can bear. If he brings you to it he will see you through it. I will be glad when this ACDF is over. I am a nurse so I make a bad patient. I am also a fulltime nursing student working to obtain a higher degree. This semester I had to drop 3 classes due to my inability to sit at the computer for extended amounts of time. I am down to 2 classes now hanging on for the ride. I do not know what I will do about going to my Chemistry class, it is over a hour away. No driving post-operatively. I know I will miss at least one class (weekly classes). I will catch up-I won't quit. God will make a way when there is no way. I'm not worried about English Lit. Sorry my first post is so long but how else am I going to provide ya'll with my information. My question is this: Has anyone had to go to ICU after their ACDF? My sister (nurse also) says I may have to but I say NO WAY!! Also, how bad is the immediate post-op pain level on a scale on 1-10 with 10 being the worse possible pain ever? I look forward to reading your responses. I promise my next posts' in the future will be way shorter. God Bless u all. :)))


  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. You sound very anxious about your upcoming surgery. ~X( you are smart to be asking questions and doing your homework. check out the "Back and Neck" surgery section for some more input!! good luck and i am sure you will get some answers to your questions!! Jenny :)
  • I just had the same surgery. ACDF C5-6 and C6-7. The worst part for me was the first 24 hours after surgery. I would say my pain level was at about an 8-9 although if I didn't move it wasn't as severe. My throat was very sore for the first week as well. The ice pack was my best friend, it helped so much. I went home about 24 hours later and was off of work for 2 weeks. I have been back at work for a full week now and I am very glad that I had the surgery. I really feel that once my surgical pain is gone, my original pain will be gone as well.
    I didn't have to go to the ICU either.. Unless I'm mistaken you won't go to the ICU unless you have a complication. Good Luck with your surgery, I hope all goes well!
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  • Well, kind of, I was in a higher care floor. I don't remember what it was called, just a step below ICU. Basically, there were more nurses per patient. Which I was greatful for through the night in the hospital. I was on a pain pump but the meds upset my stomach. This may be something you could discuss with your doc prior to surgery. They can give you anti-nausea meds. You don't want to be vomiting after surgery, trust me. I didn't think I had such a weak stomach. I am about 6 weeks post op, the same levels. I wear a neck brace 24/7. I still have aches, pains and numbness but assume it takes time for nerves to heal. I still do not drive. Wait until your doctor releases you to drive. Keep a positive attitude and you will get through this. It is a long road to travel, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you will get there. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
  • please check the surgery section and you will find lots of folks there that are recovering from the same surgery that you are having. Now, I am going to have a colonoscopy before the end of the year and was not too nervous about it until now! :))(
    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • double trouble said:
    Hi everyone my name is Trish and I can relate to many of you. I have 2 large ruptered cervical disc with cervical cord compression.
    Hi Trish,
    I am over 5 weeks post op from 3 level ACDF surgery. I had spinal cord compression and numbness/pain in both fingers/hands and right arm. No ICU after surgery, right into a regular room. I would say pain levels first two days were about 6/7 (close to ten right after surgery). I told them to put something in the IV during surgery to prevent nausea and that worked. I had reactions to each of 3 different pain meds they tried in the hospital and about 1.5 days after getting home I decided to go cold turkey without pain meds because the pain was less of a problem they my reaction to the meds. I can't say its been a picnic but cold and heat packs have worked out great. I haven't returned to work yet but I expect to sometime in Nov. I only drove twice so far, once around my block and once about 1/4 mile to a drug store. This is more due to my husband then me. I want to drive but he is very concerned and has been driving me places. Since I start PT this week that is going to change because he can't come home 3 times a week to drive me.
    I am guessing that I am a lot older then you so you may recover more quickly. I have DDD and lots of arthritus. NS spent a lot of time cleaning up bone spurs and stuff in my neck. Anyway once you have cord compression in my opinion surgery is the route to go. I waited 8 years after I found out about the first disc hernation in my neck to have surgery and ended up with a lot more damage. Still waiting to see how much of the numbness in my fingers will be permanent.
    Good luck to you,
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  • I am also a nurse. I can't imagine going through what you are going through being a nursing student. Nursing school is brutal. Your physical health is so very important right now Trish, and spinal cord/nerve damage is nothing to mess with (I am listening to myself as I speak to you.) I was hurt lifting a patient after being hurt in an auto accident a year before. If you don't fix the problem, it is going to come back and haunt you, maybe permanently. Nursing is a hard job/very demanding. So, you need to be careful...get well before pushing yourself. I too am waiting for an ACDF surgery. Perhaps we can go through it together...pray for each other. Sounds as though you understand the power in prayer. When is your surgery? I don't know when mine is just yet. I am hoping for 2008 so that 2009 can be a year of healing and getting back to work! God bless you Trish...hang in there.
    Oh, regarding ICU...I have never heard of anyone going to the ICU. We know stuff happens, but ACDF has been around a long, long, time. Just remember, being in God's will is the best place to be,whether it is in the ICU or not. Know what I mean?
  • Hi all my new friends. My surgery is over. I was in recovery and they tried to push some morphine for pain and my blood pressured bottemed out, they bolused some fluids to get it back up. The whole time I was in recovery I only got Morphine twice. My blood pressure stayed low (80/40) in the hospital. Because of this I had to stay couple extra days. Pain med administration has been very limited. The lowest my bp got was 75/39. But my heart rate did not become tachy so I knew that I would be ok with iv fluids going in. Thanks for all your prayers and just for being there. My doc told me after surgery that my cervical cord was compressed a little more than 50%. Thank God it is over. God has helped with the pain. I could not have made it through this without him, my husband, my mom and the rest of my family, my pastor and my church family, and definitly not without all of you. My spelling may be kind of off, u all know what it is like to wear the hard collar-can't look down. Thank God, I can type without looking, although I know sometimes i hit the wrong key. Got to go. Got to get up out of this chair. Anyone with any advice on sleeping? I can't lay down. I'be been trying to sleep on the reclining end of the couch. I get short naps but that's is. Any advice out there?
  • GLAD ITS over for ya and you did not wait much longer.
    I was in your same position, nothing would work but surgery. And I had it 2 weeks after my appt. I did not even hesitate to say yes. He said lets try shots that will mask the pain and not work or surgery I SAID SURGERY go for it!!
    Im kinda brave like that. ;)

    Sleeping issue.
    I of course did the recliner 2 nights which was ok but hard to get out of.
    So I migrated to the couch. 2 pillows behind me. 1 under each arm, and 1 or 2 under my knees.
    Ice packs ALWAYS laying on me. And med schedule to the "T".
    I stayed pretty comfy that way. Until I was able to sleep in bed which took awhile. I just was not comfortable there. At least with the couch I felt confined so I could not roll over. Im not a back sleeper so it made it easier then a big bed.

    Continue your recovery and anything else you may need ask away.
    But yeah the back/neck surgery fourm will get alot more hits to your posting as so many with surgery stick to that one place..

    Take care
    Terri O:) O:) O:) O:) O:)
  • Hi Cindy. I'll tell you MY answers to your questions, but you may not have the same experience. Everybody is different.

    I had no nausea before, during or after my hospital stay. The Miami J collar is the "hard" collar that severely restricts head/neck movement. Each doc is different and I've many people who have had a collar and many that had no collar at all. I didn't need a cervical pillow because when I was having neck pain (before I knew my situation) I had purchased a posturepedic pillow ($125 and worth it). I don't believe you HAVE to have someone with you, but my mom-in-law stayed with me for three weeks. Two weeks would've been sufficient, but she was there for three.

    Be prepared for a soar throat - among us cervical peeps, it's varied from severe swallowing problems to no problems at all.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions or need to talk.

    Take care,
  • Hiya double,
    I was just wondering how you are doing after surgery? (It is February 3). What's happening? Are you healing okay? Hope all is well and that you are or will be able to go back to nursing school. Let us know, k?
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