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just had neck surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just had Anterior cervical discectomy & fusion 5 days ago. How long will the pain last afterwards? Having really bad neck, back and right arm pain.


  • I had ACDF surgery w/a titanium plate, screws and donor bone graft in June. When they did my surgery, they had to "move a lot of stuff around in there" - as my surgeon put it - so it took quite a while for the pain to subside. I still have a moderate amount of pain daily, but it's manageable with Advil or Tylenol now. The actual incisional pain, and the pain in the anterior part of your neck subsides pretty quickly. The best advice I can give you is to follow doctor's orders exactly. Avoid twisting, flexion/extension of your neck, no jarring movements (that includes not taking the dog for a walk just in case he should spot a squirrel and yank on the leash - as was the case after my surgery!) Protect your fusion, and get lots of rest. Best of luck.
  • First of all welcome!
    It gets better everyday. At about 2 weeks I started feeling like doing little things around the house. Week one you would have found me lying on my couch sucking on a popsicle and crying like a baby because it did hurt. I was able to do many things without a lot of help. I could make my own lunch. Lifting anything heavy was left to my teenage son. Driving I left to my teenage daughter. Just start slow because we all find pain pills can make us feel superhuman for a little while and then we pay for it later. Everybody recovers differently so I'm just speaking from my own experience here. I take only minimal amounts of pain meds so I can actually drive and even went to the mall by myself yesterday to do a little shopping. I won't lie it was an effort but the more I get up and move the better I know I will feel. That's the important part to get moving as pain allows. If you have any specific questions you're in the right place.
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  • I'm 2.5 weeks out. I had a 2 level done and have had almost no pain at all since the surgery. The pain before the surgery was so much so that I think the little bit of pain I might be feeling now seems more discomfort than pain. I am having the weirdest "pains" in my arm the past few days though. I guess its the nerves refiring. Feels like someone keeps punching me in the arm. It's a "good feeling" though...means things are going well. :D
  • I still have a lot of pain, but not as much as the first 5 days, omg they were horrible, started getting some relief for about 2 weeks, was reall happy that all the numbness, tingling and arm pain was gone right after surgery, but the neck and back was much worse!! they just keep saying give it time!! well now almost 3 weeks later numbness, tingling and arm pain came back, only worse than before surgery, neck pain hurts when i do anything like try to go shop or do a little exercise or lift anything!! other than that my muscles are just so tight and need rubbing every day. i would love to get some sleep. I was never given a collar,but my neck still wont let me lie on my side or stomach, only my back and i hate that!! I guess I will keep praying that it will get better. for some it does, and others just have problem after problem!! G.L.
  • I have a soft collar and it caused a minor amount of aches and I hated that I had to wear it at first but now I'm thankful...all the things I could have done to irritate it. I think wearing it is a very physical reminder of things I am not to be doing.
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  • I appreciate everyones advice and help. Its nice to know that your not the only one going through this. Im glad to know it will get better. I had a bone graph from my hip and its alittle sore but not like the other pain. The collar is driving me crazy though! Thanks again! This is my first time being on here. Im not sure how to reply to an individual. Thanks again for the replies. sticky
  • Hi there. I had a 3-lvl ACDF w/hardware (C4-7) on Oct. 21, so I'm almost 3 weeks out. When I came home, I felt like Wonderwoman (my husband event said "Can't you please ACT like you just had surgery?") =)) . But, of course I paid for it the next day. Anyway, I've been relatively pain-free since the surgery but I seem to be having more pain now than in the first 2 weeks. Mostly muscle spasms in the back of my neck, which my NS said to expect. I was 24/7 in a hard collar and 1 week ago, my NS gave me a soft collar for lying around the house, driving, etc. I actually feel better with the collar because I feel protected.

    It just goes to show that everyone is different. Take care, sticky, it'll be over before you know it.
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