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New to site and need help!!!!!!!!!!!!

AbbyAAbby Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, I am so glad to find a site like this. I hope you can help me out. I am a 46 year old woman who was told I need to have both anterior and posterier surgery at the same time on c5,6 & 7. I was caught off guard when the ns told me this and couldn't think of any questions until after I really thought about it for awhile, I need to know about recovvery time. what to expect afterward and just the unknown. I am a office manager at a plumbing shop and I cannot be gone for a long time. Maybe 3 weeks tops. I would appreciate any replies. thanks.


  • Welcome to spine-health,you might want to read some of the threads in the back and neck surgery section....
  • Welcome to Spine Health. That's quite a large surgery and to try and go back to work in only 3 weeks time, for most anyway, is next to impossible. The cool thing about surgeons, is that they are used to getting a bunch of questions. Many of us make up lists of questions that we want to ask the doc and take the list with us or contact the doc somehow and ask. How soon are you scheduled for surgery? Are you comfortable with your NS and his diagnosis, or do you feel like getting a second opinion? Any spine surgery should be taken serious and not ventured into (unless it's an emergency) with unasked or unanswered questions.


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  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you are very smart to be doing your homework before your surgery!! :? have you gotten more than one opinion? "C" mentioned this as well and it is such a good idea. please make yourself at home and have a look around the different forums. good luck with your upcoming surgery! Jenny :)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    If you have any questions, feel free to contact (PM) any one of the Moderators here Priestess , Bruce , Paulgla, DiLauro

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    Check the various tabs at the top of the Spine-Health page and you will find so much that is offered here.

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    Considering the surgery you are having done I believe you are a bit optimistic on has fast you will be able to return to work.
    Here is Spine-Health link for an article about what to ask your doctor:
    38 Questions to Ask your doctor before surgery
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I had a 3-lvl ACDF w/hardware done on Oct. 21. Although I don't know if I'm fusing yet, I consider the surgery a success because a lot of my symptoms are gone.

    I am still not back at work and, like Ron, think that getting back to work in three weeks is a bit optimistic, especially with anterior and posterior surgeries. You definitely have to take the time to let things heal. I was still spending most of my time in my recliner at three weeks.

    Good luck and welcome to SH.
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  • i had posterior c1 c2 fused sept 09 2008 and i am still home. i had to have posterior approach due to location of c1 2c. other option was going through mouth which i was opposed to.

    i must admit that it was painful. pain subsided in about two weeks.

    my personal opinion is that going back to work in three weeks is not possible. u should allow time to heal and start fusing before going back to work.

    i think pain management will be a big chore for u.

    i have been wearing a cervical collar for almost three months and i only had one level fused.

    does your doc require u to wear a collar post op??
  • I hade the same thing done that you are fixing to have, not at the same time moind you but it got done front and back nonetheless. 3 weeks? not likely, 4 to 8 months is more like it. Get used to the idea o sleeping in a recliner and if you don't have one get one. questions you need to ask are What if I do not have it?
    what about paralysis with and without?
    ask yourself is it necassary and could you live with the pain if you didn't have it. If you do not need it do not get it!
    Loss of mobility?
    strength of arms and nerve damage?
    weight restrictions at work?
    pain level after surgery and how long? this will be an estimate of course and there is no definitive answer.

    I myself had posterior c4-c7 fusion with rods bolts and a lattice work. I can not get pain under control and when it rains or snows I can tell you exactly where every bolt in my neck is at. I can not get comfortable at all and I will probably be going to pain management befor eit is over. Having said that their are also people hwo have done VERY well with the surgery and never gave it a second thought. Everyone is different. SOme people go through it like it was nothing more than taking a shower and others have a very difficult time with it. Just take some time and write down all the questions you can think of and ask the doc he has to answer ALL of your questions and remember YOU decide when to have the surgery and you can have it put off till all your questions are answered properly. I know it is a scary situation but you know I can walk and breathe and I am generally fine other than the pain. This suregery is a common thing now they do everyday. But get all questions answered before going under. You will be out longer than 3 weeks I gaurantee you that. Just hang tough and keep us posted. There are alot of good people here. =P~
  • Thank you all for responding, I have to tell you that I am scared. What is all this talk about a recliner? I am going to the ns on Dec. 11 for the 2nd time to talk again. I had my family dr. and a neurologist tell me I need surgery. I have had one ns tell me that I don't need anything done. I asked the other ns about that and he told me that some surgeons are in it just for quick & easy jobs and mine would be a tough operation to do. The ns that said I don't need surgery sent his PA in to tell me and didn't even show me my mri pic's. I never did see that surgeon. What do you think of that?
  • If the dr wasn't even polite enough to give you his opinion in person, that should be your first clue to run away from him as fast as you can! A good neuro-surgeon, IMHO, should show you your MRI's, point out your problem areas, and tell you exactly how he intends to proceed. And then give you time to ask questions. A lot of cervical pts have trouble lying down to sleep after surgery, and find it easier to sleep in a recliner. I slept in bed, but it was hard to get up and down at first, causing a lot of pain for me. No lifting over 10lbs, for at least a month. No driving, bending, etc. I did return to work in 1 month, but I only had a single level anterior fusion. Good luck on whatever you decide to do, and keep asking questions until you understand everything.

  • I agree with what others have said above. Get 2 or 3 opinions. Ask about all alternatives to surgery. What conservative approaches have you tried thus far? I would be sure I had exhausted those options before venturing into surgery. Do you have a pain management doc? Find out what could happen if you don't have surgery (paralysis???). Somewhere on this site is a good list of questions to ask before deciding on surgery.

    I had anterior/posterior lumbar surgery so am not sure how similar that is to cervical. However, for me, even now at 4 months post-surgery it would be more than a struggle to go back to work yet. Recovery from spinal surgery tends to be long and slow. If you read posts on this site about recovery you will get an idea of how long recovery can be. My docs said one to two years for full recovery.

    I hope you hear from people who have had cervical surgery who can give you a better idea of what the recovery is like and what to expect.

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