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Scheduled for double ACDF C5-6 & C-7 have some????

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been having neck/trap pain (not severe most of the time) on & off for 5 yrs. When it started a chiropractor told me it was muscular & did not do xrays. For the past year it's gotten worse & I have bilateral arm & hand tingling/numbess so I went to my family doc to maybe get some therapy ordered. I'm a nurse & hate to see a doc for ANYTHING. She decided to do a MRI of my c-spine "just to be sure" & I was shocked to find out I have 2 badly herniated discs, one with cord contact. I went to a orthopedic spine specialist who came highly recommended. We decided to try PT first & go from there. Well at my 3rd session I stood up from the waiting room chair & one leg could not hold my weight. Relexes were hyperactive & had more weakness. Therapist was very concerned as she had assessed me 2 wks ago & thought I was in good shape. Back to the doc I go. He's afraid I may fall & do irreversible damage so now my surgery is planned for March 30.

My main question is...I'm 37, in good health, pain is not severe & I basically live normally but am just a little more cautious with my movements...I live alone, all my family are in Canada & I have a limited support system close by(a friend & some coworkers who can help with my driving needs etc). I will be in the hospital overnight & plan to come home by myself. Will I be able to take care of myself independently right after surgery? I have to wear a collar for maybe 4-6 wks. My sister or an out of town friend are willing to come stay with me but I am stubbornly independent, they have their own work & family to take care of & I hate to inconvenience anyone. Can anyone help me with what I should do?

If anyone has insight into the surgery, recovery or ANY info that might be helpful please let me know. This will be my first surgery ever & really the only serious medical problem I have ever had. Never had a broken bone, stitch, or hospitalization in my life & the only medication I take is for allergies. I'm a little anxious.

Thank you for reading my long winded post & good luck to all=)


  • hello,welcome to the board, sorry about you needing surgery, i would say it would be a good idea to have someone with you for a few day's following your surgery, after the surgery they will more than likely want someone to drive you home.as for your recovery,your throat migh be a bit sore,swallowing issues,that was my expierence,i had muscle spasms for a while, but everyone is different,ask your dr about what to expect after surgery, that's the best advice, good luck to you.
  • My only pieces of advice is to NOT anticipate driving yourself home. I was completely incapable of doing that after surgery and couldn't even drive until my doctor cleared me at my two week post op appt. As for having help. If they are offering it take them up on it. The first 2 weeks were the toughest. Even though I could do some of the simple tasks by myself the day after surgery too many other things got put off for way to long because I am much like you. I'm very independent (I've raised 3 kids by myself.) but I was grateful to have someone at least be able to get me a glass of water or run errands for me during those first 2 weeks. I was humbled for the first time in my life.
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  • sometimes we feel that we have to be strong, but the real truth is that others really want to help and make certain that we are all right. Hopefully you will not need assistance, but give in and let them feel better because they are making certain that your needs are being met. It will only be for a short time, so let them be there for you.
    I have found that sometimes the greatest gift is not the for the one that receives, but rather for the one that is able to give.
  • i know the "nurse is the patient" syndrome well. it's so hard to allow others to care for u when u r so used to being the caregiver. but..... u have to do it this time. i don't think they will even let u drive home the next day. and i believe u would find it nearly impossible to not have help most of the few 2-3 days at home. i also have learned that by putting off my surgery, i ended up with more damage and a longer recovery ahead of me. please think about it, read as much as u can on this site, then do what u think is best for u. there is a very informative section of "post-op must haves" under the back and neck surgery section section of these forums. best of luck!!!
  • I have someone to drive me home the next day. Maybe I will have my friend come for a few days. I did get SOME good news today...my lumbar MRI that I had done Tues is pretty much normal... Thank God for that!
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  • I am one of the more stubborn independent ones myself, I had 3 levels done on the lowest levels of my neck, I am in a brace from my neck to my upper Ab, it was hard for me the first few days, but after that I felt more secure on my feet, so even with my 3 level, I could manage after a few days, but it is always nice to have someone there for at least that long, then you do not worry.
    My surgery so far seems to be a success, I have felt relief all the way around so keep your head up and stay positive!
  • My sister is gonna come down from Canada to stay with me for a while. I was trying to be brave & told her I didn't need her but she thinks I'm worth the trouble=). Thank God! I hate needing help but I was stressing about how I was gonna manage if I had a lot of pain or any complications after surg. Also she's my health care surrogate so she knows that if anything goes terribly wrong I don't want them to torture me. Being a nurse is a mixed blessing. LOL. Now if I could only sleep! I never had any trouble until I got the results of my MRI=(
  • I had a 3 level ACDF a year ago and a revision a few months later and didn't have help afterwards. I also care for my aging mother. You simply don't realize how many things you simply can't do without breaking your restrictions, such as doing laundry or putting dishes in the dishwasher.

    I'm fresh out of TOS surgery and have help this time and I can tell you it has made all of the difference in the world in my recovery. I know that I can rest and that things are taken care of and that if I run out of something that there is someone to get it for me.

    USE the help while you have it. WHile it's hard to set our independance aside it makes for a much more sucessful healing process to have the help.

    Good luck on your surgery. Please let us know how things are going.

  • I will be having a ACDF C56-C6-7 surgery on March 12th. (Thursday )

    I am like you, very independent. What could you do for your self the first two weeks? I will have my husband home with me only until either Monday or Tuesday. Should I have my daughter come over during the day and stay for a few more days?

    On the Hospital Web site that they sent me to, it tells me that I can only lift 5lbs. for 4-6 weeks and I weight'd my tea pitcher full of tea, (1/2 Gal) and it weight's 5lbs. So I guess that will be my limit there.
  • Welcome to spine health!
    I had surgery on c6-7 Feb 4. then in a couple weeks I will find out if we need to do anything above that.
    My 6-7 was impinging past 50% of my spinal cord.
    I did have to stay in hospital a extra day and if up to them they would of kept my another day.
    I wont get into all that right now. some day when I'm all done with my issues I would love to write a book.
    I have a few other problems then you will have when you come home(my legs are involved and the right arm)
    But I do have a few things that might help ya.
    I think you are gonna need some help for two or three days at least.
    sherbet ice cream just to eat and it is great to swallow pills with your throat might be sore but I did have pizza and what ever I wanted in the hospital but when I got home I ate lots of Popsicle and pudding.
    I needed help to get up once laying down, neck muscles are not very strong. mine still are weak and its been 3 weeks for me. the collar never bothered me for I wore one most the time before surgery for about 2 months.
    My neck has healed real nice and you cant see the scar to much.
    well getting tired and I hope my words helped you some.
    we can talk later you got time before surgery. get things caught up so you can come home to a clean house,HA HA HA
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