I've reached the 2 week post op mark for my 2 level ACDF, and thought I would share my recent experiences -
Overall, I feel like I am recovering but I have not had any significant relief of pre op symptoms, yet. Biggest difference I've noticed is that I no longer have Lhermitte's Sign down my spine when I flex my neck...hopefully that is a good indicator that some pressure has been reduced. Numbness, tingling and weakness are still present in the right arm, although the tingling does seem to be a bit less intense. Can't really tell if I've had any pain relief yet, since I've been stiff and sore from the surgery to this point. ROM is just starting to return. All in all, I went into the surgery with modest expectations, so I'm OK with where I'm at, and I'm not alarmed by the lack of a "light switch" improvement.
I continue to have wicked pain and weakness in my R shoulder, but that predates my cervical issues, so I'm certain it's not a result of the c-spine surgery. Doc and I have agreed to let the ACDF heal, and then move on to the shoulder options later.
I'm only taking Tylenol at this point, and I went back to work (8-9 hours days) at day 11 post op, from my home office. Still under no drive rules, since my ROM is not where it needs to be yet.
At this point I'm neutral on whether or not the surgery was a "success"...If I end up fusing properly and have stopped progression of the stenosis and worst symptoms, then I think that could be considered a baseline good outcome...although it will be at least a few more months before I can make that assessment.
I'd love for the pain and neuro symptoms to go away, but I think more patience and time are in order on those fronts...