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Exercise after ACDF surgery? + how long after

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone -

I am scheduled for July 29th, for c4/c5 acdf surgery. However, I am aware that things can change once he is in there. I have a cyst that has eaten away my verterbrea of c6 so I am not sure as of yet what the plans are if any to address that.

I finally signed up for a 1/2 marathon in March 2010, and although my dr said I should be fine to do it --- I wanted to see if anyone who was active as far as running has been able to resume it. Before I was running 25 miles a week, nothing major but having four children I truly miss not being able to do it (Feb last time I ran) my neck and arm pain is just too much. When I wear my ipod on my wrist/arm it feels like I have a 50 pd weight on it.

any thoughts?????


  • Ok, I am scared now that NO ONE REPLIED!!!! or is it because you are unable to have an active lifestyle after this surgery?????

  • well this is a toughie. I would do a walk marathon first. Because of the fatigue after the operation your muscles wont be in shape by then. I don't think your neck muscles will be up for it to be honest. It took me a full year to finally feel normal. I had 2 levels done and fusion took 3 or 4 months. During that time you wear this hard cervical collar and running isn't one of your instructions. Walking is however.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
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  • i guess it depends on your health prior to the operation,how your body is able to handle the operation.I've heard some people after there operation do really well and do things i could never do even now over a year out.But then again i had alot of physical problem because of the spinal cord damage.There was a woman on here a long time ago who did start running again very soon after her operation which i thought was amazing and it didn't seem to bother her.So there is hope that you could do it.I'm sure she got better fast and just doesn't come on here anymore.Good luck with your operation.
  • TAMMYC -

    thank you so much for posting, I was starting to get worried that life after the surgery is doom. i have four young children so i have no choice other than being active, i am not pixie thin but a normal "italian" size 8 - hence i love to eat and cook.

    i am just so tired of saying i cant do anything because of my neck, which is why i want to have the surgery done. if my life is not going to change, then maybe being in pain is worth it otherwise i will blow up :)

    again, thank you for letting me know it is possible
  • As every one said its differnet for everyone and main thing is listen to you're surgeon.

    all i can tell you is how mine went a few years ago. I had ACDF on C6/C7. I was ecourged to walk as much as i felt comfortable with pretty much right after the surgery. I was not allowed to run till i was fused which was 5 months after the surgery. The ACDF has not bothered my running although i pretty much stick to trail running these days because being older now and trails easier on my knees.

    good luck on you surgery.
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  • Robert -

    From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for posting that you run too :) I was really starting to get worried, I have a 1/2 that I signed up for in March 2010 and I figure as long as I get back out there in November I should be fine (I think, hope, pray)

    When I was running, when I wore my ipod on my arm it felt like it weighed 50 pounds so needless to say I am so excited just to wear my ipod without actually feeling it :)

    Again, thank you!
  • don't be scared - you'll do fine
    I know it's easy for me to say, but recovery depends soooooooooooo much on the individual ---- you sound very active and so eager to get this over with to become yourself again... you're one of the ones why they say "everyone is different" -----
    alot of people sit around & complain about everything, because they can.......
    take care....
  • I miss running. I was running 36 miles a week before my injury. I had an ACDF in March and I may need another surgery soon on the other two discs. They only fixed one out of the three. I honestly don't plan on running again and I'm crushed by it. I should of had a 3 level fusion in the beginning.

    I'm sure you will do well in the 1/2 marathon. Good luck. :)
  • Swim-mom, I can understand your concern. I had a surgery on C5/C6/C7 in on 2/28/09. I had just run the Disney half marathon in Jan. I had no feeling in my left arm/hand the whole way. Much to my surprise my running came to a halt when I found out I had two herniated discs. I too am very eager to run. My doctor tells me 6 months. I should start running by my follow up at the beginning of Sept. I am planning to do a half 11/22/09.This might be pushing it but if I can't run it I will walk to the finish. I have been going to the gym. I am trying to do whatever I can so when I get the go ahead to run my body is ready. I ride the bike, treadmill and eliptical. I also do light weights. Tonight I just came in from my 5 mile walk. I keep hoping to see someone who has already gone this road to get their opinions but I haven't found anyone yet. So maybe I can help you since I am eager to do the same things.
    It is frustrating to go from being so active to doing nothing. I just started feeling better at about 14 weeks post-op. I still have pain in my arm and no feeling in my thumb. Only time will tell how that goes. At 9 weeks I had begun to fuse so I hope at 6 monts I'll be all set.
    I hope all goes well with you and I'll be happy to answer any questions for you.

  • well my scar is still covered by dressing, had surgery 2 days ago, but it doesn't seem like it goes in that direction. i also was rear-ended. can't wait to start running again my arms feel normal but my shoulders are killing me along with my neck. good luck with your recovery
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