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Exercise after ACDF surgery? + how long after



  • i feel better in my arms, ask for benadryl in the hospital it will stop the itching and help you sleep. just had surgery two days ago.
  • Hi Chanelle -

    Thank you for posting, sorry in my delay but life has been crazy :)

    Did your dr, say you would be clear to run again? or is that just what you are hoping to do?
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  • I am really glad you posted this thread. I can relate so much. I am also very active and was wondering how long it takes to start exercising.

    I had a posterior cervical fusion at C4/5 level. I used to run 25 miles before I dislocated my neck. I really want to get back to running. I was planning on doing my first marathon in December, but I dont think that it is going to happen. Right now I am 8 weeks post-op and feeling much better. Lately, I have been swimming so that at least I can do something. I hate being kept up in the house all summer.

    Chanelle, I also would like to know how you are doing now.
  • I think you should be fine, but you'll have to listen to your body. July 30th will be my one month mark out of ACDF surgery. It isn't that bad and one great tip is to make sure you get cough drops. They do wonders for your throat afterwards. My throat wasn't bad at all and the cough drops just help the tiny discomfort I had. You'll do awesome and I just keep in my head that at least I'm trying to get better. We're brave little soldiers!

  • i was i pretty good shape before my surgery nov 13/09. i didnt try any exercising except walking for first 10 weeks. after that i took it slow by using my total gym for a few weeks at the low levels. worked my way up to free weights and cardio till i had a good routine every day. while i was off i had gained 30lbs and 6 inches on my waist! now im 8 months out and ive lost 25 lbs and 7 inches on my waist. i just started running last week a mile a day to get in shape for soccer reffing in sept. im now in better shape than i ever have been. before surgery i had bad arm pains that kept me from lifting a lot so you should be ok to run the minithon next yr. just take it easy on the training. if something hurts take a day or two off. dont push it! good luck!!
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  • Hi,

    Swim-mom, my doctor says that in 6 months I should be free to run again. I'll let you know at the end of the month if that was a reality or not. I see my Dr.again on the 27th.
    I have to say, I have been working out like I stated before. This past week we were on vacation so I have done nothing and let me tell you, I am sore as ever again. I don't know if it the lack of exercise or sleeping in a different bed but I feel it. I'm heading back to the gym first thing in the morning.
    Shadowinthenight- It took me a long time til I started feeling good again, at about 4 months I was feeling great. Today, I am sore but I am hoping it will go away. I don't think I could have done anything to damage myself so I don't understand it. I think by now I should be well under way to fusion. I think it's normal to have good days and bad but I think exercise really helps. I still have numbness but I am told that can take up to a year to heal.
    Like Cliffy1012 I feel like I am in better shape now than before my surgery!
  • Wow, I am so glad that I found this thread. Here I am, in the hospital, about to face an ACDF surgery tomorrow morning at the c5-c6 level and quite frankly, completely terrified. All other threads I had read on this surgery were incredibly scary regarding resuming a normal, active lifestyle. I have been a surfer for over 25 years and an avid cyclist, tri-athlete, skateboarder and outdoor activity nut. After perusing these forums I was about to give up. My surgeon had told me that he has operated on professional football players in the past with great results (he did advise me not to do high impact spots such as skateboarding anymore, though). I'm really interested in hearing what some of you followed as a regimen for getting back to an active lifestyle again. I want nothing more than to be able to surf again and also teach my 11 year old daughter and 3 year old son how to surf, as well. Right now I feel as thing my life is pretty much over. Any suggestions as to the first few weeks, months of physical therapy to ensure he best success? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
  • Shadowsurfs, good luck with your surgery tomorrow! I'm just over 12 weeks post-op and my best advice is to take it easy until you start to gain strength again. I just injured myself last week trying to open a window that was jammed. It has taken me over a week to bring myself back to my baseline. Honestly, recovery hasn't been bad minus the setbacks I created. My symptoms are all on the left side, so I've been compensating on the right side. I was also very active prior to surgery, but the year before surgery, I had to give up running and was only allowed to walk. I can't wait to be able to get on some roller blades now that the weather is warming up. Good luck tomorrow and let us know how how it went! :)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • So live this thread......thanks ti the original poster even though it was a few years ago I find this thread helpful. I had anterior cervical discectomy fusion done to my c5-c6 April 26th 2011. I am exactly one month out. I am so glad I had the surgery because I am out of the pain I was in everyday. Before my surgery I ws very active. Running, biking, weight lifting etc....I am having a very hard time not excersizing. I go for three mile walks.....that's it'. I wear my bone stimulated 22 hours a day in the hope that it will get me there quicker. I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that I am four months away from my wedding, and I have never felt so bad about the way look as I do now. I need to know when i can get back in action. My neck still hurts by the end of my day but I di take it easy for the most part. I don't life heavy things and Are super carful. Ayone out there that had gone back in after one month?
  • if you were active before surgery or had an active job like mine.(mail man) it shouldnt take you long. get on a cardio machine or bike at first. remember you body has been innactive from strain. anything you do is gonna hurt after. (funny story): i got the WII drum set for Christmas 1 month after surgery.(AC/DC version) felt pretty good so i played for a long time. next morning woke up in real pain in my biceps. thought i did something bad and forgot i had played the WII the day before. so any kind of workout is goig to have pain. even if its swinging the drum sticks.
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