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2 weeks post op ACDF C5-6

ileneiilene Posts: 140
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am 2 weeks post fusion C5-6. I was kept in the hospital 2 nights, instead of 1....PT said I wasn't ready to go home. My legs are weaker now then before surgery. My arms hurt, but before surgery my rt was worse, now it's my left I think rt is about the same as before. When I woke up my shoulders were what was hurting the most, and my rt tumb did feel better. What I'm not having is the horrible episodes I was having of unretrackable pain, but am not sure if that is because I am doing nothing, or becauseof srugery.

Now 2 weeks later my shoulders are hurting 24/7, and I am using ice. My arms and legs are weak, My big problem is I don't know what I am aloud to do and what I shouldn't do, so I am doing basically nothing....what did you do when you were 2 weeks post op? More then lie in bed or sit on couch with feet up?

I came home from hospital with hard collar, my head was killing me from it, as is my chin. At the hospital they also gave me a "soft" collar, that I was afraid to use, there was no support at all from it, and couldn't see going from hard to nothing. When I showed it to my surgeon a week later he took a picture of me holding it, so he could yell at some residents...mean while the mistake was made with me....he found a collar in his office that was "OK", but not exactly what he really wanted for me...but later said it was ok.....gives me real confidence!

My next apt is in 3 weeks. I was told to use hard collar for "transport". Did others with same surgery use soft or hard collar? I also have problems with the discs above and below the fusion, and am not sure if part of the reason he originally gave me the hard collar was this. He doesn't really say much, just that I shouldn't push it.....but, that doesn't tell me what I can and can not do.

This past weekend I had a stomach virus, I got scared that the vomiting could have hurt my neck so I called my surgeon. He was reasuring over the phone, telling me "how secure the plate is" I called because while vomiting, I thought I felt the plate.....so again, if it is "so secure" why have any precautions....I keep hearing back talk, what is for real.

I have more that I would like to write, but my arms can't take the typing...or is it the fingers....well, you get the picture.....

Thanks in advance for any help,


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    I am 2 months post-op with corpectomy c5-6 and fusion c5 thru c7. I had a horrible time with my shoulders and pain. The pain began to subside at around 4 weeks. The doc told me it is normal and to give it time. I also wore a soft collar at home and any time I was transported I would wear the hard collar. I along with you was throwing up following surgery but mine was due to the meds. I was scared that my neck also could not take it but according to my surgeon it was stable. I have x-rays to prove it so I hope that brings you some comfort. I even swore I felt something move in my neck.
    Try to rest and relax and I hope you recovery becomes smoother
  • I don't understand why some surgeons don't give post-op instructions to their patients. That's just plain wrong!

    So, I'll give you some restrictions (I'm not a surgeon or a doctor, but I know what you shouldn't do after cervical surgery): No BLT - bending, lifting or twisting. Don't lift anything over 5 lbs. Don't bend over to brush your teeth - hold something under your chin to spit into. Don't make any sudden movements with your head. Don't use your recovery time to get caught up with household chores - i.e., no lifting heavy pots, no loading the dishwasher, no washing the floor, no dusting and no vacuuming (you get the picture).

    The ONLY things you should be doing at two weeks out is resting, taking your meds, getting as much nutrition and fluids as you can and walking as much as possible. Please do this until the next appointment with your surgeon.

    Apparently, you have a choice as to what collar to wear, but I didn't. I wore a hard collar for four weeks and then a soft collar for eight. If I were you, I'd wear the hard collar whenever you're making any significant movements, like riding in a car, sleeping, etc. Then the soft collar for watching TV, reading, etc.

    These are all just my opinions, but you've just had major surgery and need to take care of yourself. One of the important things is to take your meds as prescribed to stay ahead of the pain - once it get ahead of you it's hard to get it back under control.

    Recovery can get very boring and there will probably be a time when you feel really good and do some things that you shouldn't. Then you'll pay for it the next day or the next hour, so just remember that it was major surgery and you need plenty of time to heal, fuse and get better.

    The caveat: if something doesn't feel right with regards to pain, spasms, whatever, or if something is scaring you and you don't know what it is - CALL YOUR SURGEON.

    Take care and feel free to PM me if you have any questions or want to talk.
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  • Thank you both so much! I feel so much better to hear that you too felt as though something moved....and that you are ok....I was thinking of asking my surgeon to take an x ray, but it doesn't feel different any more.

    Cath, thanks so much for telling me I can walk! Your right, my surgeon never told me that, and I really wish he did. I have become quite weak in the weeks leading up to my surgery, and want to get moving as soon as I can. Unfortunately my legs and feet are still weak, but they have stopped tingling, so hopefully things are healing. My surgeon gave me a 50 50 on my legs going into surgery, but I am hopeful that they will be better then they are....but walking I will start tomorrow.....

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