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5 weeks and finally starting to feel better!

dehoyos13ddehoyos13 Posts: 291
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi! I posted a couple of weeks ago. I was in so much pain it was ridiculous. At that point, I didn't feel as if I was improving but rather, it felt worse than before surgery.

tomorrow is 5 weeks post ACDF multiple levels. The doctor gave me valium last week, which really helps me sleep...maybe a little too much so I cut the dosage down tonight. I've spent the last week or so in bed because I really was in a lot of pain before that. I would walk for a few minutes a few times a day and then back to bed. It seems to have worked for me. The only issue for me now is that there is a loss of muscle tone in my legs. I have begun walking on a treadmill that a friend so generously gave me. At the slowest level, I could only walk in small bits today. first 5 minutes, then 3 minutes, then 2 minutes. And boy was I tired. But I'm not hurting as much anymore. Vicoden 7.5/750 is too strong but Tylenol isn't enough yet. BUT I AM SOOOOOOOOO GLAD. I am feeling more myself today.

I was concerned because of how tired I have been since the surgery. The doctor said that I lost a lot of blood because it appears my nerves are surrounded by very large veins. Surgery was supposed to take 2 hours or so. It took 5 without my own bone graft!

Any ideas on how to build up my strength? My hips hurt when I lay down which I believe is because I haven't been using my legs very much.

My first x-ray and post op visit is on Dec. 17th. At that time, I'm sure hoping to hear that fusion has begun. I'm waring this spinalpak II 24/7.

Any advice anyone. I've put on weight during the last 5 weeks. no exercise...eating what is cooked for me, when I am a low carb eater. I'd lost 38 pounds since January, now I'm afraid I put at least 10 back on! all that work!!! haha...

Thanks everyone for posting all over this forum. it was a source of hope for me when the pain was more than I could bear!


  • Feeling better must be such a relief.
    I wouldn't worry about the weight too much but perhaps you can ask the 'cook' to give you smaller portions and/or mix it up with some healthy veggies.

    As for muscle tone, I wish I had advice. I think once you are able to walk more, you will feel your strength coming back. I had a microdiscectomy of L5-S1 and it didn't work. But I've been able to walk about a mile a day on average while waiting for my next surgery. It is not nearly what I was doing but I take it.

    If you are only 5 weeks post-op, I'm sure you are on strict instructions to just walk and not worry about the rest. I think once they send you to PT, they can give you some safe exercises for toning without hurting yourself.

    As for being tired, just being under for the surgery is enough to make you tired for at least a month. Add blood loss and that will slow you down for sure. Remember your body has been through a lot . . .don't be so hard on yourself for being tired. Your body is recovering.
  • It is a relief to feel better because before was horrible. I'm afraid to take tylenol for the discomfort which is mostly directly on my spine and in my throat. If it doesn't work, I would be hesitant to take the vicoden...that's a lot of meds at one time. I was tempted to see my primary doc for my throat because its really sore. Occassionally I choke or even when I'm breathing, its as if there's a barrier that the air has to push past to get out. It kinda freaks my son out.

    I'm working on being patient concerning the muscle tone. I starteed walking on a treadmill and can't really take too much of that at one time. Just minutes actually. It'll build up, I'm sure.

    I am looking forward to my post op with the ortho surgeon. I'm wondering if its normal to feel as if the plate in my neck is actually moving up and down with me as I walk. Thaqt might just be a part of adjusting to the added weight of something foreign in my body. but I feel it when I turn my head or try to swallow pills. Fun huh????

    When is your next surgery? How is a microdiscectomy different from disk replacement or fusion?

    Thanks for your response.
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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    After my ACDF in 2006 I felt awful when I went back to work 6 weeks later. Not due to neck pain but I was so deconditioned! So in 2008 when I had a posterior cervical revision I vowed to try to do more. We have a treadmill and I started out, no kidding, walking for 5 minutes a day for the first week. The second week I increased it by 1 minute every day (doing it 3 days a week) but always listened to my body (so there were days I did less or put it off for a day). I was far less deconditioned and exhausted in that recovery - and if I was tired it was from my attempt at moderate exertion.

    I hope to do something similar after lumbar surgery coming up in February though it may be very different since the lumbar area is more involved in the walking process.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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