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Time between injury and surgery

TannasNanaTTannasNana Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have done a lot of research since my husbands surgery looking for ideas on recovery and almost all have one thing in common-they all talk about the length of time between the injury and the surgery being a big factor in rate of recovery. How much does that time factor into actual healing? My husband's injury happened in 1987 (C7 fracture) but the Army did not find it until late 1988 after a car wreck. His surgery was just done Nov 27th of this year. Is this length of time between going to play a big part in how well he recovers? They thought they were going to just do C7 however once in there did ACDF from C4-C7 and doctor stated there were a lot of bone spurs that had to be removed. Most of the problems pre-surgery are still there and now has a whole new set of areas hurting that did not hurt before surgery was done.

Would appreciate anyones thoughts on this.


  • I believe that when they talk about recovery in relation to onset to surgery, it's the nerves that may have a more difficult time healing. If someone has radicular nerve pain for a good length of time, the nerves can become permanently damaged.

    I don't think that time is so much of a factor in recovery from surgery. There are so many of us whose injury happened 5, 10, 20+ years ago and only recently began having symptoms, that it's not uncommon to have a long length of time fro onset to surgery. For me, common sense says that if time between injury and surgery were a recovery factor, than there would be a lot more people who never improved.

    The problems your husband is still having that he had pre-surgery could be nerves that have been damaged. They may or may not get better given some time and you might not know for up to a year or more.

    Your husband is not even a month out from surgery so he's still in the very early stages of recovery. New pain can come from many places, including how he was laid on the operating room table, nerves healing, the cervical spine being upset to have this major surgery, etc.

    From experience, I know that it take quite a while to heal from an ACDF. The best thing to do is take pain medication as prescribed to stay ahead of the pain and to walk as often as possible. He also needs rest to let his body heal itself.

    Of course, if you see something that you don't understand and/or are nervous about, don't hesitate to call your surgeon. Unless you need to see his surgeon for any problems before his post-op appt., just remember that he's had major surgery and it can take quite a while to feel better.

    Feel free to PM me if you have questions or want to vent. I've had an ACDF, so I know how difficult and painful it can be.

    Take care,
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