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ACDF c4-5 and C5-6 surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone, I am new to the website so hope I am doing this post correctly. I am scheduled for ACDF C4-5 and 5-6 on December 21st. I live alone and the hospital is 2 and a half hours from my home. I have scheduled transportation to and from the hospital as I know I will not be allowed to drive for a couple of weeks. After reading some of the posts I started wondering if I will have any major problems caring for myself once I return home. They say I will only have to stay overnight in the hospital and that I should be able to do this on my own but to be careful for a couple of weeks and not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I would appreciate any comments you may have. Thanks, Artex 09


  • Hey there....although I'm relatively new to spine-health to....WELCOME!

    There is a post somewhere in the surgery section that has a HUGE list of things to have and do beforehand so that you can be better prepared.

    I'm sorry you have to go this alone. It can be hard some days and not so hard others. I've learned that being connected to this forum has helped me through some really bad days and I hope it will be the same for you.

    I had the same surgery as you will be having 5 1/2 weeks ago. I won't lie...its been hard but sooooooooooooo incredibly worth it!

    Keep us posted before and after. I like to pray for the folks I read about. It helps, ya know?????

    wishing you all the best!!!!
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of info on this site and the forum has great members who are knowledgeable, friendly and supportive. Since you're going to be alone quite a bit during your recovery, I think you'll find this site will help you in quite a few ways - getting some recovery questions answered, helping others understand what an ACDF is like, and relieving some boredom.

    I'm a bit concerned that you'll be totally alone during your recovery. The first week is the most difficult because you'll be weak, tired and on plenty of medications. Can you at lease have someone stop in one or two times a day for the first week just to make sure you're ok?

    Please take your medications as prescribed for at least the first week to help you stay ahead of the post-op pain. If it gets ahead of you, it can be very difficult to get it back under control.

    If you have no choice but to be alone, I'd prepare some things before your surgery, like getting or making frozen meals that you can pop into the microwave, getting a shower stool so that showering alone is less hazardous, and getting a pill organizer so you know when and what pills you've taken and when you need to take the next batch.

    The rules after surgery are no lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk (which you already know) and no BLT (bending, lifting, twisting). For an ACDF, BLT can be stretched a bit (i.e. you can bend a little and twist a little, but no lifting). But you'll want to make sure anything you might need that's even a little heavy is put at waist height before your surgery so when you come home you won't have to worry about how to get it to where you need it. What comes to mind for me is putting pots, pans, plates, etc on the counter in the kitchen so you don't have the issues of getting them from the cabinets.

    The surgery section has a lot of pre-op stuff like must-haves and preparation that you should find helpful.

    Oh, and a question: Are you going to be wearing a collar after your surgery?

    Take care, Artex, and feel free to PM me if you have questions or want to talk.


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  • Hi Artex,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. I as you lived alone following surgery. I was able to do just fine with alot of pre-planning before hand. I had everything setup so on my return following surgery I was all set. One thing you may want to do is put a cooler near by with some of your favs in it so if you don't feel well you can grab something to munch on with your meds. I also had a table setup with pens, books paper phones, plugins for phone chargers. Since I had used my hip bone I was concerned about the getting up and down. The prepared meals was a god send to have as well. I had cooked things ahead of time so just had to pop in the microwave. I planned for the worst case possible of what ifs and so it was rather easy once I came home. I did have a few people I had asked to call and check on me daily but I really didn't need anything. Spine-health is a good diversion for those long boring days of recovery. Keep in mind everyone is different and responds to things differently. You do want to make sure you have someone able to get your meds for you as well. One thing I learned since your a bit out of it, is to put the meds in a different room so you need to get up and get them and are clear when you are taking them. Because I didn't have anyone with me I also wrote down at what time I took what. If all goes well you may not need much on the meds.

    Anyway just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Take care good luck on surgery and be sure to let us know how you get along.
  • I will pray for you. I consider myself a strong individual & thought it was silly when my doc said to have someone around for 2 weeks post-op because of my kids (5,6,7). The only real help I needed was getting the ice packs and getting to the doc for my post-op visit & fill prescriptions. The other replies are really helpful. I wasn't hungry because I slept so much. Because my fusion was in my neck, I had warm liquid meals for about a week. It was longer than necessary, but it is what felt right. Those microwaveable soups & yogurt were wonderful. Other than that, I did have to sit on the floor for about half of my shower. I do recommend taking the pain meds as directed before the pain gets too severe for the first week. After that, it is all downhill. Good luck, it is worth it.
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