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ACDF C3/4 C5/6 Surgery Date

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well I got many answers from you all and I thank everyone who answered or posted because of all the support and information it provided. My surgery is scheduled for July 27, at 11:00am.

I suppose I am ready as I'll ever be (although still nervous). I hope the recovery period will go smoothly and the pain will be ok.

I am told I should not need a brace, I just pray these things fuse correctly. Any post op tips or tricks will be appreciated.

Thanks to ALL

Al from Cincinnati


  • I had the same exact surgery 5 weeks ago. I did wear an aspen collar for three weeks, from what I have seen posted different drs. recommend different aproachs after surgery. I needed the bendy straws, a table next to wear I was laying around and my pain pills!! I watched movies after I had surgery, lots of daytime t.v. I told someone at church that I had started watching Divorce Court in the afternoon because nothing else was on, ha ha. Do you have help for after surgery? Are you staying the night or coming home sameday? I went home about 7 hours after.You will feel so much better after the surgery, I did, I am very glad I did it. We all be thinking of you as surgery approachs Best to You! Lela
  • I'm glad to hear that you've got a date for surgery to help you get better.

    I'm always surprised when a surgeon does a two level ACDF and skips a level in between. I guess it's common, just seems strange to me.

    Anyway, I just want to wish you the best. I lived in my recliner after my ACDF and started walking after a few days (an imperative for any spiney). Bendy straws are good, grabbers (one for each floor of the house), soft foods in case you have a sore throat or worse, and pillows. Lots of pillows. If you do have a sore throat and can't eat well, you might want to have some Ensures on hand - they can fill you up to an extent and provide all the vitamins and minerals needed for one meal.

    As always, be sure to follow your restrictions and take care of yourself. Also keep up on your meds so you can stay ahead of the pain. If it gets ahead of you, it's hard to get back under control.

    Don't be surprised if you feel pretty good when you first get home then experience more pain after a few days. That's very normal. I got home and thought it was all a piece of cake, but after two days felt like I'd been hit by a truck.

    It's a long recovery, but I know you'll get through it very well and before you know it, you'll be feeling better and better. And when you do, don't overdo it as we all tend to do - there's still healing to be done and you don't want to risk having the surgery fail.

    Don't hesitate to ask any questions you have in the weeks and days leading up to surgery. We'll be here to help you before and afterwards.

    Take care and please keep us posted.

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  • Al, that's a big step to have things in place and your surgery date set.

    Hope it will help to hear from another C-Spiney and share with you re: my ACDF almost 15 yrs. ago.

    In 1995, I had ACDF at C-3/4, C-5/6, C-6/7 because of three bone spurs encroaching the spinal cord and worsenening neuropathy (pain, numbness and tingling) down arms and into hands. The surgery was done because it had progressed to where my whole left side of my body (face, arm, leg, foot) was having tingling and numbing episodes intermittently for up to 25 min. at a time.

    Fusion was done with bone implant (from bone bank) because my surgeon determined at age 45 yrs of age and severe scoliosis and malformed C-1/2 2/3; he felt there would be more complications for me using hardware to fuse. Also at the time, hardware was failing and not perfected as it is currently.

    My fusion was totally successful in 7-8 months. My neuropathy (whole left side of body) was fully remedied. Numbness and tingling in hands was lessened post-surgery and improved into a year's time. (I had 15 years of radiculopathy prior to surgery).

    My fusion was successful in spite of a mva collision post-surgery 5 months. Muscle spasms re-generated from the mva, but into 10 months post surgery were totally resolved.

    Hope this helps to reassure you to hear from yet another C-Spine survivor/warrior !

    You've gotten some good ones here to support you - - and I will keep you in my heart-thoughts and prayers as you prepare and have your surgery done.

    Take good care, trust you'll find your way through it and with a successful surgery, better stability for your c-spine and good recovery.


  • My surgery date is now Aug 3rd, that gives me more time to worry ;). I go Monday for a stress test that my cardiac doctor wants and the remainder of a physical. Thanks for all of your responses and support. I realize now this is my only and best option.

    Thanks and God Bless

    Al from Cincy
    AL S

  • Sorry that your surgery has had to be postponed.
    That just prolongs things, but try to use the extra time you have for things you enjoy, and to make sure that you are ready at home for the recovery.

    I'll be watching here to hear how things go for you. Hope to hear that you are feeling the benefit very soon after surgery and that you are very glad that you went ahead with it! :D
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  • Hope your surgery goes well, and now that it's been postponed for a week, keep as busy as you can, making sure that you've got everything ready at home.

    Will be looking forward to hearing how your surgery and recovery go.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • As my date rapidly approaches I am feeling more apprehensive. I guess even though I've been given alot of info I still don't really know what to expect and the unknown is always scary. If all goes well I will be facing a lower back surgery as well to help with chronic severe pain from three degnerated discs. Thankks to ALL for your answers and support.

    God Bless
    AL S
  • Hi Al,

    Use these last few days to make sure that your home is ready for when you return and that you have made all the purchases for equipment to help you while you recover.
    Think about what you want to do to pass the time while you are recovering and have those things to hand.

    Then, try to kick back and relax. Have a favourite meal with family or friends.

    The relief you will feel once you are on this side of surgery, knowing that you 'just' have to recover, is wonderful. :D

    Take care, and wishing you a very successful surgery and uncomplicated recovery. :-)
  • Hi all I am home from my surgery. First off they did not use a graf from my hip (thank God). The two and a half hour surgery became a 5 hour surgery. They said my neck was short and thick adding a degree of difficulty. Also the discs and the spinal cord was much worse then they originally thought. I am very uncomfortable and on pain meds so forgive any errors.
    This so far has been tough on me although a nurse practiotionar said people don't even usually need pain meds, well that settles it I'm just a big whimp.

    Thanks for all your prayers and support, it meant alot to me. I will post more later when I'm not so tored and loopy. Feel free to send any questions you may have.
    AL S
  • Howdy Al,

    Welcome to "the other side" my friend! Just follow your doctors instructions and listen to your body, and you should be fine. Rest and heal, the hard part is done. :) *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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