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acdf Surgery in one week

CyndiCCyndi Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am in a panic.. surgery is one week away, have no idea what to expect when I wake from surgery, I really don't have any pain now, it comes and goes.. c45 c56.. Dr said I have a compression to the spinal cord.. and also degenerated disc with a bone spur, I can't believe I am having this type of surgery.. its a big deal to me, I am scared of EVERYTHING.. any advice would be wonderful, I have had to much time on my hands to think about this over and over again, I have all the what "if's", gosh is this normal?
Cyndi~
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1

Comments

  • HI Cyndi,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many member whom have gone through ACDF. AS far as surgery goes it is normal to be nervous about surgery. Spine surgery is major surgery, but the good thing is most members with ACDF wake up from surgery with all the pain gone, or I should say the symptoms and just have surgical pain. There is a animated video here on spine-health of a ACDF that you might want to look at. Also read the post op thread in the top of the surgery forum, that will give you a good idea of what your needs will be post surgery. I myself have been through the surgery but have had multiple levels done. Am I happy I had the surgery, you betcha. If you have a cord compression you don't really want to mess around with that, as it can cause long term effects.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. If i can be of any other assistance don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and good luck with surgery.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    First of all good luck with your surgery. I have had 5 surgeries on my neck and I can tell you after each one the pain I had going in, upon waking the pain was gone. Of course you have post-op pain but it will be well controlled at the hospital. The one thing I found I could not live without during recovery is straws. Without them you will dribble all over yourself while drinking. Make sure you have a good pillow that will prop you up, in case you cant get comfortable laying flat. Remember to WALK. This speeds recovery and keeps all the muscles from tightening up. Within 5 hours of all my surgeries I was walking around the hospital. Trust me it helps. Let us know when surgery is done and how your recovery is going. Once again good luck
    Susan
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  • Hi everyone - I have finally joined this forum after reading posts for a few weeks...I am haviing a titanium plate put in to fix my herniated disc at C-6/C-7..very nervous about this and still questioning if this is the way to go.

    I am 36 years old and the pain I have does vary day to day. I take Lyrica once a day - sometimes 2 - I am supposed to take 2 a day but don't like how it feels.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has had the same kind of surgery and how they are now. I appreciate the help. Thank you! jen
  • It is very understandable to be concerned about surgery. I was questioning the surgeons (had three over a period of two years) who said I needed surgery as I didn't want to be cut on, especially my neck. Eventually I started loosing significant strength in my left arm and had the surgery. Due to my stuborness I have permanent nerve damage and pain in my back and left arm that masked other issues.
    Since my neck surgery I have had 5 knee surgeries including a partial knee replacement. There is always pain associated with surgery, don't be afraid to tell the team at the hospital you are hurting. They should be able to relieve your pain. I'll send a prayer your way for a good outcome.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I understand your trepidations...I truly do...I think I could have lived another year with my pain...but, I went for it. I have good days and okay days...par for the course. Wishing you a great surgery...we shall see you on the other side. Your going to wakeywakey feeling pretty darn good. Give us an update when your feeling up to it!
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  • Hello all... going under the knife tomorrow AM around 10:00... been reading a lot of posts on here... hopefully I'll be another success post.. TBD when I'm able to get on and post.. TY all for all the great tips for sleeping, exercise etc :)

    Kim
  • Hi Cyndi!

    Wow, ditto your post! I too am having c4-5 and c5-6 discectomy and fusion next week. My surgery is 4/27/11. And yes, I have been thinking a lot of the what if's even though everyone I have talked to that has had a similar procedure has had a great outcome. I can't help but wonder if I'll be the exception.

    I also do not really have much in the way of pain. My neck and shoulders ache a little, but that is pretty much all. I get numbness in my fingers at night. My neck will hurt if I am in an uncomfortable chair (like at the movie theater or on airplanes). So I bring pillows or put a rolled up jacket behind my back so that my neck doesn't twist forward. But I don't really consider myself as being in "pain" like everyone else that I have heard about.

    So my concern is what if I end up in pain after the surgery and end up with other problems? If I don't have pain now and end up with pain later as well as my other discs being stressed, potentially having to do this again later, am I really doing the right thing?

    Well every surgeon or doctor who has seen my MRI's has said that they cannot believe I don't have more symptoms. And my neurosurgeon says I absolutely need to get this done within the next few months or I will risk paralysis. My MRI scans show the spinal compression at the two herniated discs at about 4mm. He said they get concerned if the compression goes below 10mm! So it is pretty serious. But it is still scary to have such a major procedure done when I feel like I am in perfect health now! Sometimes I wonder if I am looking at someone else's MRI scans. But I had the scan done twice and they look the same so there is probably not a chance of that.

    I am also wondering what to expect when I wake up after surgery. Will I be in a lot of pain? What kind of pain? I am getting the bone graft from my own hip, which I have heard is much more painful than the neck and the pain could last a year? They said they would probably use a bone filler, which has been known to reduce the pain down to a couple of weeks. So I really hope that is the case.

    They have told me that the recovery time is 4-6 weeks. But I will be at 90% capacity after the first 2 weeks and can probably work part time from home (I work at a computer) if I am in a chair with a well supported back. A friend of mine who also had the same procedure said that he only had to take his Vicodin pain meds once after surgery and he was not in much pain. So it sounds like the recovery will be easy - at least it was for him. But then I see other posts where people are out of work for several months! So I'm really confused as to what to expect in my recovery.

    I was also told that I most likely will not need physical therapy. Only 1 out of 10 people need it. And my friend said that he did not feel like he got much benefit from his PT. Is the PT just neck strenthening? Why is it necessary? Is it necessary?

    I go in for my pre-op in a couple of days, so I can ask any questions then. Does anyone recommend any other questions to ask?

    Good luck to you in your surgery Cyndi. Everyone that I have talked to about this has had a great outcome, so I'm sure yours will be fine. I would like to hear about how it goes whenever you are able.

    Thanks for the other posts here too! I thought about getting straws and then thought I was being silly. But now I will definitely stock up on straws! I have a reclining chair too, so hopefully that will work instead of the pile of pillows. It reclines pretty far.

    Please post any other good advice!

    Thanks,
    Ceeny
  • Hi Cyndi,
    I went through a 2 level acdf last September and I can relate to your fears. I started reading everything I could find on the surgery, some of which compounded my fears. I did find that many of the posts that i read on this site were very helpful in understanding what to expect. I was in and out of the hospital in less than 24 hours. The post surgery pain was minimal. The most difficult aspect of the surgery, in my opinion, was the trouble I had swallowing food for a 2 month period post surgery The other hard part is sleeping. Some people suggest a nice recliner. I chose an abundant amount of pillows to keep me in a sitting up position. The happiest day was when the surgeon told me I no long had to wear the Miami J collar. If you get one of these collars be sure to get several replacement pads, as they need to be changed or cleaned regularly.


    Best of luck to you with your surgery.


    Dave

  • I had ACDF w/ Instrumentation of C-4 thru C-7 in 2006. I will be having a posterior laminectomy on May 19th for C-3 thru C-7 Unfortunately, the last level didn't completely heal the first time.
    I really don't remember too much after the surgery because they give you a morphine pump which I rarely used. The nurses kept coming back and telling me I could use it. You may still have a catheter in you for a day until they get you up moving. I was in for 3 days
    I also had bone graft and the hip pain was worse than the neck pain. After 4 years, I never fully regained feeling in my upper thigh and still have deep muscle pain to this day.
    Overall, my recovery went well! I had to keep a J collar on for 6 weeks. I wasn't allowed to return to work for 3 months and after that no problems and no pain!
    I wish you all the luck and you will be fine! I will keep you in my prayers.
  • I had ACDF w/ Instrumentation of C-4 thru C-7 in 2006. I will be having a posterior laminectomy on May 19th for C-3 thru C-7 Unfortunately, the last level didn't completely heal the first time.
    I really don't remember too much after the surgery because they give you a morphine pump which I rarely used. The nurses kept coming back and telling me I could use it. You may still have a catheter in you for a day until they get you up moving. I was in for 3 days
    I also had bone graft and the hip pain was worse than the neck pain. After 4 years, I never fully regained feeling in my upper thigh and still have deep muscle pain to this day.
    Overall, my recovery went well! I had to keep a J collar on for 6 weeks. I wasn't allowed to return to work for 3 months and after that no problems and no pain!
    I wish you all the luck and you will be fine! I will keep you in my prayers.
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