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Anterior Cervical Fusion at C6-7 w/ACDR at C5-6

SGoodySSGoody Posts: 90
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all...I am new here so bear with me please...I am a 33 year old female who is very active...hiking...jetskiing...
snowboarding...quading...you all get the picture...I was injured at work...I am a nurse at our local hospital...I did conservative therapy..PT/Steroid Injections/Med Therapy...with no success...all this done in a 13 month period...during this time period my symptoms significantly increased and L arm strength significantly decreased ...I am scheduled for surgery on Monday by our Local Spine Specialist who has an outstanding reputation...I have actually worked with him before...so my question I guess is since I'm on the other side of this situation...ie the patient this time...what should I expect during my 3 day hospital stay and post op at home...the only other surgery's I've had is a C-Section and Tubal Ligation...nothing compared to this...just worried and concerned and could use some words of wisdom from regular folks and not my medical team:)


  • First let me say welcome to spine-heath. Have a look around and you will find many here whom have cervical spine issues/surgery including myself. There is a thread at the top of this page that goes over post-op needs. Some will apply and some won't. I am impressed with the link of stay you have following surgery. Most patients are a 23 hour hold, so your on the plus side already.

    AS far as recovery goes you will find when you wake that your throat will feel as if you have strep throat, which is normal. So be sure to take throat lozenges with you to the hospital. Many members have said waking from surgery all their pre-op symptoms were gone and were just left with surgical pain. About the best thing I can tell you is post op to walk and and when you think you have walked enough walk some more. There is a walking program called 10,000 steps you can google and get the tracking on it. Be sure not to lean over but rather bend at the knees. I am sure you will have a 10lb weight restriction so you might want to see what you do in a day and make plans around that.

    One thing also is to contact your surgeons office and ask ahead of time how to contact them should you need anything. We can answer some questions but there is also those problems that just need to be answered by your doctor. Also before I left for the hospital I had everything setup so when I returned could just lay down.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Take care and keep us posted on how surgery goes.
  • Thank you very much for the information...I am on so many restrictions as it is...my husband and daughter do all the household chores...I basically can't do much...my neck to my fingertips on the L side just hurt so much and give me so many other symptoms...a trip to the store is hard on me...I have to change positions often and I get frequent spasms along with the chronic pain...so they are use to handling mostly everything so that is taken care of for my post op needs:) Good idea on the lozenges...I will add them to my bag...I have all numbers I need to get in contact with everyone who has been on my medical team..so I believe I'm covered there...if there is anything else anyone can tell me...thanks!!!!
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  • Did anyone have to wear a hard or soft collar afterward and if so for how long...I was doing alot of reading and most articles/forums said it depended on the MD...
    Thanks Again...
  • Every NS or OSS is different. I have heard anywhere from a hard collar for 3 months to no collar at all. My OSS jsut wanted a soft collar for 3 weeks then nothing. I was nervous and asked for a hard collar. He said that if it made me feel better he would order one. I ended up wearing it for 2 days and then just used it in the shower as it was a pink hard foam. Otherwise I used a soft collar for 3 weeks full time, then started decreasing usage. I still sleep with the collar. Just have faith in your surgeon and always ask questions. Keep a journal of questions and answers, symptoms what caused them and what helped, hindered or did nothing to help. Stay informed and never be afraid to question th doctor. You only have one neck so take care of it. :)

    ************************************************ **
    12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
    BMP & bone fragment filled cages
    2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
    2/17/2011 starting PT
    wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
    DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
    3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
    4/9/2011 ROM much better, still achy and stiff in the am
    49 year old teacher
    dealt with pain for more than 5 years before finally having surgery.
    tried PT, cervical epidurals, selective nerve root blocks and acupuncture
    4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit
  • Thank you all for you info it was very handy when going in for my last few questions before surgery...
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  • I just had the anterior fusion C5-7 last week, and it is amazing to me that there is virtually no pain after. The swallowing that everyone talks about is true, but not unbearable. I think the pain that I have been enduring for the last year is far worse than any minor post op discomforts. I went home the next day, and find that my hardest part of recovery is not having anything to do. Since I have complained about having pain for a year now, I have pretty much burned out any friends that I have. They are tired of hearing it. I had posterior surgery in Feb, and everyone rallied with well wishes and visits. Problem is it didn't fix the problem, so I had to go through the whole process of PT and epidurals again. Finally the surgery, minimal well wishes, I think everyone thinks I'm making this up. This week, I do have tingling and numbness on and off, I don't know if it is normal due to swelling, or if I should be concerned. I hate this disease, but not afraid of the surgery, I bounced right up after both of them. It's the recovery of "doing nothing" that is killing me. I don't think I'm supposed to type this much, but it is very lonely here. SGoody, I hope you have a good support system.
  • First I will say I am 8 wks post op on Monday and feel GREAT...my xrays are "excellent" according to my Surgeon...he says I am half way through my "home recovery" next appt last wk in July unless I need him and I will probably start PT then...

    Surgery went fine...2 hrs longer...they had a hard time getting the bone in between C6-7...so my neck was pretty sore...but nothing compared to the arm...WHICH was damn good!!!!! 8 wks out I have 4/10 pain in the arm...3 burning spots in the joints...and minimal spasms...so things are waaay better....

    I do have a good support system...I am lucky ALL my friends are nurses like me or work at the hospital with me...so we're use to hearing people complain:) It's our job!!! I haven't worked since March 09 so I haven't heard to much complaining but my own...unless you include my 10 yr old daughter...LOL...

    My husband has worked from home since I became a nurse...or there shortly after...so someone is always home for our daughter...so when I got hurt he was already home...not to say sometimes he doesn't need to get away and golf or snowboard(when the parks were open)!!! He too needs a break from my complaining...not so much now after the surgery...

    I'm sorry to hear you are having support system trouble...I would like to say that even though you may not feel like this now...those people may not have been very good friends....

    Isn't that what friends are for...to be there for one another...but women are different from men FOR THE MOST PART(no one get offended please)...men don't like to take on other mens problems...think with their minds...where as woman think more with their hearts and don't mind taking on a friends problem with her....

    Women are more likely to be ok with just chatting...not doing much of anything with you...where as men are more likely to want to get out and "play" and I doubt you can join in the play yet...as you are not ready just yet for "play"...in time I believe things will get better for you...and I don't think you are faking at all....and I don't think anyone else here will either!!!!

    I hope things get better for you...just know there are alot of people on this site and they know what your going through....
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