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Update - 2 1/2 weeks post-op from 2 level ACDF

paganredhead23ppaganredhead23 Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi All:

I had my 2 level ACDF on (C5/6 and C6/7) on 8/26. I stayed in the hospital overnight and was released the next afternoon. The doctor said things were much worse than the MRI showed and that I must have been in pain a long time. Apparently my spinal cord was really compressed by the disks and did not "bounce back" after the disks were removed. He said it should eventually return to normal.

I had my usual bad reaction to anesthesia and spent a good part of the second day throwing up. I was released with a hard (philadelphia) collar and tramadol and flexeril. The pain was not as bad as expected. The tingling in my hands is mostly gone but the tingling in my feet is still thereI stopped taking the painkillers and flexeril last week as they were not really doing anything for what pain I had and I think it was making it difficult to sleep.

The worst of this has been wearing the hard collar and sleeping. I spent the first two weeks sleeping on either the couch propped upright or on my recliner. I slept in my bed for the first time on Sunday on wedge pillow with additional pillows. Thankfully the doctor released me from the hard collar last week into a soft collar. THe first few days in the soft collar were rough (increased pain, nausea, etc.) I think it was likely due to the increased movement that the soft collar allowed.

I am using a bone growth stimulator everyday for 30 minutes which the doctor said will be for the next 3 to 6 months.

I am hoping to go back to work this week part-time and unfortunately do not anticipate driving again until after my 6 week follow-up.

It certainly has not been as bad as I thought. It is just frustrating because I want to get back to my life.


  • Paganredhead,

    It sounds like you are coming along pretty much as they say "text book." The key to remember is "Patience is a Virtue", and give your body the activity adjustments, food, rest and *patience* to heal to the max. :)

    You really don't want to mess things up and end up with more surgery to fix it, or more on top of it. You're coming along great!!! Please keep us posted on how it goes. *HUGZ*

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

  • I was wondering what your symptoms were before surgery?

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  • Hi:

    Just by way of background:

    Although it is unclear what caused these disks to herniate, it likely began when I was hit by a car as a pedestrian 15 years ago. Subsequently, I was a passenger in two rear end accidents. Three years ago someone hit me on the drivers side and I had to have shoulder surgery on the left shoulder.

    For the past 10+ years I have had issues with neck pain, shoulder pain (primarily on the right) and tingling and pain (primarily) right forearm and hand. I get migraines that likely stem from the issues in my neck. The past couple of years I have begun to have issues on the left as well, mostly tingling. Within the past year or so I have had tingling in my feet and lower calves. I thought this was an unrelated issue but the doctor and my step-mom who is a physical therapist think this is actually coming from the neck.

    Since the surgery the tingling in my hands seems better, feet not so much.
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