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.