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What position do they put us in for ACDF - OUCH

CinbadCCinbad Posts: 55
edited 04/27/2013 - 11:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My surgery was on Monday, and I actually thiink I am doing fairly well with that.

My No 1 complaint since waking up following the surgery is the killer pain in my left shoulder. It stretchest from my left arm pain up to the top of the left side of my head.

Call to doctor says it is "muscle spasms" due to the position that my left arm was secured in during the surgery. My goodness that hurts something horrible and sometimes I just can't fight back the tears.

What did they do to my arm and shoulder. Wish I had been warned. How long does this pain last?



  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 04/28/2013 - 6:05 PM
    For my ACDF 5.6.7 they placed four folded blankets under my back leaving my shoulders, neck and head with no support.
    My shoulders were about four inches above the table. I tried to lay my head back but it was to uncomfortable to do it..
    This position really opens up the neck area for the surgery but it has to be the source of a lot of pain also.
    My surgeon came in and wasn't really happy that this was already done and made a comment about waiting until patient is out
    They gave me pillows until the anesthesia doc got there and knocked me out.
    Yes they tie or belt your arms down to arm supports that attach to the table.
    They also belt you to the table with belts similar to seat belts so you don't move and so they can tilt the table for the surgeon
    to have better access with out standing bent over you for hours.

    This surgery is one of the easiest spine surgeries to get over and one of the worst if it has to be redone so do not push it. Take it easy and go slow.
    This is not the time to push it. Watch picking up anything. If you extend your arm and pick up a gallon of milk you will feel it through your whole body.
    A few weeks will make a big difference just give it time.

  • I had a posterior surgery but they didn't put me in position until after I was out. Nevertheless I have a bruiser on my hip from where I was resting on the supports and passion in my right shoulders from how they were held. I am assuming that once I am able to move more and work the muscles more the pains from that should go away.
    Microlaminectomy and discectomy at C7-T1 on April 26th.
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  • I was warned and know it's coming. My experience was after my open heart surgery where they open you up
    like a piece of chicken and in the ICU I was freaking cause I could not feel or use my arms from being pried open
    and held down. It took a day to get use back and the pain lasted a few weeks.
    Jan 2007 Aortic and Pulmanary Valves replaced
    ACDF C4-C7 May 24 2013
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/02/2013 - 3:31 AM
    I feel for you. I was in a ER trama room and watched them crack a chest open for a stabbing victim.
    That must be hell to get over and would guess its way worse then any of the five spine surgeries I have been through.
    A neighbor of mine just had a heart transplant and was sent home in a week with no pain meds at all but doing OK.

    I can't compare it to chicken but it sure looked like a shark with a large gill pulled open..
  • I didn't find out until after the fact that they put you in the position that Rickilalas stated above. My chest and middle back were killing me and I have bruises on my shoulders and legs. The pain from this seems worse than the actual neck incision I have! It might have something to do with having fibromyalgia, but wow - my body isn't meant to do that at 50! Maybe not even at 25 - lol Other than that I'm doing well and not having as many problems I'm reading from other ppl in regards to sleeping. I'm using my regular pillows and in my own bed. I just make sure my neck and head are supported. It's been 4 days and I'm already starting to sleep on my stomach with care. I guess if it hurts, don't do it. And I'm cutting down on the pain meds but last night went 12 hrs and woke up realizing that may have been a lil too long;)
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