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Post op ACDF surgery

I read all these depressing horror stories before my surgery which was a big mistake. Fortunately I've kept a positive attitude from the beginning which makes a huge difference. I had my surgery on Monday May 6. Mine was a 3 level ACDF, C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7. All I can say to all the haters and negative people out there is quit scaring all the newbies out there. Y'all make it sound like this is the most dangerous surgery anyone can have. Not by a long shot. I woke up from surgery with NO pain except for a sore throat that gets better every day. I've suffered 2 & 1/2 yrs with the most excruciating pain imagineable. On a scale of 1-10 mine was a 21 & I was not faking it. No pain pills ,occupational therapy worked for me until I went to see a Pain Management Doctor in Austin. That man is a saint, he saw how much pain I was suffering and on the first visit wrote a prescription for Methadone. No I don't do drugs or alcohol! The Methadone brought my pain down from a 21 to 6 on a bad day. I'm 4 days post op and I feel super. In the last 4 yrs I've been through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer twice,cisplatin induced neuropathy and last week I had a bad fall and broke my middle finger and wrist on my right hand. I've had no use of my right arm for over 2 years when another surgeon removed,only after begging and pleading, a neurostimulator for neuropathy. That's a whole other story. I'm here to say that God lead me to this new neurosurgeon and pain management doctor. At this rate I'll be off all the narcotic drugs and be my 'normal' self again in less than 6 months.Sorry this has gone on and on but I wanted to tell you this surgery works. No I am not venting, just trying to come across as a positive experience.
Susan A


  • It is so encouraging to read how well you are doing already after your ACDF.
    I am really pleased that you have found a great surgeon and pain management doctor and how much they have helped you.

    Spine Health is a place where people can come and get support and learn about their condition. This means that people are open about how they are feeling. There are members who have not had the same relief that you have and they have days when they need to have somewhere to go and talk to others who understand. Often in their lives they are putting on a brave face and this is the place they come to vent. Most of us understand this and as we get to know them, realise that they have good and bad days. We are here to support them through this.

    Most of the people who have relief from their surgery get back to their lives once they are recovered. This means that we don't get to hear nearly so many of the positive outcomes and how much they have been helped.

    Those that have more complex spinal problems do have some ongoing difficult days. They need the support from other spine sufferers more than most.

    I agree that having a positive attitude is very helpful when facing spinal surgery.
    Thank you for sharing your encouraging experience to give a balanced picture. :-)

    I hope that you will find this a good place to come while you are recovering to encourage others and perhaps get support yourself. Good luck in your healing. :-)
  • Hi Susan,

    I am also very glad that you have gained a lot of relief post-op. I also have felt better after my surgeries each time........the bad deal with me is that I have degenerative disc and have had issues with bone spurring in the fusion areas that create other problems. I am very happy for you! :-)

    One thing that I would like you to remember is there have been instances with others that haven't enjoyed the same relief that you are experiencing.......those are real-life issues as well and a part of life. It's not necessarily a bad thing that those folks share that with us, either.

    I'm just stating that there are two sides to the coin. It's something that each person should consider as they head into the OR........that anything can happen and we just hope for the best!

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  • Congratulations that your surgery was a success. A few things to keep in mind is that the largest number of people that speak post operatively are those that did not have the same level of success that you are enjoying. Secondly, everyone's situation is different. Speaking from a person standpoint the "post op" pain that I am in after my two neck surgeries is excurciating every day. But my surgery was not conducted to stop my pain it was conducted to keep me from any further spinal cord damage and to keep me from ending up paralyzed. So was my surgery a success? Sure, but the fact that I have pain everyday leads me to be someone that warns against surgery unless it is the only way to save yourself from a turmolutous end (such as my facing permanent paralysis). We each have our own burdens to bear and we each have our own experiences. Each person is equally privelaged to relate their experiences, good or bad.
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