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I am 7 days post op from having a ACDF from c3-5. I still feel very tired like I was hit by a truck or something. My bladder, due to the heavy meds shut down. I had to be catheterized and was in the hospital for 4 days. Fortunately that problem is solved. I am having difficulty swallowing without the food getting stuck in my throat even if the food is soft. My throat also feels cloggy. Is this normal? It is very difficult to lift my head up from a laying down position and from side to side without a good amount of pain and weakness. I am a very active person and consider myself in good shape. I am a restoration artist which requires the position of my neck to always be somewhat leaning forward. The doc before surgery said I should be able to assume my daily activities even work in two weeks. At this point I don't even feel close. Looking for some advice as to what to expect .


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I went back to work at 5 weeks and am still uncomfortable on the right side. The pain swallowing lasted about a week but the difficultly swallowing lasted about 4 weeks for me. I must say that after having lumbar fusion I was expecting this to be easier. I do feel a little better each day and am hoping for a full recovery. Don't rush going back to work. Take your time to heal. Your swallowing should get better!! It is normal to feel exhausted after major surgery. Try to take your walks, they do help. Good luck!
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
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  • I am a week postop, had ACDF C5 with hip bone graph. I too have had difficulty swallowing. The muscle in the back of my throat hurts and thru both shoulders. I've been drinking protein shakes, low fat choc milk, sugar free pudding, whatever I can deal with. Lots of small meals rather than a couple big ones. No bladder issues but do have difficultly lifting up in the morning due to sleeping 6+ hours thru the night. Stiffness and no meds make a huge difference but once I'm up moving around it gets better. They say we shouldn't lie down for longer than a half hour with the exception of sleep. I nap in my recliner, seems to help. Not sure how you will work in 2 weeks, I've been told I can't even drive for two months with my 24/7 neck brace. Seems like (feels like) you need more than 2 weeks for recovery. What type of work do you do?
  • Oh and I've been advised not to do any housework, lifting over 5 lbs, twisting bending squating for the first two months prior to PT.
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