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Difficulty Sleeping in a bed after ACDF post op day 10

Jspiney12JJspiney12 Posts: 2
edited 03/27/2015 - 3:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All,
I am new to this site, but spent a lot of time reading some of your blogs to prepare myself for my surgery. I underwent ACDF at C5-C6 10 days ago and I'm still dealing with a significant amount of pain. More than I had expected at this point. One of my biggest problems is my inability to sleep in a bed. I tried the first night home from surgery and had a horrible night. Luckily, I am recovering with family and they have a wonderfully comfortable recliner that I have been sleeping in nightly. Last night I tried at 10 days post op to sleep in the bed again and endured a world of pain. I would like to be able to go home, but I can't because I am unable to sleep anywhere, but this chair. Did anyone else have this kind of problem after surgery? It doesn't seem to be something I have heard other people mention.

You are so new after surgery , you need to give it some time before you will become more comfortable. Any spinal surgery takes time. There are many threads here that talk about the recovery period after an ACDF, the pain, physical therapy, sleep problems, etc. There is a very recent thread that talks specifically about sleeping after an ACDF. Use the search feature to find threads talking about this

Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator


  • Thank you!. When I put it specifically in the search section I found what you were talking about it. I'm glad to know this is not an uncommon problem. Thanks again!
  • I didn't sleep in bed until maybe 6 weeks. I tried at 4, didn't go well, so tried again in a couple of weeks. Especially because I am a side sleeper. We don't have a great recliner, but I mounded the pillows around me!

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

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  • We just bought a recliner, coming tomorrow. In the mean time I have deal with the bed and lots of pillows. I'm am about 11 day post op myself. Good luck.
  • I had fusion at C5/C6 also. I tried so many ways to sleep in bed and it didn't happen until well after my neck brace was off. Sucks doesn't it? I slept in my recliner during that time. Or what I attempted to do towards sleep....
    Tracie C
  • mhugsmmhugs Posts: 72
    edited 03/30/2015 - 8:41 PM
    We have a recliner couch which has become my "bed". I'm 20 days out and I have played musical beds.
    Had PT today and he said that is normal. When I has 3-4-5 done a couple of years ago I had to hae the har collar on for 6 weeks, and took full dose of pain meds so I could sleep some. This time I was out of hard collar at two weeks when I'm sitting.
    I still wear it at night because I move in my sleep and have balance issues when I get up.
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  • As soon as I came home from the hospital after a C5-C7 ACDF surgery, I tried laying on my bed with several pillows propped. I felt so much pain immediately! So, I laid flat on my back instead. I literally rolled into that position. I still felt pain but it was not as bad. However, by the third day, my right arm and back, between shoulder blades, was hurting. It was unbearable by the fourth day. I stayed awake most of the night reading my post-op and hospital discharge papers which recommended a neck pillow or a rolled up towel for support. I tried that to no avail. I tried sleeping in my recliner, but that did not work for me either (mine is the type you have to push back to recline). I stumbled upon this website where several stated the use of a wedge pillow. My husband went out and bought me one the next day. Since then, I have had two full nights of wonderful sleep. I still have slight pain in my right arm, but it is tolerable now.
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