Hi all, I've been reading everything here before my April 6th surgery I figure I share my experience to everyone.
A little background first, I am 52, because of some neck and shoulder pain, I found out I had a reverse neck curve (Cervical Kyphosis?) over 20 years ago and at that time a chiropractor did a few things and it seems to help and I forgot about it, then about 10 years ago, there is numbness on my left thumb, index and middle fingers, another x-ray was done... first word out of the doctor's mouth was " well, that neck will never get straighten out, you will have issue later in life" I did some PT and exercise, Relafen was prescribed to me, took it for a few months, symptoms went away.
The past couple of years, I notice when I look up or stand very straight (head, shoulder and back touching the wall) , my right arm started to have tingling sensation... but I didn't do anything to it because I can manage not looking up for a extended amount of time.
Fast forward to New Year 2015, I suddenly lost most of the strength of my bicep and shoulder (deltoid) muscle, my grip is good. My primary care doctor refer me to a physiatrist, he did an xray, as soon as he saw the X-ray he had me to do an MRI within 30 minutes. it shows my C5, C6 is in pretty bad shape. Saw a neurosurgeon in pretty short time and decided to do a ACDF, the whole thing was moving pretty quick at that time. One thing I want to tell everyone is I never experience any pain during this ordeal, I just have muscle weakness (I couldn't hold a cup straight out)
Operation was 3 weeks ago, the first day was a little rough, sore throat and didn't eat much at all, had some apple sauce that night ( it was REALLY GOOD), sore throat still there the next day but I was able to eat scrambled eggs and other soft stuff. I never have problem with meds so I didn't get any bad reaction with all that stuff they pumped into my body. lunch was Mac and cheese, pain was there but manageable with meds, by the 4th day my incision was dry and I basically starting to eat pretty normal (no steaks but you know what I mean). Like most people, the muscle pain from the neck brace is worse than anything, and the first week or two, eating is a very exhausting activity.
One week out everything is almost back to normal, no new pain, left arm feels a little ache in the morning, eating normal, bathroom and shower all good, I get tired pretty easy and take naps here and there. My weakness is still there but like the Dr. office said, if it doesn't come back right after surgery it will take a while to come back "IF" it comes back (60% chance to get better is the statistic according to them)
My three weeks Post Op went well, X-Ray looks good, no screw loose lol, there is an area (1"x2") in my back is numb but I think it's getting better slowly. I am still sleeping on my recliner and I have to wear the neck brace for 3 more weeks (Miami J) , most days I don't even feel I had an major surgery three weeks ago. Another Post Op appointment is scheduled three weeks later, they might start PT to get my strength back at the time and I probably will go back to work as soon as they clear me to drive.
Overall it's a positive experience for me. I feel very blessed compare to a lot of people in this forum who are suffering with pain everyday. I will keep everyone posted with my recovery.
Thanks for reading, best wishes to anyone who is dealing with spine issues, feel free to ask any questions!