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Neck Surgery Next Week and Anxious

MartinDMMartinD Posts: 18
edited 10/27/2015 - 12:49 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. I had an accident in the sea in July where I got flipped by a large wave and landed on my neck which resulted in a significant disc protrusion at C5/C6. MRI and xrays showed degenerative disc disease at that level which probably meant the disc shot out easier than it should normally have done. Some disease at C6/7 as well.

Im due for a double disc excision and fusion next Tuesday (C5/6 and C6/7) and well, to put it bluntly im crapping myself. Ive had major spine surgery when I was 20 with a laminectomy L5/S1 (im now 45) and that has been reasonably successful. I guess its the fact that its my throat being cut which is causing the anxiety and it if was a knee or something i would be more relaxed about it.

Would appreciate any info from someone who has had the same...how did you feel in first days afterwards and how long did it take to get back on your feet and back to work.

Thanks in advance



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,754
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Martin...I had a 3 level C4-7 adcf on Sept 28. So I am 4 weeks plus out. No hard or soft collar but quite a few lifting/movement restrictions. I was off pain pills and muscle relaxers around 3 weeks out. I also was squeamish about my throat incision but that turned out to be nothing! No pain there at all since surgery. And the scar is almost gone now! My first x-rays are tomorrow. My worse problem is a very sore throat even now but I can eat and drink just fine. My left arm and shoulder ache if I overdo things like walk too much but I think that is normal and will resolve itself with time. I am ready to get back to my life now!! I would say the first 3 weeks were the hardest but then the veil lifted and I began to feel good. Your throat will be swollen a few days or weeks and pills may get stuck for a while but it passes. I will probably see an ENT for my throat pain (already ruled out strep but it feels like that) but I am not the norm with this problem so you should be fine!!! Good luck.
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  • Thanks Lorijo for the reassurance and im glad to hear you are doing well. I know im in going to be in good hands with a really top surgeon so yeah its just the squemish bit that is freaking me out a bit. Can I ask how long you were in hospital?
  • lorijo3llorijo3 Posts: 113
    edited 10/28/2015 - 10:37 AM
    I arrived for surgery at 7 am, surgery started around 8:20 am and I was discharged by 12:30 pm that same day. No collars but restrictions on lifting, bending, overhead reaching and quick movements of my neck. My doc is also the best in my county if not outside the county. Tomorrow I will know more about just how good he is lol after first xrays. I was in such bad shape C4-7 that the doc could not even believe I was having little pain and problems before surgery and was getting around fine. I did do yoga and was pretty active on my off work time but I had a desk job (retired at age 55 last Friday!) that was my downfall. Sitting all day is death, or was to me. Turns out a bone spur had perforated my spinal cord leakage and had to be patched in surgery. Glad I did not wait longer for surgery!!!
  • I'm really feeling a lot more relaxed about this so thank you for taking the time to reply. The guy seeing me has a 4 year waiting list on the public health service but i was fortunate enough to see him privately within a matter of days of the MRI but apparently he is one of the surgeons in the country. He tried medication and rest for six weeks (Lryrica, Arcoxia and paracetamol) which cured the arm pain but my main symptoms were headaches and particularly tension headaches. Since wearing a next brace for last 4 weeks neck pain has returned but headaches eased! I was sent for a second opinion with another neurologist who agreed with the decision to operate.

    I too work at a desk job which is a real killer for the neck even with a properly set up workstation. My physio also tested my core strength due to my previous laminectomy and I'm only at about 40% of what I should be so that is likely to have put strain on the neck over the past 25 years leading to the weakness. So when I get the neck fixed the aim is to improve the core strength.

    Great to hear you are doing well and I wish you good luck and health to enjoy your retirement. Hope the throat clears up soon too!


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  • Had my surgery Tuesday and got home today. Sore, lots of pills but relieved its all over and looking forward to getting stronger day by day.
  • We're you in the hospital for 3 days?? What exactly did they do when they got into your spine? C5-7?? Please keep us posted on your recovery. I truly hope it is an easy recovery and healing for you. How long can you be away from work?
  • MartinD said:
    Had my surgery Tuesday and got home today. Sore, lots of pills but relieved its all over and looking forward to getting stronger day by day.
    I've been reading your post and noticed you mentioned Yoga... I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was having all this neck pain with numbness and tingling down my left are.. I'm a retired Cardiac ICU RN and I did fracture a disc in my back L5S1 about 10 years ago after being shocked by my patient defib device, I finally got ok but the Neck pain wasn't due to any trauma as I knew of except for doing Yoga class 2-3 times a week
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,279
    welcome to spine-health
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  • Yes i went into hospital on Monday and had the operation Tuesday afternoon. I got home Friday morning. I spoke with the surgeon beforehand and he planned to remove and fuse c5/6 but also take a look at c6/7. In the event he also removed c6/7 so i had two done. Feel like ive been hit by a train today and keep falling asleep but i guess thats the pills. Im lucky with work in that i dont have to go back until new year.
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