I'm a 38 year old woman and have read a lot of stories on this forum and promised myself if I had the surgery I would come on here and update for those who were curious. Prior to surgery I could not lift my left arm past zombie height and I had pins and needles, tingling, pinching and some pain radiating down the left side to the shoulder and down the left arm to the elbow and frequent headaches. Not a lot of pain, mostly weird sensations and loss of motion. An MRI confirmed a severely herniated disc pressing on the spinal cord. After two bouts of PT, including the McKenzie method, I was told surgery was my only option and it was a 50-50 chance of getting arm motion back (I had waited too long because the symptoms started 3 days after I brought home my baby).
I had the Bryan disc replacement at C5-C6 yesterday (Friday, 1/15/16) morning at 7:30. Surgery took about 3 hours. Recovery room was about 2 hours but honestly it was that long because I had to wait for someone to take me to my hospital room. I was mostly lucid and feeling pretty good out of surgery, very tired, and sore, but okay. The bandage on my neck was the most annoying (and still is) because it's tight with the tape. Pain was minimal, all pinching, tingling, etc. is gone. I do not have the use of the left arm any more than I did before but I was told that may take time if I get it back. I spend the day and overnight in the hospital and came home this morning. No brace or collar needed, just help to the bathroom from the nurse. They checked my vitals and gave me an IV with some meds while I was there - antibiotics mostly.
I am currently only on one Norco for pain relief every 4 hours. I could take more but I am nursing and doing okay on one. I am sore, but not in excruciating pain. I start a steroid burst pack tomorrow morning.
I wanted anyone to know who was considering this surgery that it wasn't that bad for me at all. I'm healthy, not a smoker or drinker and no other health issues and came through the surgery great. I just wolfed down a bagel if that tells you anything about what I can eat
I hope this helps someone!