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9 Weeks following C6/7 ACDF. A positive recovery for 51y/o

Hi

Just wanted to submit a short post that may re-assure others.

I had ACDF C6/7 with peek cage on 8th Jan 16 and went home the same day (no collar). Took codeine for 48hrs then occasional Ibuprofen as and when needed. I walked as often as possible starting from day 2 when I only managed a few hundred meters. As my work entails nothing more strenuous than working a PC and telephone I returned to work in 10 days but found I tired easily for the first week or so. I started exercising on a treadmill after 4 weeks and quickly was able to walk 5k without any difficulty at all. The walking actually reduced the pain and slight numbness and pins and needles I was having post op. By week 6, I was feeling 95% recovered and played 18 holes of golf in week 8 and again in week 9 (although I didn't risk using the driver) with no adverse effects at all. Now at week 9 and feeling close to normal. I have excellent movement in neck and virtually no pain, numbness or pins and needles at all. The fine 2 inch scar on my has healed well and is already fading, yes it does feel slightly bruised still but not enough to be a worry.

I was nervous before surgery and found it hard to find some positive posts on ACDF surgery so thought I would try and reassure those waiting surgery that it isn't always a negative experience. I have listened to my body and been careful not to lift or twist during recovery and taken plenty of exercise fro as soon as possible after the procedure which has resulted in a speedy return to being the most pain free I have been for years.

Best wishes

Nigel





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Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    edited 03/16/2016 - 3:19 AM
    hello cloudwind! 
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!

    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello Nigel.....
    It was encouraging of you to share your positive experience!
    I wish you continued good recovery and good health!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • NIgel, I was 12 days behind you with my C6-C7 ACDF on January 20, 2016, and I have had a similarly easy recovery.

    Also no collar (except was told to wear a soft collar while a passenger in a car for the first weeks).  Took no narcotics at all -- just extra-strength tylenol and Ativan for a few days.  Walking by Day 4 and back to a desk job by Day 5. No swallowing problems. Never even aware that I had an incision until I had 24 hours of itching in Week 4, which only lasted a day.

    From one week out, I was easily walking 5 to 6 miles a day and, as you say, the most pain free I have been in years. At 8 weeks, the only way I know I have had surgery is that I still don't have full mobility in my neck or in my left arm/shoulder (the left arm being my trouble arm before surgery). At first, I had a hard time putting my left arm into a jacket or blouse. That's recently gotten better. However I do yoga and before surgery, I was constantly walking around in "reverse Namaste" position (where you whip your arms behind your back, put them in prayer position, and then flip them over and move them as high up your back as you can.  I was walking around like that before surgery because it was one of the few things that helped with the awful nerve pain -- the position must have taken some of the pressure off the nerve. At the moment, I still can't do that position - I just don't have the mobility in the left arm and shoulder.  When that comes back, I will know I am back to normal.

    Anyway, we do seem to be the outliers on this site as far as easy recoveries, unless the people who have great recoveries just don't bother to post. I give all the credit to my surgeon. I was like his 11,000 ACDF. Especially after reading about other people's awful experiences, I am just not confident that things would have gone as swimmingly if I had used a less renowned and less experienced surgeon.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

  • NIgel, I was 12 days behind you with my C6-C7 ACDF on January 20, 2016, and I have had a similarly easy recovery.

    Also no collar (except was told to wear a soft collar while a passenger in a car for the first weeks).  Took no narcotics at all -- just extra-strength tylenol and Ativan for a few days.  Walking by Day 4 and back to a desk job by Day 5. No swallowing problems. Never even aware that I had an incision until I had 24 hours of itching in Week 4, which only lasted a day.

    From one week out, I was easily walking 5 to 6 miles a day and, as you say, the most pain free I have been in years. At 8 weeks, the only way I know I have had surgery is that I still don't have full mobility in my neck or in my left arm/shoulder (the left arm being my trouble arm before surgery). At first, I had a hard time putting my left arm into a jacket or blouse. That's recently gotten better. However I do yoga and before surgery, I was constantly walking around in "reverse Namaste" position (where you whip your arms behind your back, put them in prayer position, and then flip them over and move them as high up your back as you can.  I was walking around like that before surgery because it was one of the few things that helped with the awful nerve pain -- the position must have taken some of the pressure off the nerve. At the moment, I still can't do that position - I just don't have the mobility in the left arm and shoulder.  When that comes back, I will know I am back to normal.

    Anyway, we do seem to be the outliers on this site as far as easy recoveries, unless the people who have great recoveries just don't bother to post. I give all the credit to my surgeon. I was like his 11,000 ACDF. Especially after reading about other people's awful experiences, I am just not confident that things would have gone as swimmingly if I had used a less renowned and less experienced surgeon.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

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