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Question about ACDF surgery

 I been dealing with really bad shoulder,neck and arm pain for a few yrs. It was manageable til just recently the pain isn't letting up and having difficulty walking. The last MRI I had almost 8yrs ago showed mild cervical spinal stenosis and the most recent one last month shows it's much more advanced . I am set up to meet with a spine doctor in Aug - If they choose to go surgery route being this is advanced on my c4, c5, c6 I am concerned about afterwards will I be able to take care of myself on my own or will I need outside help? Thanks =)


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello Seahawks12 !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    It sounds very good you are going to see a spine specialist!
    My guess is you will have a more updated MRI, since eight years ago is quite awhile.

    Your worry about surgery may be premature. Your pain may respond to more conservative treatments.
    But if you are to have surgery, yes, we have information to help guide and make the recovery more smooth.

    Using the search on this site, you can look up. Post op Must Haves. And another is ...Recovery the Most Important Phase. That's for starters!

    Please let us know how you are feeling. Seems awhile to wait till August for appointment.
    You may be interested in reading FAQs, under Medical Information, and there is information of how to prepare for doctor's visit, etc....
    The more I would read, the more questions I would have to jot down and bring with me to doctor appointment.
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • I live alone and with a few lifestyle modifications, I was able to take care of myself just fine after ACDF. I did stay overnight at the surgery center and then spent three additional nights at a recovery center. The three additional nights were perhaps not strictly needed, but were a nice transition to coming home. If you live alone and can't go to a recovery center, you might want to hire an aid for two or three days.

    You will not be able to drive immediately after ACDF - I actually didn't drive for 5 1/2 months, which is an unduly long period, since most people are driving by 6 weeks, but that is what it took for me to feel comfortable. Luckily, I live in the middle of a big city and could walk most places or take Uber. I was also able to get groceries delivered, which may not be possible in more remote places. Those were my two major lifestyle modifications.

    If you do have ACDF, a grabber will be necessary as it will take a few weeks before you are comfortable bending. And slip on shoes for the first week or so, unless you will have someone to help tie your shoes.
    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

  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510


    I can say that having some around to assist can help, but isn't strictly necessary.  I do understand your concern, anyone who lives in Brown's Town and goes be the alias Seahawks must not have any friends :)

    But seriously, if you have a friend who can check on you once in awhile you should be ok.

    Go Cavs!


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • HI sorry I haven't wrote back been in a great deal of pain :( Few more days I will see the spine doctor. What I am concerned about is the spasms I am getting in my lower back and my legs.  It's keeping me up at night . Then today my knee was locking up pretty bad on my good leg (right) I wonder if that is from me compensating my weak left leg to my right.  Advil/heat/ice etc is not helping  
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  • Can cervical stenosis cause spasms? 
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