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ACDF. C5-7 Post op. 10 days. And I have questions

Hello Everyone,   I am new to this forum and would like to first wish everyone a speedy recover to their ailments.   I suffered for about five years with right arm weakness, numbness, and pain before I couldn't take it anymore and finally had a two level fusion about 10 days ago.   I went to the Hospital for Special,Surgery in NYC and had a top flight ,highly renowned surgeon , performs my surgery.   The doctor told my wife the surgery went well and I was expecting the fair amount of pain I received when I attempted to swallow.   I stayed two nights in the hospital when I was told I would only require one night.  The drain in my neck was never taken out the next day so they kept me.  I couldn't swallow anything for the first two days so was unable to take pain meds.  I was prescribed steroids to reduce the swellling and eventually was able to swallow fluids and pain meds.   I still can't freely swallow solid foods without a drink of water, so I am assuming that I am still swollen in there.  When did everyone here start eating food without the aid of fluids.  I would have thought that the swelling should have completely subsided by now.  I don't see anyone until six weeks after my surgery from my doctors practice and that is a PA.  I won't see my doctor until the 8 week mark.   This never sounded right to me from the beginning.   I will give them a call tomorrow because I have a few questions.   I have learned more from this forum in the past few days then I have anywhere else.   Thanks All and be well


  • georgejonesggeorgejones Santa Rosa Beach, FlPosts: 24
    I will have this same surgery on Jan 5 and from what I have read on this forum everybody has trouble swallowing solid food for a while. What type of spacer did your surgeon use and why? It seems unusual to not see the dr for 8 weeks. I will have a check up at 4 weeks and again at 12 and if everything goes well I will be released at that point. Please keep reporting your progress.
  • Hi! I am 3 weeks post op today (same surgery). The first week I could barely swallow fluids, and actually had to move my head forward in order for it to go down. I was able to take a very small pain pill that was all. I am thin, and I lost 5 lbs. in the first week which I didn't need to do.
    I think it was exactly the 7th day when i started to be able to swallow better and could keep down some soup, but it took forever to eat it. After that it seemed to get much better quickly. I also had started icing my neck near the incision more and I think that helped.
    As far as not seeing your surgeon for 8 weeks, that doesn't sound right to me. I saw mine at 2 1/2 weeks and I thought that wasn't right.
    Hang in there......... I definitely feel for you!
    Trying to stay positive
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  • amarinoaamarino New yorkPosts: 7
    Thanks your the info.  Not sure about spacers,  I know I have a titanium cage and My doctor took bone from my side to make a bone growth mixture.   I feel that I don't know what I should be doing though post op.  Such as ,  icing, moving my neck, walking.  
  • amarino,
    I didn't see my surgeon until 7 weeks - but my discharge forms did tell me to make an appt to see my GP (PCP) at two weeks to get the incision checked. I think I ate soup for a few weeks after surgery (fusion c5/6). It sounds like maybe you were worse to start off with though. It's a slow process, but if you are worried it is best to check with your surgeon - especially if you aren't sure what to do/not do.  I was told by the hospital physio to start slow with the walking after the first few days/week. So like just go to the mail box to start, then slowly increase. Not to pick up anything heavy like a casserole dish. And to slowly get back to normal. I had a soft collar for 5 weeks. Good luck!! 
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