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Newbie: Tips for ACDF surgery Recovery

I am having a four level ACDF surgery with plate in about a week. (c3-c7) I have not been able to exercise for 3-4 months due to stiffness, pain and spasms. I am currently doing light stretching, 2-3 short walks a day. What is best way to slowly get back in shape? 


  • Hello Cathy,

    I had two level acdf three months ago.  I do not know your symptoms or the necessity of your  surgical decision.  I will say this, please exercise all options before surgery.  I am no better and in some ways worse than before surgery.  I had to go back to pain management for steroid dose pack to help with swelling and pain.  I am still taking pain and muscle relaxers.  The best way to exercise is to walk.  It is low impact on your body.  It is great for your health.  Let me know how you are doing. 


  • be careful with the stretching too much and overdoing it as you can damage nerves.  Also my suggestion is to TAKE IT EASY after the surgery for at least 2 months.  Listen to your body and dont go to any old PT find one that knows about fusion recovery.  I have all the discs you are getting fused already done in 2 different operations and I can tell you that many symptoms went away but are replaced with some discomfort and fear of hurting myself again and requiring another surgery.  REad my posts as I talk about cautions and other stuff that you might find helpful.  Best of luck to you friend.
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello cathychamberlain!
    The best way for getting back into shape....follow your doctor's orders to a T !
    Doctor will,guide you with any limitations or restrictions he has for you and for how long.
    You may want to ask doctor if he will be ordering any physical therapy for you.

    Please take the very necessary time for recovery.
    It may be helpful for you to read....Recovery the Most Important Phase....can find by using search, upper right on large.
    You may also benefit by reading, ...Post op Must Haves....again by using search.

    Search is extremely helpful tool for any of your concerns.
    We also have a medical side with articles and videos. Very informative!

    I wish you the very best with your upcoming surgery! Please keep us posted!

    Please click on link for helpful information
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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