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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

[QUOTE=maw maw]I am having a ACDF on C5,C6,C7 on Sept 29. Doctor told me that i would have 6 screws and metal plate. they told me to take the pain meds even if i thought i did not need them. Said i would be in a collar. I was told i would be out of work for a couple of weeks. But i can't drive for 6 weeks. Then how do they expect me to get to work and that i could work while wearing the collar. I am wondering what kind of pain i will be having. What is the recovery time for this[/QUOTE]

Hi Maw Maw,

I had ACDF on C5-6 and C6-7 last June. I was out of work for 8 weeks and in the collar for 4 months.

The total time for fusion to complete is about a year. From 6 months on it is just weight lifting restriction (I was on 25lbs at 6 months). You will feel better in about 2-3 weeks, but about 6 weeks is when you feel about normal.

The first week or two is a little rough, as you will have a sore throat and not be able to eat anything but soft food and liquids. There is generally some swelling from the surgery.

It is tough to sleep and do normal stuff, because your in the collar 24/7. You will get used to it after a while, but it is difficult. I hated the collar. The first few days I wanted to rip it off...bad!

I was in such pain from the problems, that I felt much better after the surgery.

Today I feel great! I am glad I had the surgery.

Hi Maw Maw,

I had surgery with plate, screws and donor bone this day last year.

I was driving after five weeks, but very cautiously, and back to work after 6 weeks. Don't rush going back to work...take every day your employer gives you.

I wore a soft collar for 3 weeks. It's not fact I found it comforting.

Slept upright on couch surrounded by pillows.

Pain. I had very little. After one prescription painkiller, I switched to ibuprofen. The first week after surgery your throat will be sore. Buy soup and canned pasta. Popcorn and pretzels are out for awhile.

Be good to yourself after. This is spinal surgery. Don't push yourself; let your body recover. The anesthesia will leave you stupid for a couple days after surgery, but that's ok. [U]Don't[/U] rush going back to work. Don't believe anybody who says you'll be back to work in a week or two.

The worst part about the operation was the anticipation beforehand. I'd never had major surgery before and was terrified. But then I woke up in recovery room after surgery and thought, that's it? The second worst part was daytime TV.

After a week in your chair you'll be cursing the TV remote.

You'll do better than you think...this is the worst time, the pre-op anticipation. It's awful, and I feel for you. Good luck.

I concur with last message. Anticipation is by far the worse part. Frustration in recovery is annoying as keep having to tell myself to slow down. Went shopping yesterday (drove (60K's) and wandered around supermarket etc). Surgery on 7th Sept. Refuse to watch T.V. Crocodile took one of my heifers yesterday so feeling a bit guilty about that, but not yet ready to deal with them. Had snake in house but my dog got rid of that. Getting used to the quiet life. Got to go to Dentist soon.... terrified of that... much rather have spinal surgery. Took my stitches out on tuesday. Started laughing which made it a tad difficult. Glad I chopped a lot of firewood as a bit chilly dowwn under at moment.

Love Hugz.
Thanks for the replies. They said the bone graph site would be more painful than the surgery. The waiting is starting to get to me! I feel the waiting is starting to get to hubby now.Been out of work since the end of july and you guys are right nothing on daytime t.v. Doctor told hubby that i would be up and cooking dinner in a couple of days after surgery. YEAH RIGHT!
maw maw
Hi. I'm new here also just found this site tonight. I'm thinking of having the surgery as I have put it off for a year and I really hurt. Hubby is getting tired of my pain also, I've been out of work because of this for a year also so that hurts. I'm very afraid of the surgery. I hope all goes well for you. I will be waiting to see how you do. I go monday to find out when mine will be. Pain doctor wants to do a cervical stariod shot on Wensday but I don't know will ask surgen what he thinks as before he told me no they don't work, Take care and good luck
I just wanted to mention that under no circumstances should you take any form of NSAID like ibu or aleeve or any Rx strentgh motrin at least not for the first few months post fusion surgery,as it does inhibit the bones from fusing.i was not told this unfortunetly until after i had been taking it off and on after my first surgery and the damn fusion failed.some docs do not always tell you everything you know,or at when you actually would need the info anyway.marcia
Since I have had this problem for over a year and I had the shots in my shoulder at first (was told it was rotar cuff stuff) and did not help. Even did pt for the shoulder. That went on for a couple of months. Started with everything hurting 7/2004. It finally eased up some around jan 2005. Quit doing pt in nov 2004 since it was not helping. Then it came back out of the blue july 2005. I have been out of work since the end of july 2005. Doctor gave me shot and it did not work. Hope if you get it it will work. My hubby was very tired of it also. Said if they need to do surgery do it now cause he was tired of seeing me in pain all the time. I was given 3 different pain meds in less than 30 days. Still have them. Can sit,sleep or ride in the car for very long. This time next week i will be waiting to come home from the hospital. Can not wait to get it over with. Seems like i can't remember when i have not been in pain with this. The closer surgery gets the more it plays on my mind. So now it is just the wait and see game.
Hi Maw Maw,

I don't know anything about ibuprofen or nicotine inhibiting the fusion. The little discomfort I did experience I used ibuprofen for. The MD's painkiller just flattened me.

Before my operation Sept 2004 I had this savage, crushing pain radiating from the top of my head down my left arm and radiating across my chest. I would turn my head and want to throw up. I'm no radiologist but even I could look at my MRI and see the damage to my neck. My quality of life was dreadful.

When I woke up in recovery room after surgery the nurse gave me a plastic handpiece with a button on top attached to a tube. The nurse explained it was morphine, and to push the button any time I needed it. I never used it once. This surgery gets rid of pain. It was worth the agony and fear of waiting, and Maw Maw, I was scared.

Forget making the hubby dinner for awhile. You are not going to do anything for two weeks. I was a 52 yr old guy in good shape and I had trouble getting to the bathroom. Buy him a bunch of frozen dinners and show him how to turn the stove on. I don't know why doctors exaggerate the recovery period. Before my op the NS told me I'd be back at work in a week. When he saw me post-op in the hospital during his rounds he said do nothing for the next 5 weeks. Go figure.

Hang in there. This is the worst time when your imagination takes you to dark places.
Hi, Well i had the surgery and things are a little weird. Throat is really sore. Still swelling at the cut. Have my first doctor visit on the 17 of Oct. Having pain in the left shoulder but this is alot different from before. I also have strips on the bottom of the neck. I am thinking that is were they got the graph? Did not feel anything at hip when I finally woke up that night. Hubby said i had him check everywhere for the graph site. Came home on friday and had hubby drive me to store on Sunday. So I have been out and about. The collar is what is the worst. With neck still swollen it hurts to wear collar. Was told by family that surgery took longer than they thought. Finally drank some soup after 4th day. So now after 8 days finally able to go to bathroom. YES!!! I have been up doing somethings around the house like normal. What I thought was weird was them trying to give me a back brace. No one said anything about that. Son was in room and i was talking to the brace person and told him i did not have back surgery just neck. He went out and at that point i was still drugged up pretty good told son to also question everything they do. Man came back later and said the order was written wrong. I will be asking doctor when i see him, They also were trying to give me a walker or cane to walk with. Now i have a sinus infection to top it off with. So the coughing and sneezing is painful. Still get alittle tired. But other than that everything is fine.
Dennis is right they probably used donar bone. When I went in for surgery we went over the surgery order and it said graph from the hip. I told them no I wanted donar bone. If the bone was graphed from the hip you probably would need a cane or walker. I had a friend that bruised from the hip to the breast taking the graph from her hip. I didn't want to go there....

Glad to here you are home. Just take it easy will be feeling better in no time.


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