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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I had the same level ACDF (C5-C7) on 5/18/06 so I am just about 9 weeks post-op :wave: . When I woke up in the recovery room the radiating pain down my left arm was gone:D . The week before my surgery I was thankful I was in pain - it made it much easier to handle having the surgery. I know that sounds funny :jester: but if I had been symptom free I might have had more fear.

I have more range of motion (left - right) than I thought I would at this point. I avoided driving for 6 weeks and just this week feel more comfortable driving.

By biggest mistake :mad: was just sitting at home for 6 weeks post-op and only leaving the house 3 times (2 doctors visits and 1 visit to a friend). I told my surgeon this week that I only wish I had made my husband walk me to the end of the block and back each evening when he got home. I returned to work at 6 weeks post-op and the walk from my parking space to the front door of the building was the most I had done in 6 weeks. Thus I worked about 4 hours a day the first week, would be exhausted :dizzy: and go home. The second week 6 hours a day and now I'm back to relatively full time.

My doctor did prescribe a cervical collar to wear 24 hours a day for the first 6 weeks (except for showering). That was tough to get comfortable in and I didn't sleep too well during the 6 weeks :yawn: . Don't be afraid to let your doctor know any problems or symptoms you are still having after the surgery. My doctor was able to provide me prescriptions that aided the sleeping a bit. The doctor can only help you if he/she knows what it is you are experiencing.

In fact I saw my doctor at 4 weeks post op and was supposed to again see him at 3 months. But, I may be changing jobs so I wanted him to assess where I was at 9 weeks. I was afraid that the neck fatigue like pain I was having was too much and that I wasn't recovering well :eek: . I found that each day when I got home I needed the pain medication. I saw him yesterday and he said that in fact I was doing fine, was able to prescribe a non-narcotic medication so I could take it at work, and simply explained that now that C5-C7 are fused my neck muscles have to function differently and all I'm doing every day is training them to do their new job.

So at 9 weeks can I really say I am a success? Not yet, but I can say that the recovery process has been relatively smooth and has gone by much more quickly than I thought it would :cool: . I had far less throat discomfort and far less neck pain than I had imagined. I too was very worried about the ACDF since it is so permanent and changes you physically. But thus far I can tell that I don't have the same symptoms I had pre-op. Rarely do I get remnants of the nerve pain and radiating and the doctor this week said that's normal when I told him it is when I overdo it or feel I've overused the muscles. The muscles get tense and affect the nerves.

If there's anything else I can share with you let me know. I am so glad I found this board and am glad to share my experience if it makes you any more at ease going into this. :bouncing:


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