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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hello and welcome:

1. Is it normal to have numbness above my incision site? This just happened today. Right below my chin. [B]Numbness is common in different areas. Nerves near the incision may be reacting to a bit of normal swelling at the incision site. [/B]

2. Could my back be worse due to laying down a lot more from the surgery or just thinking about it more due to me being busy normally and not giving it much thought? [B]Yes, exactly. I found I would stand up just becuase I couldn't stand laying down. And, I had some sleeping troubles but then when I did fall asleep I'd sleep so hard I'd be stiff upon waking. I also have a bad back and had some back surgery, there are days where I just wanted to move around as my body had hard time with permanent position all day.[/B]

3. How long did it take others to actually feel the benefits from the surgery and able to return back to normal?[B]Nerves take quite a while to heal. I returned to work at around 6 weeks post op but my left hand numbness tingling and numbness in the fingers started to resolve slowly over the following months[/B]

4. Will I always have to be cautious now with my neck more that before? EX: Could the metal plate ever cause problems or is it easier for my neck to get hurt? [B]You will always want to be careful and use the best body mechanics you can. I bought a panoramic rear view mirror for my car which has helped so I don't have to strain to look back too often. I also don't hold a phone between my ear and shoulder as I don't want to strain the levels above or below the fusion. I had problems at C4 and I wish I had asked him to do that as I may have that added in. The disc levels above and below your fusion are at risk in the future so you have to be careful, not in everything you do, but if you start to feel the movement or position isn't right then change it. I also bought a few varieties of inflatable or collar neck pillow for flying or long drives. I didn't want my neck to go sideways if I fall asleep while traveling. So worth it and even my husband loves those now even though he doesn't have neck problems.[/B]

5. If I didn't get a bone from my hip does that mean I have a cadaver bone? I'm just curious. Is that always a thing they do with the ACDF?[B]You could have cadaver bone or sometimes they take small chips from your bone and combine with a bone protein to help the fusion[/B]

6. Will my incision end up causing me problems in my throat later on? I'm worried about that due to feeling that huge knot under the incision. My DR said the knot was normal and it was scar tissue. And is it normal to still have pain from my incision 10 days after the surgery?[B]Some people have incision issues. I massaged mine a little, with doctor permission, to move that scar tissue around. I also bought an SPF 45 lip balm and carried that around so when healed enough I could put it on the scar whenever I was out in the sun. So much easier than carrying around sun block. It is normal to have incision pain at day 10 or even within the first month or two from my experience[/B]

Did your surgeon give you a cervical collar to wear? I had an Aspen Collar for 6 weeks.
I had a 2 level ACDF on 12/9/2010 C5-6 and C6-7 with a titanium plate and screws. My surgeon used a cage with my bone fragments and protein in place of the disc. Due to the protein I had excessive swelling and was in the hospital for 5 1/2 days. Swelling, swallowing and sleeping are still issues. I also had the dilaudid pump. The nurse told my husband to make sure I pressed it every 10 minutes because I was so out of it I wasn't pressing it at all. He thankfully stayed with me for the first 24 hours. I can understand your concerns being so young. I am 49 and I have known for the last 5-6 years that I was going to need this surgery. My surgery was caused by DDD and arthritis, herniated and pinched nerves. My thumbs go numb often, the area under my chin, my neck and areas by the incision and drain are also numb. I have heard that all of the above are part of the normal healing process. I think you and everyone else you has this or similar surgery will be cautious the rest of their life. Let know how you are making out. I am trying to be "good" and use the bone stimulator for 4 hours a day. Not sure how I will be when I go back to work. I am bored at home and would love to go back to work but do not feel I am ready to drive 30 minutes each way and work for a full day. What about you? Good luck with your recovery!

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