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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


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Hello everyone, I'm CeCe. :

On Friday 12-10-10 I had an ACDF. I had a buldging disc so bad it was crushing my spinal cord. I am feeling much better from most pain since the surgery other than the incision pain. That has actually been the worst of it all. I still have a different feeling in my fingers. As I type, I feel like my left hand is almost asleep but I know (HOPEFULLY) that will most likely go away in time. They did not use any bone from my hip so does that mean I have a cadaver bone? Or how does that work? They kept me in the hospital for 2 1/2 days but I always forgot to ask them that (due to that dilaudid pump I'm sure) LOL! I also have lower back issues pretty bad but I' putting off any type of surgery until I just can't bare it any longer. I've done the shots and PT but nothing seems to help it. I have actually noticed more pain since the neck surgery, maybe it's because I have time to notice it rather than staying busy. But it seems to shoot into my hip and toes and my tail bone has just had it. I get so very frustrated most days due to me being too young to already be feeling this way. I am terrified of seeing how I'm going to be when I'm older :( I hate this.

Anyway, I just wanted to do a little intro and ask a few questions. I didn't want to bother my Dr too much so as long as I feel like it's not that serious I will just ask others unless I can't handle it or I know there is something seriously wrong. I know my body pretty well. I can not wait to feel my results. I am so excited to be able to move my neck without feeling like I'm being stabbed.

So as far as my questions go....

1. Is it normal to have numbness above my incision site? This just happened today. Right below my chin.

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?

3. How long did it take others to actually feel the benefits from the surgery and able to return back to normal?

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?

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?

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?

Sorry so many questions but all these random questions have just been building up since the surgery. I don't know anyone else that had this surgery and I'm so glad to have found a site where I can relate to others.
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.





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