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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

A single-level ACDF (C5-6)? That's not a big deal. Recovery is not fun, but not terrible, either, considering what they are doing. Whether or not it helps your existing symptoms depends on what's causing those symptoms and how long you let them go before getting surgery. The longer nerve damage lasts, the more likely it is to become permanent.

At any rate, your doc should have told you that the main reason for surgery is to keep you from getting worse, not to make you better (although that is certainly to be hoped for).
Hopefully you have researched your options and the surgeon who will be doing your surgery and had at least 1 or 2 other opinions to make sure they all agree. I was similar to you that I waited until the pain was unbearable and my quality of life was decreased. I also tried alternatives to no avail. How long have your symptoms been going on? Do you know what caused your situation? Both of those answers may impact your recovery time.
As other have said and you may have read, recovery is different for everyone. The hospital stay can be as little as 24 hours, mainly 2 days or like myself 5 days. For me the pain I had before surgery was literally gone although I was in pain due to the swelling and inability to swallow. There also pain or discomfort involved from the surgery, they are moving your trachea and esophagus over in order to get to your spine. For me they had to open up the space to place a cage in order to realign my spine. That pressure does cause some tightness. I wore a hard collar for a few days and then a soft collar. Every surgeon is different. My ROM was definitely limited due to the surgery. It did take alot of time to get the ROM back and the strength in my arms. I was glad that my husband was able to be home with me the first days after surgery. Have alot of soft foods available: jello, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, ... Bendy straws and stool softeners are also 2 items that I found very helpful. I slept in the recliner for a few weeks, many people have propped up pillows in their beds. Just do what ever makes you more comfortable. Good luck and keep me posted. :)

12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
BMP & bone fragment filled cages
2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
2/17/2011 starting PT
wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit
6 months - end plate growth going well - no more bone stimulator, issues with hands going to vascular and hand surgeons to find out why
8/2011 - may have TOS or RSD still researching
9/2/2011 Rear ended at 30 mph. Significant Whiplash

Dealt with the pain and issues for more than 5 years
tried PT, chiropractic, acupuncture, cervical epidural shots and selective nerve root blocks prior to surgery

[QUOTE=hellohowru;4843693]:confused:I am scheduled to have Anterior cervical disectomy fusion in October. I have been in so much pain for the last year. I have tried all other options...therapy, chiropractors,epidurals and nothing has helped yet. I am so nervous and not sure what to expect. I am wondering what to expect after the surgery? ( recovery time) I have numbness,tingiling,burning,pain under right shoulder blade and into ribs, and lost mobility to turn my neck to the right. Has anyone else had pain there and the surgery helped? Thanks for your info.[/QUOTE]

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