Sports & activities after ACDF surgery???

I would love to hear if there's any real success stories out there for people who have recovered well from ACDF surgery. Typically it seems people post a lot about problems and are looking for advice, but not many people post about their success. 

I'm now 4 weeks post surgery C4-C6 fusion with cage after a compression fracture of C5 and all is going reasonably well, I'm back at work as a photographer, I'm not lifting anything heavy but still managing to do many things. I was given clearance to drive last week, which is a huge relief and I feel I have been given my independence back. 

I'm interested to hear what sports people have been given clearance to do again after surgery, I've raced enduro (off road) motorcycles for the last 8 years but I guess I'm not holding out too much hope of carrying on with that, it's what I love to do on a Sunday, so saying goodbye to it is going to be very hard. I also cycle (road), snowboard, windsurf and train in the gym. I'm really not very good at sitting down for long, so I hope I'll be able to continue to do sports in the future. All I'm doing at the moment is half an hour of cycling on a static turbo trainer every other day. 

Anyone still attacking life after ACDF??????



  • RDavidGRRDavidG Jacksonville FlPosts: 178

    Cocodrillo, I admire your positive attitude but yet question motives lol. To begin with, ask your surgeon what kind of restrictions he wants you on! That's the one you need to be asking. I used to race dirt bikes as well, as well as surf, kayak fishing,pretty much everything outdoors! Now when I push mow my small yard and it's 2 days of extra pain meds! It's not that we know longer want to do those things, it's we know we'll pay for them later! Or even worse, screw up what has allready been done! You ask if we're still attacking life? For a lot of us it's the other way around....Life attacking us lol. Keep up the positive attitude though! That's invaluable!

  • RDavidGRRDavidG Jacksonville FlPosts: 178

    P.S. Crocodile, just a FYI, you've been through a C-4 through C-6 fusion, that one little C-3 that sits on Top of C-4 only controls your ventilations . You ever see a quad on a ventilator? That's what happens when you break the cord at C- 3 level! Just something for you to think about as you look at your dirt bike.

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  • Thanks David, I won't be seeing my surgeon for another 3 weeks, there are many questions of course when I see him. I've found lots of positive comebacks on sport specific forums from other people who ride horses, ski, surf and so-on successfully post surgery. I'm very interested in hearing about these things.  I've had many dark hours thinking about what I will no longer be able to do, racing enduro being one of them, I like to think positively if I can, so would rather concentrate and look forward to things that I might be able to do rather than what I can't.

  • RDavidGRRDavidG Jacksonville FlPosts: 178

    That's the best attitude to have! But please get your surgeons recommendations first lol

  • Hey! Im hoping people reply to this too. Im 14 months post-op acdf c5/6. It's been a slow process - and still working on my muscles etc at physio - so I'm not up for anything much yet - but I'm hoping the day will come when I feel up to it - but when that day (hopefully) comes im not sure how much risk i want to take. my surgeon said that there was no reason i couldnt snowboard in the future - so did my physio. im just worried about the impact on the discs above and below the fusion. the thought of falling hard pretty much terrifies me at the moment! id like to think of some kind of activity that i can do in the future that is fun, but not so risky... (also, i guess snowboarding is more an occasional thing - it would be good to have something more regular to do - other than walking (im not very sporty - but feel i should do something)). i also wonder about things like scuba diving. i think ive read somewhere that people have been ok - i guess going on boat dives - but then you wouldnt want a small bumpy boat... you have to be aware of so much more now...

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  • Since my last post I've found a lot of positive recovery stories, plenty on mountain bike forums and also motocross and road cycling forums, so I hope that my future story will be a good one too, although I make no hopes for racing enduro again, but maybe I will be able to ride and help marshal for the club again one day.

    My own recovery is going even better now, I'm working well full time, totally off pain killers, occasionally at the start of this week I used Volterol Gel on my neck, but it seems the more I do the better I feel, so I'm going to carry on the way I am, I'm sure my body will tell me if I'm pushing it to much, but I really do feel so much better for getting up and about, every day is an improvement. For the record I am now 4 weeks and 2 days post surgery, 5 weeks post accident. Onward and upward.

  • Now 6 weeks past surgery, I have been clearance to go to the gym and swim. Nothing allowed that will cause a sudden impact for 12-18 months. Looks like I'll be selling my dirt bikes for now, I will miss racing massively. I'm aiming to do my first triathlon next June at the tender age of 45. 

  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,194

    I have been keeping track of success stories, take a look at Success Stories!

    I probably need to include my own story in that, I don't ride dirt bikes (never did) but I am very active and feel darn good after 2 ACDF surgeries and a heart valve replacement.  Read My Story and about my heart

  • Bit of an update.....hopefully some encouragement for others here. I'm now 4 months post surgery C4-C6 corpectomy and all is going well. Check ups revealed fusion is going very well, shoulder pain which was very bad to begin with has now gone. I'm training at the gym 4-5 times per week doing minimum 1.5 hours per session, mostly cardio but doc has now cleared me to lift weights again, swimming twice per week gradually increasing amount. Swimming has been the most difficult and results in neck stiffness the next day, but the more I do the better things get. I've had to ease off once or twice and rest up for a few days, my body has told me so. I'm being safe in that I'm not training outdoors, so no risk of shock by falling off my bike. I've got my first physio session tomorrow, we'll see what that brings but for now I'm more than happy that good progress is being made. No motorbikes for a long while, doc has said no limitations on what I do as long as I get full fusion and full range of movement back. Bike is up for sale and I've put an entry into a triathlon which I've never done before but gives me something to aim for and to stick a middle finger upto breaking my neck in the first place. Onward and upward.

  • cocodrillo, Please continue with updates to your progress during recovery. I am scheduled for a 4 level ( c3 - c7) acdf on Jan. 9th. I'm a 63 yr. old male that enjoys fishing, golf, & travel, & I haven't been able to do any of these during the last yr. due to neck, back, & arm pain. My days of dirt bike riding, running races against young nieces & nephews. & wrestling with whomever felt like trying me are long gone. But being able to fish & golf again ( along with getting rid of or at least easing the constant pain ) is the motivation I need for having the surgery.  I know everyone is different, but I feel having a positive attitude is so important in helping the recovery process and hearing success stories of others is helpful & indeed essential to keeping that positivity......Take care & good luck with your ongoing recovery.

  • wow cocodrillo! sounds like you are having an amazing recovery! i wonder how much you've been helped by being fit beforehand - and also by having surgery soon after your injury. im not sure id be able to do anything like lifting weights and im about 1.5 yrs out now. 

    and yes - def continue with the updates! good luck! 

  • Good luck nkbear1 and everyone else. I really believe that a positive mental attitude helps recovery massively, I had some very dark days during the first 2 months post operation, but time is a great healer and as things progress it's getting easier to be positive about the future. I have noticed quite a bit of negativity on posts, maybe folks that have positive stuff to say have moved on and are getting on with things and forget to pass on better stories, it's easily done. If you think you are never going to get better then one thing is for sure, you never will.

    I did have a physio session with a very good sports physio last week and to be honest two days after I felt like I'd been hit by a train and had to take it easy for 4 or 5 days. I did swim that day too, so it may have had an effect. Either way, I think I'm going to carry on doing what I've been doing without any more physio, it seems to be working out for me that way. Swimming is still hard but it won't get easier if I don't keep trying little by little. Range of movement is really coming good now, bit by bit it's returning. It's hard to notice progress everyday and then I'll suddenly see that I can look round at the clock on the wall that I couldn't see last week, stuff like that. Really looking forward to being able to cycle again in the spring pending x rays in January when I'll get an update from the consultant. Roll on 2018, it will be a better year. 

  • cocodrillo, you're right about the negative posts & you bring up a good point that I want to be sure to remember. Most of the folks with "positive stuff" have moved on & forget to pass along the better stories. I know as I am preparing for & getting closer to my surgery, I have picked thru the posts looking for positive posts like yours to reassure me that the surgery can help & my attitude can & will play a big part in my recovery. With that said, I want to be sure to come back here & post the positive moments I have post surgery. Looking from where I am now ( pre- surgery ) , I see how meaningful & helpful those posts can be.  Thanks again for sharing your recovery wins. I look forward to reading of more successes from you in the coming days & months.....Take care.

  • i think that a positive attitude is great, and does help - but i think its also important to realise that some people may never recover as well - and those people shouldnt feel like they are to blame by having a "bad" attitude. 

    having said that - reading positive posts is really helpful - especially near the beginning. 

    so to present a different version of a successful recovery: mine has been really slow, but my nerves were compressed for over a year - and my physio described me as being as weak as a kitten to start with (i struggled a lot with muscle stuff before surgery).  i feel like i have a long way to go  - but ive also come really far. its good to appreciate the progress youve made without comparing yourself to other people - and without comparing yourself to your "pre-injury" self. i may never be able to read a book again - but being able to sit again is pretty amazing!! i stood all the time for months and months before surgery. so id like to keep improving (and feel like i still am) - but if this is what i gain from surgery - then it was totally worth it. i consider that a huge success. (i should say i fused at 13 weeks and have a normal range of movement, just weak postural/core/shoulder muscles that are improving - its the remaining nerve pain that stops me reading etc)

    cocdrillo - i would just be careful that you are working all the correct muscles by yourself (by not going to physio). i find physio great - its hard, but the physio can adjust exercises to suit me and my neck.  i have about an 1 hour of exercises i do at home every 2-3 days. its quite nice to be able to see the progress in repetitions i can do etc. but you sound like you are doing great by yourself!

    good luck with your surgery nkdbear1! there are lists on here for things to do to prepare for surgery - there are also surgery buddies groups that are good for support too. 

    sorry for the ramble!!

  • nz1025, Thanks for your post & I appreciate your well wishes toward my surgery. I know & realize, "success" is different for each of us & our recovery. We are all at different stages of illness, and/or injury & debilitation. To me, your gains & "success" is no less inspiring as those made by cocodrillo. Different indeed, but still important & from my perspective , as someone getting ready for this major event that will have an impact on the rest of my life, and seeing you ( and others ) with positive attitudes posting about there gains, however large or small, helps me mentally prepare for what's ahead.  Thanks again, I wish you well in your continued recovery.....Take care

  • Thank you nkdbear1. I think positive posts are really important - my nerve pain didnt really improve until about 4 months after surgery - and I remember searching through lots of posts to see if anyone else started to improve that far on. But they did, and I did. Patience is the key!! I think this forum is an amazing resource - as you said - it's a life changing decision! You take care too. 

  • cocodrilloccocodrillo Posts: 20
    edited 12/21/2017 - 5:04 AM

    nz-thanks for your comments, I really do appreciate that everyone heals differently and my gripe about negativity wasn't directed at anyone at all, I just meant that folks should imagine that their glass is half full, not half empty no matter how bad things are, I really hope your recovery story will be great and thinking positively will certainly help you on that way. I've always been fascinated by people that do amazing things with their bodies and minds, I don't read a huge amount but when I do it's always about people that go up Everest, do ultra marathons, cross Antarctica, cycle round the world and are generally up against it in a big way etc etc. I guess some of that never give up attitude has rubbed off on me most of my life. I've been self employed for 20 years, it's been a very hard journey at times but very rewarding and I get used to a lot of people moaning about their jobs and how hard life is, they don't know the half of it sometimes. When I broke my neck I burst C5 but didn't know it and continued to ride off road for 3 hours to finish the day's racing, I suppose I'm used to suffering and that bad day was no different. I was ready to ride again the next day until the X Rays showed up. I'm not in any way trying to big myself up here, just trying to illustrate how different we all are in many ways, life would certainly be dull if we weren't. I'm now going to have to back off my training as an old hip injury is flaring up again....back to the physio tomorrow. I'm getting old but won't give in just yet! Good luck everyone, we all need some.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 225

    so I'll add my positive 2 cents for whatever it's worth. I'm 3.5 years post-op of a very successful fusion from C2 to T3, my second c-spine fusion. I had to rethink my activities after my recovery as well being an avid cross country snowmobiler, dirt & street bike rider, mountain biker, and an amateur runner. My medical team first suggested before any of my surgeries that I needed to give up the running and any high impact recreational activities. It was difficult to give up the snowmobiles and dirt bikes but anyone who rides with "spirit" knows it's not if you will take an unexpected tumble but rather a when will it happen.

    Fast forward to 7 months ago and I endured another major spine rebuild, this time it was T11 down all the way through my lumbar spine into my sacrum and stabilizing that to my pelvis. I'm working my way back strengthening my core, rebuilding muscle I lost post-op. I feel I am doing fairly well considering how huge this last journey set me back. However I did not experience the "dark moments" as much as my previous spine surgeries. I think much has to do with previous experience and the drive to get strong again. In 2010 I decided I needed to change my lifestyle and consider my gym workout's as important as eating, breathing, and sleeping. That year a doctor inspired me by referring me to a PT program that would strengthen my neck muscles. That lit the fuse and I've been driven ever since. So as much as I do miss my motorized activities I've managed to find a diversion that's not only made me physically stronger but I know has also made me stronger mentally.

    cocodrillo: I was your age during my first of 4 spine surgeries began, trust me, you are doing everything right. Listen to your body, you know what is best for your well being, common sense prevails. Been reading your posts, it's good to hear your journey. Keep us up to speed on your progress.

    nkdbear1: we're pretty close in age, keep moving forward in your journey, if I can do this you can too.

    nz1025: you are so right, patience is key indeed. It was something I never had but finally learned on this long journey through life and my adaptations.

  • Ranger, thanks so much for your contribution to this thread. Your " positive 2 cents" is worth a lot to me. I spent most of the day yesterday with last surgeon consult, pre-surgery information class, & pre-op physicals. Jan. 9th ( my surgery date ) is just around the corner. Coming on this site & seeing new posts like yours ( and the posts from others), for me, is so important & helpful as I prepare for whats ahead. I know that with my multi level acdf, I will initially have to go into recovery mode with a different mindset than I would have in the past with injuries or conditions I have had. In the past, I would always try to push the envelope & beat the timetable given for when I might be able to ....walk, lift, run,...etc. etc. With this, I know that the most important thing for recovery is the proper fusion & trying to rush that process can & probably would hinder the recovery. So with that said, I am mentally preparing myself to to do all PT tells me I can do, but don't try ( especially until I am told the fusion has taken ) to push myself in a way that can due harm. Thanks again for your post & good luck to you.....Take care.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 225

    glad I could relate to your next adventure nkdbear. We probably have similar mindsets in looking towards recovery. With my neck fusion I pushed the envelope once I could manage a lengthy workout at the gym. I exceeded my weight lifting limitations, went back to work earlier than was suggested by my surgical team. My mentality was if they say I can lift X amount of weight, it's probably safe to double that and increase as I feel stronger. Well I got busted during my first follow-up appointment, wife threw me under the bus, she would drop in at the gym unexpected by me. After the tongue lashing by surgical nurse and surgeon I honestly felt horrible, I felt I disrespected them and everyone else that put the 12 plus hours of expertise into stabilizing my spine for the rest of my life.

    This last lower spine fusion has been so much different in my recovery. I'm so much more careful and not being reckless, I'm trying to walk more, pay more attention to body form and posture in daily activities and in the gym. When I over-do it, my body tells me, usually more so the following day. Some days you feel awesome, so you go harder, faster, longer, then the next day you find out it kicked your butt. It happens, you think at times you may even ruined something, but then the next day you're just fine.

    Over several years I've received a lot of good information and support here on this site. If I can be of any help and support to others I'll do the best I can to hopefully make their journey somewhat easier. It isn't always easy, sometimes we have those "dark moments" that make you question yourself why did I do this, what have I done? That is normal, most everyone will experience that, but as I've gotten a few of these procedures under my belt I realized I'm able to cope with those feelings much better and get over it much faster.

    Best of luck to you, keep us all posted here as you go through and recover from your next journey.

  • cocodrillo: i understand where you are coming from - and i def agree with the glass half full scenario. sorry to hear about your hip - do you think it is related to your back/spine? my current worst pain is actually from the middle of my back - the physio thinks the weakness associated with my neck injury has really aggravated a pre-existing issue. i think the core exercises are starting to help though. --my fascination with bodies comes from how inter-related things are. especially with spines. let us know how you get on!

    nkdbear1 and ranger: i totally agree with the not pushing too far (being reckless). especially with fusion. i wasnt cleared for physio until 4 months post-op - as my surgeon wanted to see fusion on xrays first. its hard, because in a lot of ways you feel ok, so its about doing what you should. also, i tend to almost always feel ok doing things, its the next day i feel it in my muscles. plus im very aware that i dont want to damage the discs above/below my fusion. im 37 - so this has to last me a long time (well hopefully!). 

    nkdbear1: i hope you got all your questions answered at the consult. after surgery i used to try and go on 3 walks of differing lengths every day - i did this for months. i listened to audiobooks. it was quite nice to get up and move about. 

    good luck everyone!

  • Hi cocodrillo -

    I'm just looking around here for the first time and wanted to reply to your post, since I also crave camaraderie on the still-an-athlete-post-surgery front. And I also find it's helpful to surround myself with people who are doing what they can do, whatever that is, with joy and drive and commitment. We all have our coping mechnisms, and one of mine is that I have to avoid people who tell me I am doomed to a lifetime of failed surgeries: if I believed that and located my life in that terrible fear, I would not make it through the pain and extreme difficulty of this recovery.

    I'm 45 years old, just about 10 months out from lumbar rebuild (discectomies, laminectomies, bone revisions, L5 fusion), and very active again already, within limits. Luckily, my great passion/sport is swimming, so the low/no-gravity and almost zero impact nature of the sport has meant that I could make it the center of my rehab once cleared to start PT.

    It also helped that I was swimming at Master's level until my real spinal crash about 5 months before the surgery (I had limitations and partial disabilities for 10+ years, but with physio help could train with neoprene jammers for back support - and while I would sometimes lose my legs entirely, I'd just keep swimming until they came back, ha, and I was able to compete sometimes). Some of that deep muscle strength held even through months of inability to walk,  and this helped me recover, I am sure. Or at least helped the muscle to come back more quickly after the brace came off two months post-surgery.

    I started with water walking and dry land rehab, then began swimming again, then upped my distances, then got a private coach, then swam Boston Sharkfest - VERY CAREFULLY! ha! but with total delight - a mile open water race across Boston harbor on the six month surgiversary. I am now training to swim across the straight of Gibraltar (2019 or 2020 depending on the Channel Swimming Association permits). Before that, this coming summer, I will swim Skaha, the longest open water lake swim in Canada (about 12k).

    I wanted to train for for triathlon. What has become clear to me as I recover is that the water loves me, and takes really good care of my back. Impact and gravity? Not so much. :(  I can walk, even really long and hilly walks, with no penalty as long as I "walk soft," but did one 5 hour steeper mountain climb with some bouldering and lost a full month to really damaged mobility and very bad pain.

    And I want no-more-surgeries and the ability to do ultra-distance marathon swimming more than I want triathlon, and I want to be swimming a mile at a time when I'm 80 as many of my role models do, so the (totally personal/individual of course) decision I have come to is to stick with the low/no impact stuff and avoid the banging that may shorten the life of my hardware, or compromise the bones and vertebrae around it.

    For me, the rehab has been so excruciating, and the whole context so exhausting and often terrifying, that I have to have joy and accomplishment at
    the center of my focus or it's just too hard.

    So I go all-in to the swimming, since that doesn't compromise my rebuild - and going all-in is pretty essential to my nature, as it sounds like it is to yours. :)

    We are all so unique in how we cope and in how we heal. Who knows what you will be able to do, and only you can decide what risks are worth it for you. But I'm cheering you on for whatever sustainable joys you build.

  • Today marks 6 months since my surgery......I will keep posting on this thread as it may help others and give a bit of hope.

    To recap I burst fractured C5 after falling from an enduro bike head first down a sheep drop, the accident was actually very slow speed, the drop was the problem. I didn’t’ know I had broken my neck and continued to ride off road for another 3-4 hours, my wrist hurt more than my neck. After discovering the damage I was flown back from Romania to the uk after 3 very bad days in a Romanian hospital where the staff and patients smoked openly on the wards, I wore a very uncomfortable neck collar which was covered in someone else’s blood and I had to wear a nappy, not happy times. I had surgery to plate C4-C5-C6 with a corepectomy cage where C5 had broken in 2 parts. Surgery was successful and I was on my feet the next day, home within 3 days and back to easy work duties after a couple of weeks, driving again at about 1 month.

    Fast forward 6 months......some days I forget what has happened, I can be completely pain free and I feel I can almost do anything, some days not. I had a bad few days last week and used heat pads on the back of my neck in the evenings. The worst trigger for pain is swimming, but it is getting a little easier each time but only hurts the day after, not during. No painkillers needed at all now. I had an x Ray and consultation with my surgeon last week and he’s happy with progress, my metalwork may have moved a tiny bit, but he said that sometimes it does settle a little. He’s happy to let me cycle once the weather improves and there’s no ice on the road. I will be over the moon to get out for a ride. The best thing for me getting through this has been to keep moving, I am not trying to be a super hero by saying how well my recovery is going or whatever, some people reading this might think so, but that’s far from the truth, but I’m now training harder and for longer than before my accident. The training has kept me going mentally too, I feel such a difference after a session. I’ve sold 2 of my dirt-bikes, 1 is still waiting for when I can ride again, which may be a long time. I’ve now had contact from several people who have been through the same surgery and are now riding again, so my goal is to do the same. I miss racing every weekend and I’m also missing my snowboarding holiday with my family in a few weeks time, staying at home looking after the dogs. That will be a tough week. It’s not been the easiest 6 months of my life, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster but I’m counting my blessings and moving on, I have awesome family support and being a stubborn old trout I absolutely refuse to give in. Next X-ray and consultation is in 6 months, I will add to this thread then. I hope to have completed my first triathlon before that time, I hope so because I’ve paid for the entry anyway.  I don’t even really like running that much, or swimming in cold brown water. Hopefully the bike ride will make up for those bits.

  • Im just coming up on 11 months post acdf surgery c4-6 also from compression fracture to c5. My fusion has healed great and I would say I have 90% ROM back with little to no pain ( can be a little achey after a big day of activities). I have been back in the gym and slowly working back my strength to almost where it was a year ago. I have been snowboarding and skiing 3-4 times a week for the past 4 months with no issues. Coming into the summer I was looking into getting a mountain bike or dual purpose dirtbike but a little nervous as my accident was still fairly recent. Just wondering If anyone out there has had a similar surgery and how mountain biking or dirtbiking has been for them? 

  • Hi DaveG, that is great to hear, I had started to wonder if there was anyone else out there with similar results, so I’m really glad to see your reply. Keep posting! I’ve heard a lot of positive stories recently (sadly not on this forum) about people doing all sorts of activities after cervical fusion.

    My family went skiing without me last month and I was miserable, no two ways about it. I was worried about myself for a while. However my sights on a achieving finishing a triathlon in July are very firmly set. I have been cycling on the road a few times and am smashing all of my PB’s in the gym every week. My physical goals have been a focus on recovery which has helped mentally in huge amounts. I have very little pain now, I’m working hard, I carry my sleeping child to her bed every night when she sneaks into our room and she’s no featherweight. We ride our bikes together again. I chop wood on freezing cold days and sweat buckets. Life is good, the darker times seem further away and time is healing. Roll on summer. Now 7.5 months post surgery. 

  • 10 months now. Mostly pain free. Cycling on a road bike with no issues, head down and bum up. Went open water swimming last night for the first time to train for the upcoming triathlon, 1500 meters done, swallowed a lot of green water but got round ok with steamed up goggles. Nerve pain in my right arm is gradually fading, the more I do the better it gets. The lack of positive posts on here is worrying but I'll keep updating, maybe someone who's just started this journey will find comfort. My biggest issue is not being able to drink the last third of a bottle of beer as fast as I used to, can't tilt my head back enough.

  • This is a great positive thread, thank you for that!

    I had a great fusion of C4-7 with C6 corpectome, 2 cages and one plate. All due not to accident but to arthritis. I now have arthritis in the level below the fusion, C7/T1, mostly on the left but very tight. I was back to hiking mountains in 90 days post op. XC skiing that season just a few months later. I was very happy.

    Then there’s my knee arthritis, which left me with a flare but did get in some XC skiing this winter, but over the last five years with the new level acting up, it’s been acceptable until recently when I get numbness and pain from just *walking*!!!! I am so pissed off.

    Seeing the NS this week. At this point the only real option is to go back in, from the front, and do the fourth level for my C8. 

    I am not bad if I just sit like a lump. But even walking from a parking lot into and through a store is causing problems. This is no way to live.

    My biggest concern is what he will take off the list of things I can do after this surgery, so I am really looking for encouragement too. I can see the MRI, so I get that there is really no other option, it is so tight ttight tight on that side. All I want to do is to be able to do my brisk walks (hilly 3-4 miles/day), hike up and down mountains and XC ski, my true love. I think the kayaking will not be a problem.

    I would love to hear from the original poster, hope they are doing well. I did so well after the first surgery 8 years ago. But I will be honest that this 4th level is worrisome. 

  • This is a fantastic thread.  I did disc replacement c5-c7, so a way easier procedure to recover from. 

    Walking 2  miles or more the third day.  Driving after 5 days.  Never took a pain pill. 

    The doctor called my recovery “freakish”.

  • One year post accident now. All going very well considering the mess I was in a year ago. I get a little sore now and again, mostly when sitting doing nothing for too long. I get a few muscle spasms in my right shoulder and arm, not painful, just annoying. I completed my first triathlon two weeks ago, it was a bit messy but I got round and I couldn't be happier. Good luck all. 

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