Sports & activities after ACDF surgery???



  • 18 months post accident and surgery. Just been to see surgeon for an update. I am now healed, I am restriction-free, I can do what I like (carefully). I have no more risk of breaking my neck than anyone else who hasn't. I intend to snowboard again, ride my enduro bike again and continue to do triathlons as I've now got the bug. I wouldn't have considered doing anything like that pre-accident, but had to prove to myself that breaking my neck didn't mean sitting in a chair and being overly careful for the rest of my days and now I kind of like the challenge. Onward and upward. Good luck all.

  • I am here following my second fusion (see above for longer tale). 

    I am impatiently waiting for fusion. It’s making me nuts. 

    Surgery was great. Now just growing bone. 

    3 month visit coming up.... I was scolded for being optimistic.... expecting no winter fun and no fusion till spring.

    Cooking for holidays was a bit challenging. Bending over the couter was unpleasant. So the last thing i want to do is mess this up!!

    Maybe snow shoes on a golf course...??

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  • So, update! I am just 3 months out and I have been cleared for activities!! While the new fusion is not "fused" technically, it is totally locked in and there is no motion at the level! I almost fell over when he said that! Next follow up is at 1 year!!

    I am so very grateful. Hope is good :-)

  • I am new to the forum. I have browsed many of the topics and appreciate the great info here.

    My situation is that I have  moderate to severe cervical spinal
    canal stenosis and the plan is C56 and C67 ACDF with partial corpectomies. I am currently in a cervical collar and will have surgery in about a month. The delay is because I am a diabetic and the Dr. wants as good blood sugar control as possible.

    So my question is, what the heck am I supposed to do with myself for the next few months. I am looking for hobby/activity ideas.I am used to being VERY active, so boredom is a big problem for me.I can walk, but I have some coordination problems.

    I am sure this topic has been discussed . . .


  • KirkD2-

    At least you have a sense of what you can do in a collar now. 

    I was bored senseless. I just walked and walked and walked....

    Maybe coordination will improve if it’s from the neck?

    Best of luck. 

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  • around 22 months now........another triathlon complete, I hate running lol. Have been on my enduro bike in the forest, what a feeling. Snowboarding booked for next year. Planning on some big lake swimming too. I see breaking my neck as a reason to do more stuff, not less. Still hurts a bit, but life is pretty good.

  • I am two weeks post-op from an ACDF surgery fusing C5 & C6. I know I’m only two weeks post-op, but this has been one of the hardest periods of my life from a mental/emotional standpoint. Every single day for the past two weeks I’ve regretted going through with the surgery because I have this fear of never feeling normal again, or like my old self pre-surgery & pre-symptoms that led to surgery. 

    I want to be a success story as well and I am hopeful that I will be! I just didn’t anticipate the mental/emotional toll this surgery was going to have on me. I have a 16-month old baby boy and not being able to pick him up and play with him is crushing my heart. I was very active before surgery... yoga, softball, running, skiing, and now I have this fear that I’ll never be able to do those things again or just live my everyday life the way I did before all of this.  

    Sitting at home all day with only scattered walks throughout the day is killing my soul (or so it feels that way). And any movement I make that involves even the slightest movement of my neck absolutely scares me to the point of thinking I’ve completely disrupted my recovery. And I am wearing a collar 99% of the time when I’m awake. Every now and then I just need a break from it and I will take it off to let my neck breathe while I sit and do nothing  

    And I can feel my body strength weakening—ugh... the list goes on. 

    Anyway, it was very nice to read a lot of the positive posts on here about resuming normal, active lives post-surgery, albeit after a lot of recovery time. Perhaps I’m just being way too impatient. My first post-op appnt with my surgeon is in three days and I’m hoping for good news :)

  • I’m 9 weeks post op c5/c6 ACDF and feeling pretty good although fatigue very quickly. I’m back at work but have reduced my work hours to part time after 10 weeks off. Not much pain but feeling frustrated with how slow recovery is and itching to get back to my exercise routine I was enjoying pre injury. The pain before surgery was extreme and I was misdiagnosed on my first visit to the Modbury Hospital (Adelaide, South Australia) with muscle strain. 4 days later I went to another hospital ED because the pain was so intense down my arm/neck/shoulder/hand and was instantly diagnosed with a severe herniated disc. Within 2 days I was operated on and I had instant relief from pain. Findings from surgery revealed that disc fragments were pushing on my spinal cord and nerves. Fast forward 9 weeks and I wanting to get back into normality. Gained serious weight on Lyrica meds and loss a fair bit of strength particularly in my left arm. Doing basic exercises set by my physio and exercise physiologist but struggling with motivation and how slowly things are progressing. I’m only able to manage lifting 500grams with my left arm due to weakness. I was never a gym person before, I’ve always been sport driven for fitness. In the back of my mind I’m worried and not wanting to accept the possibility of not playing sport again. Gym workouts don’t interest me but I’d like to get back to running. Does anyone know when this might be possible post ACDF?

  • Hi All..I am having ACDF in March 12, 2020   I was told its C4 -C7 laminectomy and C4 -C7 pastoral spinal fusion. I've been working through the pain for about 18 months now.   I am kind of active but Referee Ice Hockey, small kids through High School games....anyone think I might get back in the games come August 2020?  

  • OswaldOtteOOswaldOtte Posts: 9
    edited 03/02/2020 - 11:28 AM

    Here is my story:

    I had c6-c7 fused on febr 20th.

    Immediately after waking up, the burning pain in right shoulder and elbow was gone, so was the tingling in my hand. I did notice the left part of my tongue was numb and some tingling in the tip of my index finger. And my right arm felt a bit weak. 10 days post op, these symptoms remain. They don 't bother me much, but I do hope they will go away.

    I haven't taken any pain killers since leaving  the hospital. I do take a muscle relaxant before going to sleep.

    I have been walking since day 2. I do a couple of walks each day,  totaling around 6kms a day. 

    I hope to get back on my mtb as soon as possible. At first probably short rides on pavement.

    I'm glad I found this page. A lot of horror stories are  found online. The vibe here seems more positive. I hope that time will heal us.

  • I forgot to mention that I also had difficulty swallowing after surgery. I could eat solid food from day 1, but it wasn't very comfortable. So I have been making smoothies more often. After 11 days swallowing has improved considerably, but still not 100%.

    I have also been riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes since yesterday.

    I'll post updates here from time to time. Feel free to ask me any questions in case you are facing an acdf.

  • 2 weeks post op now.

    I still have tingling sensation in 1 finger. It seems to get worse during the night. My right upper arm feels week and hurts when raising hand above shoulder level. Left side of tip of tongue still numb. I sometimes feel a burning sensation in my neck. I think 1 level below fusion, but hard to tell exactly where.

    Stitches have been removed. Swallowing has improved a lot. I have a scar, but I don't mind scars and it's hardly noticable.

    I have been walking and/or riding the stationary bike daily. Normally I should be able to ride a bike in 2 more weeks, but I can't imagine riding one now. Lifting my head to look ahead, and also road vibration worries me.

    Haven't taken any pain meds since leaving hospital.

  • OswaldOtte

    It sounds like you are doing very well at only 2 weeks, recovery takes time, the nerve pain you are having is usually the last thing to go away. Bwlow is a link that may be helpful. You may also want to start your own discussion, you would most likely get more comments that way.

    Spinal Fusion Surgery Recovery: 1 to 4 Weeks After


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