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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: 233

    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: 233

    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: 233

    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: 1,496

    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.

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