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Curious about others restrictions for cervical discectomy with single fusion

Hello all,
Just so interested to see the differences in Doc orders post single level fusions. How long are you supposed to only lift 8 pounds, how long are you not allowed to drive, how long do you have to wear your collar?
I am pretty certain no driving for 10 days, no collar and nothing heavier that a gallon of milk. Still not sure how long I will have that weight restriction. But worst thing of all no showers. OMG- I shower every day. Did buy a tub bench and a HH shower . Supposed to go to wedding 10 days post op . Have to figure out how to wash hair at some point prior to the wedding. They may not let me in the wedding. :)
I am a but concerned about throat pain and difficulty swallowing . It seems to last a bit and if I am traveling that may be a challenge. We are staying in a time share type of unit so will have a stove and cook soup and eat soft things. Probabaly will need to bring my own food to wedding.
Would anyone mind sharing their precautions and restrictions and the length of time that they are enforced? Thank you, Lisa


  • I just had a 2level ACDF Monday night and I had no showering restrictions. The bandaging he used is waterproof. The swallowing was a nightmare for two days. The Dr had me take some ibuprofen and it resolved quickly. I think a lot depends on how the surgery is performed, my Dr didn't cut my neck muscles like some do so I've not had to sorry as much about restrictions though you must be very careful not to put pressure on your neck muscles. If you do it will punish you so make sure you have somewhere you can sleep sitting up if possible.
  • I love your screen name. Awesome! Sweet that he used waterproof bandaging. I am hoping that the what to expect pw that I got regarding my ACDF is old and that things have changed since then. My pw said no showers for 2 weeks. I bought and tub bench and a HH shower. My NS is going in anteriorly too not cutting neck muscles just pulling everything off to the side to get in. Is this why our throats hurt so much? So funny my Doc told me no ibuprofen before but your Doc was cool with you taking it immediately after for pain. Never thought I would have to sleep upright wow. I do have a wedge I can use. Is the pain mostly at the back of your neck at surgical site. Any spasms for you? Were you in and out on same day? Sorry to barrage you with so many questions. Sounds like you are doing quite well.
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  • Thanks!

    Hopefully your PW is old or your doc is over doing it for noncompliant patients. My doc told me to keep the bandage intact and dry and be careful with my head movements. If you develop a rapport with you NS and explain your circumstances he may break protocol and fine tune your PSx instructions.

    Anterior doesn't mean they won't cut muscle on entry versus separating (or whatever its called). They get a better window when they cut so the Dr may prefer this. My sx took an extra 1.5hrs which my Dr allowed for. I'm not sure its his standard practice. Some do some don't.

    The throat issues are from intubation. It is direct trauma to your larynx. For me this has been by far the worst part. The Dr did allow ibuprofen for this issue but only a limited amount for a limited duration. Ibuprofen can prevent bone from fusing so they are going to be hesitant to ok it unless you really need it and the Dr can trust you.

    As far as spasm, I'm not sure. It feels more like a strain sprain. My muscles hurt easily with movement and the pain is strong. Its hard to do movements where your head isn't centered above your body. The pain prevents you from using your strength to hold your head up. Rest and protecting your neck muscles has big rewards and not doing so has big punishments. Listen to your body and you may actually find yourself enjoying the laziness. :)
  • Hi again,
    I have heard people say their throat feels like someone Karate chopped it to feels like pins and needles when they swallow. Oww. I hope my anesthesiologist is gentle to me. I was not sure if throat pain was due to actual surgery, intubation or fact that they pull everything so far off to the side to get to your neck. Prepared to eat soft things for at least 3-4 days. Counting the days surgery this Wednesday. Thanks for the info. Lisa
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