One Week Till ACDF

mgunthermmgunther Lake Hopatcong, NJPosts: 12
My god.   How the time is dragging.  pre-clearance tomorrow.

i have done NOTHING over the past 2 weeks - pain comes and goes.  I tried to do a few push-ups yesterday - no pain doing them - but got up and turned my head and boom - pain down my arm.  Like you said Bruce - anything can happen - but need the surgery. 

Cant live doing nothing. . . . affects quality of life - especially doing the fun things with my son.

Don't know what to expect.  Reading alot and watching videos is rather fear-instilling. . . . 

7 days and counting



  • Hi,

    A while back, it would have been like I wrote your post.

    All the best!
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,340
    Good luck tomorrow Matt.
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  • Hang in there and think positive thoughts. I was in excruciating pain 24/7 for 6 months before I finally had surgery (ACDF 5/6, 6/7).  I also watched the videos and it was quite scary. My advice is to be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. I personally would not have been able to take care of myself for the first week. I couldn't lift a carton of orange juice, had a difficult time getting out of bed even with using a nice back support pillow. Taking a shower was a challenge, walking for the first 2/3 days was painful but it got better. Make sure to go for walks as much as you can because it does help with blood flow and the fusion process. I highly recommend to wear the neck brace (hard collar) prior to having the surgery. Get used to how it feels, how to get it on / off because you'll be stuck in it for a while. I had to wear mine for 2 months! I'm a bit claustrophobic and being stuck in that brace was not easy for me but I did it. Make sure you have help and don't do things you're not supposed to do. No matter how much you want to or think you can! Don't do it! It's not worth risking injury! Healing takes time! You'll have good and bad days but for me recovering from surgery was easier than dealing with the horrific pain I was in prior to the surgery. I only needed pain pills for 4 days but I did take muscle relaxers a few days longer for stiffness. I'm not a big fan of pain pills and I was happy that I only needed them for a few days. A heating pad is a must to relax the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Stay away from ice because it will stiffen your muscles. Give your body time to heal and let family or friends help you. Your recovery has to be your #1 priority. Best of luck to you. 
  • mgunthermmgunther Lake Hopatcong, NJPosts: 12
    Thank you LS3!  Appreciate the kind words. 

    I have stopped doing so much before surgery.    Shockingly - the pain is not as bad now.  i know i made the right decision to do it - just weird how it comes and goes.

    Im very sore in my neck / shoulders / upper back.  just want to stop over compensating and get through this

    How long did your surgery take? 2-3 hours?

  • Hi, you're welcome. My surgery took 3 hours. It's been 6 months since I had it. I did experience tingling shooting down my right arm about 4 months after the surgery.  It seemed weird because my pain was all on the left side (neck, shoulder, back, arm, hand, 3 fingers) prior to the surgery. The tingling has stopped, so I guess it was part of healing. Not to freak you out, but I unfortunately ended up with my right vocal cord being paralyzed. My voice is very weak, breathy and at times raspy. It's a challenge to speak and I have not been able to return to work. It is common for your voice to be affected right after the surgery and it may last for a few days. My situation is apparently very rare and I'm hopeful my vocal cord will heal in time. I can honestly say that even though my voice is messed up, I'm so glad I had this surgery. No regrets, only grateful for being free of pain because I was losing my mind! You might need the pain pills for a few weeks. I just don't like taking narcotics, so I depended more on my heating pad and calming my nerves by listening to music. My doctor said not to take ibuprofen or naproxen because they stop fusing.  I can't stress enough to accept help. I wasn't allowed to drive for 2 months, so I needed lots of help with grocery shopping and so on. I'm still careful with exercising, lifting things and basically how I move around. I feel like my neck is still a bit fragile. Better safe than sorry
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  • Good luck matt
    Here is hoping for great pain relief and swift recovery.  I am about a week out from my two level acdf also.  Mine is way overdo, I just kept putting it off until I couldn't stand it anymore.  
  • mgunthermmgunther Lake Hopatcong, NJPosts: 12
    Good luck to you too - DMO.  

    More random pain now.  more i do - more it hurts.  Quality of life improvement - here we come!
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