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ACDF Recovery?

Jenng128Jenng128 BostonPosts: 2
edited 09/08/2016 - 2:47 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm 5 months post op from an ACDF 2 level fusion surgery in my neck due to a car accident which left me almost paralyzed.  I'm curious to find out if my left side pain and numbness radiating down my arm and leg are within normal  recovery from the decompression of my spinal canal with on and off stiff neck too. I went to my second follow up with my neurosurgeon and he is telling me my fusion isnt complete but the xrays show progression of fusion. So I'm told my spine looks like it's healing accordingly, but he is concerned with my leftside pain and numbness. I'm truly concerned,  but trying to not dwell and  stay strong in mind.& body as I still feel like something isnt quite right? Anyone having similar post op recovery issues? 

Also is post op depression a common side effect? I'm in search of a support group or will have to seek out a pain counselor/program as I am in excruciating pain so much so at times I still can't turn my neck.

Remaining hopeful as I'm sitting with ice and soft collar on my neck unable to sleep. Hope to hear positive feedback. 

Wishing you all more good days than bad...




  • How come you didn't consider having and artificial disc replacement ADR instead?
  • I'd go get a second opinion, especially because you live in a place like Boston which is replete with good doctors.  Have you had flex x-rays?  Those are better at telling if you are fusing, but a CT is most definitive.  I had a post-op MRI and the radiologist report read that there was no signs that I wasn't fused, but a CT would be the best judge.

    I know someone who had a one-level fusion and he just never felt good after the surgery and he went out and got a second opinion from a doctor who determined that he did not fuse and that the original surgeon had used improper hardware.

    As to depression, I wasn't depressed after my surgery, but I had a pretty good result (still have residual problems but was told upfront I would need a second surgery). But yeah, if I were still in unremitting pain after my surgery, I am 100% sure I would also be depressed.  That is only normal.

    I'd go get a second opinion.

    Also, although I had the world's easiest recovery from surgery and was back at work full-time in six days, my neck was sufficiently stiff after surgery that I didn't feel comfortable driving until 5 1/2 months after surgery.  Others I know drove sooner, but my neck was literally too stiff to drive for that long period.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

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