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5 Days Post-op

rachfacerrachface OregonPosts: 1
edited 09/13/2016 - 12:00 PM in New Member Introductions
Hi all:
Today, 9.13 I am 5 days post-op. I came looking for other people who may have had the same experience as me. I feel fortunate to have found this forum.

I had an ACDF at the C3-C4. I have extensive additional issues with my spine (as it seems like most do) as well. I have moderate but growing stenosis at the C1 Putting pressure on my brain stem & I have Ankylosing Spondylitis which among other areas is fusing my C5. All went well with my surgery and before.

I have my post op visit on Thursday and I'm concerned. Probably about 18 (ish) hours post-op my surgeons PA came in the hospital room introduced himself and then immediately stated that I was in an unrealistic amount of pain. I was taking enough meds to kill me and I would need to get control. He went on to say that since he didnt feel comfortable sending me home with no prescription for pain meds he would give them to me for 2 weeks and then I would need to see my primary and on and on... Let me clarify. Post-op I was being given 10 mg of oxycodone every 4 hours. I had some injections of .5 mg of dilaudid which would make me vomit and therefore didnt take much. The nurse at the hospital while being extremely professional did make it clear that after a surgery like this I was well within normal range for pain and that it is actually a painful recovery. I was in shock and in tears. what had just happened? I'm still unsure what his issue is and I haven't received tons of pain meds and never from his office. I have expected to recover more quickly than this. This may be an unrealistic expectation. [edit] to be frank I find that when docs have unrealistic expectations it is usually because they haven't had the experience to really know.

I'm not sleeping well and when I do I wake up in a lot of pain. I have a lot of muscle pain and still some trouble swallowing. I wasn't given a collar. My pain is controlled with the meds I was given. I currently am getting more rest than anything. Can't lift my head from the pillow with out assistance. I have tons of muscle pain and spasm. While my throat is better, it still hurts a bit to swallow and is difficult to swallow as well. I have little rotation and I feel like this is mostly a muscle issue.

What is your experience post-op?

Comment edited by Liz, Spine-health Moderator to remove name calling



  • AMWoodyAMWoody SurreyPosts: 107
    I have not had the same op as you but I can tell you that when you reach out to a forum you will find help. I found these places the only real place to receive help. You will be ok, You have to do what is right for you and take what you need to get through.. I am hoping someone who ahs had your op will come on here and help you. It is a very worrying time and I know exactly how you feel. My op was in April.. Do everything you are told and relax as best you can..
  • Hi, I had an ACDF at c5/6 about 3 months ago. 

    From what I was told by various people - there can be quite a range in how someone feels after surgery. It is good that your pain is controlled now - though if you are in a lot of pain when you wake maybe it would be worth talking to your GP/PCP about adjusting your meds (though I'm not sure if they like to adjust meds from other drs).  

    I was pretty lucky pain wise and didnt need meds past the first week (except the nerve pain stuff I was already on - and am still taking). It did take about 2-3 weeks for the swallowing/eating pain to go. Over that time I ate a lot of home made, blended soups. I am very lucky to have a partner do all the household stuff for me.

    Rest is really, really important - though make sure you start walking soonish - don't push it though. I was told to just go as far as the mailbox the first time, then slowly increase. I found audiobooks really good - I listened to them walking after I felt confident going by myself - and I still go to be early and listen. 

    Good luck!
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,264
    hello rachface!
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hello. I too have issues with these discs yet since the first two are not very bad yet and because i am only 23 my surgeon only did my fusion for my blown disc between L5-S1. I had my surgery  last month on the 23rd. I can say it definitely isnt a walk in the park for recovery but dont let it discourage you. My pain was beyond what i felt i could handle. My fusion was an internal one so they went through my stomach, so getting in and out of bed was terrible the first week but it does get better. Im also dealing with the beginning of fibromyalgia and i also have chronic fatigue syndrome, and early on set of rheumatoid arthritis with the bulging discs. Which makes the recover that much harder since i am forced to walk as much as possible in a session twice a day. But despite all that i can say relaxing when you can but doing as much walking or whatever you dr has told you to do will help alot. If you find yourself in pain laying down alot, switching positions or using (non hard) cold compresses help alot along side pain meds. Also even talking a small 5 min walk just around the house allows for the muscles to loosen a bit and helps me as well. I just recently ripped an internal stitch and am working on what to do for that pain now. I made the mistake of sitting up without the support of my arms out of habit and it tore. So definitely be careful sitting up weather its an incision from the front or back. Hope some of this helped.. 
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