Funny you should mention this. I just went for my first post op (ACDF C5-C7) and I asked that same question. She said its OK to take ibuprofen, but to only do it on the rare occasion. She said it could inhibit fusion, but only if taken alot. I have decided to definitely NOT take it for 6 months, personally.
I have taken high doses of NSAIDs for years, so was taken aback when (at my 6 week post-op visit) my NS said no anti-inflammatories for a year! I told him I practically live on them and he said I could take 1 now and then, but nothing in high doses and nothing on a freq. basis, because we need the inflammation for the graft to take. I've still had to take them but don't take as much or as often as I used to........ which leads me to a question I've been worried about..... How do you know if you haven't fused?
My understanding is that they take alot of Xrays after your surgery to see the progress of the fusion. I get one everytime I go for a post op appt. My first one was today at 12 days. Then 6 weeks. Then I think 3 months....and on and on. I know I am going to do these Xrays for at least a yr. and half. Was that what you were asking as far as how do you know if you have fused? I may have misunderstood what you meant.
Thanks, yes, that's what I meant. I was unsure because my NS released me from his care after my 6 week appt. I got a good result (good pain relief) from my ACDF, and things were looking good on the 6 week films so he said he wouldn't need to see me again unless I had problems. He said it would take about a year for the fusion to complete and then added if I did have to see him again it would probably be because one of the adjacent levels was causing problems, not the one he fixed.
Do most people continue to go for follow-ups until the fusion is confirmed? (It makes sense that one would.)
It seems odd that the doctor would release you at 6 weeks. So much can happen during the recover (or not happen such as lack of fusion). I saw my doctor at 1 week post, 6 wk post, 3 mo post and 6 mo post (xrays at each visit) and then I go back for my one year this May.
I too asked my NS about NSAIDS (aspirin, naproxsen, ibuprofen, etc.). He said absolutely not to use Tylenol only for at least six months. I know there has been another discussion about drugs for your stomach (stop acid production) causing nonfusion also. It almost makes you want to not take anything til fused. OUCH!
During your recover most physicans will check for fusion. If they see the fusion is not happening they may add a bone growth stimulator (if you don't already have one immediately post-op) or other treatment. I had a bone growth stimluator prescribed for use immediately after surgery and used it 4 hr/day for the first 6 months post-op.
I was repeatedly told over and over to NOT take ibuprofen for at least the first 6 months. So I take tylenol or my prescription drugs if needs. When asked she told me that it interferes with fusion also not to be around a lot of smoke.