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Old 03-29-2007, 09:45 AM   #1
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72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

Hi,

I am apprx 72 hrs. post of from ACDF C6-7 donor bone, plate. No collar, went home same day as surgery. I am feeling great. Very mild sore throat, very mild, some pain in back of neck. I took Vicodin and Valium as prescribed the last 2 days. Have yet to take anything today and feel fine, maybe I'll just 1/2 the dose and wean off over the next couple of days.

OK...so my question...which I really didn't discuss with NS prior to this surgery. I was probably expecting way too much right away. My biggest complaints prior to surgery was the numbness/weird/sensitive feet, occasional off-balance feeling and my nervous system constantly buzzing. So...bottoms of feet still have that weird feeling (kind of overly-sensitive is how I would describe it) and still have the nerves all over buzzing, like hyper-sensitve. I know this is only day 3 since surgery, but I start to get scared that none of this will improve. So, those who have had similar neurological symptoms was the improvement (if you had it!) slow? How slow? I know we are all different. Patience is not my strong point, but can it be a really slow process and I still get well or is there a good chance I am stuck with all of this? I guess I expected once pressure was off the cord I would have a huge, noticeable difference right away; can't say that's the case. Beyond these remaining neuro symptoms that I don't like...my neck/arm pain, incision site, throat, etc. is just no big deal...feels good...so far! Thanks for your input and experience. Mona

 
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

OK Guys...don't mean to be impatient...sorry. Ok, 4 days since ACDF C6-7 donor bone, plate & screws. Feeling great as far as pain, throat etc. It's the neuro stuff. Just wanted to check again to see if anyone can tell me their experience. I was hopeful when pressure was off the cord a bunch of the neuro stuff would settle, wrong! So...in general is this stuff slow to heal? I do realize I can be stuck with some permanent stuff as well, just am wanting to get some input to try to remain hopeful. The slight dizziness, numbness in feet, over-sensitive nervous system...can this take months to heal? Okay, I can't base anything on 4 days I know, but would love to hear about timelines that others have experienced when it comes to neuro issues following ACDF. Thanks loads!

 
Old 03-30-2007, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

I had ACDF of C6-7 with donor bone and plate at the end of February. However, I only suffered from nerve root compression - no chord compression. My pre-surgical symptoms consisted of extreme weakness in the left tricep area, numbness of the left forefinger and middle finger and pressure in the shoulder and elbow areas of the left arm. I was told that symptoms of pain and pressure would be the first to be relieved following surgery and that the numbness would take more time. The numbness in my left hand is still there, but not near as bad as pre-surgery. It continues to improve with time.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

 
Old 03-30-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

I had my ACDF C5-C7 surgery 11 weeks ago. I had numb hands (mostly when I slept) before the surgery. (and ALOT of pain). I still have the numb hands but the pain has lessened. I think I probably have nerve damage because I have had neck issues for 5 yrs. I probably waited too long to get the surgery.

 
Old 04-01-2007, 08:57 PM   #5
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

I have been told and can tell from my surgery experience that the nerve stuff(pain, pins and needle numbness ) takes month to heal. My overall pain improved from my acdf 5/6 but i am still experiencing burning in my nerves. If I were you I wouldn't be so quick to plan on being off the pain meds. You feel pretty good for now but wait til you have to start doing everything for yourself and the things you might have given up on presurgery. My Doc explained to me that if you are not relieving the pain your body is not getting the rest it needs to heal in timely manor. That's great that you are feeling so good, keep them on hand for awhile just in case, you can always flush them later. good Luck P

 
Old 04-02-2007, 08:12 AM   #6
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

Thanks for input. I am 1 week post op today. Pretty much no change...other than the neck/arm pain is better than prior to surgery. I do have the pain meds still, but am not taking them too much. I am trying to remain hopeful about all of my weird neuro symptoms. I just never really discussed it with my NS prior to surgery about any kind of time frame, guess I was expecting a miracle! The nervousness, jumpy nervous system is the one symptom I am most hoping to see improvement with, it's very difficult to tolerate. I guess it is called "nerve pain," but doesn't feel painful...just really uncomfortable and terrible, it wears me out. I have read on other posts and sites that nerves are slow to heal. I will try to be more patient, not over do it, and bring my list of question for my NS when I see him for a post-op appt in 2 weeks. Anyone else that experienced cord compression with the tremors, feet numbness, off-balance gait etc. prior to ACDF I so appreciate hearing your post-op experiences and time frames...realizing it's different for us all; but it's so great to share with others who understand! This board has been a HUGE help to me. Thanks. Mona

 
Old 04-02-2007, 08:55 PM   #7
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

Keep in mind it can take MONTHS for nerves to heal. They heal at a VERY slow rate. I had my ACDF in May of 2006 and had some immediate relief of numbness - but it took 6-8 months for the major changes to start and make me feel better.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

monarog - I know the sorts of cord symptoms you are talking about - I have a lot of the same sort of stuff - not really painful but very uncomfortable and also scary because you are always wondering whats going on with your nerves and where its headed. I've just had a disc replacement c5/c6 seven days ago. For me currently the symptoms seem a little more flared up/worse than before the surgery, so I'm hoping that a proper decompression has been achieved - but I'd expect it to take a long time (weeks, months, maybe years) for this stuff to settle down - and if you've had it a while (like I have) some of it will probably be permanent. For me a good outcome would be stability - so basically I'm hoping in a few months it will have stabilised and the ongoing deterioration that was happening pre-surgery will stop.

 
Old 04-09-2007, 01:22 PM   #9
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

Hi Rob,

Yes, it is so uncomfortable. Like you said, also scary sometimes as you just wonder what is next or where it's headed. The other thing for me is it is so unpredictable...yesterday was a pretty good day. Today, my nervous system feels very jumpy and electrified. I am hopeful to see some improvement. No further deterioration, of course, is my expectation...but, I am also very hopeful of improvement. I am only at 2 weeks post-op today...like you said, probably weeks, months or maybe even years to really know - I don't think at the short time frames we're both at that we can know, patience I guess! I was dealing with the crazy neuro stuff for apprx one year prior to the surgery. I hope things start looking up for you. I see my NS in one week to get his take on things. Keep us posted with your progress, okay? Thanks for the input. Mona

 
Old 04-09-2007, 02:01 PM   #10
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

Hello All,
Gee, I thought that buzzing in my thighs, chest, and stomach, were my "Spider Senses tingling". I'll be 6 months post on the 16th of this month. I find the buzzing to be mildly amusing.
Today the big cold front is moving thru. I don't feel as bad as I usually do.
I still have weakness, but I have had all those other surgeries in the last 18 months.
I think sometimes. That this 52 year old body should be healed up. You know like when I was 20. Unfortunately, it don't work that way. A little improvement everyday.
Regards,
Ice

 
Old 04-09-2007, 02:13 PM   #11
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

All this talk about buzzing is kind of cracking me up. I bought a recumbent exercise bike about a month ago. I really like it alot. After a week of riding it, my butt starting buzzing like the vibration of a cell phone!!!!!! At the same time that this occurred, I was reading Teri Garr's autobiography. I swear to you, she started describing that same buzzing sensation like a cell phone vibration. I started getting slightly panicky because she found out she has MS. (oy). Then about a week later it went away. THEN my husband started getting the same buzzing in his butt, too!!!!!! It was pretty comical. Obviously that bike did something to both of our rumps!!! Isnt that hysterical?

 
Old 04-09-2007, 05:21 PM   #12
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Re: 72 hrs. Post-Op ACDF, Donor Bone Plate...Questions

Nerves are just plain weird I think. It's kind of like having a baby...unless you've been through it it's almost impossible to describe, at least some of the crazy stuff I've had anyway. I'm still blown away that one disc in my neck on my cord can upset my whole system so much, but I'm no doctor of anatomy (though I've tried to educate myself) - so there you go. When it changed from just (I say "just" mildly...yes, it was horribly painful) my nerve root to my spinal cord - it was just such a different, crazy, often terrible ride. I hope for all on this board that we find relief! This has all been very humbling for me...leading up to this, at age 45 - thankfully, I'd never really experienced any kind of medical problem that wasn't just an inconvenience. Yeah, I hear ya, I don't think the old body heals quite like my younger days...especially this crazy nerve stuff. Yeah...and all this time I thought my cell phone was on vibrate...all over my body!

Last edited by monarog; 04-09-2007 at 05:24 PM. Reason: addition

 
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