Hello Good people,
And very happy holidays to one and all. I'm set for surgery in a few weeks. I did have a MRI after my car accident but not with contrast. No one would even discuss it with me - contrast only if I've had previous cervical surgery, they said. My neuro was fine with the non contrasted MRI. He felt he could say there was no evidence of trauma or injury from the car wreck. Lucky. And I am healing from the whiplash.
I'm told I may be in hospital for 2 nights. I will have cadaver bone, plate and screws. Doc feels very confident but I have a history of med reactions and a tough time with anethsia and dehydration so I may need an extra day. Soft collar and I'm out of work for 6 weeks and back at half days for 4 additional weeks. Oh, and PT for 6 wks minimum. That's what I know now. Pre-op on Jan 6th. I really am glad it's only a few weeks away. I really hate the pre-op phase. SQ
Hi and good luck with your surgery. I am several years postop C5-7 anterior fusion, plating with donor bone. I did fine. I never asked for a pain med after my surgery, although they did insist on a pain med for the ride home. My "nerve pain" relief was immediate. I actually only stayed out of work for 10 days post op, went back half days three days a week for two weeks and then back to work full time. I was lucky that I had a desk job and was able to get up and walk every few minutes throughout the day thabks to a very accomodating boss. Mine was a matter of economics and insurance continuance though. I had no ill effects from the surgery itself. I had some post op incision pain and a little difficulty swallowing, choking for a while that was more of a nuisance than painful. I did have some episodic vertigo that eventually resolved. All in all my experience was positive. I did have some residual loss of strength, loss of feeling postop but there was a delay from my actual rupture until the repair of several weeks. I had a congenital fusion that complicated my treatment plan and insurance issues caused a delay. But otherwise, I had a positive experience. At times, lifting, overuse of the neck muscles (like remaining in a constant position for extended periods, etc can cause some neck and shoulder issues, but it is nothing compared to the pain prior to the repair. I do hope you have as good an outcome as I have had.
I spent two nights in the hospital after my ACDF in 2006 I was comfortable in the hospital bed so I didn't mind 2 nights. I took the pain medication and muscle relaxant as prescribed to ward off any problems. I had an Aspen Collar, no PT, and returned to work at 7 weeks post-surgery. The biggest piece of advice for you is stay active if you can after surgery. I went back to work at week 7 and was miserable....not from neck pain but I was so deconditioned. The walk from my car in the parking lot to the building door wore me out. All I had done for 7 weeks is putter around my house.
In 2008 I had a second cervical surgery and after that one I got on my treadmill at around day 14. I did 5 minutes a day for a week. Then starting on day 21 I added 1 minute a day. BUT, I always stopped if I had any pain or unusual symptom while walking. I found I slept better and when I went back to work after 6 weeks from that surgery I didn't have the issue of being deconditioned.
Many thanks for the reassuring replies. As a veteran spine surgery post-op, I sure do know the importance of getting up and moving. My recovery for this surgery is predicted to be a bit longer, in part, because of the ongoing issues I have with SI joint degeneration that causes a significant left-leg limp and gait disturbance. But I am an active person and it is hard for me to sit down and settle. My family think I do too much and my docs have always been glad to know I am so active. I love to walk. I have 3 dogs and a cat that love to walk. So, post-op I will be chomping at the bit to get back to our routine of several walks a day together along our woodland paths. Being in NH, grippers and canes are a must. In fact, my list of needed items is mostly about safety gear for walking (sand on the back deck, extra grippers and so on).
I have a technical question: how do surgeons know they have removed all the bone that is causing problems? With the anterior approach, they can still see all the bone and remove it?
My recent MRI did reveal bad bone on the left side that hadn't shown up on my previous 2 MRIs. Surgeon tells me it was a good thing to see this before going in. I'm just curious about whtehr this bad bone is evident during the surgery since it is so much in the back of the spine.
I, too, am hopeful that my recovery may be quicker than the docs prediction. He is, too. Maybe. But I can't bank on it and my last few surgeries have been much slower recovery-wise than the average. It's OK - I'll use the time and focus on being a good patient and doing my part in rehab. I want a good outcome more than a quick recovery. Thanks again SQ
Just dropping a note to wish you luck Suzy. At least it a good time of the year to have your sugery. Id rather have it done this time of yr. then summer. Heres to a successful surgery & quick recovery. God bless, Sammy