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  • 1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

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    Old 04-21-2004, 08:54 PM   #1
    secondfiddle
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    1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

    I had my surgery last Thursday - ACDF c5/6. I'm wearing my soft collar and following all the exercise instructions, and the pain is gradually getting better. But in the last couple of days, I've been getting more and more dizzy for some reason. It's mostly with position changes, but sometimes I really feel like I'm walking like a drunk! I have switched to a different pain medicine, in case it was from the Darvocet, but I don't see much difference.

    Also, my incision is still intact and the steri-strips are still on, but on the right side of the incision, there is a hard area under the skin that is painful to touch. It's kind of like a ridge along the incision, and ends in a round bump just beyond the incision. There is no redness or drainage. It does look a little swollen - more on the right side of my neck.

    I still have some problems with swallowing - like there is a lump in my throat. Could this actually be the lump I'm feeling with swallowing?? Or maybe just scar tissue or fluid or something else? Does anyone else have this?

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 04-22-2004, 05:42 AM   #2
    gloryemt
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    Re: 1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by secondfiddle
    I had my surgery last Thursday - ACDF c5/6. I'm wearing my soft collar and following all the exercise instructions, and the pain is gradually getting better. But in the last couple of days, I've been getting more and more dizzy for some reason. It's mostly with position changes, but sometimes I really feel like I'm walking like a drunk! I have switched to a different pain medicine, in case it was from the Darvocet, but I don't see much difference.

    Also, my incision is still intact and the steri-strips are still on, but on the right side of the incision, there is a hard area under the skin that is painful to touch. It's kind of like a ridge along the incision, and ends in a round bump just beyond the incision. There is no redness or drainage. It does look a little swollen - more on the right side of my neck.

    I still have some problems with swallowing - like there is a lump in my throat. Could this actually be the lump I'm feeling with swallowing?? Or maybe just scar tissue or fluid or something else? Does anyone else have this?

    Thanks!
    Hi There, I am not sure if i can be of any help but i can tell you of my experience and give you some of my ideas. I am 2 weeks post op ACDF c 4-5 and c 5-6, they also put cages in. First of all what meds are you taking? I am not really sure what your dizziness is caused by but i can tell you that your body can do some really strange things during your healing time because now that you have had your surgery your nerves and spinal cord are not being compressed anymore so they are trying to heal. I suppose that could be causing your dizziness, however that would be a good question for your doc. As far as your incision, after surgery did you have a drain in your neck? I can tell you about mine, first of all i did not have any steri strips, all the sutures are on the inside under the skin. The only thing visible was on each end of my incision, actually well below the incision, sticking out of my skin was a string. When i went back for my post op visit alls they did was cut the strings off level with my skin. From the time i left the hospital till i went back for my post op visit i had to keep the incision covered with a guaze pad, and i am also wearing the soft collar. They had put a long rubber like drain tube under the incision site that stuck out at the very end of my incision and that was removed the next morning after surgery before i came home. So with that coming out the end of my incision that left the end of my incision basically opened without any sutures in it so when i came home i had a little bit of drainage that would come out of that small opening. The drainage stopped in about a week and of course that spot healed together nicely. I was a bit upset because my incision was raised up and just terrible looking. It is healing well now and is starting to calm down and isnt as raised up as it was. I am putting Mederma on it 4 times a day now, hopefully it works and does fade it because i dont have any natural wrinkle marks on my neck so the doc just cut where he wanted to. Anyway, i am thinking, after your surgery did you have any drainage out of your incision? It could be a possibility that where the lump is under your skin you should have been draining out of that site. It is also a possibility that it is just scar tissue. I am most certain that the lump under your incision has nothing to do with the lump in your throat. Immediately after surgery when i woke up i had that same lump in my throat and it just about drove me nuts!!! Like i said i am 2 weeks post op and the lump is just now starting to go away. The doc says it is normal to have that lump in your throat and from all the posts that i read on here it is very common and some people have the lump for a long time. The lump in your throat is really nothing to worry about. If your incision is looking a little swollen or if there is some redness you didnt have before it would be worth while to call your doc and explain it to them, they may want to see you to check it out to make sure you dont have an infection. Anyway, i hope that i have helped some. If you have any questions just ask. Good luck.
    Glory

     
    Old 04-22-2004, 05:49 AM   #3
    Stormy Dew
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    Re: 1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by secondfiddle
    I had my surgery last Thursday - ACDF c5/6. I'm wearing my soft collar and following all the exercise instructions, and the pain is gradually getting better. But in the last couple of days, I've been getting more and more dizzy for some reason. It's mostly with position changes, but sometimes I really feel like I'm walking like a drunk! I have switched to a different pain medicine, in case it was from the Darvocet, but I don't see much difference.

    Also, my incision is still intact and the steri-strips are still on, but on the right side of the incision, there is a hard area under the skin that is painful to touch. It's kind of like a ridge along the incision, and ends in a round bump just beyond the incision. There is no redness or drainage. It does look a little swollen - more on the right side of my neck.

    I still have some problems with swallowing - like there is a lump in my throat. Could this actually be the lump I'm feeling with swallowing?? Or maybe just scar tissue or fluid or something else? Does anyone else have this?

    Thanks!

     
    Old 04-22-2004, 05:51 AM   #4
    Stormy Dew
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    Re: 1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

    I to had the same problem w/ my first neck surgery. I felt like I had a lemon lodged in my throat. It went away within a week or so. I was also hoarse.

     
    Old 04-22-2004, 10:46 AM   #5
    pattymelt
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    Re: 1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

    I am three weeks postop ACDF and PCDF from C3 to C7 and still have the lump-like feeling in my throat and am still hoarse but it is better than it was. Every day is a bit better than the day before. I was in the hospital for four days and they removed my drains on the third day. Have been able to cut down on the pain medications which helps my momentum and clears my thinking a bit. Good luck and hang it there ! It does get better.

    Pat

     
    Old 04-22-2004, 12:50 PM   #6
    Duckdog
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    Re: 1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

    I have the same raised area under the scar from the incision. I had the same lump in my throat, too. It really felt strange to yawn for the first week or two, but now at 5 .5 wks, I really don't feel any problems in my throat anymore.

    As far as the dizziness... try loosening the collar a tad. it's not for the reasons one would think, but for a reason I never knew until I was able to take my collar off for an extended period. When the P.A. had me take my collar off, he asked if i was getting dizzy, which I had to dmit that I was. He explained to me that in your main arteries in your neck, there are some kind of barrel restrictors that monitor blood pressure in your head and body. It seems that the collar kind of places that pressure at a level that is different than normal, so when you take it off, you will get dizzy, until you either get used to the new pressure, or wear your collar at a different tightness that allows that pressure to be closer to normal. I tend to believe it, because the very first time I took my collar off to change the dressing, I darned near passed out. There were also some other times that I was a tad bit "off" too, which I would guess now, was caused by the wearing of the soft collar. Either way, after about 3 weeks of wearing the soft collar, my body must have pretty much compensated for the collar, as I really did not seem to notice any signifcant dizziness anymore.. Good Luck.

     
    Old 04-22-2004, 09:18 PM   #7
    secondfiddle
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    Re: 1 week post-op; a couple of problems/questions

    Thank you all for your replies! It really helps to read what others are going through.

    I talked to the nurse today. He said the incision feels like it does because of the "plastic surgery closure" the surgeon does. It was all done from the inside, and what I'm feeling is the incision healing. The ridge will go away as it heals. He said the bump at the end of the incision is probably an area where there was some accumulated blood that is starting to be reabsorbed. Not to worry about it.

    As far as the dizziness is concerned, he said it is from the muscle spasms in my neck. I had cut back on the Soma (muscle relaxant) thinking it might be making me dizzy, but really that made the muscle spasms and the dizziness worse. He said as things start to heal in there and the spasms start to let up, the dizziness should go away. So, back on the Soma 4 times a day.

    I also asked him about the pain - it seemed to let up a couple days ago, and now it's worse again. He said that's normal, and that I'll eventually have more good days than bad days. But the ups and downs are normal, and everyone's different. He did say I shouldn't "overdo" on the good days. I asked him what kind of restrictions I should be observing, and how much lifting, since it wasn't on the printed instructions he gave me. He said "the heaviest thing you should be lifting right now is a sandwich and a drink."

    So, a couple of days ago when I felt better, I repotted a couple of plants - probably not a good idea, especially since I feel worse now. He said no sweeping, no mopping, no vaccuuming, no laundry, etc. I guess I'll need to put a call into Merry Maids tomorrow

    Hubby drove me to a concert at our church tonight. It was definitely too long, and I'm hurting a whole lot now, but it was worth it to get out. I have a friend coming tomorrow to take me out to lunch - just have to figure out what I can eat with this lump in my throat!

    Thanks again for all your responses - they are very encouraging, and I really need that!

     
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