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    Old 10-01-2004, 03:00 PM   #1
    mtngirl62
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    ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    The ortho surgeon scheduled my surgery for 10/12. Any advise? He said off work 1 week collar for 3 wks. All that I have found on here indicate it takes longer. Any advise appreciated. I find these postings to be very helpful and informative.

     
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    Old 10-01-2004, 04:47 PM   #2
    solardust
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    What type o job do you have?Cuz honestly I cannot imagine any job that one could go to let alone work at,one week after this surgery!Plus how do you get to said job?With a hard collar on there really is no safe way to drive.Please make sure he writes you off work for at least 3 weeks, gee's,I understand that money needs to be made, but my god you need to heal, otherwise you may very well hurt yourself alot worse and end up layed up for ever,Take care and post to let me know how you are, stock up around the house, you know those things that tend to run out at the least possible time, bathroom stuff,extra bread thrown in freezer,milk in smaller containers 1/2 gallons ect...so you do not have to lift to much,straws so you can drink without takeing a bath,haha, believe me I know,but most of all take care.Diana

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 08:53 AM   #3
    mtngirl62
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    I am an office mgr for an Energy Drink Company. I do alot of 10 key, typing moving files & boxes. I was extremely surprised when he said a week. I doubt it and appreciate the feed back. He did say I will not be able to drive until the collar is removed (3 weeks) but said with a ride there is no reason I couldn't go back. The problem is I am the only one in the office, most of the time the only one in the building during the day. What are the limitations that you had been given? I am not sure how I would even function if I can't lift anything. Now my arm goes numb the more I 10 key, I would think it would be pretty painful to do it at all for a bit after surgery. Thanks for the input. Any other suggestions? Also what household things will be able after? My roommate is awaiting a dual lower back fusion and is in alot of pain, not sure if they will be much help at all emotionally or physically. Dianne

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 09:52 AM   #4
    DonnaKay
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Dianne ... that doctor is full of **it. I went back to work part time 3 weeks out of surgery ... I would not have recommended any earlier, even if I had felt like I could. During the 2nd week I have found that depression sets in ... you will be pushing yourself way too hard to return at 1 week. No lifting! You will be better off in the long run to take care of yourself now. Remember, that energy drink company is not going to be there when you need help years down the road. I mean, you only have one neck/spinal cord. Take care of it! The drink company can wait. OH, and if you use your own bone, there is NO WAY you will be back that soon.

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 09:53 AM   #5
    solardust
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Gee's Dianne,sounds like its gonna be a difficult few months,I stocked up on the Toletpaper,the lovely monthly girl items,seems that little friend came the day after both my lower and cervical surgeries,ya got to depend on something right?haha,alot of folks on here mentioned do not lift anything heavier then gallon jug,but to be honest I was weaker then that,which really took me by surprise,those arm muscles go fast when there are spine issues,frozen foods are good, just pop the stuff in no messing with dishes and stuff,I do not think typeing is a good thing, I could only pull on a few min's to post here the first couple weeks,there was a girl in the lab yesterday when I got my blood drawn,that blew the disc in her neck from her keyboarding job,moving stuff,noway,you will see a great improvment after surgery regarding that awfull pain, but there is alot of healing to be done,plus that colar is a problem all by itself,I am on week 8 with my collar and it still causes issues for me.try to keep objects at arm pit level,you know the stuff ya use day to day,sweeping and vacuuming are both no no's,Dennis had to remind me at week 5 that laundry, even only grabbing small amounts adds up,no bed making,arm movements in general add up quick and come to haunt you when you are trying to rest,car rides are hard on ya, I mean its crazy how little you should really do,gee's bathing was a real joy,and like the first 8 days or so, I could not even wash my hair cuz of the staples in the neck,and that brings up the collar again,it really gets in the way,so if ya dye your hair ect...do it now,and purchase that dry wash for hair, it works ok,although I think the baby powder worked prolly as good,pulling up your pants at first is a chore,gosh , its everyday stuff ya take for granted that ends up being a real chore,so if you can talk the NS into min 3 weeks, plus a few more days to adjust to no collar, that would be great, cuz you are right your roommate will not be able to do anything ether,my sis had lower fusion and she says she grew roots into her couch for 12 weeks, its very serious surgery, on back or neck.The fusion has to heal or we end up back in surgery.So take your time, and insist your given it,I hope your work allows for pay for at least 6 weeks,cuz I really think thats the route to take,Take care Diana p.s someone here I bet can add others things to the no no list,keep us posted ok, Diana

     
    Old 10-02-2004, 09:58 AM   #6
    clowngrrl
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    My doctor told me NOT to ride in a car for six weeks, which would make getting to work rather difficult. He recommended three months off, with no lifting of anything over ten pounds, no twisting, pushing, pulling, etc.

     
    Old 10-03-2004, 05:55 PM   #7
    wdmoor
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Dear mtngirl62,

    You doctor is full of beans.

    I'm a 52 yr old man in good shape. Lots of walking, weights and gym time. But one week after surgery the best I was able to manage was a brief walk up the street, then I staggered home and slept for an hour.

    I had ACDF 9-21 and I'm just coming out of the fog of anesthesia where I can actually concentrate for more that 30 seconds. Almost no pain.

    Driving is impossible with these stupid collars so you'll be a danger on the road, and sleeping's no fun with a collar on so you'll be watching a lot of late night tv and dazed from the lack of sleep.

    You DON'T want to mess up your bone graft and I agree with DonnaKay. No lifting and you'll be better off in the long run if you take care of yourself now. You won't be able to move any boxes. I picked up a half-gallon of milk today and it felt like I'd been stabbed by a hot needle.

    Forget that one week stuff, you'll be out three weeks. If the doctor gets testy about a note for that long, then switch doctors. Good luck.

     
    Old 10-04-2004, 07:53 AM   #8
    dennisgb
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Wdmoor is right on.

    I had Acdf C5-6 and C6-7 with plate on 6-30-04. I was able to ride in car at about 2 weeks. I did not go back to work for 6 weeks, and only half days for the first 10 days. I was very tired after 4 hours.

    I drove at 6 weeks with collar on. You have to learn how to drive without turning neck completely around. I added little bubble mirrors to my side mirrors which allow you to see cars in your blind spots.

    My docs gave me pretty optimistic dates, times etc., going into the surgery, all of which turned out to be very optimistic!

    I was a little bugged by that, as they got my hopes up. I am just completely out of collar this week (after 14 weeks).

     
    Old 10-06-2004, 08:53 AM   #9
    EmtShirl
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    Thumbs down Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    I tend to agree with all who have said there is no way you will be back or should you go back to work that soon.

    I am sorry that I don't know much about the surgery you are about to have but I can tell you that I just had posterior fusion from C3-C7 with rods and screws and I am now 3 weeks post-op. There is NO WAY I would be able to do any kind of work right now!!!!!!!

    My days are getting better but I still spend a LOT of time on the couch with a heat pad.

    Shirl
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    Love,
    Shirl
    History:

    1980- Transaxillary resection of 1st rib and division of band (left side)
    1982- Diagnostic Laparoscopy
    1985- Transaxillary excision of cervical rib (right side)
    1991- Laser stapedectomy (right side)
    1992- Fractional D&C
    1992- Diagnostic Laparoscopy
    1996- Lumbar hemilaminectomy
    1999- Left knee arthoscopic surgery
    2001- Laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy
    2002- L5-S1 Microdiscectomy
    2002- L4-L5, L5-S1 Anterior inter-body lumbar fusion with cages and my own bone from left hip for bone graft
    2002- Neck problems Surgery??????
    2002 DEC 21- C4-5, C5-C6 Anterior Cervical Corpectomy with Fusion and Internal Fixation (Bone from the bone bank)

     
    Old 10-06-2004, 07:36 PM   #10
    IzzyFuzzy
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Hello:
    My NS is quite conservative and tells me to expect a collar for 8 weeks. Lucky for me I'm male so I will get a buzz cut before surgery - should make hair-washing simpler.
    I won't have surgery for five more weeks, so I will watch your posts for news. I will also send prayers for all on this message board till then.
    Izzy

     
    Old 10-06-2004, 08:40 PM   #11
    mtngirl62
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Thanks again for all the good advise. I went to the Ortho Surgeon again today for my pre-op physical. Surgery is still scheduled for next Tue. I am becoming more afraid by the day but I know I will be in good hands. He again said only 1 week off of work as long as I have someone to drive me to and from and 3 weeks in the aspen collar that was ordered. I mentioned to him that I didn't feel comfortable going back so soon with the situation that I work in, he said when I come back for my 3 day check up after surgery we will talk about it then. I will push for more time off as I do not want to risk more injury or stress then needed. My health is much more important to me at this point. I sure appreciate all the responses I have and will update all of you as I go further along with this.

    Does anyone have advise on the collar?

    Thanks for the thoughts and advise. I will continue to watch for more and post as I can.

    Dianne

     
    Old 10-07-2004, 08:04 AM   #12
    EmtShirl
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    Thumbs up Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Dianne ~

    I see you are having Anterior surgery and that will be a lot easier then what I had. Sorry I didn't see that before my last post. Just this last June I had ACDF of C6-7 and about 2 years ago I had ACDF of C4-5, C5-6 with a corpectomy. The recovery from anterior was not too bad but I still don't see going back to work so soon after surgery. Where you work will they give you more time off even if the doctor says you can go back so soon? If so I would take some time off. Is there a reason you have to see your doctor 3 days after surgery? That seems like a waste of appointment and money to see him/her that soon? Most people who have fusion surgery have to wait 4 to 6 weeks before seeing the doctor again because at that time most have X-rays done before to see if fusion is starting to take place. I have been told solid fusion takes up to 18 months. I have now had 1-2 level lumbar fusion and 3 cervical fusion's (fused from C3-C7 and L4-S1). I still have 1 more lumbar surgery to go when I get better from this last surgery from Sept. 14.

    I am not sure what advice you are looking for with the Aspen collar? I also have been wearing an Aspen for all of my cervical surgeries including right now. Make sure you get the right size!!!! I know when I was measured they did it too big twice. By too big I mean if you have it on and the chin piece sticks too far out that is too big and another way to tell is if your neck feels like it is being stretched and when you can't open your mouth to eat very good. All signs it is too big. Once you are up after surgery which should be the same day a few hours after you wake up, then you can always ask for the right size collar.

    Also ask for extra pads to go home with you. If you have to wear the collar 24/7 you will want to hand wash the extra pads while the others are on. I had/have to wear my collar in the shower and to bed so the extra pads are great!

    I hope I am of some help for you? If you have more questions please ask.

    Shirl
    __________________
    Love,
    Shirl
    History:

    1980- Transaxillary resection of 1st rib and division of band (left side)
    1982- Diagnostic Laparoscopy
    1985- Transaxillary excision of cervical rib (right side)
    1991- Laser stapedectomy (right side)
    1992- Fractional D&C
    1992- Diagnostic Laparoscopy
    1996- Lumbar hemilaminectomy
    1999- Left knee arthoscopic surgery
    2001- Laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy
    2002- L5-S1 Microdiscectomy
    2002- L4-L5, L5-S1 Anterior inter-body lumbar fusion with cages and my own bone from left hip for bone graft
    2002- Neck problems Surgery??????
    2002 DEC 21- C4-5, C5-C6 Anterior Cervical Corpectomy with Fusion and Internal Fixation (Bone from the bone bank)

     
    Old 10-07-2004, 06:14 PM   #13
    mtngirl62
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    The dr requested I see him 3 days post op to take out staples and see how things are. I feel he is rushing things a bit and I have already talked to my employer about taking it slow. If he does give me a release as he says in 1 week I will wait til I feel I am ready. With past surgeries that I have had I always rushed back. I am alittle older now and don't want to spend the rest of my days in unneeded pain for pushing myself.

    The question I had mainly on the collar is do you have to be lying down and have help to change, and I was also wondering about the shower thing. Also is it possible to wash your own hair or are we not to lift our hands over our heads?

    Dianne

     
    Old 10-07-2004, 07:24 PM   #14
    solardust
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    Gee's your Doc does push you awfull fast,I had the staples in for 8 days, my sis said that was bit long ,that 5 would be plenty, and your doc is taking them at 3 days,oh my,the collar does require some help at first and depending on doc you have to lie down, some do not mind if you sit and keep head still, yours prolly will not mind if your jumping rope...sorry,but gosh he is asking alot out of you.I got an extra collar for showering,so be sure to ask in the hosp, for one,in case its over looked,and I washed my own hair , but was slow about it, no bending over or anything,ok.and mini pads worked great in the Miami collar, which has no padding, plus for sweating,and just adding comphyness,I bet you are getting a bit nervous with your surgery coming up, try to relax and just remember its really not as bad as it seems, and we are all here for any questions you might have,you will be in my thoughts and prayers, and Thanx goodness you boss has some sense regarding time needed, and you are right, its harder as ya get a little older, plus you are right why should you push yourself,ya need time to heal, thats the most important thing, Diana,p.s hey anytime no matter how silly you may think it is, write, ok, cuz anything that puts your mind to ease is the best healer,oh make sure ya get some of those straws that bend ok, they are a must.

     
    Old 10-07-2004, 08:32 PM   #15
    DonnaKay
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    Re: ACDF C4-6 scheduled need advise

    I had an extra collar for showering (Phila ******a) which has no padding, it's all plastic (or waterproof). The rest of the time I had a Miami J and I was smart the second go-around to order an extra set of pads. I guess I had help the first couple of days with the collar, but I don't seem to remember that! I just asked my husband, who was not drugged like I was at the time and he says he held my hair up for me, and maybe held the back part of the collar in place while I secured the front. I did wash my own hair. When I became more comfortable a little while after surgery, I would soap it up, then while holding the front part of the collar I loosened the back so that I could really get to the lowest part of my hair (under the collar) and scrubbed and rinsed it. Then re-attached the two pieces of the collar. I never let go of the front part.

    I guess laying down would be a good way to put it on. I probably did that too and don't remember. You just kind of do what you have to.

    Funny how I forget things that I never thought I'd forget.

    I don't know where my original collar is (from 1997), but this time I have it where I can see it (in my closet), and I don't know why, but I keep the Philly in my trunk. lol

    I do remember getting sick, sick, sick of the collar, but I really was happy to have it. So many here have docs that don't require one, but I personally can't imagine! That's b/c I've never done it. When I look back at it now, it was a source of comfort as strange as that seems. The day I was released from it I literally danced in the elevator from the docs office.

    Last edited by DonnaKay; 10-07-2004 at 08:34 PM.

     
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