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  • ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

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    Old 11-08-2004, 08:25 AM   #1
    kellyv
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    Last edited by kellyv; 09-30-2005 at 06:52 PM.

     
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    Old 11-08-2004, 01:59 PM   #2
    wdmoor
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Hi Kelly. I feel for you. Pain just shuts down the world, making everything drab. Hang in there, take your meds, and the healing process you need so badly will kick in. I'm six weeks like you and everything I've read on these boards seems to indicate we'll feel better around 3 mths and lots better at 6 mths.

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 02:39 PM   #3
    aspen2cody
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Kelly, just to let you know I had terrible muscle spasms at 2 and 3 weeks post-op. Thats when I started turning my head a little from the driving. I never had to wear a collar for a single level fusion. I am 8 weeks post op now and I still get some spasms (not even close to what they used to be) usually after I have turned my head and used my neck muscles alot. They usually go away in 5 min after I sit down. I also started juicing like crazy, vegetables and fruits plus I eat alot of salads and nuts. I had read that magnesium helps with spasms so I started eating some(no oil added) walnuts, almonds or pecans everyday. I dont know if it helped but my spasms did lessen. I still have pain and weakness in my shoulder blade but thats a another story. Im trying to figure that out

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 03:08 PM   #4
    NervousMommy
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    Wink Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kellyv
    I am 6 weeks post-op from a 2-level (C3/4 and C4/5) ACDF with plating. I have been dealing with pain and muscle spasms (shoulders, upper back, and tension headaches) for almost 4 years, and unable to work any this year. I managed the pain before surgery by not doing much at all. The surgery really flared up a lot of pain, which has dimished some over the past 6 weeks, but is still a little bit worse than pre-op. The surgeon said everything looked great at 4 weeks post-op and to not worry about the pain yet; just be patient. Over the last several days the muscle spasms have really gotten bad; I have been a little bit more active but not enought to warrant all of these spasms! Has anyone else experienced anything similar? I'm sure many of you are also drained from being in pain!

    Thank you so much!
    Kelly
    Helly Kerry,

    After reading your post, I am wondering if my surgery will be like yours!
    I am undergoing surgery the end of this month. My surgery will be exactly like yours except I will not have plating. I will have cages inserted and I wll have to wear a hard collar immediately after surgery! (which I dread)

    I will pray that your healing be PAINFREE...
    But I am sure you will be feeling better by the time you read my post.
    Hang in there Kelly...

    Everyone here on the boards are FANTASTIC SUPPORTERS
    because they have BEEN THERE!!!! TRUST and Have FAITH!

    Aloha,
    Nervous Mommy

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 06:27 PM   #5
    Hobbes
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Hi Kelly - I'm about 8 weeks post-op from one level ACDF and I'm still having spasms ... especially at the end of the day. What's really helped me is ice. I mix about 3 parts water with 1 part rubbing alcohol, freeze it in a ziploc baggie, then stick it in a pillow case and lay it across my shoulders. Seems to calm the muscles right down. Hang in there. It does get better!

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 07:36 PM   #6
    Renae2
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Hi Kelly and all recent ACDF patients. I am 4 weeks post-op C 4-7 . Just started PT Friday and second PT session was today. Did not have any pain for 5 days following surgery. Prior to surgery had problems with neck, arms and shoulders & upper back area for 16 months. Was very disapointed on the 6th day to say the least when it all started again....just as bad as before the surgery. I used to use ice too on the back of my nedk and along my upperback between two shoulder blades. Not btw yet as I work in a production environment. Hope others are or will be doing PT that are having pain. Physical Therapist said today it will be a few months before I will have near full use of my left arm. First post-op surgeon visit went well. I was told everything was in place. Surgeon said it does take 2 full months for the bone grafts to take and actually be solid. Physical therapist informed me today to still not bend forward for another month ( which I had been doing anyway since my doc did not tell me not to). I apologize I don't seem to be helping much here. I guess we just have to be patient (no pun there). Weeks, months I have learned is not uncommon to have the full of almose full use of one's arm following this type of surgery. I guess it is important to not overdo. I did learn though that everyone's recouperation is different depending on the tissue damage, muscle atrophy and nerve damage that was done prior to the surgery. I am off of pain meds and muscle relaxors though and have been for about 2 weeks. Which, I guess is good because it will help me from not overdoing. Let's all pray for all of us. And for nervous mommy....just follow doc orders. As far as the surgery itself....was the best I came out of any surgery I ever had and I have had a couple others over the years. Renae2.

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 07:59 PM   #7
    Renae2
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kellyv
    I am 6 weeks post-op from a 2-level (C3/4 and C4/5) ACDF with plating. I have been dealing with pain and muscle spasms (shoulders, upper back, and tension headaches) for almost 4 years, and unable to work any this year. I managed the pain before surgery by not doing much at all. The surgery really flared up a lot of pain, which has dimished some over the past 6 weeks, but is still a little bit worse than pre-op. The surgeon said everything looked great at 4 weeks post-op and to not worry about the pain yet; just be patient. Over the last several days the muscle spasms have really gotten bad; I have been a little bit more active but not enought to warrant all of these spasms! Has anyone else experienced anything similar? I'm sure many of you are also drained from being in pain!

    Thank you so much!
    Kelly

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 09:35 AM   #8
    kellyv
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    Old 11-09-2004, 10:30 AM   #9
    jkf1206
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Hang in there Kelly. I am now 3 months out from a 2 level ACDF. It does get better with time. Physical Therapy has really helped. Everynow and then a spasm will sneak up from over doing, but then take a step back. I am off all medications now and my feel that my life is gradually returning to normal.

    Good luck and I will say a prayer for you.

     
    Old 11-10-2004, 07:43 AM   #10
    dennisgb
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Hi Kelly,

    If you go back and read psots here you will find that muscle spasms are a normal part of the recovery for this surgery. I am 4 months post op, and still get them if I push things.

    Early on, the ones I had made me feel just like I did before surgery. One thing that we have talked aboout here is the observation that we tend to bring our shoulders up into a protectionary position, probably due to the surgery or the collar. This is an unatural position, and causes the muscles in the shoulders to tighten up. Once they start, they bring others along.

    Along with this is the difficulty with finding a position we can sleep in, which also puts body in unatural positions.

    See if you can tell if you are doing this, and try not to. Try deep breathing and relaxing excercises (most docs and hospitals give info on this).

    Heat can help. Ice can help. Alternating the two can help. I used Flexall menthol rub as well.

    Good luck, hang in there, it will get better.

    Dennis

     
    Old 11-11-2004, 08:12 AM   #11
    Periwinkle Liz
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    Unhappy Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    Hi All,
    I am 4 weeks post op ACDF C5-C6. I have felt pretty good up until this week. I had gotten myself down to only 1 ultracet per day. On Tuesday I started hurting the same way I did before the surgery with the pressure/stabbing feeling between my shoulder blades, the headache and the aching/burning down my arms. Every time this happens I get so disappointed, thinking of going back to having all that pain again. I dealt with it for 8 months prior to surgery and I know that I won't be able to deal with it for much longer. On Tuesday I stayed in bed and cried all day because of the pain. My other half doesn't understand why I am not back to normal yet and feels that I am just milking that I hurt to get out of doing things around the house. Why is it that unless you have had this problem, no one understands what you are going through. It is a very cruel injury in the way that one day you feel like you are getting all better again and then bam it knocks you down to the ground. Does anyone else get wiped out just by doing little things? I am only 35 years old and I really want my life back. Heck even just to be able to do just the simple things in life with no pain. It helps to know other people feel the same way. Hopefully for all of us this pain will soon end. Does anyone else here have a funny feeling when they swallow or still have numbness and soreness along their chin and jawbone?

     
    Old 11-11-2004, 08:51 AM   #12
    kellyv
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    Old 11-11-2004, 10:30 AM   #13
    dennisgb
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    Re: ACDF 6 weeks post-op, need encouragement

    6 weeks post op is awful soon to expect everything to be back to normal.

    I know I was (and still am at times), tired and weak at six weeks. This surgery takes 6-8 months to feel normal. For some even longer. If you were or are a smoker it will take longer.

    Liz,

    Take your meds! Docs say don't try to come off of them too soon, as your body needs them to heal. If your feeling pain, then you probably still need them.

    Read my previous post on muscle spasms.

     
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