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  • C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

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    Old 08-17-2005, 04:32 AM   #1
    speli
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    Smile C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Hi all,

    I had my three-level ACDF with donor bone and titanium plating done on August 14, 2005 and was released yesterday, less than 24 hours after coming out of surgery.
    The surgery was done by Dr. Todd Albert, an amazing physician (orthopedic surgeon) at Thomas Jefferson in Phila******a.
    First of all, thanks to you all - you took a lot of the anxiety away, as did the prayers of many friends and family.The surgery and recovery were a breeze when I compare it to other surgeries I have had. With the exception of my throat when swallowing, it didn't even hurt!
    Now that I am home, it's a different story. I am off the morphine drip, and they have me on Vicodin instead. Last night, I took a shower and my husband helped me get changed into my Aspen collar from the shower collar they had sent me home with (scary....). Now, the skin on my arms hurts, I still don't have any feeling in my left index finger (which was the problem before the surgery) and the back of my neck hurts a lot (I slept on a TempurPedic pillow, which was fine). Also my throat hurts A LOT this AM.
    Any suggestions for me?
    Other than that, I feel mostly good, but very weak...as if somebody beat me up over the last few days.
    Thanks,
    Elke

    Three-level C4-5, C5-6, C6-7
    Donor Bone
    Titanium instrumentation
    August 14, 2005

     
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    Old 08-17-2005, 05:59 AM   #2
    Scorpio24
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Elke, Iím glad that you are feeling good and I hope that this improve with time. I had ACDF C5-6, C6-7 with donor bone and plate on Aug 05. I did not get the morphine drip but when I got home the following day I felt the pain as you did. I felt a golf ball in my throat and could not swallow anything bigger than a small pill. I use ice as a remedy, a bag of ice for the outside of the throat and crushed ice for the inside also throat lozenges. I still have problem (12 days after) with round pills and food (meat pieces, etc) but golf ball feeling is going away. Like a lot of people after ACDF we have to eat tiny pieces of food, crush pills and chew for a longer period of time. I still feel a slight tingling in my left thumb which comes and goes but is nothing like before the surgery. The pain in the back of your neck is probably like mine; I was told (by a nurse) that is the muscles that are being stretch because of the bone plugs and the fact that you probably grew about 11/2 centimeters because of them. For this I use ice; muscle rubs and heat alternating each day and no more than 30 min. I hope this helps and good luck with the rest.
    Frank

     
    Old 08-17-2005, 06:35 AM   #3
    chitowngl
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    I had acdf in Jan and it took about 3 weeks before my throat started feeling better. I ate alot of yogurt, soup etc... It takes a while for everything to settle down. Get lots of rest and when you feel able start walking--it helps with the healing. Good Luck.
    Carrie

     
    Old 08-17-2005, 06:40 AM   #4
    dennisgb
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Hi,

    I found that Cloreseptic (SP) throat spray helped. It takes a while for the swelling to go down. Swallowing will be difficult for a while. Be careful with foods and drink lots of liquids.

    As far as the feeling in your arm and finger, it may take a while for the nerve(s) to settle down. If they were irritated for a long time it takes a while for this to improve. Also they may have been irritated during the surgery.

    Dennis

     
    Old 08-17-2005, 06:55 AM   #5
    feelbad
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Just exactly what type of "skin pain" are you having?was it there before surgery?also, did you have any sort of herniation that went into the spinal cord area quite a bit?actually touching and compressing the cord?Marcia
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    Old 08-17-2005, 08:58 AM   #6
    speli
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Skin pain is best described as the achy feeling I sometimes get when I get the flu - where everything hurts. Actually, this morning, after another round of Vicodin, some sleep (slept GREAT flat on my TempurPedic pillow), and a walk around the neighborhood with my son (he was holding our two big dogs :-) !), I am feeling quite a bit better. My throat still hurts, but I just found a bag of throat lozenges, and that seems to help.
    Overall, this is the easiest surgery I have ever had. While I can't say, as I read somewhere else, that I would rather have this than a root canal, I am feeling much more chipper than ever before.
    Thank goodness, they did 't need to intubate me before the anesthesia - I heard that stinks!
    I usually come out of anesthesia freezing like crazy, but I discussed this with the wonderful anesthisiologist (Dr. Kerner) and when I woke up, I was actually so warm, I had to ask them to take a blanket off. They apparently
    covered me with "bear hug" (?) blankets and gave me demerol for the nerves.
    My husband told me that the doctor had told him that midway through my surgery, the monitoring team "lost" my left side, but that it came back online before the surgery was over - anybody have any clue what that might mean?
    My surgery was a very good experience. Everyone was so kind and helpful. Jefferson is a great hospital, and Dr. Albert is a fantastic surgeon and an absolute sweetheart as a person. I would recommend him 100%!

     
    Old 08-18-2005, 06:48 AM   #7
    speli
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    Cool Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 3rd Day Post-Op - Feeling Generally Much Better

    Hi all,

    Thought I would give you a quick update.
    It's now Thursday (had my surgery on Monday around noon), and after a quick check with the "collar fit right" people at my doctor's this morning, I can say it's definitely getting better. I am still sleepy A LOT and had to switch to my lazy boy in the middle of the night due to my neck feeling very stiff on my pillow in bed (doctor said to make it as flat as possible pillow-wise). But my throat is starting to not hurt as bad.
    I am itching a lot, which might still be from the morpine, accd. to the doc.
    Can't feel my finger yet, but keep waiting for it to "wake up".
    Overall, the biggest residual pain is a) the back of my neck (nurse says due to stretching during surgery) and b) my remaining sore throat.
    Lost my voice this AM briefly (or rather it was very raspy), but now it's back.
    So all in all: Much improvement already!
    Yippee!
    Only 5 1/2 more weeks until the collar comes off
    Elke

     
    Old 08-24-2005, 08:13 AM   #8
    dennisgb
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Elke,

    Glad to hear you are seeing some improvement.

    This is a long recovery, so it seems like baby steps. At about 2 weeks you will feel much better.

    It took me about 6 months to feel relatively normal (I know, that seems like a long time!).

    It will be worth it.

    Dennis

     
    Old 08-24-2005, 10:12 AM   #9
    EmtShirl
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    Thumbs up Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    It's great to hear you are feeling better.

    EmtShirl
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    2002- Neck problems Surgery??????
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    Old 08-24-2005, 04:57 PM   #10
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Hope you're continuing to make good progress - sounds like things are going in the right direction. Don't be discouraged by 'down' days - that's a part of recovering from this surgery and may hit you about two to three weeks after the operation. Hope you're continuing to get used to the collar - I actually found it difficult to sleep without it once I could finally take it off!!

    Keep us posted and take it slowly - sleep a lot and walk a lot!!

    W

     
    Old 08-24-2005, 08:35 PM   #11
    speli
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    My husband and I were walking our dogs tonight (we have two good size pups, and he handles them so they don't pull me down), and I was telling him that I am feeling much better with much higher energy levels now, about ten days post-op, and also that I am not having my carpal tunnel symptoms in my right wrist anymore in the mornings.
    Isn't that funny - the numb finger stays so far, but the carpal tunnel is gone...very strange.
    Well, I am definitely on the mend. Started working a bit again today (I am in the software industry and can work from home on my computer). Two hours/day this week, up to four next and then back full-time the week after.
    Just can't drive or travel... *sigh*
    But everything is so much better...just a numb finger and some neck muscle soreness remains. Still taking Vicodin at night though and Tylenol Extra Strenght during the day.
    Thanks for checking back with me, all - much appreciated!

     
    Old 08-25-2005, 07:16 AM   #12
    dennisgb
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    Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Elke,

    I had a tingle in my left index finger, that was only there when I moved certain ways. I asked my surgeon, and he said he had a few others with the same symptom. (my problems were mostly on the left side, but before surgery hand was just numb).

    Now, I am 14 months out, and I don't feel that much anymore. It lasted a good 8-10 months.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. What's important is the overall pain. The finger will resolve in time.

    Dennis

     
    Old 10-17-2006, 07:49 PM   #13
    speli
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    Thumbs up Re: C4-5, C5-6, C6-7, 2nd Day Post-Op - Skin, Throat, Back of the Neck Hurts

    Just thought I would give you all an update.
    It is now 14 months post surgery, and I feel great.
    The only remaining problem is my left index finger, which still feels asleep.
    Doctor says this could take two years or just never go away.
    I guess it's my personal "thorn in my flesh".
    Other than that all is well, and I can almost turn and twist my neck like before.
    If you just had surgery, relax - there will be better days ahead!!

     
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