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  • Post ACDF when can you exercise?

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    Old 02-20-2006, 01:23 PM   #1
    Backinthesaddle
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    Post ACDF when can you exercise?

    I had a ACDF on the 15th of C4/5 and looking back I really do not recall the restrictions other then no lifting overhead. Which may I say makes it hard to wash ones hair but it does hurt when I do. And no lifting over 10 lbs or the doc said I could lift my 17lb baby. I feel pretty good, I still have a sore throat, and some neck and shoulder pain mostly at the end of the day and the morning. The pain is gone mostly from my hands and fingers and for once my triceps do not ache with pain. I was told to wear the collar while in a car only and thats about it. So I wondered when did everyone start a workout routine again? I am desperate to rid myself of the last 10 baby pounds and know it won't be right away but wanted an idea of when I could start with weights again.

    Thanks

     
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    Old 02-20-2006, 02:02 PM   #2
    BobM
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    Re: Post ACDF when can you exercise?

    Did your ACDF include a plate & screws? That might make a difference - some that have the fusion but no plate seem to describe a longer period to let the fusion get a good start.

    I had ACDF (two times) with the plate & screws. The Dr. encouraged walking starting the day after, and said to 'take it easy' for 4 to 6 weeks. At that point, I was given some permanent restrictions (no overhead work, no lifting more than 75 pounds, avoid extreme neck movements, like looking over your shoulder when driving, etc), but otherwise it was OK to resume normal activity. I never used a collar, and the Dr. indicated that the plate really stabilized the vertebrae so there was little risk of things not fusing.

    Maybe you could call your Dr.'s office and just ask - I find I didn't remember everything that was told to me the day after surgery! I suspect you'll find that the Dr.'s staff can answer your questions, and they're the best ones to ask since they know exactly about your situation.

    The 1st week or two was painful for me - sneezing was the absolute worst thing. It should steadily get better. But I found it was more like 8 to 10 months to really feel like I was over the procedure, and there are a lot of things I'm still pretty careful about doing

    Good luck on your recovery.
    Bob

     
    Old 02-20-2006, 04:53 PM   #3
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Post ACDF when can you exercise?

    Thanks Bob I did have a titanium plate and a some sort of donut shaped thing put in where the disk was. And you are so right I do not recall much but then again the doc came in for a slit second and left. He talked to my husband more and told him I had no restrictions other then no overhead movements. Seemed odd to me since the pre-op I was told no lifting over 10 lbs and stuff like that. I know I felt pretty good so I went on as usual with my baby and chores and today I really hurt. I decided to take the meds again. My arms, triceps and neck and shoulder hurt. May I ask why the no overhead movements? I never got the reason for that. Then how else do you wash your hair? Or get stuff out of a cabinet? I have tried to minimize it but I do need to wash my hair and I put it in a ponytail and it hurts to do it so I bend over.

    I guess I will call the office and ask about the weight lifting part. I figure I have time off of work and I need to get my strength back and that is about the only way. I would love to ride my horses and run again too but that may be a bit longer..........................

    Thank you
    Kelly

     
    Old 02-20-2006, 05:28 PM   #4
    BobM
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    Re: Post ACDF when can you exercise?

    Hello Kelly:
    The restriction about overhead work was for things like painting a ceiling, or pruning trees, and so on. Things like reaching for something on a shelf or changing a light bulb are not a problem. I think the idea is to minimize things where you spend a lot of time looking up and reaching overhead to avoid putting stress on the remaining discs.

    I had suffered from degenerative disc disease for about 12 years without recognizing the symptoms - stiff neck, pain in neck and shoulders, loss of strength in my shoulder, arm, & hand. Two years ago we had a really heavy snow fall, and I spent several hours using a roof rake to get some of the snow off of the house. By the next day, the pain became very severe, and was finally diagnosed as a disc problem. So, THAT is a good example of an activity that I will avoid from now on!

    I don't think you're at risk of causing injury for things like washing your hair or getting something from an overhead shelf. If it's only been 5 days since your surgery, you're already doing an impressive amount from your description, and there's bound to be some amount of discomfort this soon I spent at least a week in the recliner, and did as little real work as possible.

    My Dr. has a really good assistant who didn't mind answering questions. After my second surgery, the pain came back with some intensity in a couple of days, and they figured out that there was inflammation in my neck, and gave me a course of steroids to reduce the swelling and help things get settled down. I had been reluctant to call (didn't want to bother them), but it was the right thing to do.

    I think it would be OK for you to take some time and get the healing process off to a good start, and I wouldn't hesitate to check in with the Dr if you have any questions or concerns. It's a pretty major operation, and anything you can do to avoid a repeat surgery (like I had) will be well worth it.
    Best of luck
    Bob

     
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