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  • 3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today

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    Old 08-28-2006, 04:41 PM   #1
    SpineAZ
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    Cool 3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today

    Just wanted to give you all an update and some encouraging words for those who have recently had the ACDF.

    I saw my orthopedic spinal surgeon today for my 3 mo follow up. So far so good. The fusion is coming along and he wants me to continue to use the bone growth stimulator through the next 3 months until I see him again in November.

    I asked him about my current pain level as I am not even close to pain free. I have some 'stiffness' type pain, fatigue related pain and occasional remnants of the nerve pain. He said as long as the nerve pain doesn't last and is easily taken care of by low dose pain meds, I am experiencing a normal recovery. He released me to work out at the gym and/or on the treadmill at home but sternly said "pain has to be your guide". So he said the first few times I may only get 10-15 minutes into a workout and need to stop due to pain or fatigue and to be careful.

    He also wants me to continue to avoid advil/aspirin/aleve for another 3 months and gave me a stronger tylenol based medication (non-narcotic). He also suggested massage, icy-hot type ointments, etc.

    It's good to know that pain at this point is normal. He said rarely is anyone pain free at 3 months as the body is still adjusting and since I had a cervical collar on for 6 weeks I have only been out of the neck brace for 6 weeks so my muscles are re-learning their job and when they get tight they can also cause nerve pain.

    I did ask about the level above C4-5 as he had said there was some minor disc problems. He said based on my age (40) I should be able to go 10 years before needing to do anything for that level - if ever. Since I had an L4-S1 fusion in 1993 and had no subsequenet problems, he said my outlook is good and should I need further work he hopes artificial discs will be commonplace in the future when and if I need any surgery. I also asked if I can do the ESI's for the C4-5 level if I develop symptoms and he said yes, so I can do that first before any surgery.

    Karin
    C5-C7 ACDF 5/18/06
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    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

    Last edited by SpineAZ; 08-28-2006 at 04:42 PM.

     
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    Old 08-28-2006, 05:46 PM   #2
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    Re: 3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today

    Good for you. I read about you while getting ready for my ACDF C5/6. I went in for surgery 2 weeks ago today. I'm doing pretty good. My hip has little or no pain. And my neck has muscle type pain. But that's really it..... Still I'm taking it day by day.

    I'm the same age as you so it must be exciting to be able to move on with your life. i'm so looking forward to doing things like I used to. My goal is to ski again. This is how I injured myself. I won't let it beat me. No more flips and 360's though. I have my Harley in my front room, I am using it as motivation to get 100% back !!!

    I wish you all the best.

    Cheers,

    Cameron

     
    Old 08-29-2006, 01:16 PM   #3
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    Re: 3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today

    Karin...great to hear you are doing well! I never realized how long our road to recovery runs...and I am glad to hear you are progressing...if you are like me you are itching to do something...I am just next week to start my physical therapy...but I guess we need to guard against overdoing it...I'd give a house payment to hit a golf ball about now...but hopefully that isn't far away...Was the C-4 issue revealed through X-ray or MRI? I hope your pain continues to recede...I am a month behind you and I still have major issues with left hand numbness and Lhermitte's sign due to the severe cord compression I suffered...but my Doc says the next couple of months I should make good progress...Did you notice marked improvement from the second to third month? Nevertheless Its great that your fusion has taken and I am sure you are relieved to have gotten over that hurdle..I wish you the best...You have certainly been a voice of reason for me on this board...HTF

     
    Old 08-29-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
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    Re: 3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today

    So good to hear the update. I always wonder if I am normal or what since I am 2 months post op. I still have to take one pain pill when I get home from work (I'm on my feet all day long and pushing stretchers short distances (mostly) with patients in them. I'm a nurse) I did find out my numb finger is an ulnar nerve problem and not my neck soI will be having surgery on that in Oct! Good to hear from you Karin!
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    Old 08-29-2006, 05:31 PM   #5
    SpineAZ
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    Re: 3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today

    Cameron: I've been able to work our more this week, I wanted to wait until I got permission. But two days of strenuous exercise feels good!!

    Humantuningfork: The MRI pre-surgery relvealed the C4-5 problem but I don't have symptoms of that level yet and the OSS wanted to be conservative for now and deal with that level later if needed, and I agreed. He said if I were older he might have suggested fusion C4-7 instead of C5-7. The nerve pain gets better every day.

    Jayepp: I too was worried about needing one pain medication a day but my doctor assured me this is normal at this point - as I get more active and as my recovery continues. I have noticed that this week I don't need one every day but still a few times a week.

    Thank you everyone for all your support

    Karin
    C5-7 ACDF 5/18/06
    __________________
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 08-30-2006, 08:34 AM   #6
    ember919
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    Re: 3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today

    Glad to hear you're doing so well. Hope things continue to progress and improve. You've had a great spirit and attitude through the whole experience.

    I'm about your age and my surgeon said basically the same thing about other levels. Told me 25% needed another level done within 10 years. I'm going to work hard to be part of the 75% who don't!

     
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