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  • new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

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    Old 10-03-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Ashburn, VA USA
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    helpinghubby HB User
    new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    Hi all!

    I hope you all are doing husband just had this surgery on c6-7, with donor bone and plate and screws. We are confused at this point; after surgery his hand and arm pain and numbness were gone right away! But he is still in a lot of neck pain and on heavy meds; he was given a soft collar to wear - no hard collar as I see others have; his surgery was 9/18, and in the last few days he seems to have more energy and wants to do more, yet says it hurts and needs strong pain meds - I am confused; he is just into his 3rd week after surgery and every day is now a fight to get him to rest and relax, he is picking up the 22 pound baby, cleaning the garage and house, just will not sit still, granted this surgery was from a car accident on 4/1, so it has been a while since he has felt like doing things...he is allowed to return to work already (desk part only) but the meds make him drowsy and acting like he is drunk, he tried driving but cannot yet, cuz of the meds...what should he be doing at this point for activites? how can I get him to rest and recover, this bone is no where near fused - right? what kind of pain is he supposed to be in? tell me your story anything you can - I hope to print this out and give it to my husband...

    thanks in advance!

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    Old 10-03-2006, 07:14 PM   #2
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    Ramsfan HB User
    Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    Hi LC,

    It's good news that the hand and arm pain are gone. Hopefully the neck pain will go away soon also. The neck area may have suffered more nerve damage than the hand and arm did which could take more time to heal. I don't know if it's a good idea to be lifting a 22 lb. baby yet. I'm sure he is anxious to get up and do more but he definitely doesn't want to over do it and end up needing more surgeries. What does the doctor say?

    The fact that he had hardware put in with only 2 levels fused is probably why he didn't need to wear a hard collar. If he didn't have the plate put in he probably would require a hard collar. I had 3 levels (c5 - c7) with hardware but I had to wear a hard collar for several weeks.

    Let us know how he makes out.


    Old 10-03-2006, 10:55 PM   #3
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    Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    Good news that he is feeling better , this is deceving because most people feel so bad prior to surgery its like a great boost after.

    I am a two time veteran and my only advice is to tell hubby to take it just a little slower. The body sends pain signals to give us warning. Its good that he can do all these things, but if it takes extra meds after or during then that is a sign that he might be doing a little too much. For sure he doesn't want to be going through this again, backing off a little for a couple weeks won't hurt, will it!!!

    Old 10-07-2006, 03:11 PM   #4
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    Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    It's boring to just......sit around and heal. It's good that your husband feels like doing things, but it definitely sounds like he's trying to much, too fast.

    I know there's debate on this topic -- BUT my understanding is that there is little risk of really messing up the fusion if you've got the plating. In fact, that's why they put the plating in there.

    The pain pills might be a factor in your situation, too. I'm lucky in that the pain meds just don't affect me that way, but both my husband and my dad get just absolutely goofy and become very difficult to deal with. My dad becomes argumentative and refuses to follow doctor's instructions, is impossible to reason with in that state. My husband gets very tired and confused and has trouble understanding the whys and hows of things. (why can't I drive? why can't I climb up on the roof like this?)

    Perhaps you can point out that 'doing too much' and 'it hurts' may be related? Might he consider doing less and half doses of pain meds?

    Old 10-07-2006, 04:27 PM   #5
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    Dutchgirl HB User
    Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    Hi LC,

    I too had an ACDF on level C5/6, and at first I was overdoing it quite a bit, and especially while taking pain meds, because they numb everything. But everytime I over did things I really paid for it the next day. It's really hard for me to sit still, because I am always on the go. If anything the pain is what told me to slow down. My NS also told me that I can't hurt my fusion, but overdoing it will slow down the healing process. How is he doing now?

    Take care,

    C5/C6 ACDF 08-22-06
    C6/C7 ACDF 05-22-07

    Old 10-14-2006, 10:53 PM   #6
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    Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    Hi. I would advise your husband to take it very slowly, especially lifting the baby. about the 4 week mark he should start physical therapy. he may get to the point that the neck pain will ache once and awhile. please be advised with a fusion there is a risk that the discs above and below the fusion can herniate. he should be aware of this possibility. good luck,.

    Old 10-15-2006, 06:11 PM   #7
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    Cool Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    I had ACDF 5/6 two months ago and I am still on a 10 lbs weight limit. I know what he means about wanting to do things. It's the pain meds talking. Maybe he needs to hear it again from the surgeon what his limits are. Good Luck P

    Old 11-10-2006, 08:28 AM   #8
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    helpinghubby HB User
    Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    Hi All,

    I thought I would come back and give an update on my husband's progress...he is currently 9 weeks post surgery. We have had some problems, as in he was taking massive doses of oxy and became addicted to the point he was overmedicating and run out of his meds way too early...I got him to admit he had a problem self medicating and no longer had control, he was so fearful of feeling pain that he was taking too much to prevent it...then doing to much since he was numb, and then being in much more pain when the meds wore off. So I took him to his pain management dr and told him what was happening, the Dr decided to put him on a a patch so he would not be able to pop pills, he put him on the fentynal patch at 100mg - that is a dose for like a terminal cancer he has done great on this patch for 4 weeks now, the first 2 1/2 still felt pain, but the dr tols him expect to, not pain is not possible, then one morning about a week or so ago he woke up and all of his neck pain was just gone...he has better range of motion and is feeling better! He still cannot go back to work, cuz of the work he does and the meds he is on, but he is glad to be feeling better. But in typical fashion of his, he decided to go running up the stairs after our 5 year old son and broke his foot!!! Its nuts, but his mood is improved and he was getting very down thinking this procedure did not work and he would be in pain and on meds for his life; His follow ups show everything is going as it should and his pain doc was thrilled with how he is doing on the patch, so he is stepping his does down to 75 mg, and will step down 25 mg every month (long as the pain doesnt resurface...) until he is off!

    I really hope you all are doing well, it has been so helpful for me to come here and read about your experiences it helped me deal with my husband. I will continue to come back as I pray you all start having improvements too and I want to know!

    best wishes to all - let me know if I can help anyone!

    Old 11-10-2006, 10:07 AM   #9
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    Re: new Hubby had ACDF looking for pain and recovery info

    Wow. I too had major pain pain for 7 years and had my Oxycontin doses grow and grow and grow. It's hard not to just eat 3-4 pills and drift off when the pain is great.

    I am now 12 weeks post op. Doing pretty good. I would be interested in how many Oxycontin he was taking and at what size 40mg or 80mg. I would like to reduce my intake.

    Please advise.


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