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  • July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

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    Old 07-14-2007, 08:54 PM   #1
    paradiddle
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    July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    Well, I'm ready as I will ever be. I have been doing a lot of work around the house, cars etc. I am a do-it-yourself guy so I want to make sure that tasks are done. Thought I would start my own journal from this point on like others I have read before me.

    History:
    Scheduled for 3 level ACDF. My neurosurgeon will use allograft (donor bone), plating (titanium hardware) and hard collar. They say I will probably be in hospital 2-3 days. I am going to ask NS about the use of BMP in surgery and a bone growth stimulator at home.

    I have cervical spondylosis, stenosis with herniated discs and kyphosis (no curve in neck). I'm non smoker, 52 and fairly active. I was rear-ended on my motorcycle at a red light in 2005. I had bad spasms and neck pain with finger and thumb numbness after. I found it very hard to work at computers and spasms would drive me crazy. Always have burning pain in nack area. I tried all...multiple chiros, massage, PT etc. I then went to NS. The MRI told the whole story. I was not ready to go ahead at first but after another 6 wk session of fruitless PT, I changed my mind.

    I am also machinist, by trade, and find it this very interesting. I have made titanium hip implant components and brain surgery hardware. The titanium ACP hardware is very interesting. It has a slight curve to bring the lordosis back. It will only affect the areas that are plated so I cannot have a perfect curve unless we did all.... No Thanks.

    Anyway, I'll add to this log as things happen. I'm going to family reunion in Maine next week. When I get back July 26, I'll go for hospital pre-test and hard collar fitting. A Red Sox baseball game on July 29 and then July 30, 5:30am at the hospital.

    I got my wedge pillow and bendy straws..... Bring on the ice cream....and the vicodin.

     
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    Old 07-15-2007, 03:15 PM   #2
    neckhurtin
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    .....................

    Last edited by neckhurtin; 01-16-2008 at 09:39 PM.

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 12:47 PM   #3
    paradiddle
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    Back home!!! One day stay..... Still a little loopy on the Oxycodone. I doze off at the computer at times.

    I've been running around the house trying to get caught up on money stuff while my wife says to lay down..... It was a breeze..... Doc said (this am) that it went very well and the MRI was correct. Removed 3 discs and cleaned out some spurs. Got a Atlantis ACP Plate to hold it all together. Using Aspen collar. I was able to take it off while laying in hospital bed for a few minutes to relieve chlostrophobia. I got 2 tabs of percoset as need (4hr span) or a choice of 2 hr dilaudid injection. Also got some Soma muscle relaxer. I couldn't tell you what was working but I wasn't in much pain at all. Also gave me Chlorasptic lozenges to help throat. I was doing hallway laps 4 hours after I was in my room. The onlt time I felt anxiety was after in recovery. I wanted to move around but was afraid. That all passed thankfully. Throat was not that bad and I was eating chicken on rice and key lime pie at 7pm last night. Tasted great. I also had scrambled eggs and cereal this morming. Hospital staff was excellent and gave me anything I needed when I needed it. (Doctor's Hospital, Sarasota). Even had a private room. Made friends with Jose across the hall who had a 2-level done by same doctors. We will keep in touch with each other as he goes home today also. Will be house bound for 2-4 weeks (no driving). Doc was not that conservative and said that I didn't really need to keep my head very rigid. Just be careful, don't lift over 15 lbs etc. I feel very very good and I have to be careful not to start working on my car or something like that. I thought I was going to be a OXY Haze for 2 weeks and just have boullion cubes... I am very happy and lucky. Going to lay down now and then start watching the Netflix stuff I have coming in. Oxycodone woohoo

    Last edited by paradiddle; 07-31-2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: punctuation

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 03:04 PM   #4
    Fiona_Jo
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    Thumbs up Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    I'm glad to hear your procedure went so well. Sounds like you are doing great! I'm so happy to hear that.

    I had a three level on July 17th; but because of complications I had to stay 3 nights at the hospital. I had an infection and real major swallowing issues. (I'm glad you didn't have to deal with that). I was up and walking the next day and that is one thing I have to say it was a relief to walk around. I have a soft collar for around the house and a hard collar for when I do anything outside the house.

    So, I guess you didn't have a hip bone graft? I had one and that's actually giving me more trouble than anything else and really interfering with my getting around. It's very painful and swollen. So, I'm bummed, because I feel like I would be more like you and be up and around if it wasn't for this hip.

    I'm very happy things went so well for you and it sounds like you have the right attitude. You will do GREAT!!

    ~ Jo
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    080807-Cervical-Stim~071707-ACDF-C5-C7 w/instrumentation/bone graft~'07/06 Lumber instrum. removed 05/04-Fusion(DDD/Collapsed Disc L5-S1)08/99-Microdisectomy(Herniated Disc) ~Lupus/EDS,Migraine

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 04:10 PM   #5
    paradiddle
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    your autograft (bone graft) is the gold standard for fusing. I have more risk of non-fusion than you.

    I also asked about the new BMP treatment but at this point it is not approved for cervical fusion.

    Good titanium plate seems to be very important in fusion process.

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 06:10 PM   #6
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    Paradiddle: Don't over do things, ok???? This is what happens to everyone when the drugs mask the pain. Be careful, ok?

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 08:05 PM   #7
    paradiddle
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    Your absolutely right.... After my energy burst I was very tired and sore. I have tried 1 OXY every 2 hours now along with cepacol lozenge. Had a lot of calls tonight from friends which was real nice. Some are freaked out by this surgery but this forum is understanding. I have to throttle back any enthusiasm. I do feel spiritually and physically better and happier about this decision.

     
    Old 08-15-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
    paradiddle
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    Day 15 post op - Everything peachy. Minimal pain meds. I'm on Vicodin or 500mg tylenol as needed. No more double vision Oxy.... Hard to watch TV when you see two of them. Wear my Aspen collar all the time but can take it off at times. I just take it off for a break when I'm in the recliner. I wear it all night in bed with my wedge pillow. Sleeping pretty good now. Throat is good. Take daily walks and spend too much time on the computer..... Get netflix 2x a week and am trying to learn how to type with Mavis Beacon. I don't want to have anymore computer posture problems!!!!! 4 wks in collar & 15 lbs limit. I see the NS next Monday at about the 22 day mark. I don't know if I am lucky or what but this has been a breeze so far. Got to thank the doc...

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 01:18 AM   #9
    Fiona_Jo
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    I'm wondering if you are using a Cervicial-stim - bone growth stimulator? I had my first follow-up appointment and based on what my Doctor saw on the x-rays he felt a Cervicial-Stim would help me fuse quicker.A study I read said people that use the Cervical-stim have fused within six months of appropriately wearing the device. I notice many of the people that use are in a the HIGH risk groups - smokers, elderly,.. which doesn't apply to me, but I'm glad to have one.

    I feel optimistic about and what's nice about it is that I control the times I wear it.

    Thanks for keep a journal of your progress - it's very interesting.


    ~ Jo ~
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    080807-Cervical-Stim~071707-ACDF-C5-C7 w/instrumentation/bone graft~'07/06 Lumber instrum. removed 05/04-Fusion(DDD/Collapsed Disc L5-S1)08/99-Microdisectomy(Herniated Disc) ~Lupus/EDS,Migraine

     
    Old 08-16-2007, 06:20 AM   #10
    paradiddle
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    I was going to look into (stimulator) at my next appointment. I'm in the same catagory as you but I want everything in my favor that I can get. I also asked about BMP right before we went in to surgery and he said he didn't use it as it wasn't approved yet. I want to say another thing about my doc. He is part of a 4 man NS group. I'm sure that gives him and the other doctors in his group an advantage. They must work with each other, share more data etc. which must help their own learning curve. I've been real happy so far.

     
    Old 08-20-2007, 11:27 AM   #11
    paradiddle
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    July 30 - 3 level ACDF - post op day 22

    Day 22 - 1st Post op with the NS - I'm off the Aspen collar and can move my head as much as I can easily do. I'm wearing a soft collar that I had lying around. I can also drive. I feel very, very good and stable. Only take tylenol as needed for pain meds. I forgot to ask if I can lift more stuff and do more work around the house. I left a message to have NS call me back about that. I'll update you. I go back in 6 wks for x-rays. I asked about stimulator. He said he would wait until after 1st x-rays. I'm young enough and don't smoke so he isn't concerned.

    So far so good...Glad to be more mobile now.

    PS: I'm sleeping in bed with small pillow just like before.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 05:33 AM   #12
    paradiddle
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - post op day 22

    week 5 - I forgot to tell anyone about update. Lifting limit of 15 lbs until next NS date at the 9 wk mark. NO PT. Collar is off and I can drive. I wear and old soft collar for protection while driving. I've been taking Valium or Flexeril at bedtime to aid sleep as I haven't been sleeping well. Shoulders are sore especially when I wake up.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 07:57 AM   #13
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    I had a 2 level ACDF (4/5, 5/6)on July 17th. I am still in my collar 24/7. It's funny how surgeons can be so different. My Dr. used BMP off label so I have no bone chips at all, I'm growing my own.

    I got horrible muscle spasms from my collar so I went to my regular Dr. & got Lidocaine shots into my shoulders & it's made a 1,000 percent difference. I was able to cut way back on my meds. He asked me why my surgeon doesn't do Lidocaine & I'm going to ask him at my next appointment.

    I also switched from wearing my Philadelphia only in the shower to wearing it during the day & the Aspen only at night. I think the Aspen is tall for my neck and that's what was causing the spasms.

    Glad you're doing so well, I'm doing the Netflix thing too!

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 09:46 AM   #14
    paradiddle
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sbcatt View Post
    I had a 2 level ACDF (4/5, 5/6)on July 17th. I am still in my collar 24/7. It's funny how surgeons can be so different. My Dr. used BMP off label so I have no bone chips at all, I'm growing my own.

    I got horrible muscle spasms from my collar so I went to my regular Dr. & got Lidocaine shots into my shoulders & it's made a 1,000 percent difference. I was able to cut way back on my meds. He asked me why my surgeon doesn't do Lidocaine & I'm going to ask him at my next appointment.

    I also switched from wearing my Philadelphia only in the shower to wearing it during the day & the Aspen only at night. I think the Aspen is tall for my neck and that's what was causing the spasms.

    Glad you're doing so well, I'm doing the Netflix thing too!
    I was/am so worried about fusion. I asked about BMP and NS said it wasn't approved. Last visit I asked about stimulator and he said not to worry until we look at first x-rays. He would only approve stim if I was older or smoker.
    At last visit I told him that I concentrated so much on non-movement of my head to ensure good fusion. His response was that it is a hot topic at seminars. His thoughts/experience on it is that no collar can hold you in place and they use it only for protection from accidents and to relax muscles. He said the plate is what holds it all together. He said it was ok for me to move my head a little as tolerated, roll my shoulders etc.

    My NS is a member of a 4 man surgical group so I hope that means that they share a lot of info and discussion. They are all young guys 30-40's and they seem very progressive.

    It does make you wonder about all these rehab differences. I'm sure some docs are conservative for a reason and the unknown factor. Maybe the less conservative docs learn they need less from experience. who knows...........

    Last edited by paradiddle; 09-06-2007 at 09:50 AM. Reason: more info

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 05:59 PM   #15
    Jessarr
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    Re: July 30 - 3 level ACDF - Countdown is on!

    Hi I am lookinga at havinga three level fusion C45 C56 C67 on Sept 24th. I read your progress and I am glad to hear you are doing well. ANy tips you may have before and after surgery wouldbe great ( I have a 1 year old 2 year old and 5 year old) Myhusband and mom will be here to help after the surgery. I am not too sure what to excpect... Thak you and I wish you a great recovery.

     
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