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  • ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

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    Old 01-10-2009, 10:36 AM   #1
    LouieH99
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    ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Hey everyone, I just got home from the hospital. My surgery was on Tuesday. So it has only been four days. I have read some real scary stuff and some good. I'm in a lot of pain, the throat pain in one thing but, the stiffness around the shoulders and neck is something else.

    I was told this would be a speedy recovery. Just a couple of weeks and in three months i could go back to the gym. After reading some of these stories, I keep telling myself; we all heal differently and i really might be back soon.

    I complained a little about the pain at the hospital so, i don't want to seem like a cry baby and probably wont talk to my doctor until my visit which is in 10 days.

     
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    Old 01-11-2009, 05:19 AM   #2
    sammyo1
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    Re: ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Good luck with your recovery. Where were you fused? I am 2wks post op & I have to say yesturday was one of the worst days for my neck & all. Although I had the lump in the throat pain that I have not had in several days. My shoulders can really feel sore but according to my surgeon that is a common post op complaint. Geez I still have another 4wks of the same restrictions of doing nothing. I am sure all surgerys & recoverys are different. It is interesting to see & compare how recoverys come along but we all start out before surgery with different pain & symptoms to I am sure.
    Good luck & take it easy, Sammy

     
    Old 01-11-2009, 03:59 PM   #3
    LouieH99
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    Re: ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Today was a pretty bad day. First couple of days were okay I guess for having a piece of metal screwed into you spine?

    Fused, I'm not sure? The disk between C5 and C6 was replaced with bone.

     
    Old 01-17-2009, 09:32 PM   #4
    Janatee
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    Re: ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Hello LouieH99 and Sammy01. Hope you don't mind me putting in my 2 cents. First, I had a ACDF in Aug.07. I also had what they call a cage put in my neck, AND one whole vertebrae completely removed, not to mention the other 3. I have plates and screws, and the bone that they removed they sliced up and put it back into my neck, like small columns... The first thing I noticed when I woke up was the PAIN in my shoulders. Doc said that was caused by them "strapping my shoulders down to get a good reach on my neck' . This went away in about 3 days, but I was sore. My next problem was my throat. Because of the doctors moving my esophagus over, this gave me the feeling of something like a chicken bone in my throat. It felt also like it was swollen on the inside, which I believe it was. How could it not be after all that trauma. The GOOD NEWS for me anyway is after 9 months, I woke up one morning and it was all back to normal. I did have a very funny sounding voice for a long time. Like a munchkin...lol lol Every 6 months I have x-rays of my neck to make sure all is healing like it should be. I wore an ASPEN COLLAR for 2 months 3 weeks and 5 days... You don't forget that.!!!! One word of advice, do and I mean do everything the doctors tell you. If you do, not only will you heal faster, you will heal right. It was and still is for me a long haul. I have learned to adjust my way of doing things, since with all the hardware I really can not bend my neck down, nor am I allowed, and can only turn it just so far. Driving for me has been really hard. I'm thankful my husband drives most of the time, and that I do not work. In time, things will get better and you will be up and back to almost normal. I don't know how many levels you both had, but it really depends on what they did, and how much you are fused. Don't give up, and yes we all heal different. I had to have this operation due to the fact, there was so much pressure on my spinal cord, that was affecting my legs, and I would of ended up in a wheel chair. My neck did not effect my arms or shoulders at all... I have to be the different one. I was lucky I have a top notch doctor. Believe me I did my homework and checked out a lot of doctors before I made this decision. My neck still gets sore at times, but I take it easy when I hurt. Placing a warm neck pillow around it helps me a lot. Sometimes you might hear cracking sounds. That really scared me, and I thought my screws were coming apart. After my x ray, I was told it was all good.. Its just one of those things that could happen, and you might just hear that , or maybe you won't. Don't panic if you do. I have read other post where others have heard the same thing... Well I just wanted to say, there sure are a lot of us out there in the same boat. Hang in there, and before you know it, you will be on your way to better health... I hope some of my experience has helped. Good luck to both of you. Janatee

     
    Old 01-18-2009, 03:53 AM   #5
    captnanny
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    Re: ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Hey all,
    I have to agree with Janatee, follow the doctors orders. I am fused at three levels and I think they did remove some bone. They went in through the back so I don't have the throat issue though I know people say it goes away averagely at one month. I did have an acdf where they went in through the neck and my throat, lump as it felt went away in two in a half weeks. I did not take care of myself. I did for the first year, I smoked and took on two jobs, went to get my masters and one of the jobs was physical labor.
    Needless to say two months into this the screws and other disc went completely bad. I developed a cyst which went into the partially fused area and yep I had some screws loose.
    This time I don't care if they tell me I can do physical labor, I'm not chancing it because going through the back is much worse than the front. It hurst and it is all swollen.
    As for the ACDF surgery I had good and bad days. My shoulders were sore and I think the first two weeks or three were the absolute worse. Things got better then. I walked luckily it was spring time so I could go outside. In the winter I'm not sure how to walk like I did before. Most of the time I lay on the couch or bed and use my laptop occasionally. It is one of those light ones.

     
    Old 01-18-2009, 05:46 AM   #6
    MRJJ
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    Re: ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Hi there
    Im recovering from a fractured T2,3,4,5, C6, Left Clavicle and 3 ribs on the right. I've been told the fractures will heal after about 6 to 8 and 12 weeks for a bad one, I'm hoping for 8 because of my age and fitness. After the fractures heal I'll need to rebuild some of the muscles I haven't used since the accident. I was told about 3 months too, but it depends on the patient.

    It took me about a month to get back home hospital care. Two weeks for me to sit in bed and I could only walk for a few meters.

    It's been nearly six weeks and I can now make it around the block but need to sit for a bit after that. I still have trouble sleeping as I can feel where my rods and fusion was in the T section. I also have to wear a Minerva Brace (alternative to a halo) which I've gotten used to but is still uncomfortable, in the beginning it felt like someone was standing on my shoulders when walking.

    Making sure I take my painkillers in correct dosage and consistent times has helped (luckily my doc's have been sympathetic and have given me strong pain relief). One thing I have noticed is I've some anxiety from reducing pain medication, be careful not to get addicted.

    The recliner chair and a barrage of pillows have also made life a bit more comfortable.

    Kind regards,

    MRJJ

     
    Old 01-18-2009, 06:24 AM   #7
    skych
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    Re: ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Hello Louie!!!
    I had ACDF of C 4-5 and C5-6 on Sept 3, 2008.
    Your right about how everyone heals differently. Some folks actually do get beack to normal life a few months after surgery. Try to remember that sometimes the people who recover really quickly will not post as much as they might feel they don't need as muuch support.

    I can tell you that the thing my doc had me do after getting home and while in the hospital was walk... It sarted out in small little sessions and gradually i could walk for longer periods of time.

    At this time I am now a few weeks past the 4 month mark and although I have some myo-facial pain issues in the T-spine area, I have to tell you that my neck does feel better then before my surgery.

    Before the surgery my neck was in constant pain and spasms that were very awful and actually pulled my head towards the right....I walked around with a tilted head for a few monhts before the surgery.....

    Follow your doctors instructions rest a lot. I rested a lot in the first two months...and even today I still need to take a rest once a day for at the least an hour to lay or recline back....

    Do you have a cervical collar? A hard or soft one??

    One of the most important things I think I can say to someone who is going to have this surgery and even to myself where I am now is to patient! The healing process from this surgery has at least for me seemd to go somewhat slowly which is fine ...the pains and aches seem to change a lot during the first two months...weird pains I did not have before ...things like that...
    Good news...the weird stuff has for the most part stopped.

    The only thing I am working on painwise at the moment is the myo-facial stuff in the T-spine and I actually did go back to the real Gym for the firt time last Thursday....
    I had an elevation in my pain yesterday but I know what caused it and it was not the gym stuff because I basiscally kept that stuff to what I was doing in the Physical Therapy....

    Louie...I hope that we will get to chat more and I hope my post will give you a little insight that things do get better....patience is the key for me...
    I am making progress...and I feel you can too...follow the docs orders and walk and rest in the begining that was all I was able to do!

    I hope you have a good day louie and Welcome to Health Boards.....

    Sky

     
    Old 01-18-2009, 10:40 AM   #8
    Janatee
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    Re: ACDF Recovery patient, just released from hospital

    Hello MRJJ, You are doing all the correct things. It seems like a lifetime when you are in recovery, but by and by, one day you start to notice somethings have changed. Each day you get a little farther down the road. Keep up the good work. Walking is an excellent thing to do, IF you can start off slow. Each day builds you up, and you start to feel like your old self. Good Luck. Janatee

     
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