It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

  • ACDF Recovery Update

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 07-26-2010, 07:07 PM   #1
    birdman579
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2010
    Posts: 27
    birdman579 HB User
    ACDF Recovery Update

    I have now completed 1 week of recovery following ACDF for a herniated disc at C6/7. Overall, I think my recovery is going very well. I hope to return to work after 3 weeks off (2 weeks from now).

    The first day in the hospital was the worst with bad vomiting and having to use a Foley. Ouch! I think the painkillers and anethesia were not good for my body. I wasn't feeling much pain so I quickly stopped pushing the pain button and everything was back to normal the next morning. By noon on day 2, I was home and fairly comfortable. I had a sore throat for about 2 days. The lump in my throat continues, but is finally starting to get better. The lump does not affect eating or breathing, just feels strange when swallowing. I haven't taken any pain meds since the first night home. The incision is the worst of the pain and that's only noticeable when I'm sitting up from lying down. I started walking a bit on the treadmill and now walk 1 mile a day. I could probably walk more as I don't have any problems.

    As for my symptoms before the surgery, I had lots of arm/shoulder/chest tingling and pain. Sitting on the couch would be fine, but moving would cause everything to act up. Everything is much better than before. There have been a few times, maybe a total of 30 seconds, where my right arm has felt weird, but nothing like before. I'm cautiously optimistic about a full recovery and returning to an active lifestyle.

    I plan to update this thread every so often as I recover to keep a record for anyone considering the surgery.

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 07-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #2
    jennybyc
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,892
    jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    Thanks Birdman. Glad to hear the positive report. Recovery can be very up and down but sometimes it just goes up and up and up. I hope yours will be one of them. A positive attitude really helps.

    Keep posting...we need the good reports here!

    gentle hugs............Jenny

     
    Old 07-26-2010, 08:10 PM   #3
    wrgil
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    wrgil's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jul 2010
    Posts: 31
    wrgil HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    Great news Birdman. I'm so happy to hear your shoulder/chest/arm pain is much better.

    I'm awaiting surgery and am really looking forward to more updates from you.

     
    Old 08-04-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
    birdman579
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2010
    Posts: 27
    birdman579 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    I'm a little more than 2 weeks post-op so I figured it was time for another update. My original symptoms continue to stay "fixed". I keep thinking my arm is going to start tingling again, but so far so good. The real test will be when I return to activities because that's when my symptoms were the worst. I still wear my collar almost full time as directed by my doctor. He said I wouldn't need a collar before I had the surgery, but the story changed. Kinda strange. My follow-up appt with the NS is tomorrow. I'm hoping to get cleared for driving and be able to take off my collar. The collar can definitely get itchy sometimes. I didn't shave until a few days ago and that felt really good. Stubble/beard + neck collar = bad news.

    As for recovery... I still have very little to no neck pain. The incision is a little sore if I strain my neck like when getting out of bed. The steri-strips are still in place. They are starting to peel, but none have fallen off yet. That means I still haven't had a great look at the incision. Perhaps my NS will take them off tomorrow. I still occasionally have the lump in my throat. Doesn't really cause any problems, just annoying. I think the lump is from tightness at the incision so I bet my throat won't be back to normal until the incision fully heals.

    Tomorrow could be a big day... maybe cleared to take off collar, return to driving, and return to working. Fingers crossed...

     
    Old 08-04-2010, 02:09 PM   #5
    wrgil
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    wrgil's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jul 2010
    Posts: 31
    wrgil HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    I've been hoping for another update from you! It sounds like you're doing great. I hope everything goes well at your appointment tomorrow. Please update after your appointment. Reading your updates really eases some of my fears of my upcoming surgery.

     
    Old 08-05-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
    birdman579
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2010
    Posts: 27
    birdman579 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    Back from the NS with good news... no more collar! He said I can wear the collar if needed, but it's not required for anything. I was also given some stretching exercises to loosen up my neck. It doesn't hurt too much when I look side-to-side, just stiff when I look more than 45 degrees. Once I'm comfortable turning my head, I can drive. I also had the Steri-Strips removed. The removal wasn't too bad and the incision is healing nicely. I bet it will be barely noticeable before too long. I had x-rays taken today and they look good. I got released to return to work on Monday part time, full time the following Monday. Only work restriction is to not lift more than 15 pounds. Not really an issue for me. The only bad news is my NS said the lump in my throat may never fully go away because of the plate. It's not particularly bad, just a little annoying. The feeling is gone when I lean my head slightly forward when swallowing. I have another follow-up in 10 weeks to hopefully be fully released back into the wild

     
    Old 08-05-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
    SpineAZ
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    SpineAZ's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 5,082
    SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    Best thing I found for the incision was SPF 45 lip balm - it was easy to carry around and apply whenever my neck was in the sun in any way. Made my scar very minimal.
    __________________
    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 08-14-2010, 06:51 PM   #8
    birdman579
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2010
    Posts: 27
    birdman579 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    I'm coming up on 4 weeks since surgery and the recovery continues to go pretty well. I have been free of the collar for a little more than a week and just completed my first week back at work. My neck is definitely stiff and I lost some flexibility, but my stretches seem to improve things every day so I'm optimistic it will almost all come back. The worst thing at this point is the incision hurts when I turn my head far... feels like the skin is stretching. Ouch! Driving is slightly more difficult than before, but mostly due to incision pain when looking over my shoulder. Hopefully that will improve as the incision fully heals. I also still wear a waterproof bandage while showering per doctor's orders. I sometimes have minor pain between my shoulder blades after being up and around for a while.

    As for my original symptoms, they are basically all gone. I do have an occasional feeling of my arm being "off". No tingling or pain like before, just seems like something is not quite right. It's typically very minor and for a short period of time and I wouldn't think twice before this whole ordeal. Just slightly concerned the nerves might act up again. I'm much more in touch with pains and issues with my body since the surgery. Hopefully the worrying doesn't drive me crazy

    The lump in my throat does continue. There are times I don't feel it, but other times it acts up. Again, not a huge deal, but it does remind me that i had the surgery.

     
    Old 08-15-2010, 11:41 AM   #9
    minstrel2
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    minstrel2's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Prospect, OH, USA
    Posts: 267
    minstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    Birdman sounds like you are doing really well. 4 weeks isn't long at all after an ACDF. My throat incision has improved even two years after my surgery. I can hardly see it now, and don't really feel it at all. Just use wisdom about your activities, and you should continue to do great.
    __________________
    ACDF C7-T1 bone graft and titanium plate 2008

     
    Old 09-15-2010, 06:04 PM   #10
    birdman579
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2010
    Posts: 27
    birdman579 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    Just passed the 8 week mark since surgery and everything is going well. My neck flexibility greatly increased at about the 6 week time frame. I'm back to about 90% of pre-surgery flexibility. I wouldn't be heart broken if my flexibility does not increase any more. My incision is still a little stiff, but doesn't really hurt even when stretching the skin. I hear it takes 6 months or more for surgery incisions to really heal so I'm only 1/3 of the way there.

    I have been to several college football games and played tailgating games without any problems. My lifting restrictions are still in effect which is actually a good thing because that means I don't have to pull the cooler or grill out of the car

    As for disc pain, I occasionally have a dull ache between my shoulder blades after being active or if I don't get enough sleep. The pain is not at all bad enough to take pain meds, just a gentle reminder of the surgery. The tingling and arm pain continue to be "fixed". The only bad news is occasional mild muscle spasms.

    Overall, I'm doing very well and could easily live with all the minor pains and reminders of the surgery. As I stated before, my biggest issue is if any of the pains/spasms increase. Hopefully not... fingers crossed!

     
    Old 09-16-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
    mommy of three
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    mommy of three's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Sep 2010
    Location: new york
    Posts: 9
    mommy of three HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    i am now one week post op feeling good all the pain in my arm is gone and was right after surgery. Just have one question for you guys. My voice is not right. I can not talk loudly and forget yelling at my kids when they need it. my voice just does not work. Anyone else with this problem?

     
    Old 09-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #12
    minstrel2
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    minstrel2's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Prospect, OH, USA
    Posts: 267
    minstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB Userminstrel2 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    Your voice will take time to normalize. One week is not nearly long enough.
    I really didn't regain my full voice until at least a year after surgery. Yours may come back sooner, but don't strain and yell too much. This could be a good time to teach the kids to respond to you in other ways, rather than yelling.
    __________________
    ACDF C7-T1 bone graft and titanium plate 2008

     
    Old 09-16-2010, 04:46 PM   #13
    birdman579
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2010
    Posts: 27
    birdman579 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    I have not had any voice issues from the surgery so I cannot comment. I do still have the lump feeling in my throat. Nothing terrible and it seems to be improving, but I still notice almost every time I swallow.

     
    Old 09-17-2010, 08:34 AM   #14
    SpineAZ
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    SpineAZ's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 5,082
    SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    I had voice "hoarseness" for about 2-3 weeks. After that it was normal. I drank warm tea to help it come back. It's an irritation much as laryngitis would be so tea, cepacol lozenges, etc all can help.
    __________________
    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 09-17-2010, 09:04 AM   #15
    julie10
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    julie10's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2007
    Location: Michigan
    Posts: 273
    julie10 HB Userjulie10 HB Userjulie10 HB User
    Re: ACDF Recovery Update

    There is a tea out there called, Throat Coat. We use it for my husband, who is a ********, on Sunday mornings.

    What you are experiencing is normal; it should get better with time.

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    List of items to have at home after ACDF adamlh Spinal Cord Disorders 17 04-11-2014 01:29 PM
    ACDF- Recovery with children thj2u Spinal Cord Disorders 4 07-08-2008 03:39 PM
    one year after ACDF c5-c6 humantunigfork Spinal Cord Disorders 8 07-21-2007 06:36 PM
    Update 3 wks Post 2 Level ACDF OhioGolfer Spinal Cord Disorders 6 03-02-2007 03:51 PM
    3 mo post C5-7 ACDF - saw doc today SpineAZ Spinal Cord Disorders 5 08-30-2006 08:34 AM
    ACDF C5-C6 Scheduled kgwoz Spinal Cord Disorders 6 08-09-2006 07:29 PM
    ACDF Surgery vruiz Spinal Cord Disorders 15 02-04-2006 02:50 PM
    Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update boxer_dog_luv Spinal Cord Disorders 5 02-04-2006 01:40 PM
    Just an update (ACDF C56 & C67 3-16-04) grace2 Spinal Cord Disorders 4 08-02-2004 08:01 AM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:14 PM.





    © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!