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thompson1234 11-12-2010 06:29 AM

ACDF 9 days post op question
Hello everyone, I am now 9 day post op one level C6-c7 acdf. I am having some questions to ask if anyone can give me some insight I would greatly appreciate it. 2 days ago I noticed that I am still having some numbness feeling in my thumb and index finger. My shoulder and neck still hurt somewhat like it did before surgery. Is this normal or is this a sign of a failed surgery? I am so worried about all this. I go to NS on Monday for post op visit. Has anyone else had similar issues after surgery?


dunerkat58 11-12-2010 05:33 PM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
I had a 2 level ACDF on 10/19. I had a lot of shoulder and upper back muscle pain following surgery. That has eased up somewhat, but have had some shoulder pain (like the pain prior to surgery) the last couple days. However, I'm not overly concerned, as from what I have been told, this is normal and can take awhile to resolve. I return to the doctor on tuesday and will mention it, but overall am feeling very positive about how I am progressing. Hope your doctor can put you at ease when you go see him.

LabGal 11-12-2010 09:24 PM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
I think that is normal. My NS said the nerves "remember" for a while. And there will be some settling after surgery as well. He said it takes a few months for the nerves to heal. There is also regeneration as the nerves receive impulses they have been missing for a while, so they "complain" some... as do the muscles they serve. I am 12 days post ACDF c5-6 and am experiencing some of the same pains as well, but they are considerably less intense, and of a different character than the pain I had prior to surgery... duller and less sustained...more of an ache, where the nerve pain was like a knife. I hope that helps. God bless you in your healing.

thompson1234 11-13-2010 08:19 AM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
Thanks to both of you. It has put my mind at ease a little. It just scares me to think that I might have to endure this pain for always. And this darn Aspen collar!! Lol I literally hate this thing!! But if it's gonna help me then so be it!! Well I go Monday to NS and I will let everyone know what he says about recurrent pain.

LabGal 11-13-2010 11:04 AM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
Believe it or not... you can get used to that collar. I wore it before surgery, so knew what to expect after (practice of sorts-lol). I'm not crazy about it either, but sleeping in a recliner helps, as does packing all manner of small squishy pillows around your head and shoulders to make you more comfortable. You can't do much in them. I think that's the basic idea. When I went to my post-op I mentioned that as I begin to feel better it's hard to remember the bones aren't fused yet. He said... that's why you're wearing the collar. Hang in there! And let us know what the doc says.

dunerkat58 11-14-2010 11:47 AM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
The collar is a pain in the neck, but I've gotten used to it also, and really don't mind it much. I've gotten my bone growth stimulator and wear it 4 hours a day. It's not bad, but when I'm in my recliner watching tv, I can hear it ticking. When I'm out in public wearing both the brace and stimulator, I really get a lot of looks!

Take care - Jill

LabGal 11-14-2010 12:39 PM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
Hi Jill- The "looks" have killed my social life for the time being. I get tired of explaining as well. One time I said "well, you see, this thing holds my head on... and if I turn this knob here... my head will fall off and roll across the floor". Gotta have a little fun with it! I don't have a stimulator (yet) but haven't been xrayed for fusion either. That's in 3 weeks. I hope I don't need one, but if I do... I will wear it with pride (hehe).

Blessings and peace... Denise

thompson1234 11-14-2010 12:48 PM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
Well at least you guys have ventured out. I cannot make myself even get out at wal mart!! I just don't like the looks ppl would give me. And fortunately I have a wonderful husband an kids that have been taking the best of care for me!! They have been wonderful!! My neck is still giving me problems but that is to be expected I guess. It's just that about 5 or 6 yes ago my sister had the same surgery as I did and from the moment she came out of surgery all her pain ended!! And I guess that's what I was expecting. But I will overcome this!!!

Hope all are healing well!!

dunerkat58 11-14-2010 02:32 PM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
What a great response Denise! Most people assume I've been in an accident and then proceed to tell me all their surgery horror stories. And by that point, I'm exhausted and just want to get through the store and go home. Oh well, shouldn't complain I guess. I don't go out too much, but have been taking walks around the neighborhood since the weather has been great lately.

I also am lucky my husband has been taking great care of me and the house. My daughter has been taking me to doctor appointments since my husband went back to work. I've even had my granddaughter vacuum the floor & take out the trash. I would never have been able to cope on my own.

I understand how frustrating it is to still have some pain, but from reading the boards, it takes time, and hope all three of us become as pain-free as possible once we heal.

LabGal 11-14-2010 06:30 PM

Re: ACDF 9 days post op question
Like all things... this too shall pass. The body is designed to heal, and this surgery, considered a "Gold Standard", has been around for over 60 years. It wouldn't have lasted if it didn't work. I'm glad to hear you both have such good support from spouses and family. I do makes a difference. So, we just have to be patient patients... yes? Blessings and healing to all! Denise

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