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    Old 06-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
    sonus
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    Smile Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    Dear all - just wondering:
    When did you go back to work / regular exercise?
    What happens if you over-do it?
    When does the pins and needles go?
    Also has anyone had any bad complications?
    I am 4 weeks post-op ACDF 3/4, 4/5, 5/6 - also my scar is very protruded but not infected - any tips on flattening? - hope you are all well out there and god speed

     
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    Old 06-28-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sonus View Post
    Dear all - just wondering:
    When did you go back to work / regular exercise?
    What happens if you over-do it?
    When does the pins and needles go?
    Also has anyone had any bad complications?
    I am 4 weeks post-op ACDF 3/4, 4/5, 5/6 - also my scar is very protruded but not infected - any tips on flattening? - hope you are all well out there and god speed
    I had ACDF surgery March 16th. I just returned to work 1/2 days and I'm feeling pretty good! My Neurosurgeon explained to me that complete recovery can take 6 - 12 months. I must say that the last 2 weeks has been really good! I've been rubbing Bio-oil on my neck 2x a day and it seems to reduce scaring. I wore an Aspen collar for the 3 months. Physio therapy has just started 2x a week.

    Good luck on your recovery. Be patent! It was like someone turning a switch on me after 8 weeks! This really seemed to be a turning point for me.

    Dave
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    Old 06-28-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
    sonus
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    Dear Dave - thank you and I will use the Bio-oil - looking forward to the 8 week mark and will start work p/t as you suggested as I had the option but was not confident - take care

     
    Old 06-28-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
    bms231
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    Really? March and you are not back to work?

    Bud, I had a two level fusion C4 C5 C6 on May 31st. I am 4 weeks out.

    Day 3 I was out doing small walks in my hard collar. After 1 week I was out twice a day walking 1 mile each time. After 10 days no more collar walking 1+ miles twice a day.

    I am four weeks to the day out and I started driving. No issues. I also started PT today. Some strange feelings from not using my muscles for the past month, but all in all tolerable.

    I am an IT professional so I sit and type. I was working from home two weeks after surgery and only taking advil. Doc said safe in low doses, otherwise it will prevent bone growth.

    Week three I was full time from home.

    Week four, half days in the office, half days at home.

    The key is, know your limits. The first 3 days back started on day 15. They were hell. I was up for 1 hour, down for an hour icing, up for one hour, down for an hour. And that is the way it went. I slept well those nights.

    I am very much the same way today. When my neck starts to feel stiff, I stand up and stretch to the left, right, up, down. I move my arms one at a time. Cross my arms over my chest to stretch the back. Fist pump up to the sky a few times. All slow motions.

    My derma bond came off 5 days ago and the scar is puffy. This Thursday (one week) the doc says I can start putting Mederma on there and messaging the scar.

    Granted, I am 29 and in good health so I may have that on my side, but seriously if your job doesnt involve lifting or bending, you can sit alone at home or engage in some work to pass the time. I cant hardly believe it has been a month already.

     
    Old 06-28-2011, 07:16 PM   #5
    bms231
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    I am unsure what happened to my last post. I put some time into it. It was my first after joining so maybe it will appear.


    So why the eight weeks? At two weeks I was back working from home. I am an IT professional so I only sit at a desk. The first week was a three day week and it was not so comfortable. I would sit up for an hour, lay down and ice for an hour, rinse wash, repeat. The third week was a full work from home week. I only stopped once every 3 or so hours to sit down and ice. I am still tired, but really no discomfort other than stiffness.

    At 4 weeks I started PT. The key here is the more you move, the better you will feel. If you don't move, you can form scar tissue and cause more issues than getting up and moving.

    Within 3 days i was walking outside in a neck brace. At about 10 days post op i was out walking w/o the neck brace twice a day 1 mile each time. I upped it to 3 times 1 mile at a time. Each day I felt a bit better mentally and physically.

    STRETCH! Get yourself a vibrating message and massage your upper back. Alternate ice and heat. I find heat at night before i go to sleep is the best. most importantly...... STRETCH. move your arms. do fist pumps. arm raises. look left, look right, look up, look down. you have to keep moving.

    Also, I have the cervical stim from orthofix and let me tell ya, that think is pretty amazing. four weeks out and the xray already shows bone growth. plus, the stim makes me feel really good. the doctor says b/c the blood flow is increased to the area.

    so just my two cents. they tell me at 3 months (12 weeks) i will be back riding my motorcycle. I am age 29 btw. two level fusion. c4-c6.

     
    Old 06-29-2011, 05:18 AM   #6
    kelownabc
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bms231 View Post
    Really? March and you are not back to work?

    Bud, I had a two level fusion C4 C5 C6 on May 31st. I am 4 weeks out.

    Day 3 I was out doing small walks in my hard collar. After 1 week I was out twice a day walking 1 mile each time. After 10 days no more collar walking 1+ miles twice a day.

    I am four weeks to the day out and I started driving. No issues. I also started PT today. Some strange feelings from not using my muscles for the past month, but all in all tolerable.

    I am an IT professional so I sit and type. I was working from home two weeks after surgery and only taking advil. Doc said safe in low doses, otherwise it will prevent bone growth.

    Week three I was full time from home.

    Week four, half days in the office, half days at home.

    The key is, know your limits. The first 3 days back started on day 15. They were hell. I was up for 1 hour, down for an hour icing, up for one hour, down for an hour. And that is the way it went. I slept well those nights.

    I am very much the same way today. When my neck starts to feel stiff, I stand up and stretch to the left, right, up, down. I move my arms one at a time. Cross my arms over my chest to stretch the back. Fist pump up to the sky a few times. All slow motions.

    My derma bond came off 5 days ago and the scar is puffy. This Thursday (one week) the doc says I can start putting Mederma on there and messaging the scar.

    Granted, I am 29 and in good health so I may have that on my side, but seriously if your job doesnt involve lifting or bending, you can sit alone at home or engage in some work to pass the time. I cant hardly believe it has been a month already.
    Everyone heals at different rates, however I would be very cautious about returning to work so quickly. My NS reinforced the importance of not removing my collar for 3 months to ensure neck movement was minimized. Also driving puts you at significant risk for liability if your in an accident and more importantly the damage you could do to your neck if rear ended!! I also spend my days in front of a pc or on conference calls and my NS provided me the same response,"stay off work for three months if you can afford it. You don't want this surgery a second time!"

    I'm happy I followed his directions as I'm feeling 90% recovered and moving towards 100 very quickly!
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    Old 06-29-2011, 05:34 AM   #7
    bms231
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kelownabc View Post
    Everyone heals at different rates, however I would be very cautious about returning to work so quickly. My NS reinforced the importance of not removing my collar for 3 months to ensure neck movement was minimized. Also driving puts you at significant risk for liability if your in an accident and more importantly the damage you could do to your neck if rear ended!! I also spend my days in front of a pc or on conference calls and my NS provided me the same response,"stay off work for three months if you can afford it. You don't want this surgery a second time!"

    I'm happy I followed his directions as I'm feeling 90% recovered and moving towards 100 very quickly!
    I guess everyone is different. Like I said I had 7 opinions and every one was different as far as recovery. The NS I went w/ has done over 9000 procedures since 1982 and has had a 99% success rate. He tracks his patients yearly as well.

    The people who screwed up his success rate were a plumber who went back to work 5 days after surgery and popped blood vessels and a biker who went back to cycling 5 days post op and again blew a blood vessel both resulting in a hematoma into the spinal column and temporary paralysis.

    Also, I don't have bone grafts. I think that old school way of doing the surgery makes NS more cautious b/c those things can break. I got polypropylene cages filled w/ a mix of my own bone marrow and stem cells from a cadaver. Healing time is quicker and the polypropylene cages don't break. The real risk w/ them is being hit from behind and having the vertibra separate enough to cause the cages to go into my spinal cord. I also do not have rigid plates but rather movable. Puts less stress on the screws.

    Last edited by bms231; 06-29-2011 at 05:35 AM.

     
    Old 06-29-2011, 01:15 PM   #8
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    I think for anyone to go into the simplest surgical procedures and expect a 99% success rate is unrealistic. I'm not doubting that this surgeon is good, however 99%.. I think he's embellishing his success rate just a tad!
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    Old 07-22-2011, 12:46 PM   #9
    JulieJo2020
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    Wow thank you so much you were an inspiration to me! I am scheduled for ACDF 2 level c5-6 6-7 on August 9th I am older than you but also am in good health. My Main concern is the recovery time...I work at brokerage firm and am 1 of 2 employees! I sit at desk and do a lot of typing and answering of phones and am Really hoping to go back to work 2 weeks post-op. I have a driver so I am covered there. Buying and selling stocks while on Percocets, not so sure! I am also glad to here you were out walking...I agree that moving about is better for all healing. I have been reading these blogs for days and several people have said they went back sooner rather than later and did fine WHEW!!!!!!! In this economy I don't want to risk losing my job over this! NS says HAS to be done or may wake up sooner rather than later with paralysis in hands. wih Me luck!

    Last edited by JulieJo2020; 07-22-2011 at 12:47 PM.

     
    Old 07-23-2011, 12:57 AM   #10
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    Re: Post ACDF 4 weeks and wondering....

    You need to take it easy and don't over do it! My surgery failed and it's been 7 months! I have been told now i need 5 levccan el cervical fuse... I'm just sayiing! Don't forget those pain meds can make you think you feel better...Where that collar!!

     
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