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  • ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

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    Old 02-03-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
    Readytorun4
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    ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    I had ACDF on C6/7 three weeks ago today. I have felt GREAT since I woke up in the recovery room. About a 11 days after the surgery I had a set back I guess it was from picking up something too heavy or doing laundry of just overdoing it. My shoulder blades and mid back were just killing me. Two days in bed as much as possible cured that and since then I've just felt better and better. My doctor hasn't given me any specific guidelines about when I could get back to running and tennis. I've been walking but I was a runner prior to the surgery and yesterday I alternated running/walking for 4 miles. My mid back is quite sore today but tolerable. I also played tennis (doubles) only one set today for the first time. I was very careful not to twist or hit really hard etc. Just wanted to get out there to hit the ball and see how it felt. I play league tennis and matches start a week from Tuesday and I'd LIKE to be able to play. My doctor didn't have me wear any brace...I have a plate and screws and pretty good range of motion. Have been driving since day 3 days after surgery. Endurance seems to be my issue and any pain I have is coming from the thoracic area which wasn't an issue before - I believe it's probably just overcompensating. I almost never read good reports or quick recoveries....any thoughts? Do you think I'm setting myself up for disaster? As I had a very active day yesterday and today I have a feeling tomorrow will be a "REST" day for sure. I'm just ready to get back to my normal life. My weight is up 10 lbs and I'm VERY petite 5'2" on a good day. I have found that running is the best way to stay thin and I'm reluctant to go on waiting much longer. I guess I want to know is it ok to have a little bit of soreness from activities such as "jogging" or "running" as long as it's not TERRIBLE pain or should one refrain from all these activities??? Thanks for your input!

     
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    Old 02-04-2012, 05:04 AM   #2
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc....advice???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Readytorun4 View Post
    I had ACDF on C6/7 three weeks ago today. I have felt GREAT since I woke up in the recovery room. About a 11 days after the surgery I had a set back I guess it was from picking up something too heavy or doing laundry of just overdoing it. My shoulder blades and mid back were just killing me. Two days in bed as much as possible cured that and since then I've just felt better and better. My doctor hasn't given me any specific guidelines about when I could get back to running and tennis. I've been walking but I was a runner prior to the surgery and yesterday I alternated running/walking for 4 miles. My mid back is quite sore today but tolerable. I also played tennis (doubles) only one set today for the first time. I was very careful not to twist or hit really hard etc. Just wanted to get out there to hit the ball and see how it felt. I play league tennis and matches start a week from Tuesday and I'd LIKE to be able to play. My doctor didn't have me wear any brace...I have a plate and screws and pretty good range of motion. Have been driving since day 3 days after surgery. Endurance seems to be my issue and any pain I have is coming from the thoracic area which wasn't an issue before - I believe it's probably just overcompensating. I almost never read good reports or quick recoveries....any thoughts? Do you think I'm setting myself up for disaster? As I had a very active day yesterday and today I have a feeling tomorrow will be a "REST" day for sure. I'm just ready to get back to my normal life. My weight is up 10 lbs and I'm VERY petite 5'2" on a good day. I have found that running is the best way to stay thin and I'm reluctant to go on waiting much longer. I guess I want to know is it ok to have a little bit of soreness from activities such as "jogging" or "running" as long as it's not TERRIBLE pain or should one refrain from all these activities??? Thanks for your input!

    Hello Readytorun4, I had a 3 level ACDF and this is my opinion only, I say yes to walking unsure about 4 miles seems a little long for being 3 weeks post op, but I would not be running or playing tennis at all yet. My Neurosurgeon told me that it takes at least 3 to 6 months for the bone to fuse. Running and playing tennis is very hard on the spine and I would think that would put additional stress on your(fusion) neck. I would speak to your Dr to get the ok to go back to full activity in such a short time. Rest is very important after any type of surgery and you have stated you have felt pain from bending/laundry which I would think an easier task than running/tennis, again my opinion only. I understand your eagerness tho!
    Take care
    Bunz

     
    Old 02-04-2012, 07:24 AM   #3
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc....advice???

    Thanks for the input Bunz! I feel fine today and am actually surprised b/c I have been quite active the last few days. As far as 4 miles - I didn't run the whole way I alternated "jogging" (being very careful not to pound the pavement) with walking (which HURTS my legs when I walk fast - long stride - LOL) so in total I think I ran 2.75 and walked 1.25. I had been walking 3 to 4 miles every other day since day three of the surgery and the Neurosurgeon said I could walk as much as I wanted. I think I remember him saying I could get back to running/tennis around 3 to 4 weeks depending on how I was doing. I just haven't seen him recently to ask. PLUS I don't ask questions that I don't want the wrong answer to. Haha! I am going to wait on the tennis - I knew I was pushing it but I am so eager (as you put it) to get back out there and do all the things I love. I could wait longer if I hadn't put on these lbs. LOL! I'll call him Monday and see what he says. I'd like to have another X-ray to see how things are going in there just to be reassured. At this point I don't think another couple of X-rays will break us b/c I just got the bill from the hospital for the surgery and one night stay plus cadaver bone and WHOA nelly! I've searched the boards for good results and people who've gotten back to normal activity fairly quick and it's hard to find. I'm really hopeful that I've not messed anything up so far being so active and that I fuse faster than anyone in the world - ha not likely but I do like milk if that helps. Thanks again! I hope you're doing well. I had never really had bad back problems till this year and I have a whole new understanding and compassion for people who are dealing with this now. It's a terrible diagnosis and I hope that new, better and less invasive procedures will come soon. Have a GREAT day!
    REALLY Readytorun4

     
    Old 02-05-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc....advice???

    I had a one level ACDF of C6/7 about a week before you did (I'm at 4 and a half weeks now). I had my surgery on Wednesday and was back in work doing easy stuff the following Tuesday, so I am probably one of the quicker recoveries.

    Personally, I bike rather than run, but I was back on my stationary trainer in less than 2 weeks, and at 4 I was pretty much back to my normal routine feeling good pretty much all the time (a little pain between my shoulderblades when I wake up notwithstanding). At this stage, I'm almost certainly not fully fused and the plate in my neck is keeping things together - you may well be the same. The advice my surgeon gave to me was walk as much as possible, bike as much as I felt I was able, and avoid doing too much neck turning for the first 3 months, since messing with the fusion would be bad.

    I'm not a medical professional, and if you want advice you really should talk to your doctor, but if it were me I probably wouldn't be thinking about playing tennis yet - playing competitively is probably going to be putting a heck of a lot more stress than you should be into your neck at only 3 weeks, and do you *really* want to risk finding out what the worst thing that could happen might be? Running might be OK, but if you have an old bike then a cheap trainer in the basement in front of a TV has done pretty well for me so far - your mileage may vary (ba dum bum).

     
    Old 02-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc....advice???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Readytorun4 View Post
    I had ACDF on C6/7 three weeks ago today. I have felt GREAT since I woke up in the recovery room. About a 11 days after the surgery I had a set back I guess it was from picking up something too heavy or doing laundry of just overdoing it. My shoulder blades and mid back were just killing me. Two days in bed as much as possible cured that and since then I've just felt better and better. My doctor hasn't given me any specific guidelines about when I could get back to running and tennis. I've been walking but I was a runner prior to the surgery and yesterday I alternated running/walking for 4 miles. My mid back is quite sore today but tolerable. I also played tennis (doubles) only one set today for the first time. I was very careful not to twist or hit really hard etc. Just wanted to get out there to hit the ball and see how it felt. I play league tennis and matches start a week from Tuesday and I'd LIKE to be able to play. My doctor didn't have me wear any brace...I have a plate and screws and pretty good range of motion. Have been driving since day 3 days after surgery. Endurance seems to be my issue and any pain I have is coming from the thoracic area which wasn't an issue before - I believe it's probably just overcompensating. I almost never read good reports or quick recoveries....any thoughts? Do you think I'm setting myself up for disaster? As I had a very active day yesterday and today I have a feeling tomorrow will be a "REST" day for sure. I'm just ready to get back to my normal life. My weight is up 10 lbs and I'm VERY petite 5'2" on a good day. I have found that running is the best way to stay thin and I'm reluctant to go on waiting much longer. I guess I want to know is it ok to have a little bit of soreness from activities such as "jogging" or "running" as long as it's not TERRIBLE pain or should one refrain from all these activities??? Thanks for your input!

    IMO would you rather gain a few pounds or have a setback because you're overdoing it? You can always loose those extra pounds when you are more fit and your body has healed a bit more but having a setback might mean having to have surgery again.

    As for doing laundry I was told to bend and twist as little as possible and not to lift anything more than 10 pounds. Seems to me that doing laundry and playing tennis 3 weeks post op would be against a doctor's advice. And running or jogging? My doctor has said no to that.

    You know, I have been questioning as to why my provider has me wearing a collar and I think it's to remind me I just had major surgery on my neck so take it easy. It seems that some of you are forgetting this and putting unnecessary risk on yourselves by doing activities that are not permitted-and it's not just my doctor but all of the online sites that have information about this surgery and after care.

    Since your doctor hasn't given you any specific time as to when you can start running or jogging or playing tennis I suggest you ask him before doing those activities.

    Oh,and the pain you are having after doing these activities should be telling you something-like maybe NOT to do those activities.

    Last edited by joaneeo; 02-08-2012 at 04:56 PM.

     
    Old 05-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    My experience 18 days post ACDF for C5-C6. (I had/have problems with my legs, tingling and uncoordinated with jelly-like muscles. I was told I was headed for paralysis if I didn't have surgery by 3 doctors.) Post op, the doctors and nurses were always ambiguous about a neck brace (except in a car, where I wore it). Even on the night following surgery I slept and walked to the bathroom with no brace (a little scary). I started walking after the first day and was up to 3 miles/day at the end of the first week (in 3 separate walks) an 4 miles/day the second week. Just today I walked 4 miles on one stretch. No jogging or tennis yet; it is my impression I need more like 3 months for that, but it remains to be seen.

    I started PT on day 14 and also was told I don't need the neck brace anymore at all. Massaged my neck (whose muscles are sore and tight, but getting better by the day) + some leg and arm work. The do gently work my neck mobility with a slow twist, which is a bit scary. My leg symptoms are pretty much the same as before the operation, but getting a little better (I hope!). My neck muscles and the wound have healed incredibly fast - most people don't even notice the wound at this point.

    Much as I want to resume jogging and tennis, I do worry that bone fusion has just begun and it seems pretty risky to go that route. I am instead starting to go up and down hills briskly walking to get more exercise. I always need to focus on my gait so I don't drag my feet, which is tiring.

    Overall, the surgery was a no-brainer for my case. I am quite happy with the outcome, but really hope the issues with my legs will get better over the coming months(and the doctors have told my there is a reasonably good possibility that will happen, but maybe not full recovery). I'll take what I can get!

    Best to all of you ACDFers out there.

     
    Old 05-15-2012, 07:19 PM   #7
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    I'd lay off the tennis. Way too much movement and twisting. The danger is that you'll break the fusion - one way or another - and that will happen WITHOUT WARNING.

    For a change, you'll need to use your willpower to NOT exercise...

     
    Old 05-16-2012, 12:41 PM   #8
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    I agree with all those that posted about reserving tennis and jogging and anything over strenuous, as the fusion has not healed yet. My worry would be breaking the fusion and causing the hardware or unfused bone to burrow into your spinal cord risking something very serious, i.e., paralysis or even death, God Forbid. I'm not a physician and this is only going by what my NS told me. I was in a neck brace for 2 months, the reason, do not move your neck....PERIOD!!!!! The risk far outweighs any need to exercise. The walking is great, I was told to walk walk walk, I just saw my NS and was given the ok to start light exercise, that is 4 months post-op. I was also told, it can take anywhere from 6 months to a full year to be completely fused, and not to do anything that would put that bone fusing into jeopardy. I hope and pray you heed the warnings people are saying, and my advise to you would be to call your physician and ask any and all questions, putting your head in the sand because you may not want an answer is not the way to go with a surgery as serious as this. Good Luck to you in your healing process.

     
    Old 05-18-2012, 03:03 PM   #9
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    Hi Ready to run, I would agree with these guys about not pushing it. The pack of info I have had from my surgeon even forbids golf for ages post-operatively, I really admire your spirit though I am making a guess that your ACDF was for radiculopathy pain as mine will be for myelopathy (op is in 3 days) and I've been told to expect little or no change in mobility after my surgery (That said, it'd be ACE if I felt like running 3 weeks afterwards) Good luck to you and take it a bit easy x

     
    Old 05-21-2012, 07:27 PM   #10
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    Jon-My NS told me that it can take from 6-12 months for everything to return to normal. I'm 4 months post op for a 2 level and my arm still is numb at times and week and the pain I had in the bicep is still there. As for running and jogging, at 6 weeks postop I was also told NOT to run or jog. Walking is fine and encouraged.

    I'm sure your surgeon gave you instructions as to what kind of activities you can and can't do. If not call and ask him. I would follow them and not risk any complications. After all, this is your neck and spine we're talking about.

     
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    Old 05-21-2012, 08:25 PM   #11
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    Realhousewife: Thanks for the info - it is consistent with what others are telling me. The scary part is that even after 6 -12 months, everything might not return to normal. But it is reasonable to expect that at least some improvement will happen. It sounds from your post like you have seen some improvement.

    I plan to repost after some time has elapsed and I can judge what progress I have made. I hope all goes well for you. Jon

     
    Old 05-21-2012, 09:30 PM   #12
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    [QUOTE=jon1111;4984388]Realhousewife: Thanks for the info - it is consistent with what others are telling me. The scary part is that even after 6 -12 months, everything might not return to normal. But it is reasonable to expect that at least some improvement will happen. It sounds from your post like you have seen some improvement.

    I plan to repost after some time has elapsed and I can judge what progress I have made. I hope all goes well for you. Jon[/QUOTE


    I've met two people IRL who had the same surgery and 10-15 years after they are living full lives and have never had to have another surgery. Hearing their stories helped me a lot during my recovery. IMO there are more success stories than failures-the reason why you don't hear them is because they are feeling great and enjoying their lives.

    In spite of the fact I still have some problems I feel pretty good compared to last year when I had excruciating pain most of the year and no life. You have to listen to your body-if you do something and there is pain stop. Like they say, pain is the body's way of telling you that you're overdoing it.

     
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    Old 07-07-2012, 01:46 PM   #13
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Readytorun4 View Post
    I had ACDF on C6/7 three weeks ago today. I have felt GREAT since I woke up in the recovery room. About a 11 days after the surgery I had a set back I guess it was from picking up something too heavy or doing laundry of just overdoing it. My shoulder blades and mid back were just killing me. Two days in bed as much as possible cured that and since then I've just felt better and better. My doctor hasn't given me any specific guidelines about when I could get back to running and tennis. I've been walking but I was a runner prior to the surgery and yesterday I alternated running/walking for 4 miles. My mid back is quite sore today but tolerable. I also played tennis (doubles) only one set today for the first time. I was very careful not to twist or hit really hard etc. Just wanted to get out there to hit the ball and see how it felt. I play league tennis and matches start a week from Tuesday and I'd LIKE to be able to play. My doctor didn't have me wear any brace...I have a plate and screws and pretty good range of motion. Have been driving since day 3 days after surgery. Endurance seems to be my issue and any pain I have is coming from the thoracic area which wasn't an issue before - I believe it's probably just overcompensating. I almost never read good reports or quick recoveries....any thoughts? Do you think I'm setting myself up for disaster? As I had a very active day yesterday and today I have a feeling tomorrow will be a "REST" day for sure. I'm just ready to get back to my normal life. My weight is up 10 lbs and I'm VERY petite 5'2" on a good day. I have found that running is the best way to stay thin and I'm reluctant to go on waiting much longer. I guess I want to know is it ok to have a little bit of soreness from activities such as "jogging" or "running" as long as it's not TERRIBLE pain or should one refrain from all these activities??? Thanks for your input!
    This is me today - 3 weeks from the same surgery (C6/7) and I'm 5' 2" and gained 10 lbs. I started jogging exactly the same as you (jog /walk for 4 miles) and FINALLY feel like my normal self again but worry that I'm doing something wrong. I'm wondering how you are today and did this effect your fusion? Thanks so much for this post!

     
    Old 07-07-2012, 03:50 PM   #14
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    Re: ACDF 3 weeks ACDF and starting light jogging etc.... advice???

    I had ACDF on C5/C6 on April 27 and posted about a month ago. After talking more with my doctor, I have decided not to resume tennis and mountain hiking until Sept 1 (4 months after surgery) due to the risk of falling and hurting the fusion process. Instead I work out and walk briskly (and do jog up mild hills for short distances - the uphill means that I don't have much impact bounce). My neck feels great, but the original problem of uncoordinated, tingling lower body continues (the result of a bruised spinal cord from stenosis). However, I am getting a little stronger, a little more endurance, and I think overall am better of, but boy is it slow. I do much better after exercising - and the best exercise of all is an elliptical machine for 30 minutes. I had a follow-up MRI today and will see the doctor Thursday, so may learn more. Jon

     
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