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  • 3 weeks post op...update, concerns

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    Old 06-02-2003, 06:13 AM   #1
    Sulynn's Avatar
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    Post 3 weeks post op...update, concerns

    Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing well and that I haven't missed too much.
    On Memorial Day my 17 year old son was cleaning the grill with a grill cleaner, got some in his eyes and it resulted in chemical burns in both eyes. He's healing up nicely and should come out of this without any vision loss. His left eye is back to normal...his right is still healing.
    So, at 2 weeks post op I had to be his caregiver!!! I've had to do hourly eyedrops, I've had to drive because the eye doctor sees him every couple of days (my daughter looks side to side for me because I can only turn my neck a little), help him with's been loads of fun (not!)
    Everything considered I'm doing well, but I do have a few concerns.
    First of all, whose neck is this? Finally, a few days ago I got the courage to touch the back of my neck and it doen't feel like my neck. It has some lumps and bumps. Is this normal?
    I'm concerned about nerve damage. My left leg and right hand have improved, but my left hand and right leg have shown NO improvement at all since the surgery. Am I to assume that if some things have improved and some haven't then the ones that haven't will never improve?
    Now, about pain from the surgery. I still have some. Not OMG type pain...just soreness, mainly in the back of the neck. Usually if I put my collar on and recline for 20-30 minutes it feels better. My doctor only required me to wear the collar for 2 weeks, but I still wear it to bed or when I rest. I worry about what's going on in there. Is the soreness normal or does it mean things are messed up?
    The recovery from this surgery has been strange. Instead of seeing a gradual,steady improvement what happens is that I'll see no improvement for like a week or so, then suddenly a huge overnight improvement. Then I'll stay at that level for another week or so, then another huge improvement. I've only had 2 of these improvements so far...I'm due for another one Since my nerve damage isn't really improving, I'm talking about improvements from the surgery itself...neck movement, pain lessening, basically just feeling more like myself.
    I wish I had a guide that told what to expect each week post op!

    one level acdf C5-6 with donor bone,plate & screws, severe cord compression, May 10th

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    Old 06-02-2003, 07:02 AM   #2
    PsychLea's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your son's accident. Aren't kids amazing? They can heal so quickly. Ahhhh, to be young again

    I don't think you are experiencing anything unusual. As for the nerves, it takes a long time to heal. 6-12 months. You still have some PT coming your way too, so try not to stress about it. I am still having pain, mostly in the evening and still taking hydrocodone. Still have weakness in my left hand.

    Ask Bruce. He is 4 months out and still dealing with decreased function and muscle spasms etc.

    I know what you mean about the slow improvement. It is sloooooowwwwww. I still have alot of soreness and can barley move my neck to the right at all. Before surgery, I couldn't move it to the left. Go figure.

    You sound like you are right on track, but call your NS if you are worried.

    God bless,


    C4-5 noncompressive disc displacement
    C5-6 compressive disc displacement
    C6-7 broad based disc protrusion encroaching on the anterioposterior aspect of the spinal canal.
    ACDF C6-7 5/13/03 with titanium plate,4 screws, and no collar postop.
    God bless,


    Old 06-03-2003, 12:56 PM   #3
    Monica In VA
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    Hey Sulynn,

    I've been checking on here and reading this & that but haven't seen you post so I figured you must have been doing so well that you had better things to do...

    I am 19 days post-op and have been going pretty good. I went to the NS Friday AM- he removed the steri-strips, had to cut a stitch that was hanging out, and told me to come back in 4 to 6 weeks (have an xray done before I come in)... He also told me I could start driving a little now- maybe to the store and back but that's about it.

    I have been scared to drive because #1- I'm still wearing the (soft) collar and can't turn my head much at all and #2- I have a 5-speed.

    I also think that maybe it's because a CAR accident put me here?

    But about the pain- I have been off the pain meds for about a week and a half- until last night. I started having the pain in the side of my neck, shoulder, and at times down the arm again. It feels really stiff and is still a little painful today. Maybe I overdid it over the weekend, I don't know. I worry all the time about messing something up while it's healing.

    I guess one day I will be able to do things without having to suffer for it the next day or two? But I am sure in another couple of weeks we will both be feeling much better.

    Take care...

    Old 06-03-2003, 07:19 PM   #4
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    You both are still pretty post op... so just be a little patient. It good you are doing well, thanks for the updates...
    When I first felt the back of my neck I swore I felt the plate, and it never felt like that before surgery. All I can say is too all of you "before surgery" patients, feel your neck. It is the same, and the plate is on the inside, back of the throat. You just feel something you never usually take the time to feel, your neck (on the back). So relax on that one... I freaked for you first!
    It's unfortunate we can give you a week by week improvement, because each one of us is different. Damage was different, surgery, nerve damage... but the good thing is ... you see improvement... yahooey.
    Each week sounds like it is better, you really can't ask for more. Driving takes time, I drove when I felt comfortable moving my head, and it was a long long time. Just take it slow... it's that important. Don't be strangers... keep us posted.

    ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
    September 4, 2002.
    ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
    September 4, 2002.

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