Cervical Anterior Fusion

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bluskies
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/17/2012 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 32 days out from C5-C7 Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion. Dealt with the pain for eight years. Surgery was textbook wonderful. Went for follow up. 25 days in a brace, I felt great..doc said you can take the brace off and resume driving. Less than a week later Something has gone south. Although it may be my own doing. I went back to work 8 days after the surgery and went full speed ahead at work when doc said it was ok to take the brace off. I'm pretty miserable, I decided to stop the muscle relaxers and pain meds so I knew exactly how I felt. I have another MRI scheduled because of weakness, pain, numbness and tingle in my arms. I am feeling guilty because I am certain I overdid it. I am concerned and kicking myself for not listening to my body.
So use recovery time as just that. Recover, Rest and Repeat.
Best wishes to all the folks who have been in my shoes

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 4/17/2012 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Yep...you went too fast...too soon...It's especially hard on the neck after being in a brace for that many days and then driving....it's amazing how much we use our neck for that! LOL...

My last surgery was both Anterior AND Posterior cervical fusion on the same two levels....So I can empathize!....There are quite a few of us here who have had the cervical surgeries....

As well as you giving up all medication....the pain will be awful!...It's one thing to start tapering down on the pain medication when you feel able....certainly your choice.....but giving up the muscle relaxers as well I don't see the reason....They are very helpful after a day of moving around...

Any type of spine surgery takes months to really start feeling good again and letting things settle...

Did you not have any hardware put in? Usually they don't have people wear the brace when they add metal.....I had a collar for a few months after my first surgery without hardware....

I'm also not surprised with the numbness and tingling though as you have been going full force when your neck just isn't ready...All the nerves are already inflammed because of the surgery....so constant movement all day long at work and then driving will certainly cause a lot of pain and issues...

Obviously they will not see a fusion when they do the MRI on you as that can take up to a year.....So....it doesn't sound like you reinjured anything as you didn't fall or have an accident......but glad they are being cautious....

Seriously though....you have to give your body the rest it needs or else it won't fuse properly and then all of this is for waste.....Hopefully you do not smoke as this also inhibits fusing.....

So...take medicine if you need it.....and rest as much as possible.....Your body will thank you!!! LOL
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

bluskies
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/17/2012 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Than You for the reply, I do have a total of six screws and three locknuts.
They are concerned with collapse of the cage. I will take the muscle relaxers before bed to help the spasms, would like to take hydrocodone as well, however I don't want to do further damage. I am still working, not as high paced just getting to work and to my desk is good for now.

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 4/17/2012 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Ahh...thanks for sharing more....It must just be your Dr.'s choice for the brace....My two surgeries with hardware like yours...cage, screws, rods.....we didn't do any type of brace afterwards...

If you are still allowed to take your Hydrocodone as per your prescription....you should keep taking those when needed along with the muscle relaxers....They key is to be letting your body slowly recover....and then little by little start tapering down...but never just quitting all of them at once...

keep us posted....
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 4/19/2012 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Blueskies... I will be undergoing a ACDF May 3rd.... I don't know what to expect since my surgery, just over one year ago was horrifically brutal....the pain so intense that I kept telling my husband that I was deathly afraid that my brain would become another personality to help deal with it... I just couldn't handle it...

I am so scared but from all my research the front approach seems a bit easier than from the back....

I already have 6 screws, three plates and two rods.... I'll be getting the same (I think) from the front this time.....

May I ask what type of pain meds got you through... the strength and how many times per day?

Thanks and take it easy!!!


Posterior cervicothoracic decompression and instrumented fusion (three levels) for spondylosis and stenosis with severe radiculopathy.. surgery performed 3/31/11

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3305
   Posted 4/20/2012 12:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Draka the cervical ACDF is so much easier than the posterior fusion with the rods and pins. They use a small bracket with titanium screws to hold the two vertebra in place and the cage with the donor bone graft they put in where  they took out the disk, I had the two ACDF's first then the posterior fusions and there is no comparison, the ACDF is a piece of cake!!! I wish you well on your up coming surgery, make sure you post to let us know how you are doing.
 
Blueskies did you find out anything yet? I do hope you are alright, I can empathize with what you are going through! Please keep us posted on how you are doing??
 
Good luck to you!
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 4/20/2012 12:11:05 AM (GMT-6)


bluskies
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/20/2012 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning!
I have an appointment this morning. I'm still in a moderate amount of pain. Using ice, rest and muscle relaxers. I'll update again later. Had a repeated mri on Wednesday.

I do agree that the initial pain from acdf is not horrid.
The pain I was in prior to was worse.

Later....Hope we all have good days ahead!

bluskies
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/24/2012 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Afternoon, I hope everyone is doing well. My MRI was textbook post ACDF perfect. Asked doc why I was having symptoms. In a nutshell I need to listen to my body. When I sstart to hurt stop. Continue the no lifting, pushing or pulling more than five pounds. I am to continue the elecro mag treatmen, t. Take muscle relaxers and if needed the pain meds. I'm still working. I went back nine days after the surgery. So I'm keeping myself on a slow burn so I don't over do it. The muscle spasms are causing pressure on the nerves in my neck, so in turn I get the tingle in both arms and legs.
Wishing all on the site happy Tuesday!

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 4/24/2012 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
That's great news that everything looks fine!

Thankfully this was a good reminder to take it easy and that the recovery from this surgery can take a very long time...That our bodies really do speak to us when we over do it...LOL...

Thanks for updating us:)
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11396
   Posted 4/24/2012 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
So glad to hear that you got a good report on the MRI. I am still shocked that you returned to work 9 days after surgery. Wow, thats rough. Your dr gave you some excellent advice and I sure hope that you heed it too. Life will be much easier for you if you will follow through on your part.

People sometimes tend to forget that you do have to heal on the inside too, not just the outside. I hope that when you get home from work you can take things easy and be kind to your body for awhile longer. Surgery is a traumatic experience for the body you know.

Keep us posted on how you are doing and take care.....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

onthemend1979
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/29/2013 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
My experience with ACDF:
 
I recently had an ACDF c5-c7 on September 24th, 2013 to correct neck issues I have been dealing with for 14 years. I also had spinal cord compression.  I did a lot of research and went through many doctors until I found someone I was comfortable with.  The surgery went great, and the doctor even told my husband it was a "boring" surgery.  I felt comfortable with everything, but 5 days after my surgery, I am experiencing much more pain than I thought I would have.  The doctor assures me this is normal.  I spent two nights in the hospital.  The  doctor required me to stay 1 night in the ICU and the second night in a regular room.  The first night I was on a pain management system that allowed me to push a button to release medication.  The second day, I switched to pills.  I did get nauseous in the hospital and at home, which I was given Zofran to ease symptoms.  I vomited day 3 and day 4.  My doctor is requiring me to wear the Miami J collar for 6 weeks.  Right now, my muscles are so tight, and I am having extreme muscle spasms into my shoulder and down my arm.  I have been taking oxycodone and flexoral (sp) to help with these symptoms.  By day 4, my throat was no longer sore, and I can eat normally now.  Other than the tight muscles, my neck itself feels much better.  I can only handle about 15-20 minutes of sitting, moving around, etc and then I feel like I over did it and need to lay down.  Hope this helps for anyone facing this surgery.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11396
   Posted 9/30/2013 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello OntheMend and welcome to the chronic pain forum. If you have read any of the posts above yours I am sure you found some really good info on cervical fusions.

We do ask all new members to start their own separate intro post so that all members will see it & be able to give you a proper hello & welcome aboard. By posting on an older thread not many people will see your post and realize we have someone new on board. You can copy & paste what you have written above, that is perfect.

Also the owner of the forum has a few rules for us here and if you look at the top on the right you will see forum rules. When you can please take a look at them, it just helps keep Healing Well a nice safe place. Take care.....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum
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