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Posted By : AtATurtlesPace - 7/6/2017 10:26 PM
I am at the end of my fourth month of healing from an anterior and posterior fusion. I just wanted to say holy crap this surgery has kicked my tail on every level. I had ACDF C4- C6 several years ago. The first surgery has nothing on this one. Anybody with this surgery finally have a good day point? If so, when?

Posted By : Abilene - 7/6/2017 11:56 PM
WOW!! I've had just a part of what you have had. Mine was 3 1/2 years ago. My story is here somewhere with the same title as the way it's listed in my signature. I'm very glad I had it done but it was a tough recovery. This site was very helpful.

How long did your surgery take? I thought I was fortunate to miss the issues that sometimes go with anterior surgery...can't imagine having a potential for ALL the issues this surgery might have.

Best wishes for better days ahead. Please stay in touch.
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue 12/17/2013; Hyperthyroidism; Sleep Apnea;
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : AtATurtlesPace - 7/7/2017 5:52 AM
Hi. I think you are about the only one I know who has gone through this big of a cervical surgery. C3-T1 was completed in mid-February. Surgery was 8 hours from my understanding. Anterior was done to clean up my C6-C7 disc. Then I was flipped over for the posterior fusion. Along with a severe bone growth at C3-C4, arthritis, stenosis, and whatever else the docs added...overall this surgery has proven a tough recovery. However, returning back to work seems to have cause more harm than good. Thanks for replying! I figured with all the hardware I have now I might make the alarms go off in the department stores! Lol

Posted By : straydog - 7/7/2017 7:07 AM
Hi AATP, welcome to Healing Well. Wow, what a surgery you have had done!! You have quite a ways to go to completely heal & recover from such a huge surgery. One of our mods here, WhiteBeard had a lot of posterior work done. As you have found out the posterior surgery is a completely different ballgame. He had a very difficult time for quite awhile but has since said he just kept saying the final end result will be worth it all. He has done very well. This is not something you recover from in a few months. If I remember correctly he said about the 6 month mark he started feeling a little better. So, hang in there.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : Abilene - 7/7/2017 2:36 PM
I am sorry to hear you have gone back to work...hope it is a very forgiving job. Don't think I would have been able to do that and very thankful no one expected me to. Please take good care of yourself. You certainly don't want to hinder the fusion.

Have you had physical therapy? That was wonderful for me. Have you seen x-rays of your neck showing all that hardware. My doctor gave me a copy to keep.

Eight hours of surgery makes one very weak, regardless of what the surgery is, in my opinion. Add to that having so much done and I would estimate a year of recovery. Are you feeling like you are making progress yet? I hope you can start to feel that way soon, if not already. Were you in terrible pain before surgery?

I also suggest you read my history, plus others here, even though your own case is different, just to give you some idea of what's possible.
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue 12/17/2013; Hyperthyroidism; Sleep Apnea;
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : AtATurtlesPace - 7/8/2017 8:47 AM
Thanks Abilene! I was home for 3 months on recovery. Honestly I am having a hard getting ADA. I was supplied a variable desk, but it is not a correct fit. It has caused more home than good. Physical therapy won't even touch me right now, so Monday I am requesting to be referred elsewhere. In addition, I have requested for occupational therapy. Others just don't realize what one goes through with this surgery. Progress wise I do feel a difference on a monthly basis; day to day is rough and varies. I was in pain prior to surgery. In fact I put off for 2 years. I had ACDF in 2011 for C4-C6, so I really had to get my mindset right for this one. Initially I was too have a severe bone growth removed, but I was having other symptoms. So know I am recoveryomg from a new anterior and posterior fusion all in the same surgery. Funny, my surgeon was like "you can return to work in 6 weeks"! Lol! Obviously, he has not had this surgery. I will definitely read your history as well! Thank you

Posted By : Abilene - 7/8/2017 9:21 AM
Some doctors do have that attitude that they have done such a great job that in 6 weeks you will be fine. WRONG! Did the same doctor do both your neck surgeries.

How's your range of motion? Did you have a bone graft? Wear a collar? Does ice help your pain? That was my best pain relief for a very long time, plus a chair with a tall enough back to rest my very heavy head.

I had knee joint replacement surgery 3 weeks ago, so once again I'm dealing with surgery pain and weakness. It just hits so quickly when I think I'm doing better. But I've learned that I must sit down and rest when that pain hits. Fighting through it does not help anything.

I'm sorry you have not been able to have physical therapy yet. I had such a kind, gentle young man work on me. He told me to let him know if I ever felt pain with what he was doing because he did not believe that would help me. He was working on his doctorate in PT. When he got that he moved glad I got to finish my treatment with him.
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue 12/17/2013; Hyperthyroidism; Sleep Apnea;
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : AtATurtlesPace - 7/8/2017 6:12 PM
Hi. My first surgery was done in Charleston SC and this one here in TX. My range of motion is so-so, but could be better. This is why I am working on a new PT. I wore a collar for about 2 months. I find it actually makes the neck muscles stiff. I definitley wore it as a passenger. Bumps in the road feel like hitting a sink hole! Lol...I have frozen peas and corn I use for pain now. Oh it feels so good to use those (enters the sigh of relief). I agree the body definitely speaks volumes. After surgery the nerve in my right arm woke up angry. Soooo I am still dealing with that. 🙁 My recliner has been a great best friend. I am the type that likes to move forward, so I am ready to be healed. However, I know I have a long way to go. Doc said a full year to recover. Darn it! Sorry to hear you are enduring another surgery. I am sure you are beyond ready to be healed.

Posted By : White Beard - 7/8/2017 10:46 PM
Hi AtATurtlesPace and Welcome to the forum! Wow! You've had allot done! I can't imagine going back to work that soon after having all that Done! I do hope you can manage to get more time off to heal!, I thought the posterior surgery was the worst and it definitely took the longest to heal up From! To me the ACDF'S were a piece of cake compared to the posterior fusion with the rods and Pins! So I can empathize with you on what your going through. Just be gently and patient with your self and try not to over due It! Your not alone in this you've got plenty of folks here on this forum that are here for you! It does get better, but it takes Time! Yep A recliner and or an adjustable bed is your best friend and will be for quite some Time! I wish you Well! And Good Luck to you!

Abilene I hope your healing okay from your knee replacement Surgery! That's quite the operation Too! Make sure you get plenty of physical therapy it will pay off big time in the long Run! That was the problem I had with my total right knee replacement the surgeon didn't or wouldn't authorize enough PT (even though the therapist kept requesting it and said it was needed!) Anyway I ended up having some major problems with range of motion and pain because of it. Please take care of your self! I wish you all the Best!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
USAF retired in Sept.1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg, Disabled in late 1999, was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD and Multiple herniated Disks; Foraminotomy L3/4/5 Jan 2013; Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF 1985; Implanted pain Pump Jun 2014.

Posted By : Abilene - 7/11/2017 5:25 PM
I'm in Texas also-Arlington. Today is 4 weeks post op for my knee surgery. Tomorrow is my last home PT. I've been able to bend my knee even better than expected and I can walk well on it but I can't stretch it out straight yet, almost but not quite there. The PT said today she will ask the surgeon to refer me for outpatient PT and does not expect that to be a problem, we will see. If I do that I will go back to the same place I used when I was recovering from the neck surgery. I'll let you know how this works out. Thank you both for your concern about me. I had the other knee replaced five years ago.

I'm sorry to hear you still have the 'bumps in the road' pain. I remember that well but it was gone after surgery. At least your dr is honest to tell you it is a year to recover. I know you are very eager to reach that point and feel better!
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue 12/17/2013; Hyperthyroidism; Sleep Apnea;
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : AtATurtlesPace - 7/12/2017 12:09 AM
I am glad I came across this website. I was actually looking up healing timelines and found this group! I had OT today. Just to get a different perspective. Survey says.... I am a hot mess! Lol. I have over done myself the last 2 days and my body is screaming on every level. Now if I can get my work accommodations set, my pain level would be more tolerable.

Posted By : straydog - 7/12/2017 8:24 AM
I too am in Texas, lol. The heat is a killer especially the heat index!! AATP, please, please take it easy on your body. You are seeing the price you pay by over doing things. You don't need to be taking one step forward & taking two steps back because of over doing things. That hinders the healing process. I really wish you had taken more time off to heal. Listen to your body.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : AtATurtlesPace - 7/12/2017 8:17 PM
Sounds like a good TX crew in here! Yes the heat is killer! I was home for 3 months before I returned to work. However, I was still to soon. You are so right...the body doesn't lie. I woke up this morning feeling like a Mack truck hit me. I see my surgeon next month sometime to see how the bones are healing. The muscle spasms are the worst!

Posted By : straydog - 7/12/2017 8:32 PM
Are you on a muscle relaxer? If not why not talk to your dr about trying you on Baclofen. Some say they get sleepy on it. For me, its the first muscle relaxer I have ever taken that did not make me sleepy. It has a different makeup than regular muscle relaxers, it works on the central nervous system. We often see people return to work but can't take their muscle relaxer because of the usual side effects & suffer with bad spasms. Something to consider because spasms are a killer.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

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