Hi poplargrove, You surgeon was really honest with you, the posterior surgery is much much worse than the ACDF! They did shave a little off the very lower back of my head but not that much! I had forty seven staples down the center of the back of my neck from the base of my skull to just about
my shoulders. For me they only fused the articular joints at C3/4 and put rods and pins on both sides to hold it together. It is allot different than having the ACDF ( I have had two of them one at C6/7 and then years later one at C5/6) The staples were very uncomfortable, and he left them in for two weeks! I have sleep apnea, and I could not use my mask with those staples because the straps that went around the back of my head and neck! That just made things all that much worse! I finally made a bracket type thing out of some hard plastic that I put on the back of my neck so I could use my sleep apnea mask, without the straps pressing into the staples and fusion in the back of my neck!
Pain was a major problem, the had me on a PCA and I hated it! For me I had already been on oral pain meds for my lower back and they took me off of them for the surgery. Well the amount of pain medication they were giving me in the PCA was less than what I was normally taking before my surgery! It was a mess! Poplargrove just make sure you let them know about your pain! If your not getting adequate pain control make sure you tell them! Hospital surgical units for some reason just don't seem to understand pain! At least that has been my experience! Personally I think Oncologists are some of the best when it comes to understanding and treating pain. ( I worked on as an RN on and Oncology unit so maybe I am biased!!! LOL) Anyway for me, I found it much better when I got back on my oral pain meds!
I must say after allot of complaining, my surgeon decided to try something else along with the pain pump. He started giving me Diclofenac injections into my IV, and and it turned ot to be the one thing that eased my pain the most after that surgery, but you can only have so much of that stuff because of the bad affects it has on your stomach. But that by far worked much beter than the pain medication they had in the PCA pump!
I do wish you well with this surgery, your having allot done, so be patient with yourself and above all be gentle with yourself and don't over due it while recuperating!
Good Luck to YOU!
Moderator Chronic Pain
I retired from the USAF, in Sept, 1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg , I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD, herniated Disk at T12, L3/4; C3/4 Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF Mar 1985; Ulcerative colitis; Chronic Pain; Complex Sleep Apnea; and host of other things! I am White Beard with a White Beard!
Post Edited (White Beard) : 8/7/2014 3:35:17 PM (GMT-6)