ACDF Surgery C5 - C7
I had been having neck pain on and off for 14 yrs (tests done,but nothing found till later)and right shoulder pain and numbness that ran all the way down to hand and first 3 fingers for over a yr. After many tests, they found deg.disc disease, herniation,spinal stenosis, my nerve roots between c5, c6, & c7 were being completely crushed.I have been on a medical since Jan 2012 and have gone through every non- surgical option. (Physical therapy, chiropractic, traction, nerve block shots, trigger point shots, etc.) I was not thrilled at the aspect of surgery but knew that it was my only option before permanent nerve damage.
Anyways, I had surgery 5 days ago. Went well and I was discharged after 24 hrs. My surgeon gave me a soft collar to wear and told me it was not necessary to wear it if I didn't want to, that with all the hardware in my neck nothing was going to go anywhere, and that most people just wore it to feel more stable. I have gone both ways, in car and sleeping I'm keeping brace on, but if just watching Tv I will take it off for a bit. Since my surgery, my right arm feels great, still a lil tingling, but no more " please rip my arm off" pain. However the pain in my neck has been pretty bad. It's tender to the touch, which I expect, but we're talking just a light touch hurts. I feel like Im having spasms across the top of both my shoulder blades and when they flare up they break thru my pain meds and I'm on both a pain patch and pain pills( both are pretty strong ones) Ice helps but only some. The other issue I'm having is, that last inch or two drop to the pillow and then again lifting off a pillow. I know Im supposed to roll in and out of bed, and I do, but even doing that, if your pillow is not in exact spot you need or if hair or clothes get caught up and feels funny, then you still end up having to lift your head up a bit and it is here that I feel like my neck is gonna just give out on me. Like my head is just too heavy. Have been using hand to support. Maybe this is all normal....I don't know as this is my first and hopefully my last cervical surgery. I keep trying to tell myself that I had a lot of work done. and that its going to take time, but at same time I was so nervous about the surgery in the first place, that all of this new pain is scaring me even more so.
Anyone have any advise or calming words of wisdom? lol