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Posted in: Neck pain, and Surgery.

Having Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion Need some peace of mind!

Started by demetriabeth on 08/04/2010 12:05am


I am facing ACDF with instrumentation on Aug 5 which is day after tomorrow and i am a nervous wreck. Can someone please tell me what to expect AFTER the surgery? Will I be in a lot of pain when i wake up? Will I be treated like a drug addict if i ask for something for the pain? I had surgery on my leg a few years ago and ended up suffering needlessly because they were reluctant to give me pain meds. Also, how bad is the sore throat / swallowing issues? I'm scared, I'm ashamed to say it, but there it is. Am i making a mistake? I hurt so bad now, and i hate the way the pain meds make me feel so i try to stay away from them, I don't want to have to need them even more. Thanks for any encouragement!

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4 Responses


You probably won't see this for awhile. I hope everything went well. I also said a prayer for you. I am currently considering surgery and it is driving me nuts. Can't wait to hear from ya.


Hey demetriabeth,
I had a 2 level done on my neck 4/26/10. Right after surgery not much pain, they give you a bunch of meds for operation and it takes time to wear off. When I got home it was pain meds around the clock.
You will probably be out of commision for awhile so just deal if you can. Take it slow like they say, and then take it SLOWER. It can take upwards of a full year for some fusions to "take" . Not saying you will have to do nothing for a year but just listen to your body and modify some stuff for awhile. It took a LONG time for my energy level to come back up to somewhat normal. give yourself the time. (its hard)
Swallowing for me is only a minor issue. As long as the food is not too big of bite or way too dry I'm ok.
Is it a mistake? only you and your doc can decide. I was in agony b4 my operation and so far I am healing well and am pain free. Still really tight in the neck /shoulder area at the end of a long day. Had some actual neck pain and achiness that my surgeon said was local inflamation. That seems to be going away as well. Take your pain meds if you need them. I took them even a month after, 1 at bedtime etc. Its scary and stressfull and that can for sure become physical discomfort. Muscle relaxtants help like ativan sometimes too just dont mix them with your pain meds. Bottom line if you trust your doctor you can most definatly come out of this on a good note. Just allow yourself the time to heal! We all say we will and than life trys to run us again. Hope you are healing well, God bless. It will get better.


I hope everything went well, I am facing surgery on the 8th of October and am scared stupid with many of the same questions you had. I am in two minds as to having ti done or not as I dont have the pain, steriods took that away, not sure for how long though, but do have the pins and needles running up and down my right arm, stiffness and general headache's.

Iwas encouraged to read one of the reply's and have my fingers crossed that every thing went well for you, and for me in the upcoming weeks,


Hi, well, it is Sept 13th now and I hope you are feeling OK> I had this surgery about 3 years ago. I did not have any problems with swallowing thank goodness, and I did worry about it too. The surgery was on one level only for me. Since I had so many bone spurs to deal with, my spine recovery was a big deal. It took me many many months to feel better. Walking was hard but had to exercise a bit everyday, and must wear a soft collar for balance. I also have spinal stenosis and bone spurs too in other areas and am looking at lumbar surgery w/fusion because of ongoing pain in both legs, when walking or resting... I wish you well and hope your surgery was a success. Mine was. Since I waited a bit too long to go for it, I do suffer from some spinal cord damage, not much but one leg has nerve pain in an area and I need pain meds, ongoing. It is a long road and would rather have successful heart surgery than this. Sad to say. Take care with patience added.
thanks, marian