My ACDF surgery
tsdemayo posted:
Hello all. Here is a little recap, and update on my recovery.
On May 10, 2012 i had my surgery on C-4 & C-5, with no complications.
Was told i had to quit smoking 2 weeks after the surgery, and tried but had very bad results with Chantix.
The surgeon suggested taking a vitamin supplement that had D-3, K-2, and calcium at my 20 week x-ray/check-up. I started taking the supplement that day, with my next x-ray/check-up in six weeks.
On Nov 15, 2012 at my 26 week x-ray/ check-up, the surgeon informed me i was fused, but like a little tree, that needs to grow.
Because i smoke, i took my body 6 MONTHS to completely fuse bone to bone, while the non-smoker takes an average of 6 to 12 WEEKS.
I was so scared to have this surgery, i had nightmares, cried about it, even made out my Will! When i woke up in the recovery room, i felt great, had a muffin, a Coke, went pee, and was half dressed when they came in to take my i.v. out. When i got home, i took it easy for about a week(as directed), and with the exception of roller-skating, and hiking, my daily activities went back to normal.
If i had to give any words of advise to anyone about to have an ACDF, those words would be; Quit smoking! Quit smoking! Quit smoking!
bj1208 responded:
Hi and welcome -

I don't want to disagree with the quit smoking as it does take longer to heal from fusion surgeries and for that matter all surgeries.

I had Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 done 2/25/08. My surgeon was known as a hard-ass with all other patients telling them they had to quit smoking at least 2 months prior to surgery. Well he said nothing to that fact to me. I smoked right up to the ride to the hospital and then after I was in my room I went out in a wheelchair and had a cig. Yes I know that was bad but my story is quite different. By my 6th week post op I was fused 100% and I healed very well from the surgery. My surgeon said it was a 50/50% chance that my pains would reduce but he could not guarantee it - was just hopeful. And that is where I am now - my pains are worse now than before the surgery. I still smoke, have nerve damage in both legs, chronic low back pain, anxiety attacks and have been disabled since my surgery (no way I could work with the pains, let alone the pain medications I take).

At least this is one story with a twist on recovery but I do agree - stop smoking.

Oh and I had problems too with Chantix (tried this 2 yrs ago) - one of the side effects is it causes back pains!!

take care~~
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