Hi all. This isn't so much a question but more an informational post about my procedure for those looking for information. I did a lot of my research for this procedure using Youtube and sites like this, so I figured I'd give back.
Today, I am 4 days post surgery from an artificial disc replacement.
I have been dealing with a cervical disc herniation at C6 for several years. I had been through all of the conservative measures before a painful bout that led me to surgery. After researching my surgical options, I liked the artificial disc replacement as opposed to the fusion. I spoke to two surgeons about the procedure. I had my mind set on the Mobi-C device, but after talking to the neurosurgeon that would eventually do my surgery, he told me that there was really very little difference between devices. He said he would use either the Mobi-C or the ProDisc and left the option up to me. I chose the ProDisc as it was the device with which he had the most experience. Since he felt that they were relatively similar, I felt the smart move was to use the device that my surgeon had the most experience with. He was very nonchalant about the decision, so I went with the ProDisc. He made me very comfortable, answered all of my questions, and seemed like he had all the time in the world to spend with me. Very happy with him.
The surgery lasted about an hour and he sent me home the same day (this was 4 days ago). When I opened my eyes after surgery, I was in almost no pain. The numbness and tingling that I had felt in my thumb and index finger was gone in my index but remained in my thumb. He said that due to the length of time that the nerve was affected, I may or may not get all feeling back after surgery, so I knew that was a possibility. I had a slight stiff neck but no other pain. Incision was closed with some subdermal sutures and Dermabond (kind of like superglue for skin) over the top of the wound. Not even a bandage. No incision pain at all. Before he discharged me, he said I may experience some discomfort at the back of my neck and shoulders and between my scapula. He also said to expect some difficulty swallowing. He sent me home with some Percocet and Flexeril for the muscle spasms that tend to occur.
Over the last three days, I have experienced exactly what he said I would. Some muscle spasms between my shoulders and some difficulty swallowing food. Most times, I don't need the Percocet but occasionally the spasms inside my right scapula get a bit painful so I'll pop a Percocet and usually a Flexeril before bed. All discomfort is limited to the back of my neck at the level of the implant but is very tolerable.No incision pain and it seems to be healing up nicely. Much easier than my shoulder repair. Range of motion is still a bit limited but this is due mostly to the spasms and I expect this will only improve with time. I will be going back to work within 7 days of my surgery.
I am very happy with my decision to have the disc replacement rather than the fusion which is a significantly longer rehab. Ask your surgeon all of your questions and make sure you are comfortable with each other. I will be doing a video diary of my recovery on Youtube. You can see my latest video here. https://youtu.be/_ccrlalho4A