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How do I take care of myself after cervical fusion

I will be having a 4 level anterior cervical interbody fusion from C-3 thru C-7 with plating and screws June 8th. Will also be using cadaver bone and bone morphogenic protein. I have a mostly desk type job, and plan to be off work 3 weeks. What I don't know is how do I take care of myself at home. My husband can be home with me as long as necessary. How is the best way to sleep? I understand I will have trouble swallowing for weeks or months but will that be due to pain or swelling in my neck? If you are home resting in a recliner and watching tv, can you take off the front part of the collar as long as you aren't up and walking around? I am sure there are other questions I need to ask and my surgeon isn't very forthcoming with answers other than they will teach me in the hospital in the expected 2 nite stay. I'm afraid I won't remember details while on pain meds and I want to know beforehand how others with multi-level cervical fusions manage at home. Anything that did or didn't work to make you more comfy would be appreciated as I want to get my home prepared before I have the surgery. Thanks to all, Cindy
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Avatar universal
While I don't know the answers to your questions, I too am very interested in replies you receive. My disc removal, cadaver bone implant, and single level fusion will be on June 4th. I too would like answers! Am hoping to piggyback on your post and get some info too....if I'm able, I'll post after my surgery, and let you know how it's going. Yours will be more involved, but should be able to give you a little info.Best wishes.
178107 tn?1315951230
I had a two level ACDF (C5-C7) in Nov 2006.  I only stayed in the hospital one night.  I did not have to wear a collar.  I had a hard time swallowing for about 4 weeks and I still have a hard time swallowing large pills.  I've had a lot of complications since my surgery but most people do very well.  I still have not returned to work.  I am still sleeping in a recliner and I'm still not driving due to the pain meds I'm on and the limited mobility of my neck.  It is really hard to turn my neck well enough to look both ways and to turn around to look behind when trying to drive.  I couldn't imagine having a four level fusion with the lack of mobility I have after a two level.  Most people that I've talked to are fully recovered after three months.  I hope everything goes well.
Avatar universal
I'm having 3 level ACDF this week may 30th.

My NS said I can nothing for two weeks into I go back for x rays. After the Xrays he will taper my restriction down.

Some of the things I have prepared ahead are: I bought bendy straws, soups, pudding, icecream, soft foods. Also some fruit juice. Extra pillows, a pill crusher. I spent yesterday preparing some meals and freezing them so my husband can pop in the oven when he gets in from work. He will be off with me the first week. I have enough meals ready for the 2nd week and I hope after week two I will at least be cooking.

Hope this helps some....and good luck to you all!!!
Avatar universal
Good luck on your surgery, please keep us posted on how you are doing. All our prayers are with you, and all of us here facing surgery shortly. Gets scarier the closer it gets! Glad you have a husband to help you. Mine passed away last summer, so have been depressed as well as in pain, making facing this surgery even scarier. Oh well, God will help us all.
Avatar universal
sorry about your loss LLWB!

Good luck with your surgery and take care!
Avatar universal
I had a single level fusion in 2005.  I stayed overnight in the hospital.  My husband brought me home the next day.  I had to sleep with a hard cervical collar on which was very difficult.  It was painful and hard to swallow for a few days.  I had a very hard time getting from a lying down position to sitting up.  I thought the surgery was very painful.  I was bruised down to my chest.  I was off work 2 months.  I think three weeks off work is definitely not enough.  I am a nurse and I don't have a desk job so I had to be off longer.  Still, even with a desk job, it was painful to sit up straight for periods of time.  I would take more time off work if you can.  I was able to take care of myself at home while my husband was working but I couldn't do housework or lifting, grocery shopping etc...
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