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all cervical people your opinion please!!!!!
#1
OK i just got of the phone with the doctor and it was stated that I have a huge hernation at c5-6
He wants to so surgery going in through the front of neck ..... gladly he doesnt see anything on the T area .... but imscared!!!!

I need your experienes on this please ....
cervical 4 words ....... darn i didnt write itdown ...

I was sleeping when he called so I wasnt ready for this....
Will keep me over night .... then restrict lifting ... use soft collar .. should be better in 4-6 weeks....

Please I would really like the pros and cons on this ok !!!
 
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#2
Smile 
Tweety, while I'm not a cervie I am a nurse who's had some experience with these kinds of procedures. Being scared is natural...I was when I had my laminectomy in 01-06!! Still scares the hooey outta me when I think about the fact that I've probably got at minimum of 2 surgeries left to get all of this fixed!! LOL
It's a fairly straightforward procedure that they do these days. Sometimes they don't want to keep them overnight but we nurses do our best to find something, anything to keep them just so we can observe them for any problems that could possibly arrise! Wicked, aren't we?
The incision will be fairly well hidden...they usually try to hide it in a fold or something like that. You'll have a dressing that's rather bulky when you wake up. I know that some of my patients said that they felt like they were being strangled. That's because there's swelling going on and the fact that we had an ice pack place there to help with that. Some have said though that the collar, while not fashion conscious, did help them greatly because they felt as if their head was going to fall off!! LOL It's not, but that's what they said it felt like!
For nurses, our greatest fears for the immediate post operative period were, other than the anesthesia risks/complications, bleeding, severe swelling, throid complications and the risk of the patient over-doing it!! Of the times that I've had patients of this nature....I didn't have any major complications that would cause the Dr. to get out of his cozy bed!! LOL Our concerns were usually able to be fixed by some critical thinking and/or a phone call. The biggest problems that we faced were low blood pressure after the surgery, nausea (which we were able to fix with a does of IV medication), and pain. More often than not, the latter two were the most prevalent!! It's easy for me to sit here and tell you not to worry, it's a piece of cake....but that's not fair, I'm not the one going under the knife so to speak. I can tell though, that if it were me....I'd be equally as scared as you, even with my background and knowledge to draw upon. As humans, we always find the worst possible scenario and dwell on that.....that's just the way we are!! LOL
It's also been my experience that while they say you'll be good as new in 4-6 weeks....it's more realistic to think that it'll be more like 8-12 weeks. That's just how the body works. So, if things are slower than what the Dr. stated on the phone today....don't be alarmed...everyone is different!!
All you need to do is follow the Dr.'s instructions to a "T" and be sure to ask any question that you don't know the answer to!! It's their job to inform you and answer all of these...they should never get upset or angry with a patient. Even though they do many, many of these procedures...they sometimes loose sight to the fact that this is your first time!!! Hopefully your last, too!!
Whenever I had to do the patient teaching I always told them, no matter what the procedure, that the pain pills are given to you for a reason...don't be afraid to use them. If you use them in the manner in which they were prescribed you shouldn't have any problems. Take a pain pill before you leave the hospital...noting the time. If they don't offer you one...ask for it!! Then take them every 4-6 hours (however they're prescribed) for 4-5 days. Then start tapering down to only when you need them. Reminder: The second day post-op is always the worst for some stupid reason!! It seem that the day you have surgery and the next you feel good as new...then WHAMMY!! it sneaks up on you and puts you on your butt!!!!!!!! Don't get alarmed over this. This is your body's way of saying, "OUCH, someone did something to me and I've got to fix it!" Reason being, that's usually how long it'll take for the greatest part of the anesthesia to wear off!!
Make sure you stay hydrated after surgery. It's easy to just sleep off the pain pills and everything else they've given you during the course of your surgery. Constipation could become a problem. Hydration will help this as well. If it were me, I'd take a couple of stool softeners the night before your surgery and then everyday afterwards for about 2 weeks. This way you won't have to strain to have a bowel movement. Straining after a surgery like this isn't something you'll want to do. If you've never been constipated, this isn't the time to see what it's like!!! Trust me on this one!!! Between the lack of activity and pain medications this can become a real problem. If you've never been constipated then when you do get that way you won't recognize it because you'll feel as if you're having a heart attack!! You'll find it hard to breathe, chest pains, sweating and all of that!! Then when you go to the ER because you're scared to death that you're dying they'll do all the cardiac tests as well as some x-rays...then they'll come in and tell you, essentially, that you're full of hooey!!!! LOL It's not funny, but afterwards it is!! Then they'll give you as many enemas as it takes to get you started...then you'll be sent home again!!! So.....BE SURE TO STAY HYDRATED!!!
Good luck.....hope this helps a little. I realize that I didn't give you much of a patient's viewpoint, but I was able to give you the nursing side!! The nurse at the hospital will give you more in depth details of what to expect and such. If she doesn't....ask her...it's her job to do this and if she doesn't then she's not doing her job!!!!
Punk   :0)
"If I were any better....I'd only be half as good as you!!"
 
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#3
Thanks punk yes you did help at least more about pain and afterwards which is a biggie to me ..Make sure you check out post appointment ok .... this place has it all!!!
 
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#4
Tweety...It had to be scary to hear the word 'SURGERY' but atleast you will finally get some treatment...and will hopefully be on the mend and ready to go by your deadline of June 27th. I know nothing of cervical surgery...but Punk did a wonderful job.Just wanted you to know we will all be here cheering you on. And lots of prayers will be going up for you. Hopefully the IC will not hold up the surgery and you can just get in there and get it over with. Has the IC been good about approving procedures for you in a timely matter? Tweety I know everyone has told there stories but my memory is aweful...so I don't remember if you have had trouble with IC or WC. I will be here wishing you the best.
 
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#5
Hi all...Tweety I think you have recieved some excellent health care information...but I do want to say we are here...and my prayers will be with you. Update us as soon as you feel better.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
 
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#6
Tweety:
Bad Boy & I both had cervical surgeries! I had C4-7 done, 3 levels and now I will be adding C7-T2 sometime this year!
What I remember immediately after the surgery was...NOTHING! I felt nothing! I remember feeling the drain in my neck but they removed it the next day with my catherer, no biggy! I don't even remember getting up with the Occupational/Physical Therapist to go for walks. I didn't even remember the surgeon coming in to see me. I do remember that I couldn't see at all, it was like a gray curtain was in front of my eyes, the nurse told me it was the morphine and they cut it back and then I could see again...
The worse part of the whoel thing was about week 1 1/2, the nerve pain in my arms & shoulders which was to be expected...holy crap! I couldn't lift my arms to scratch my head! It just hurt to move my arms....that is all I remember about post op! Oh I hated the cervical collar I had to wear in the shower and then change into the MIAMI J collar for the rest of the time...yuck!
Babebahn..."Tongues don't have erasers"
Injured 1999 3 level anterior cervical fusion 2001
Settled Work Comp Case 2006 w/ Lifetime Medical Currently, C7-T1 is being watched will possibly need surgery front/back fusion from C3-T2, lower back needs another facet injection.
 
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#7
Tweety I had a c5-c6 fusion with hardware. He went in from the front, I have a stright 3 or so inch scar today from it. I was cut in a
way that the scar today just looks like a wrinkle. Most people to not reconize it as a scar just a fold in the skin. I never had to wear the miami j collar. I only had a soft collar. The dr told me he did not like the hard collars and only uses the soft ones. I had to wear the collar for 6 weeks. He also told me I would be able to return to work in 6 weeks but I did not return for 18 months. Because I was one of the those people who's body reacted differently then most do. Anyways I stayed in the hospital from 2 or 3 days before I was released because they wanted to make sure i could have a good bowel movement before going home. I was in a lot of pain and they had one of those pain pumps that i could push for the pain meds as I needed it. My throat was swollen and boy I would hardly swallow and developed a terrible cough from it. They told me the reason it was so hard to swallow and I was coughing was because they have to move a lot of things around in your throat area while they have u open, for them to get to the disc that they fused. As time went on it got easeir to swallow and the cough went away. I do remember I was sent for several IME soon after the surgrey, and they all said I was not ready to return to work as it was very difficult for me to hold my head up straight, that was even after the collar came off. The stitches were done mostly inside the incesion excpet for a few that were outside, but they were covered by a bandage, I beleive after the first week or 2 I went back to the surgeon and he changed the bandage. Finally at one of the visits he took the bandage off and did not put another one back on. The stitches pretty much dissolved on there on. But I remember the hardest thing for me to do after comming home was getting comfortable enought to sleep. The surgeon only sent me home with darvocet and only enough for a very short time, but I still had pain pills at home that I had before the surgrey so I took them. Darvocet did nothing to help the pain I needed more. But again resting was very difficult. I slept out in the living room on the sofa bed (pull out kind of bed) that was because the bed n the bed room was much higher off the floor and it was very had to get out of. The sofa bed was lower my wife had to help me out of bed for a few days and then I got to were I could roll out somehow. But get your self a lot of pillows and pillows of different kids of stuffings. So you can find the ones that feel best for you. I tried sleeping on 2 and 3 at a time. Did not work for me. You will find what will work for you. Today I have found I can only sleep with one pillow, and I have found one of those theraputic styles of pillows or memory foam work best for me, I take it with me everywhere I go if staying away from home. I hope this hlep you in some way, I never had no one to inform me on what to expect as I went into it blind. But you will do fine, and as someone say in one of there post . drink a lot... drink drink drink. as it will sooth your throat and help with that swelling. Eat soft food jello, broaths, soups..Took me a few weeks on that to get to the point I felt I could eat more normal things, I remember when I felt I could eat regular foods, man I wanted a hamburger, and boy did it taste good ( I thought I had died and went to heaven with that first burger). Good luck I am sure you will do fine just follow the dr's orders and you will do great. I will not tell you that u will not be sore. I do remember the pain I was having before the surgery was a heck of a lot worse than what I had after surgrey. The pain down the arm went away, and the bad pain in the neck went away, but today I am left with a different kind of pain, and a lot of spinal headaches now.. and limited range of motion. Good Luck if u have any question I will try to help you with them.
Cervical Fusion 2003, c5-c6. Herniated and damaged Disc L1- L4-L5 S1. Lumbar Spinal Cord stimulator implant 09-2008. Cervical ACDF revision with hardware c4-c5-c6-c7 Sept 2009.
SSDI approved 3-2010. NOW OFFICIALY RETIRED
 
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#8
also had c5-6 c6-7 done spent the night in the hospital came home in a hard collar for 6 weeks...for the first week or so had a hard time swallowing felt like I had a lump in my throat I couldnt swallow.again I was told cuz they had to move around so much stuff to get to the discs.....I have one of those wrap around pillows they sell at xmas time I sleep with it is filled with tiny little foam balls it fills in the space between my neck and regular pillow (it had a vibrator in it but I removed that)I wouldnt take a million dollars for that pillow..this was 13 months ago I still have not fused nor has the pain leval changed good luck with yours.......Are you by any chance a natural red head or do you scar alot when you cut yourself?
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......







 
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#9
I always say when in Pain, results, and sullotions are great to hear, even though we may not like to hear them. But then we know we have some what of a chance to get out of some of this pain. My first Cervical fusion was a 3 level, right out of the recovery room, I was ready to go home. Yes, I was pain free, and not from the Meds neither. But, then again results are not always the same. Wishfull thinking, and Positive thinking can be the same. Go for it, don't be scared, for it will be over with faster then you know it. When you get home, don't use your arms to get up, use LEG power to get up. So do some home PT ahead of time to strenghten those legs up. It will help, and ask your doctor about PT before and after surgery. It helps heal better and guicker.
Reply's are intended solely for informational purposes. They are based on personal opinions, experience, or research and are "not to be taken as fact or legal advice", otherwise, always consult an attorney or a doctor.
 
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#10
Tweety
I am fresh off the table having my C5-7 fused with instrumentation. Although I share your nervousness going in to this I have to tell you looking back it wasn't to bad. Smile
I had surgery on March 26th of this year. Prior to surgery I was sent for a cervical discogram (now that is something to be alarmed about!). I was admitted into the hospital at about 9am and with a little delay was in the operating room by about noon time. They put me on a very uncomfortable surgical table that was way to narrow in my book. Sad
I woke up in recovery feeling not at all as bad as I thought I would. I did remember asking for some more pain medication which at the time was morphine. Roughly after an hour I was moved to a room where I met my wife and kids. I forgot to mention that before surgery the doc did tell me I may not be able to talk as I may have a very bad sore throat. So getting back to my room ... I met my wife and children and they were amazed at how good I looked and that I was able to speak and tell jokes. And that I had no bandages because my wound was glued and not stitched (under 2" long and in a crease of the neck). I didn't need any collar as I had instrumentation. that was a nice surprise. Smile
I spent the night at the hospital taking Percocet as needed. My wife picked me up at about 11am to take me home.
Just this past Friday I went back to the surgeon for my first checkup and x-rays. He said he doesn't see any problems with me getting back to work by the end of June. I go back to him on the 21st of June for another set of x-rays to see if I have a good fusion. That will dictate me going back to work. to help in the recovery I have been walking 2 miles a day.
My pain right now is not as good as I had hoped but the doc said to give it more time. Unfortunately I still need all my pain meds to get through the day. Hoping that won't be the case in about 3 or 4 weeks

good luck to you

Are you having arm or hand numbness or just neck and shoulder pain??

neck pain in itself is more difficult to control
Take Care and Be Well
Tom
 
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