My surgery was performed by Dr, Jeff Arle from the Lahey Medical Center in Burlington, MA (he was excellent). My goal is to give you the facts without a filter;
1. Pick a good surgeon, find out how many they have performed and his/her current success rate, document the answer to all of these questions.
2. Is the surgeon paid by the supplier of the implants to use only there product? These days with the new regulations there are fewer surgeons only using one product.
3. If something goes wrong during surgery are there cardiovascular, pulmonary, etc surgeons on staff to jump incase of a misstep or body reaction to the process, these are unknowns and the surgeons can not predict this will happen therefore just incase they do are they (hospital) equipped to handle the situation.
4. My surgery took aprox 3 hours, woke up in a single room with a catheter, IV, and soft neck brace. My wife was there thank god!
5. I started to drink water and use the brushes to wet my teeth, gums, throat with water. ten hours after the surgery I drank apple juice, white pudding, and chicken broth.
6. Prior to releasing me, you must pee and eat a solid meal. I asked for the catheter to be removed ASAP and within 2 hours was going pee on my own (I was drinking as much water as possible.) Warm water (room temp) was easier to drink than cold water, i ordered turkey sand, chicken soup, choc pudding for my solid meal and ate half of everything. With all of this they released me from the hospital around 2PM (less than 24 hours from my surgery)
7. I asked my doctor not to give me Hydromorphone for the pain because it was to strong of a med for me and percocet would be fine, well within 24 hours my wife was driving back to the hospital to get a prescription for this due to the severity of my pain. My advice if they offer it take it, you can always throw it away if you do not use it.
8. Get two collars from the hospital so you can use one in the shower in one for the rest of the day. Also get plenty of dressings for your wound or you will find yourself at CVS buying dressing material for your wound, my surgery was anter right neck so I could dress the wound myself without an issue.
9. Shower every day if you can it made me feel human, no mater how tuff it was i did just to get back into the daily swing.
10. Did not do much eating the first three days milk and pudding! My first real meal was yesterday 8 days after my surgery.
11. I'm still taking the recommended meds and 10 days after the surgery I'm starting to feel good. The first four days I was home were very tuff and the only place I go is my lounge chair in the family room, I've been unsuccessful finding a good spot on the bed to lay down with the neck brace and I refuse to take the neck brace off so for now I'm going to continue to sit and sleep in the chair in the family room.
I've started to read and answer emails 8 days after my surgery, thats the limit of my work so far.
Next appointment is on the 15th of dec so when I get more news fro the doctor i will be sure to post my progress.
The neck brace will be staying on for 6 weeks regardless of my recovery process, so that is something you really need to live with.
Thank you for reading and thank you for allowing me to get my info out there any questions i will be more than happy to answer......
The ride home was tuff going over some big bumps in the road.
My doctor told me I can start walking on a treadmill with 0% incline for the next two weeks, lost 30lbs prior to and during the surgery recovery process so I would like to continue the weight loss with long walks on the treadmill, to much ice on the street and sidewalks!
If I had to asses my recovery 4 weeks after the surgery I would say 85%
Pain (Rx) meds are still needed on bad days but certainly try not to take them when it is not necessary.
Still sleeping in the chair and dreaming of the day the neck brace comes off and I can sleep in the bed, great days ahead.
I'll check back if anyone ever has any questions, if you would like to touch base. There have been 14 good votes so I hope this info has helped at least one person.
Last words to remember, spine surgery is tough but after it is complete you get your life back and you stop thinking what if my spine hurts again.
Prayers and good thoughts to all,
***this post is edited by moderator *** *** private e-mails not allowed **
Thanks for reading
Did you have the opportunity to do cyberknife instead of traditional surgery. My husband is going through this right now with metasticized pancreatic cancer in his c7 and it appears with the cyber there is hardly any recovery issues. He has lost use of his left hand and fingers in the ast two weeks. Can barely grip.
Did you get a fussion or disc replacement, my husband is going over his options.
Thanks for sharing your story getting the same in a few weeks and you really drew me a great picture on what to expect.