ACDF Surgery Recovery Update

Today I am 70 days post op from ACDF C3-7 Surgery on Sept 25th 2020; and I also had an appointment with the surgeon (Nurse Practitioner actually) to see how I’m doing.

They took a couple of x-rays of my neck and said I’m doing well. The only issue I’m having is muscle pain/tightness/spasms on the right side of my neck, both shoulders, and between my shoulder blades. This is expected she said, and will ease in time. At the 6 months post op time frame I’ll be able to do some physical therapy to help with any of those issues, if they remain. Until then, she suggested that I up my dose of the muscle relaxer to 2 a day. I take one occasionally at night before bed, but not during the day due to the dizziness and drowsiness it causes. She suggested that on days I can afford to lounge around, if the muscles are hurting, to take a daytime dose of the muscle relaxer, instead of taking just Tylenol. There’s not many days around here where one can ‘lounge’ around, but I will make time and try one of the relaxers during the day to see what happens, and how it makes me feel.

I am still under some limitations: No lifting more than 5 lbs. , no strenuous exercises, walking for exercise, no sudden head movements, still have to wear the Stim Cell magnetic therapy ‘necklace’ 4 hours a day for next 12-18 months.

At my last appointment, she said I needed to be off of my RA meds (Enbrel & Methotrexate) for 3 months. BUT she didn’t specify (and I forgot to ask) if that was from the time I stopped the medication before surgery or from the surgery date. I asked today about that, and it is indeed 3 months from the date I had surgery. Sooooo, that means on December 25th I will be able to begin my meds and it can’t come soon enough. The past week or so my hands have really been feeling it, and my ankles too. Hopefully the next 3 weeks will fly by and the flaring will not get any worse. The medicine combination of Enbrel and Methotrexate works well, I expect relief within a couple of weeks starting back on the medication. Having been off my meds since Aug 31 for Methotrexate and Sept 3 for Enbrel, I’m surprised my hands aren’t in worse condition. That’s a LONG time to be without both of those medicines. BUT it’s important for the healing process of my neck to be off of those meds and let my immune system do its work; the downside to that is that it makes the RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) flare. I can bear it. I want my neck to heal properly.

Thanks for reading and being interested in my recovery. I appreciate your time. Next update in 3 months after my next appointment!



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