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Sports & activities after ACDF surgery???



  • wow cocodrillo! sounds like you are having an amazing recovery! i wonder how much you've been helped by being fit beforehand - and also by having surgery soon after your injury. im not sure id be able to do anything like lifting weights and im about 1.5 yrs out now.

    and yes - def continue with the updates! good luck!

  • Good luck nkbear1 and everyone else. I really believe that a positive mental attitude helps recovery massively, I had some very dark days during the first 2 months post operation, but time is a great healer and as things progress it's getting easier to be positive about the future. I have noticed quite a bit of negativity on posts, maybe folks that have positive stuff to say have moved on and are getting on with things and forget to pass on better stories, it's easily done. If you think you are never going to get better then one thing is for sure, you never will.

    I did have a physio session with a very good sports physio last week and to be honest two days after I felt like I'd been hit by a train and had to take it easy for 4 or 5 days. I did swim that day too, so it may have had an effect. Either way, I think I'm going to carry on doing what I've been doing without any more physio, it seems to be working out for me that way. Swimming is still hard but it won't get easier if I don't keep trying little by little. Range of movement is really coming good now, bit by bit it's returning. It's hard to notice progress everyday and then I'll suddenly see that I can look round at the clock on the wall that I couldn't see last week, stuff like that. Really looking forward to being able to cycle again in the spring pending x rays in January when I'll get an update from the consultant. Roll on 2018, it will be a better year.

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  • cocodrillo, you're right about the negative posts & you bring up a good point that I want to be sure to remember. Most of the folks with "positive stuff" have moved on & forget to pass along the better stories. I know as I am preparing for & getting closer to my surgery, I have picked thru the posts looking for positive posts like yours to reassure me that the surgery can help & my attitude can & will play a big part in my recovery. With that said, I want to be sure to come back here & post the positive moments I have post surgery. Looking from where I am now ( pre- surgery ), I see how meaningful & helpful those posts can be. Thanks again for sharing your recovery wins. I look forward to reading of more successes from you in the coming days & months.....Take care.

  • i think that a positive attitude is great, and does help - but i think its also important to realise that some people may never recover as well - and those people shouldnt feel like they are to blame by having a "bad" attitude.

    having said that - reading positive posts is really helpful - especially near the beginning.

    so to present a different version of a successful recovery: mine has been really slow, but my nerves were compressed for over a year - and my physio described me as being as weak as a kitten to start with (i struggled a lot with muscle stuff before surgery). i feel like i have a long way to go - but ive also come really far. its good to appreciate the progress youve made without comparing yourself to other people - and without comparing yourself to your "pre-injury" self. i may never be able to read a book again - but being able to sit again is pretty amazing!! i stood all the time for months and months before surgery. so id like to keep improving (and feel like i still am) - but if this is what i gain from surgery - then it was totally worth it. i consider that a huge success. (i should say i fused at 13 weeks and have a normal range of movement, just weak postural/core/shoulder muscles that are improving - its the remaining nerve pain that stops me reading etc)

    cocdrillo - i would just be careful that you are working all the correct muscles by yourself (by not going to physio). i find physio great - its hard, but the physio can adjust exercises to suit me and my neck. i have about an 1 hour of exercises i do at home every 2-3 days. its quite nice to be able to see the progress in repetitions i can do etc. but you sound like you are doing great by yourself!

    good luck with your surgery nkdbear1! there are lists on here for things to do to prepare for surgery - there are also surgery buddies groups that are good for support too.

    sorry for the ramble!!

  • nz1025, Thanks for your post & I appreciate your well wishes toward my surgery. I know & realize, "success" is different for each of us & our recovery. We are all at different stages of illness, and/or injury & debilitation. To me, your gains & "success" is no less inspiring as those made by cocodrillo. Different indeed, but still important & from my perspective, as someone getting ready for this major event that will have an impact on the rest of my life, and seeing you ( and others ) with positive attitudes posting about there gains, however large or small, helps me mentally prepare for what's ahead. Thanks again, I wish you well in your continued recovery.....Take care

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  • Thank you nkdbear1. I think positive posts are really important - my nerve pain didnt really improve until about 4 months after surgery - and I remember searching through lots of posts to see if anyone else started to improve that far on. But they did, and I did. Patience is the key!! I think this forum is an amazing resource - as you said - it's a life changing decision! You take care too.

  • cocodrilloccocodrillo Posts: 2
    edited 12/21/2017 - 5:04 AM

    nz-thanks for your comments, I really do appreciate that everyone heals differently and my gripe about negativity wasn't directed at anyone at all, I just meant that folks should imagine that their glass is half full, not half empty no matter how bad things are, I really hope your recovery story will be great and thinking positively will certainly help you on that way. I've always been fascinated by people that do amazing things with their bodies and minds, I don't read a huge amount but when I do it's always about people that go up Everest, do ultra marathons, cross Antarctica, cycle round the world and are generally up against it in a big way etc etc. I guess some of that never give up attitude has rubbed off on me most of my life. I've been self employed for 20 years, it's been a very hard journey at times but very rewarding and I get used to a lot of people moaning about their jobs and how hard life is, they don't know the half of it sometimes. When I broke my neck I burst C5 but didn't know it and continued to ride off road for 3 hours to finish the day's racing, I suppose I'm used to suffering and that bad day was no different. I was ready to ride again the next day until the X Rays showed up. I'm not in any way trying to big myself up here, just trying to illustrate how different we all are in many ways, life would certainly be dull if we weren't. I'm now going to have to back off my training as an old hip injury is flaring up again....back to the physio tomorrow. I'm getting old but won't give in just yet! Good luck everyone, we all need some.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805

    so I'll add my positive 2 cents for whatever it's worth. I'm 3.5 years post-op of a very successful fusion from C2 to T3, my second c-spine fusion. I had to rethink my activities after my recovery as well being an avid cross country snowmobiler, dirt & street bike rider, mountain biker, and an amateur runner. My medical team first suggested before any of my surgeries that I needed to give up the running and any high impact recreational activities. It was difficult to give up the snowmobiles and dirt bikes but anyone who rides with "spirit" knows it's not if you will take an unexpected tumble but rather a when will it happen.

    Fast forward to 7 months ago and I endured another major spine rebuild, this time it was T11 down all the way through my lumbar spine into my sacrum and stabilizing that to my pelvis. I'm working my way back strengthening my core, rebuilding muscle I lost post-op. I feel I am doing fairly well considering how huge this last journey set me back. However I did not experience the "dark moments" as much as my previous spine surgeries. I think much has to do with previous experience and the drive to get strong again. In 2010 I decided I needed to change my lifestyle and consider my gym workout's as important as eating, breathing, and sleeping. That year a doctor inspired me by referring me to a PT program that would strengthen my neck muscles. That lit the fuse and I've been driven ever since. So as much as I do miss my motorized activities I've managed to find a diversion that's not only made me physically stronger but I know has also made me stronger mentally.

    cocodrillo: I was your age during my first of 4 spine surgeries began, trust me, you are doing everything right. Listen to your body, you know what is best for your well being, common sense prevails. Been reading your posts, it's good to hear your journey. Keep us up to speed on your progress.

    nkdbear1: we're pretty close in age, keep moving forward in your journey, if I can do this you can too.

    nz1025: you are so right, patience is key indeed. It was something I never had but finally learned on this long journey through life and my adaptations.

  • Ranger, thanks so much for your contribution to this thread. Your " positive 2 cents" is worth a lot to me. I spent most of the day yesterday with last surgeon consult, pre-surgery information class, & pre-op physicals. Jan. 9th ( my surgery date ) is just around the corner. Coming on this site & seeing new posts like yours ( and the posts from others), for me, is so important & helpful as I prepare for whats ahead. I know that with my multi level acdf, I will initially have to go into recovery mode with a different mindset than I would have in the past with injuries or conditions I have had. In the past, I would always try to push the envelope & beat the timetable given for when I might be able to ....walk, lift, run,...etc. etc. With this, I know that the most important thing for recovery is the proper fusion & trying to rush that process can & probably would hinder the recovery. So with that said, I am mentally preparing myself to to do all PT tells me I can do, but don't try ( especially until I am told the fusion has taken ) to push myself in a way that can due harm. Thanks again for your post & good luck to you.....Take care.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805

    glad I could relate to your next adventure nkdbear. We probably have similar mindsets in looking towards recovery. With my neck fusion I pushed the envelope once I could manage a lengthy workout at the gym. I exceeded my weight lifting limitations, went back to work earlier than was suggested by my surgical team. My mentality was if they say I can lift X amount of weight, it's probably safe to double that and increase as I feel stronger. Well I got busted during my first follow-up appointment, wife threw me under the bus, she would drop in at the gym unexpected by me. After the tongue lashing by surgical nurse and surgeon I honestly felt horrible, I felt I disrespected them and everyone else that put the 12 plus hours of expertise into stabilizing my spine for the rest of my life.

    This last lower spine fusion has been so much different in my recovery. I'm so much more careful and not being reckless, I'm trying to walk more, pay more attention to body form and posture in daily activities and in the gym. When I over-do it, my body tells me, usually more so the following day. Some days you feel awesome, so you go harder, faster, longer, then the next day you find out it kicked your butt. It happens, you think at times you may even ruined something, but then the next day you're just fine.

    Over several years I've received a lot of good information and support here on this site. If I can be of any help and support to others I'll do the best I can to hopefully make their journey somewhat easier. It isn't always easy, sometimes we have those "dark moments" that make you question yourself why did I do this, what have I done? That is normal, most everyone will experience that, but as I've gotten a few of these procedures under my belt I realized I'm able to cope with those feelings much better and get over it much faster.

    Best of luck to you, keep us all posted here as you go through and recover from your next journey.

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