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Diving post ACDF spinal surgery

Discussion in 'Dive Related Accidents and Problems' started by divingscorpio13, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. divingscorpio13

    divingscorpio13 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chico, CA
    12
    0
    1
    Thanks everyone! I'm feeling more confident that I should be able to dive in October. And mine is titanium as I didn't get an option which was fine. It is so nice to hear the success stories from people who have experienced the surgery. I'm extremely hopeful!
     
  2. Zef

    Zef Barracuda

    369
    135
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    I had ACDF of C3 and C4 back in December of 2015. After 30 days of R&R the surgeon cleared me to do anything but gaze up at the sky with a craned neck. He said that as long as I was not causing myself discomfort it was ok to do. In February 2016 I flew to the Philippines for a week long dive adventure and had zero issues.

    The surgeon mentioned that although it will take a while for the wedge of bone he inserted to become fully ossified to the vertebrae above and below it, with the titanium plate binding everything together there was not much I could do that would have an impact on the fusion shy of trauma to my head/neck. I was careful to keep my head/neck straight when doing giant stride entries off the back of the boat, but other than that I didn't change the way I did anything.

    I hope you are recovering well and the surgery was an improvement for you. For me, the surgery did not cure the chronic discomfort I had been experiencing...there was hope that it would but the primary reason for the procedure was to remove a bone spur that was forming towards my spinal chord. I wish the pain would have been cured but I will take chronic discomfort over possible paralysis any day.

    -Z
     
  3. Christina Gonzalez

    Christina Gonzalez Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    3
    0
    1
    I am so glad this post is here. I had not problems diving after 5 level cervical fusion in 2007. I am a month out from four level lumbar fusion, and here is a more recent concern perhaps someone can help me with. More recent fusion research indicates that anti inflammatories delay fusion process (why no advil for three months). Doctor says pressure on fusion could have some delay effect on the actual "fusing"...so would like to keep me out for longer this time (5 months vs 3), especially if I dive below 30 feet. Has anyone heard of this? It's not an issue of carrying tanks, I have friends put them in the water, and gear up there... but any depth considerations anyone has heard about? I am not planning any technical diving, but would love to catch squid run in December (usually around 70-80ft). Surgery was August 30th. Thoughts? Thanks in advance
     
  4. SJT1961

    SJT1961 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Tampa, FL
    40
    18
    8
    Interesting thread. I am a spinal surgeon, and do not believe there is any evidence that pressure alone has any negative effect on bone proliferation.
    Other factors, however, might. For instance, scar tissue at the operative site might (due to altered blood flow or vascular permeability) have different nitrogen loading and off-gassing properties than native tissues. Avoiding high nitrogen loading has been advised by DAN for the first 6-12 months.

    The best reason for caution when diving after spine surgery in my opinion would be to avoid re-injury from the actual physical activity.
     
  5. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,270
    1,968
    113
    So, I had my surgery on July 27. I taught an open water class at the end of last month, and there was some discomfort at the end of the days of diving. It subsided the next day.

    Today, there is zero pain. I’ll probably make a significant cave dive on CCR/DPV next weekend. It will likely include at least 40 minutes of deco.

    I’ll report back if I end up in pain or a chamber.
     
    kelemvor likes this.
  6. Christina Gonzalez

    Christina Gonzalez Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    3
    0
    1
    Thanks! What would you consider high nitrogen loading? This really helps put it in perspective.. I wasn't planning on diving any deeper than 80, anyway.

    Thanks again,

    Christina
     
  7. Christina Gonzalez

    Christina Gonzalez Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    3
    0
    1
    Thanks! Let me know, even (and hopefully) when you DON"T end up in chamber!!! The original pain that landed me in the operating table is pretty much gone, so to that end, the surgery was effective. It's just really hard with scuba diving and horse back riding as my lifestyle choices, and having to wait!!!! I was planning on cenotes in Mexico and was about to start my GUE Fundies class (not for the cenotes, but for future cave diving plans and just better diving practice).

    Thanks again, and happy, safe diving.

    Christina
     
  8. Clayton122

    Clayton122 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Chicago
    60
    12
    8

    I had TLIF lower lumbar fusion in Sept of last year. I still have some issues, and im sore after a day of diving and lugging gear around, but it stands up to the punishment just fine. I was back to diving within 4 months.
     

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