Curcumin after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)

Posted by amywood20 @amywood20, Nov 29, 2019

I am having an ACDF on my C4-C6. I believe anti-inflammatories are not to be taken after surgery due to how they can affect the fusion. Does anyone know if it’s still OK to take things like Curcumin/Tumeric? They serve as a natural anti-inflammatory so I wasn’t sure. I order mine online and because of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, there is a great sale on it right now. I was going to stock up but wasn’t sure if I will even be allowed to take it post surgery (surgery is Dec 19th). I am sure the day of surgery I will be given a list of what I can and cannot take. Anyway, just curious if anyone here happens to know.

Good question to ask, Amy. You're right that patients who have had a fusion procedure should not take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) because those drugs can actually prohibit the formation of bone, which is exactly what needs to happen in the spine surgery recovery process following a fusion.

I found this research study that was done in rats only.
– The Therapeutic Effects of Combination Therapy with Curcumin and Alendronate on Spine Fusion Surgery in the Ovariectomized Rats https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518429/

So my answer is "I don't know." I strongly suggest you ask your doctor.

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@colleenyoung I will absolutely ask the surgeon. I certainly don't want to take anything post surgery to effect the outcome. Thanks!

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@amywood20 I had an ACDF at Mayo, and I asked that question, and they told me no turmeric because any anti-inflammatory can affect the healing of the fusion. Inflammation is a natural part of the process of healing because it lays down the matrix that the new bone will grow from as cells start creating bone, and you don't want to interfere with that. There are patients who don't fuse after surgery and have ongoing issues. You really have to ask your surgeon's team about everything. The best thing is just to accept that there will be pain and exhaustion after surgery, and that you need to rest and sleep a lot because your body is using your energy to heal. Relax as best you can and that will help. Stress will cause more pain, so be patient and take it one day at a time without expectations of a deadline when you think you should be recovered because everyone is different. I was able to avoid taking any pain meds after I left the hospital and it was tolerable. I didn't expect that. My pain before surgery from my spine problem was worse than the pain caused by the surgical path. At about 6 weeks post op, tissues tightened up because of healing and pain got a bit worse, but I was able to use my hand and stretch my skin to release the fascial tightness without moving my head or neck. I was in a neck brace 24/7 for 3 months because I had a fusion without hardware and needed to stay completely immobile until it fused. The anesthesia and pain meds really slow things down in your GI tract, and you have to watch that. Your surgical team can advise. I was also nauseated by the pain meds and they took the edge off but didn't eliminate the pain completely. I felt better without them. You will also accumulate phlegm in your lungs because of the anesthesia. That can turn into pneumonia if you can't get your chest cleared, so make sure you get up and walk. I also took l Mucinex after asking my surgeon's nurse which helped.

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@jenniferhunter

@amywood20 I had an ACDF at Mayo, and I asked that question, and they told me no turmeric because any anti-inflammatory can affect the healing of the fusion. Inflammation is a natural part of the process of healing because it lays down the matrix that the new bone will grow from as cells start creating bone, and you don't want to interfere with that. There are patients who don't fuse after surgery and have ongoing issues. You really have to ask your surgeon's team about everything. The best thing is just to accept that there will be pain and exhaustion after surgery, and that you need to rest and sleep a lot because your body is using your energy to heal. Relax as best you can and that will help. Stress will cause more pain, so be patient and take it one day at a time without expectations of a deadline when you think you should be recovered because everyone is different. I was able to avoid taking any pain meds after I left the hospital and it was tolerable. I didn't expect that. My pain before surgery from my spine problem was worse than the pain caused by the surgical path. At about 6 weeks post op, tissues tightened up because of healing and pain got a bit worse, but I was able to use my hand and stretch my skin to release the fascial tightness without moving my head or neck. I was in a neck brace 24/7 for 3 months because I had a fusion without hardware and needed to stay completely immobile until it fused. The anesthesia and pain meds really slow things down in your GI tract, and you have to watch that. Your surgical team can advise. I was also nauseated by the pain meds and they took the edge off but didn't eliminate the pain completely. I felt better without them. You will also accumulate phlegm in your lungs because of the anesthesia. That can turn into pneumonia if you can't get your chest cleared, so make sure you get up and walk. I also took l Mucinex after asking my surgeon's nurse which helped.

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@jenniferhunter thanks!!!

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Been using Curcumin and other supplements for years! Had surgery for spinal stenosis, colon cancer etc! Did stop fish oil ! Blood thinner! No, I didn’t stop Curcumin!

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