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Anyone, pain after C5-6-7 ACDF?

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Unread 05-08-2007, 05:05 PM   #11
GJZH
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Did any of you have a 360 or just the front done? I think and this is just my opinion, of course, that when the docs do these surgeries, they should fuse the back of the neck as well. I am not going to tell you that it is not painful to have the back of your neck cut open and fused, but there are bone spurs that contribute to the neck and shoulder and arm pain I am certain. My surgeon went into the back and fused with rods and screws. It was a very painful surgery, but I woke up with no pain ...The only problem now is that I am experiencing more degeneration and pain again. I also just read a study that you experience the dominoe effect more quickly with a 360 (round the world) because the fusion is more rigid. I see my surgeon in August for re-evaluation for surgery again. We knew C3 was diseased before this fusion, but it was not symptomatic. He only did a microdiscetomy at C7 too which I think has reherniated because my fingers are going numb again. I am now showing disease at C2 though. I dread more surgery however and do not know if I would allow it so soon.
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4/06 - Lumbar Fusion - L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, S1
Anterior with cages and Posterior with rods and screws.

8/17/05 - Cervical Fusion - C4-5, 5-6, 6-7 - Anterior and Posterior Fusion with plate in front and rods and screws in the rear - Corpectomy at C-4 and C-5 and microdisectomy at C6-7.

1/4/05 - Lumbar Laminectomy -L3, L4, L5, S1, S2 Obliteration of Tarlov Cyst at S2. Failed surgery!
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Unread 09-08-2007, 05:14 PM   #12
besharpone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipnslide View Post
I had C5-6-7 ACDF surgery back on 6/22/06. Wore my Philly collar and did no lifting as instructed. Six weeks ago the collar came off and I started PT. I was started off with range of motion and gravity resistance exercises which immediately triggered the neck, shoulder, and arm, and upper back pain. My OS stated that the surgery was to alleviate the shoulder and arm pain. Here it is 3 months after surgery and my neck pain is constant and worse. I've been having the shoulder pain with the shooting pain down my upper arms with any repetitive motion (such as PT, washing dishes, scrubbing shower/bath) and it takes 3 days of doing absolutely nothing before it calms back down. I can tilt my head back ever so slightly before it becomes painful and turn it side-to-side 30% in either direction, but I can look down pretty well even with the fusion. Both hands are still tingling, but the intensity and achiness has increased.

The Physical therapist has sent me back to the OS because of the symptoms I was having. I've agreed to try (in the next week or two) facet ESI's, in hopes that it will increase my ability to turn and tilt my head. Backing a car out of a parking space has become down-right unsafe! My OS also mentioned getting an MRI to see if something could be causing the pains.

Has anyone else experienced the same thing just a few months out of surgery? How long does it take for the shoulder/arm pains to subside? What is normal and what is not normal 3 months after surgery? I'd like to think that this is not the way I am going to stay. Any and all insight would be greatly appreciated cuz I sure could use as much information as I can get.

Thanks,

Kim
I had a 2 level ACDF With Instrumentation done on May 9th of this year.
Prior to the surgery, I had severe pain in my neck, shoulders, traps and upper back. I also had severe burning in my neck and back, along tingling and cramps in my traps and fingers on my right hand.

I had almost zero range when attempting to touch ear to shoulder on either side and had very little range when rotating my head to the right, but a bit more when rotating my head to the left and up and down.

I have had a degenerative disk condition throughout my spine for about 15 years...at least that is when it was first noticed. Ocassionaly, I would have problems, but after a week off from work and medication, I would usually be functional without pain again.

In October or November of this year, the symptoms became quite severe and the remdies used in the past would not help. I was missing a lot of work because my condition was being even more aggravated by the work that I do. After physical therapy and many tests and forms of treatment, they realized that the problem was due to 2 cervical disks in particular. They were severly degenerated.

Well, after having surgery in May, I figured everything would be ok and I could resume a normal life again.

I wore a soft collar for 2 months and based on the advice from the doctor, I only took it off when I showered and never tested my neck while having it off.

At my first follow up, the doctor seemed surprised that my condition had not improved even a bit from what is was prior to the surgery and stated that I should be ready to go back to work with restrictions.

He never actually examined my neck to determine how restrictive it was until I told him that there was no way that I could go back to work with my neck the way that it was. He had me go to physical therapy for a month, assuming that I just had some stiffness from wearing the collar.

After a month of physical therapy, nothing changed. The therapist was surprised that the therapy did not work, based on the assumption that my problem was related to the surgery and the collar.

When I went in for my next follow up, I explained to the doctor that absolutely nothing has changed and he looks at the x-rays and says that everything is healing fine and totally ignores my concerns and complaints for the most part and only says that maybe it will take a bit more time.

I get the impression that he thinks because he performed the surgery and everything looks ok, then there can't be a problem. He never examed my neck to determine what might be the issue and basically ignored the final eval provided by the therapist which show his concerns.

He sends me back to work with only a limited lifting restriction in spite of my complaints that the repetative motion of my neck will present the same problems that brought me to surgery in the first place.

Now that I have gone back to work, my symptoms have gotten much worse precisely because of all of the repetitive bending and twifting of my neck.

I was frustrated to the point that I sought a second opinion, but the second doctor was reluctant to say anything contrary to the opinion of the first doctor. He only did the standard strength test and basically ignored my complaints about the pain, tingling and lack of range of motion.

He said that since I had very serious surgery, I couldn't expect everything to be ok in only 3 months...that it could take up to a year, but if it was not better in 6 months after the surgery, then it probably wouldn't get any better.

He too, completely ignored my question as to why I feel no relief whatsoever and whether or not there could be other issues that are beyond the scope of the surgery.

Needless to say, I left there even more frustrated.

Now, I am left with going to see my family doctor to ask for advice on what direction to go in to get someone to find out what is causing my continued problem.

He is usually pretty helpful in that he listens, shows concern and asks for your opinion on anything that he might suggest, unlike the surgeon, where there is very little interaction between us.

Sorry...I know that you were asking for insight that might help you with your situation. I just wanted you to know that we are in the same boat pretty much.
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Unread 09-17-2007, 05:36 AM   #13
happy face
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hi all lam seeking answers !!!!!! and found this site and how funny it is to read all your comments, and its like reading my life . Well l had my first c5c6 op in 2001 then my c3c4 went and had an op in sep 27 2006 and now my life is a living hell . lm a 42 yr old male l worked in my own restaurant and interacted with people every day and had 80 staff under me and was always doing something with my girls .But know like all of you there is nothing in my life but PAIN PAIN PAIN . And yes you tell your doctor and they can't even look at you in the eyes and they tell you your xrays look good as you sit there Dun founded in Bloody Pain . The pain in my left arm is so bad it leaves me in tears then the right arm follows . The pain starts down the back of my arms to my albow and then down to my fingers . l receive sharp pain in my index fingers and thumbs and the rest go numb . When that starts then l get very sharp pain in to my legs . lf l sweep or mop or tidy up it flairs up bad and need to sit down for an hour and half and if l get anger with my self and do more it knocks me out for 3 to 4 day strait and when l rest l get very bad spasmus as well .l dont sleep well and wake up all through out the night , but hell starts in the morning as my arms stiffens up and my fingers lock up and it takes me hours to get them moving or just rase my arms over my head and the tell us it all looks good on the xrays . Well to hell with the xray we need answers not just been pinny pigs . This is not the way to live like this so lam seeking answers and to research and l need your help . On the out side we look good on the inside it hell there has to be a way or some one willing to try something because it better then sitting at home doing nothing and to live it there way can you guys help me !!!!!!!!!!!:
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Unread 10-21-2007, 09:42 PM   #14
kross426
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I am now wishing I had a 360. I had a C5-C7 ACDF 5/2006 and am now in pain again. My fear is now they'll have to go posterior and/or get spurs out etc. I'm doing Epidural Steroid injections right now but round 1 didn't do much, if anything. Plus having lubmar issues as well.
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Unread 11-27-2007, 11:36 AM   #15
slipnslide
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I can't believe how many of us have the same story and same symptoms. Sad thing is, I still have no answers, other than my PM said at my last visit, "it could just be permanent nerve damage".

Best wishes all,
Kim
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Unread 12-07-2007, 08:39 PM   #16
printerhead
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Hi All!
I had ACDF on C5/6 6/7 on Feb 14th of 2007. I have been back to work since 3 weeks after the surgery. I am a printer and do heavy work with lots of stooping bending twisting, etc. I have muscle spasms about once every 2 weeks, and Ibuprofen usually does it, if not, vicodin works well. My fusion was different in that it did not use any bone. They used cages and plates, and removed a lot of bone spurs as well. I never had to wear a collar, and albeit a bit uncomfortable for the first 2 nights, I slept in my own bed with regular pillows starting the day after my surgery. I wish more neuro surgeons would use this technique as I am feeling very sorry for those of you who have pain still. I can make my xrays available if you ask me, and you can show them to your docs...maybe that will help.
Hang in there,
Dave
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Unread 12-10-2007, 07:44 PM   #17
stiffnecked
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I had an ACDF C5-6-7 in 8-05. Nothing but pain ever since. I love my pain. It lets me know that I am still alive. If I didn't have the pain I might be eatin' dirt and breathing stale air. I take the pills even though they don't work. It makes the doctor feel better.
He thinks he's helping me. Oh well, it could be worse.
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Unread 12-25-2007, 07:35 AM   #18
khontz
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Default Any Help For Swallowing After Acdf?

Had my C-5/6/7 ACDF on Wednesday (12/19) and am struggling with some after surgery issues which I just can't seem to get a grip on.

My biggest issue is swallowing - I just can't seem to swallow anyone more than sips of liquid & sherbet. I have been doing soup brothe, applesauce, pudding too but anything of substance is torture.

This becomes a HUGE problem when having to taken medication.

Due to a TBI in 1998 I'm on a regular dose of Neuronton. This first couple of days in the hospital they wouldn't give me the Neuronton - then finally they did. Now I have to crush all 4 pills and mix it with applesauce or pudding. It is so difficult to swallow and get down - it is total gag situation - which causes intense pain to the neck.

Anyone else out there experience the throat issues? Advice? I've also been sucking on Halls like they are going out of style - just to keep swallowing.
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Unread 12-25-2007, 10:01 AM   #19
stiffnecked
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Yes, the throat issue is very normal. My issues were very intense for the first 9 weeks.
Once the surgeon actually explained how they do the surgery it helped me understand the throat issues. After they intubate you and open your neck up retractors are used to pull the trachea to the side and out of the way. They put major stress on those areas.

2 1/2 years later I am still having swallowing problems but I think now it is mainly related to the placement of the plate and screws.

Give it some time and it will probably get better. But right now your feeling what you should...
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Unread 01-01-2008, 03:29 PM   #20
Redhotbeads
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I had my ACDF C6-7 w/ instrumentation on 12/13. Swallowing was a challenge for the first week, but it got better rapidly for me after that point. It was tough to swallow the meds, too. I still have a bit of a lump in my throat that makes swallowing a little hard sometimes, but it's not painful or insurmountable in the least.

For the most part I don't have any more pain. My ROM is good. My doctor ordered no driving til 6 weeks and no lifting over 2 lbs until that time as well - very conservative but I think he has his reasons.

I sucked on ice chips for quite some time after surgery and also ate italian ice - it helped my swallowing considerably.

Good luck.
Kell

Quote:
Originally Posted by khontz View Post
Had my C-5/6/7 ACDF on Wednesday (12/19) and am struggling with some after surgery issues which I just can't seem to get a grip on.

My biggest issue is swallowing - I just can't seem to swallow anyone more than sips of liquid & sherbet. I have been doing soup brothe, applesauce, pudding too but anything of substance is torture.

This becomes a HUGE problem when having to taken medication.

Due to a TBI in 1998 I'm on a regular dose of Neuronton. This first couple of days in the hospital they wouldn't give me the Neuronton - then finally they did. Now I have to crush all 4 pills and mix it with applesauce or pudding. It is so difficult to swallow and get down - it is total gag situation - which causes intense pain to the neck.

Anyone else out there experience the throat issues? Advice? I've also been sucking on Halls like they are going out of style - just to keep swallowing.
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