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Anyone, pain after C5-6-7 ACDF?

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Unread 04-29-2009, 01:08 PM   #31
spfx
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Default It's still early days

:
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
Hi Kim
I know and sympathise with what you're going through that's why I'm up at 3am.I wasn't good at all for around 10 months after a c5-6 anterior fusion and it's so hard to get answers 5 yrs on .There has been some improvement but I still have neuropathic pain down both arms but the nerve roots were crushed and they burnt them off in surgery telling me it would take bout 2 yrs for them to grow back...unsuccessful .This has caused muscle weakness,shooting electrical type stabbing pains ,loss of feeling externally and a scalding sensation between my fingers and an assortment of other problems, most Drs want to dish out pills cause they don't know what to do,this was making me worse because of the complications.
You might need an MRI to see if the nerve roots are compressed because C5&6 is where they are for the arms and because they're where you turn your head as well it's compounded. If this was due to a car accident it could also be a torn rotator cuff, tendons on the collar bone or bursitis.
I found physio made it worse except for light hydrotherapy but it had to be in really warm water as anything cold is instant agony.I do get some relief from a Niagra mat and heat pacs and for a while accupuncture did help.
I was able to get an extended revision mirror so you don't have to turn your head and in Kmart or car accessories place you should be able to get thes little circular mirrors to go on your side mirrors to give you a better view it takes getting used to but so worth it and not too expensive. You will gradually find tools that will help. Vileda make this great bathroom scrubber on a long extendable handle and the head adjusts to what you're scrubbing,which is a godsend just put some gel bleach on rub it no bending with this leave it for an hour or so and rinse.It will also do walls and stuff with no reaching the best thing out. You'll start finding different uses for other products just to make things easier.
Also try and find an anti inflamatory or night time strength deep heat gel ,here we have a voltaren gel which I found good. I am now on a 12hr Tramadol which make it a little more bearable and I am trying Lyrica with some results for the lightning strikes.
You must pace yourself which if you're anything like me is so hard. I still try to push it that bit further but will end up paying the price in bed till it calms down which can be a couple of days,so you learn to listen to your body and give in to it. I don't mean to be a downer just trying to give you ideas.
Try & look after yourself it's serious & major surgery you've had a shock to the system & it would only just be fusing around now.Hope this helps a bit,if you ever need a chat only happy to.
Libby
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Unread 05-11-2009, 01:00 AM   #32
blakitty
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Hello
Would someone please explain ACDF, I see it used rather frequently, and I haven't been able to figure it out. I had a second cervical surgery (cage front & rear) 2 1/2 years ago levels-C 4,5,6,7 & T1. I'm really down tonight and I just am reaching out. I hurt so much, and I hate to talk about it with anyone. Online friends may be my answer. I may pick up a coping mechanism or be able to give some....Thanks, Blakitty
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Unread 05-22-2009, 10:46 PM   #33
JackBeNimble
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Default There is hope

Quote:
Originally Posted by blakitty View Post
Hello
Would someone please explain ACDF, I see it used rather frequently, and I haven't been able to figure it out. I had a second cervical surgery (cage front & rear) 2 1/2 years ago levels-C 4,5,6,7 & T1. I'm really down tonight and I just am reaching out. I hurt so much, and I hate to talk about it with anyone. Online friends may be my answer. I may pick up a coping mechanism or be able to give some....Thanks, Blakitty
Am in the recovery stages of ACDF of about 5 weeks ago...and if all of a sudden the pain I had in my arm came back tomorrow, it would have been worth everything I went through. Have been dealing with this issue for couple of years, including physical therapy on a couple of occasions, as well as eating narcotics hoping to numb the spinal cord to reduce the pain...

After seeing my MRI there was no doubt that surgery was in order for me...arm was useless. From the moment I woke up after surgery I've not had as much as an aspirin to address any arm issues. There is some stiffness in the spine as a result of the hammering of the bone graft into the vacated space, and I'm sure because of the shock and trauma that such an invasive procedure produces. I have to deal with that pain a bit but it's nothing like I had.

I suffer from arthritis throughout my spine, bone spurs outside and inside the spinal canal, and spondylosis...and receive Percutaneous Radio Frequency someotherwordgoesherethatidon'tremember to address the pain in the rest of the spine, but the Facet Blocks I've been having for my neck eventually quit working so that's why I had to turn toward surgery.

But to more directly address your issue, the pain I was suffering was the most intense I've ever had (except the pain at the sternum after heart surgery and an inability to suppress a sneeze) but the arm pain was the most prolonged and consistent. ACDF was the cure, the magic bullet if you will, that I think has prolonged at least my career, if not my life. I read all of the negative results post-surgery on here and I can't believe that I'm the only person who has had such good results...incredible as a matter of fact.

Mine was a typical ACDF...the removal of the disc, bone graft inserted (hammered into place...see above) with the metal plate screwed into place to hold the vertabrae together and keep the bone in the disc space. And of course, my results have been incredible. I can only hope to have as much success the next time anything like this happens. My pre-operative research allowed me to forgo any surprises, and even a visit to YouTube was helpful as I watched the procedure performed.

I do hope you can find relief and if my results are any real indication, ACDF could be the route you need to take. Please do take care of yourself, and don't hesitate to speak to someone about it...you never know who's talked with someone who's talked with someone else who knows a doctor in the next town whose specialty is exactly what you need. And sometimes, you just need someone to listen.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 09:34 PM   #34
sandi_k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakitty View Post
Hello
Would someone please explain ACDF, I see it used rather frequently, and I haven't been able to figure it out.
ACDF = Anterior Cervical Disc Fusion

Hope that helps...

Sandi
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Unread 07-24-2009, 10:48 AM   #35
Mme. De Huse
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Default Post ACDR pain

Kim-
Had C6/7 fusion on Halloween last year- still have a "collar" of swelling around my neck. Have done PT- but had to stop as pain was so bad. Started acupuncture, which I did for about 4 months. It helped some (esp. the trapezius area), but also "lit up" my nerves, as I also have RSD in my left shoulder/arm. Had to go to hospital for pain shots. Now my surgeon wants me to have steroid injections for the swelling (after a recent MRI showed the fusion inteact)- but I'm fused in the lumbar spine, as well- so it seems the pressure of the two is hard on my spine- I have 7 new bulging discs, which we're hoping epidurals and stellate injections will help. I can't tell you anything special- except to say that I'm right there with you- it's ben a horrible ride (but necesary- as I was severely herniated).
My advice is to try to walk if you can- the endorphins help. I hope you have a good pain doc. I've had to end up taking Dilaudid- and it's not where I want to stay, obviously. Lyrica made me hallucinate, and muscle relaxants make me nuts.
But don't give up- keep looking for doctors who will hear you. A lot of docs think spine pain in women is psychosomatic- don't let them intimidate you.

Feel free to write me anytime, even if it's just to talk. I will keep you in my thoughts and heart-
nicole



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
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Unread 09-18-2010, 06:00 PM   #36
stunis
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Default still having pain after acdf

Hello everyone, I have read about twenty or so of these forums and I feel like I could have written all of them. After acdf just this march 2010, the pain has never really left me. Still have the arm pain, tingling, stabbing, bee stinging pains, elbow pain, little finger pain, sick of it...now. anyone else feel this way. going to a neurosurgeon next week, different one...wonder what that will bring... thanks for reading... I hope everyone's pain will go away...
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Unread 11-23-2011, 12:51 PM   #37
hhmals1
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Default 4 months Post op pain after C4-C7 ACDF Surgery

I had acdf surgery on c4-c7 four months ago. I had a spinal cord injury while having my gallbladder removed. I had 65% compression on my spinal cord which paralyzed my left arm and leg. I contracted a strep b infection in the hospital and had to wait 12 days before my acdf surgery to repair the damage. The first eight weeks after my acdf surgery I did surprisingly well. I returned to work (as a behavior class middle school teacher) three weeks after my surgery. I wore a soft collar and had no residual numbness anywhere. I refrained from lifting and bending for another month and then got the all clear from my OS. My bone is fusing well.

At the eight weeks post op, I began experiencing pain lower in my neck, below the c7 surgical point and some intermittent numbness returning in my my left hand, arm, leg, and even tingling up the left side of my neck and into the back of my head. I had not had any pain prior to my surgery...just the numbness and weakness.

I have had follow MRI's and even a second opinion with another OS that actually treats our local NFL team and everything looks great to him. I have experienced toothache like pain in my left arm, leg, neck area, and even the sensation of my right hand falling asleep (pins and needles) upon waking. I also have had some nausea and lack of apetitie. Has anyone else experienced these types of post operative problems after ACDF surgery? Is this normal? All my doctors seemed unconcerned. I was a really active person prior to this surgery and now I feel like I am nowhere near my prior self even with my PT I have been doing for the past month.


Thanks!

MB
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