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IS muscle atrophy permanent

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 182
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am facing another cervical surgery soon due to severe C7 root compression. My xrays show a solid fusion after a successful C6 C7 ACDF some 18 months ago. I now have severe weakness and my tricep muscle has atrophied or wasted away. Has anyone had this happen to them? Also will I be able to get the muscle bulk back? I think this is a result of the nerve being damaged.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Bethy
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1

Comments

  • I've had muscle atrophy in several areas including both arms and my chest muscles. They just don't seem to be coming back at all. If I lose anymore in my arms all I'll have left are "Bingo Wings"...you know, those old lady arms that flap in the wind LOL

    Seriously, I thought that I'd see some improvement by now. I used to be pretty muscular for a woman and maybe I'm just expecting too much. The pectorals seem to be the worst and I've seen no increase in those muscles at all. I can feel all my ribs and I've never been able to do that. I'm using my body as much as possible and am going back to PT yet again to see if that helps (it hasn't made any difference in the past).

    Every person is different and my muscle loss was pretty dramatic and happened fast. Get that diagnosis before you worry yourself into the ground!

    Hugs,

    Griff



  • look horrible....I weight 110 pounds and use to be an avid gym person before all of my neck surgeries.....it has been 18 month since my surgery and I do have nerve damage coming from C5C6.....I know how to work out but when I try the pain is too much. I am now in PT for what was thought to be rotator cuff problem but they now have decided it is coming from my neck. I use to have great looking arms, very toned and now they look like bat wings.....I wear quarter length sleeves so they don't show. Will it get better??? I don't think so in my case. Everyone is different....hope this is not your case.

    Sharon
  • Bethy,

    This is actually a good question on a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

    Atrophy can be caused by many things, all of which basically "cut off" the nerves signal to the muscle. As long as the nerve does not die or suffer irrepairable damage, the muscle can generally be restored.

    Some muscles will atrophy completely and others only partially. If a muscle begins to atrophy it will reach peak or full atrophy usually within 6 months.

    Some causes are; nerve compression due to spine injury or disease, tumors, cut nerves and loss of blood supply to a nerve.

    Posterior C-spine surgery is known to have a higher risk of muscle atrophy due to denervation.

    There are specialized surgeons that will do nerve and muscle grafts. This in of itself can bring on more potential problems than it is meant to solve.

    It's quite possible that your muscle atrophy is not permanent and can be very easily verified with an EMG.

    I hope this helps.

    "C"
  • I'm not a doctor but I believe it all depends on what the cause of the atrophy is. Seeing that you are here and with your Hx, I'm going to assume that it is nerve related. The recovery will depend on how damaged the nerves are. It may and then again it may not be permanent. If the cause is nutrition or some other cause it will be easier to recover.
  • so i have nerve compression, myelopathy, stenosis, and 2 herniations c6-7. i've been to 4 surgeons. only one said don't do the surgery yet. let's watch it.

    i have pain in my arm, weakness in leg, t-spine arthritis type pain but the only pain that is almost everyday is my forearm-but i think it's from typing.if i lie down too much which i've been doing since i don't have a job, it's alot worse.

    i lost my job in march 2008 and need a job badly. i was hoping to postpone the surgery, get a job, and take a few weeks off maybe a year later to do the surgery.

    the point is-should i even do the surgery? it's more of a comfort of living emotional pain not so much physical pain, but both can be tiring as i am sleeping 12 hours a day. i have no more sex drive and this is causing issues with my husband. i feel so guilty, but who the hell wants to have sex when you're not feeling great? i can't workout anymore except swimming. that's been helpful, and now i have this pain under my rib cage for 3 months and noone knows what it is. i've had a HIDA scan, and ultrasound and rib series-all negative. my doc thinks it may be from a herniated disk in my T-spine. if i get cerviacal surgery and it doesn't work, i will be SO PISSED. so far my EMG of my legs and arms are normal, and i go for an EEMG this week. but so far no problem. only that one doc who told me not to do it thinks the leg weakness is coming from my lumbar L-5 herniation not the cervical, but all the other doc's think it's from the cervical. so you can see why i'm not getting the exact answers i need to think this surgery is really going to fix all my issues.

    what do you guys think?


  • C, I did have an emg that showed severe active denervation. Not sure what that means exactly but i am to have a cervical myleogram soon. The Dr who did the EMG said it was my C7 nerve root is involved. My atrophy and arm weakness happened suddenly and has not shown signs of getting better.The NS wants to do surgery posterior but in my state of shock I didn't even ask what he wanted to do. I am going to seek another opinion after myleogram.
    Bethy







  • grandmesamom said:
    I am facing another cervical surgery soon due to severe C7 root compression. My xrays show a solid fusion after a successful C6 C7 ACDF some 18 months ago. I now have severe weakness and my tricep muscle has atrophied or wasted away. Has anyone had this happen to them? Also will I be able to get the muscle bulk back? I think this is a result of the nerve being damaged.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Bethy
  • Panther1 said:
    grandmesamom said:
    I am facing another cervical surgery soon due to severe C7 root compression. My xrays show a solid fusion after a successful C6 C7 ACDF some 18 months ago. I now have severe weakness and my tricep muscle has atrophied or wasted away. Has anyone had this happen to them? Also will I be able to get the muscle bulk back? I think this is a result of the nerve being damaged.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Bethy
  • Hi new member here. I had my surgery on April 21 and am now back at work on limited duties. I still have slight tingling in my left thumb and index fingers which is no big deal. My only concern is the muscle atrophy caused by the disc cutting nerve signal to the muscle, specifically my left bicep and shoulder. This occurred rather quickly, within 2 months. Luckly I was able to get surgery ASAP. My question is what is the rate of recovery for those muscles. I know that if severe nerve damage caused by a disc is left for a long time, than that damage may be permanent. I know I'm probably rushing things, but I can hardly curl 10lbs, and can only bring arm full out to side and front with no weight. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,558
    edited 06/05/2014 - 5:36 AM
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-message-resource
    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/forum-faq

    The muscle wasting can be recovered, assuming that the nerve recovers. It takes time and some work on your part, but the muscle can recover. Are you in physical therapy? They can work with you to help increase your range of motion and strengthening over time. Hang in there, it is still early days .
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