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POST C4/5/6 FUSION SURGERY PROBLEMS W/ NUMBNESS ON TONGUE & HANDS

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi guys, I had ruptured by C4/5/6 and had it fused b/c it was pretty bad. The first two weeks after surgery I felt awesome! but I did some activity (walking around, turning my head to my employees, etc.) and it started to feel worse and worse. I'm thinking I may have done this too early in the recovery period. It is now week 3 and all the numbness and tingling in both hands and fingers as well as tongue is back. In addiiton, a lot of pain is back and I didn't even have pain for weeks before the surgery. Did I screw something up from being too active too quickly? It's causing stuttering and I drop everything. The doc says i'm nice and fused and probably just aggravated it due to overactivity. He says things hsould settle down but they never settled down before, they just got worse. I'm now wearing my neckbrace again and taking it easy. but will this numbness/tingling go away? Are there others out there who have had this and experienced this post surgery? Did your feeling come back? My doc won't do another MRI right now b/c he just feels it's just reaggravation of that area, post surgery, but this is really really bad numbness and tingling. I feel like it's getting worse and may not go away.
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Comments

  • He said you were fused at 3 weeks? WOW! I thought it took much longer than that. Interesting!

    Sorry you are having so many problems right now. Did you go to see him or was it a phone conversation?
  • I am 51 years old,female. I have worked phisical labor jobs most all ,my life. Two seperate auto accidents have put me in this state. Im woundering if anyone like myself is out there? I have been turned down three times so far for benefits. I have an attorny.I have not worked since March 2008. Short term benfits have ended. I dont have the education for a desk job.Surgery was on Oct 22 2008. I am now haveing problems with swallowing. Still wearing a neck brace. Trouble swallowing even with brace off!! Any comments are dearly welcome.
  • Hi Carol....I had a 2 level discectomy and fusion the same day as you. I still have trouble swallowing but not as bad as right after the surgery. It is getting better. Right after the surgery I couldn't even swallow water...now mostly bread and meats are what cause the problem. They have to do a lot to you during the surgery so don't be discouraged that things aren't progressing fast. Bring it up to your dr and see what is said then. I'm sure things will get better soon. My dr doesn't even want to see me until 6 weeks but I get a phone call once a week from his nurse. She answers my questions and has pretty much told me that this is all fairly common. I think if you get to 6 weeks with this still there...then it might be a reason for more concern. I wish you well.
  • I would go get another opinion. I've never seen a patient FUSED in three weeks. I have seen patients show signs of fusion at six weeks, but a solid fusion takes 3 months to a year. I think turning your head and being active 2 weeks out could have been a problem. Our patients aren't even allowed out of their neck brace for the first six weeks unless they're eating.
  • HI I just wanted to let you know i called my doc today about the same issue!! I had c4-6 fused also, and of course they removed the disck in between. problem with me is i had pain for 10 years then intense pain, stinging, burning numbness and tingling for past 6 months!! I had surgery 10.22.08, I had severe pain when i woke up and severe muscle spasms. the weird thing is all the arm pain and numbness and tingling was gone and stayed gone for 2 1/2 weeks. Now i have numbness and tingling back in same parts as before surgery, but new parts, MY LIP, AND TONGUE. The pain is bad when I do any walking past 10 minutes, I get severe stinging in back of my neck and it stops me in my tracks. thats how it was before surgery too. anyway, i was never given a brace, my doc only uses them when absolutely necessary, he says it is better to get the muscles moving asap!! today he told me this is all normal, and just signs of the nerves getting used to this all!! He still wants me to walk, but rest more in between, and not do to much repetition, other than that I am free to do anything, but run, lift weights over5 pounds, or twist!! he said you can't break what we did, unless you had a major car accident!! well a lot of people out here are told not to do anything but walk for weeks!! So all this pain i still have like before the surgery, and all this new numbness and tingling 3 weeks after surgery, is something they call normal, however he said I am in the 25th percentile as far as pain goes. He said most people see pain relief way before numbness and tingling go away!! oh well now that i got the tingling back and the pain is the same, i guess i just have to wait and see. but i will never do this surgery again. too much conflicting info,from internet, different doctors, and others who had this surgery!! So I would say you are normal unless your doc told you not to do much because you were in a neck brace!! I neve had the brace!! hope we can get through this
  • Thanks for the comments twilighter, yes my doc said i didn'tneed the brace and maybe that was wrong, maybe it was too much activity, but like the poster below, my doc reexamined it and said i am not "fused" but solid due to the screws so there isn't much room for error. What do I do now? I thought that if they remove the pressure off of teh cord, that's it, i should be good but my numbness is horrible. I am stuttering due to my tongue and can barely type. Will this get better or do I maybe need surgery again?

    Given your opinion, what if a patient doesnt' wear the neck brace and is overactive, do things relax after a bit or did he/she permanatly do soem type of damaage? Once this "fusion" happens am I basically good to go? I'm not even worried about the pain but the numbness makes me 100% useless.

  • I had surgery on that same day so we're about the same. Does the doc say teh tingling will go away? I had the pain/tingling gone for about 2 weeks also then it all came back full force. Maybe b/c i didn't wear my neck brace? not sure, he didn't tell me to wear one, I just feel the same as before, if not worse.
  • he said everyone is different and he is kindda surprised i still have a lot of pain, however the numbness and tingling was something he didn't expect to go away right after the surgery like it did for me!! however, 2 weeks later after being active like they told me too, all the numbness and tingling is back and that severe stinging in back of my neck is hell!! when that happens after walking or doing a little work, I cannot move for at leat an hour, horrible pain. he told me this is all normal, and the nerves are used to being compressed for so long, and the muscles were not used to that kindda surgery, so everything is reacting now, and yes they expect this to be temporary and go away eventually, but they give me no time frame!! they don't want me to sit around, but honestly that is when the pain is at it's least!! I did not get the immediate relief a lot of people get after surgery from the pain. sometimes when pressure is taken off the nerves, the patient feels much better pain wise right after surery. for me it became a lot worse!! the numbness and tingling was what left me, which is good, but now it's back, so I just gotta hope that what the doc says it right, he said that could take months to clear up!! However, my pain should be way down, and it is not!! so I am very very confused!! live and learn I guess, The collar thing, well that was never given to me, as he does not like using them except while i am in the car, and it is a soft collar!! I really am glad though, becaus I could of never stood a hard big collar, no way
  • yes, that's how i feel. In fact, i think the numbness and pain are far worse now. I feel like there's far more pressure on my spinal cord than before. It was gone for 2 weeks but it came back strong! And my tongue is now getting cut up from me biting it. Is this the same for you? It's tough to do anyting without taking pain medication and I can barely open a can of coke or drive properly. I tried wearing my hard collar a bit mroe but hoenestly it doesn't do much, I'm starting to think it's not that i reinjured myself but that by screwing the two discs together, this put more pressure on another disc and that's what's causing all the trouble. I am going in for an MRI tomorrow to see if something has changed and will let uknow. Let me know your answers to the above. thanks.
  • Yeah! I have the numbing tingling sensation post op... it didn't show up til the 3rd week of recovery. I have it in my arms and legs... I'm waiting to see my NS this week to see what his explanation of this is because I'm a bit concerned. But I have no pain. Just the sensation of weakness and tingling/numbness. It's annoying.
    Will see what he has to say this tuesday.
  • kagarwal25 said:

    Given your opinion, what if a patient doesnt' wear the neck brace and is overactive, do things relax after a bit or did he/she permanatly do soem type of damaage? Once this "fusion" happens am I basically good to go? I'm not even worried about the pain but the numbness makes me 100% useless.

    In my experience, most patients who don't wear their brace and are overactive often develop a pseudo (non fusion) and need another surgery. I've even seen some (mostly lumbar) pull out screws and need a semi urgent revision surgery.

    Once the fusion is solid, you are basically good to go. My MD doesn't put restrictions on you once you're fused... unless you've had a huge surgery.

    Just remember, numbness is the LAST thing to go away. It can take a long time.
  • i have the tinging in my left/hand and foot, seven weeks out post op. my doctor told me not to worry. the steroid he gave last week, i had hope it would help. it really didn't.

    is there anybody out there who had this and it did not go away?
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