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physical therapy 4 weeks post ACDF /myelopathy

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I started PT on my neck 4 weeks after surgery. I really was feeling pretty good and have been able to cut down on pain meds. I was evaluated and had my first treatment on Wednesday.. I thought it was rather intensive for being only 4 weeks post op but did everything they asked. I had some mild discomfort but thought that was to be expected. About 5 hours after PT,I was in severe pain.The pain was worse than the preop pain I had. Both of my arms were killing me like someone was stabbing me with an ice pick. I also had severe shoulder pain. I cried all night and got little relief with vicodin every 3 hours. I am taking meds around the clock again.
I understand that rehab is not easy but how can I heal if I'm in worse pain now with therapy.Prior to my surgery I learned what not to do that would increase my pain and keep me up all night. I just avoided activities that caused pain.So does this mean I should avoid PT? I can't imagine inducing pain on myself that causes me to be incapable of doing anything. I did call my NS and his nurse told me to take valium everyday and to tell PT to go easy on me.
Work is also bugging me to come back light duty which i am willing to do,but who can work when your on valium and vicodin?
I am really frustrated about this. Today my 12 year old found me crying from pain and he was very upset. When my husband asked him what he wanted for Christmas,he said "All I want is for mom not to be in pain." I just didn't want him to see me like this.
Any advice on physical therapy? I want to cooperate and do whatever it takes to get better . I have another appt on Monday and i am very afraid to go. You think I should ask to wait a little longer?
I appreciate your thoughts on this subject.
Bethy

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Comments

  • no matter when you have it,it just sucks. i started it two months after my surgery and i still went through a period of pain. definitely tell your therapist how much pain your having.they should cut you back on what your doing to relieve it.good luck
  • I started at 4 weeks post op. I wanted the spasms between my shoulders gone so that I could get rid of the valium and percocet. You first need to tell them the kind of pain you were in after you left there. I had ultrasound for the first time last week and I literally almost crawled out of my car and into my front door. That was my last visit. I was just like you. I wanted it to work so much! I didn't wear a collar so I didn't have any ROM problems but still did all of the neck stretches had heat and stimulation between my shoulders. 9 visits later and nothing has changed. I thought about going back but now I'm back at work and feel like I know how to use moist heat and exercise very very very gently my neck muscles. I'm not trying to discourage you here because PT at least got me out of the house and moving which I believe it's almost tolerable to be back at work two months after surgery. I've been back for 3 weeks now. It's hard but I know I have to keep moving. But PT should NOT make you feel like that. Make sure they know that. And yes I take percocet and valium and work. I was actually very surprised that my company allowed me to come back knowing what I was taking them because I work in a manufacturing plant. I work on computers but some of them are in our production areas. I made sure my Doc wrote that on the release papers so that I'm covered if something happens. They can't say I didn't tell them about my taking narcotics while working. If they're ok with it then I'm ok with it.
    Aren't kids amazing?! :) My son has been there for me every day since this all began. He never walks by me without kissing me on top of the head.
  • This is the first time I ever had PT. I had a spinal fusion in 98 and my first cervical fusion in 07. Both surgeries they did not send me to therapy and i did okay. I think they were sending me this time because of the myelopathy and severe weakness in my arms. The therapist told me it would take a year to rehab my arms. The NS told my husband 2 years of rehab to get 75% of function back.
    I'll try again and report to the NS.
    As far as going back to work,do you suggest I report to my employer i am taking these meds?I don't know how much i will be taking when I do go back.
    I did not let my employer know that I was even having trouble prior to my surgery. I feel too much information can sometimes come back to haunt you.
    Thanks, Bethy
  • Disclose the medication you are taking. Like I said I think it protects me and them. If they didn't want me to come back while taking these meds they had the opportunity to say so then. If you are taking some sort of narcotic and fall out in the floor they might be better able to assist you. But that is totally your choice. You know your company much better than I do. My release paper had a line for medication so I had them put it on there. If you think that would cause you problems with your job then maybe the less said the better. Times are hard and new jobs are hard to come by.
    As for PT 2 years!!!! :jawdrop: Oh Lord I can't ask my son to open water bottles for me for the next two years! I had wrist surgery on my left wrist years ago to remove a huge ganglion cyst and worked soooo hard to bend my wrist again and strengthen my muscles and now I feel like all of my hard work is gone out the window. :(
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