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3.5 months post op ACDF and symptoms back? Help (m)..

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I didn't mention the other day when I posted - honestly, I thought it might go away, but it hasn't. I did receive my soft collar last week Monday (the 26th) after wearing a hard ASPEN collar for 12 weeks. About 5 days now I have had almost daily headaches and my neck below C6/C7 and shoulder = specifically my left one (the pain I had prior to ACDF) has returned with a vengeance.

The only difference is instead of it going down the BACK of my arm, it goes down the front. It's pretty bad and I have reverted to taking my Oxycodone yesterday and I only have 3 left! I know I want to call for a refill, but I just don't know if I should mention this or not since he did say after surgery I might have a reoccurrance of my symptoms and he said this would be normal - but is it NORMAL almost 14 weeks after surgery? Thanks.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    In the scope of everything, 14 weeks post op is not a long time! Yes, especially for cervical surgeries, recovery is quicker than it is for lumbar surgeries (generally).
    The symptoms and problems you had before surgery should disappear but you still can have some nagging problems.
    I come from the old school where hard collars after ACDF surgeries was a MUST. I know wearing that for about 8 weeks made a difference. But then after switching from hard to soft collar, many of the symptoms I had sort of came back.

    Main thing is to discuss this with your doctor to get their input. Especially when you mention that your pain is different, going down the front vs the back of your arm. Problems at different disc levels will show up differently.
    I would contact your doctor to review all of whats happening.
    It could be normal, but its best to make sure
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • THANK YOU so much - I appreciate your info and I will call for my refill, but just touch base with him as well on my symptoms I am feeling. You made me feel better though. My NS is VERY old school even though he's only 35 years old LOL! He's VERY conservative and believes in the hard and soft collars completely.
  • I'm very glad my doc is old school and had me wear a hard collar, too. It's a comforting feeling, really, straight out of surgery because it protects it.

    I still have pain three months out from my surgery. PT was supposed to help, but I've had to cancel it because I've lost my job and health insurance. But I wanted you to know that those wicked muscle spasms are normal even 14 weeks out. I'm still not convinced they'll ever go away.

    Take care of yourself and I'm glad you're going to mention it to your doc.

  • I remember having an increase in pain when switching from hard collar to soft..but I believe it is always a good idea to let the doctor know..my doctor reminded many time not to hesitate to call when I felt something was "off". Hope you feel better! Donna
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