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In alot of pain still, 3months ADCF C6-C7

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am 9wks post-op from my surgery of ADCF C6-C7. I am still taking I medications 24-7. I have pain all along the side of my neck opposite my scar. I still get burning pain in my left arm but not as much as before surgery. Nerosurgeon mentioned physo thearpy. Only if I am able to handle it. Does anyone feel that physo inproved there condition. I tried pyso before surgery and it made me feel worst. So, I am a little cautious of the physo. Anyone try massage or acupunture to help with the pain. Any ideas would be greatly appriecated. I also use heat on my neck for 20 minutes 3 times a day. Thanks, colleen


  • 9 weeks out post op you could still be experiencing these problems. I would try the physio therapy you surgeon is suggesting. I have as well done the massage therapy on my own, just to get some relief and it did help. What is your surgeon saying about the fusion itself, are you fusing? Sometimes as we get further from surgery and increase activity the pain is stirred up a bit more. Also depending on the reason you had surgery may depend on how long your recovery is. Be sure that you keep your surgeon in the loop as to how you are feeling. I always find it helpful to write everything down when i go see them, to stay on track. I hope that it does start getting better for you soon. Take care.
  • What good is surgery for C5-6 and C6-7 if pain is a factor after surgery? Does the pain every go away? I thought that that was the whole purpose of having the surgery, to get rid of the pain and headaches.

  • I had surgery back in Oct and I'm still in pain every day. I've tried PT, muscle relaxers, pains meds until I was sick of it all. I went looking for permanent relief. I too am giving myofascial release therapy a try. I just started so I can't really tell any difference yet but I am assured that my pain is most likely coming from scar tissue that needs to be broken up in my right shoulder and myofascial release is the best thing for it. I'll be sure to keep you guys updated. I went on Eve's recommendation because I was quite skeptical at first. I now can't wait until my next appointment.
  • Joyce, I'll try to answer your question about surgery. Most of us who have had ACDF's have done so because we have the risk of further damage to either the nerves or our spinal cords. My surgeons who did both of my cervical surgeries made it very clear that pain relief is not a good enough reason alone to do these very intense type of surgeries because of the risk of having more problems down the road such as having subsequent levels fail. I had both nerve damage and spinal cord inpingement so my surgery was pretty much mandatory. This is the point of view of both of my neurosurgeons and from other's docs that I've read on here. There may be docs that will do surgery for pain alone, I'm not sure, but I wouldn't have taken that route if that was my only problem.

    Colleen, I asked my surgeon about having massage after my surgery and got his blessing before I started. My muscles were screaming because my surgeries put my spine in a new direction and the spasms didn't stop. I was lucky to find a massage therapist who used to work in a PT place and had a LOT of experience with post-op patients. I'll be honest, the massage itself wasn't like going to a spa, it was painful but the results were great.
    Don't go unless you get the go-ahead from your surgeon!

    Good luck to you,

  • Yeah, I know my neurosurgeon is extremely careful about going ahead with surgery. He is going to do surgery on me because if he does not I risk further damage to my nerves and spine.
  • I'm definitely no expert...all I can tell you is my experience.

    I'm 7 mos. post op and still experience some pain and still go to PT. I think the only other thing that really helps is time. It was 6 months before all my arm pain went away and now I only have pain in my neck. I can tell I'm getting better though because for a couple of months I would reach for a Lortab, then would only need half a Lortab, and now on a bad day all I need is advil. It's really been a very slow process.

    I still have muscle spasms but I believe it's mainly because all this has been so stressful for me and I panic at the slightest pain. I always seem to be tense! I went on anti-anxiety medication a few days ago and have noticed that my muscle spasms have really improved!

    Once my PT visits run out I do plan on getting massages to help relax my muscles. Collsparky, just hang in there! I thought I would NEVER see improvement but slowly but surely things seem to be getting better!
  • I would like to thank everyone for their replies to my questions. It really means a lot to me that there are people out there that experiencing, or can relate to the same problems as me. Especially when the surgeon cannot even answer some of my questions.
    I went to see the surgeon. He said I was not fusing yet. I am doing better than he expected. He saw me on a good day. I asked about taking different pain medications (he did not put me on the ones I am taking). He said to ask my family doctor. I asked about hot and cold compresses. He was also not sure about that either. I think the surgeon is just there for the surgery and that is it.
    Reply to reasons for having the surgery. My surgeon did not want to do the surgery. I told him that I have tried everything else and nothing has taken away the pain in my neck and arm. I have been unable to work for almost 2years. My only option left was surgery. He said surgery may not help. It’s a risk I decided to take.
    I am starting physo this week. I pray this helps. I was wondering how soon everyone has returned to work. My surgeon said 6 months. I am so nervous about going back to work with fear that I will reinjure myself.
  • i had acdf c3-7 with auto graft.funny your surgeon had no answer to ice or heat applications,as i was told to keep icing for months after the surgery.i am also surprised he has your family doc doing your pain management as well. i hope you are not on any nsaids or aspirin,as these will affect your fusion. nerves do take a longer time to heal.i am now over the bell curve for pain after surgery. 18 months. i am in pain still and am seeing pain management now,trying to find alternatives to narcotics. most people i heard had no problems after their surgery and returned to work. i don't know what you do for a living, how physically demanding your job is,etc. pt may help you. keep the faith.
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