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ACDF post surgical itching issue

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi. I am a 49 year old female who suffered a head injury 3 years ago. Have struggled with right paraspinal neck pain, right shoulder/arm muscle tightness, numbness, tingling, weakness. After 3 extensive rounds of PT, and chiropractic manipulation, MRI finally done Mar 2009, revealing right upper extremity radiculopathy with cervical spondylolytic stenosis C4-C5, C5-C6, and some early myeloradiculopathy. Foramina are severely stenotic at C4-C5, right side, moderately so on left at C5-C6.

Am 9 days post op from bi-level ACDF at C4-C5 and C5-C6 with allograft and plate/screws. Wearing a Miami J collar without too much difficulty, and moving around well, considering initial pain levels were off the charts. Have appreciated info gleaned from this forum, some of it too late to help prepare, but I have more good questions to ask surgeon at post-op appointment next week.

Biggest bother at the moment--is/has anyone else suffered from itching on the neck area...I don't mean rashes from the dressing adhesives, or the collar padding, or dry skin, but a general overall need to relieve an itching sensation on the entire neck area...rubbing gently with a damp washcloth feels sooooo good! Weird, but annoying. I also have an area above the incision site that is currently rather numb feeling, but that is not totally unexpected.

Thanks for any insights anyone may have.


  • The itching is most likely the nerves trying to reconnect. There are hundreds of tiny nerves below the skin that get cut during surgery and mine itched after each surgery like yours do. Just be very careful not to irritate the area- even if it feels like you want to get into it! It could also be a reaction to the anti-bacterial wash they used on your skin before or after surgery (you probably were asleep for that part). Those washes aren't exactly kind to the skin.

    Like with any post-op problem if you're having a problem the best thing to do is put in a call to your doc. That's what you paid them for and it will put your mind to rest.

    Good luck on your healing,
  • Hi Karen and welcome to Spine-Health. Sorry you didn't find us sooner.

    I also had itching issues after surgery. For me it was worst at the incision site, but that was probably from healing.

    As far as the numbness, I'm still numb on and above the incision site and not sure if it'll ever go away. Not a problem though.

    Take care,
  • I was allergic to the glue they used to keep the butterflies in place. After I got the glue off I quit itching.
  • had acdf C5/6 on Aug 6, 2009....plate with 4 screws.
    I know exactly how u feel. I wanted to claw myself ..I itched so bad..my NS told me it was normal..it's the nerves reconnecting..after 2 wks it did quit. no itching..I still have numbness about the incision..dr said that MAY come back in time..told me not to rush anything..still very fresh from the surgery..take care and good luck to u.....
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