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PT after 8 wk post-op appmt for ant & post. cervical fusions?

allicat623aallicat623 Posts: 45
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone...

I had an ACDF on C5-6 and posterior fusion and laminectomy on C4-C7 on June 30th with instrumentation. I am faithful about wearing the Miami J collar except for short periods of time while I am sitting in my recliner and my head is still!

Initially, when I would take my collar off to switch it with the plastic one for showering I felt like one of those bobbing dogs we use to see on dashboard of cars!!! But I can tell that my neck has gotten stronger.

I have no pain or mini-shocks like I had in my arms before the surgery. When I do too much I have some numbness in my fingers on left hand, but then once I sit and rest it goes away. I do feel pain in my upper shoulders from time to time but I think it's from trying to hold neck up and not stretching enough.

All in all I feel that my surgery was a success, although it has not been fun wearing the collar in south Louisiana heat!

I'm going next Monday for my 8 week post-op visit and X-rays. Is customary for doctors to prescribe physical therapy at this point? I feel like I need it to regain arm strength back. I have a hard time stretching one arm over to the other shoulder if I have an itch or something and have been restricted to carrying nothing heavier than a gallon of milk....but that's kinda heavy for more than just a minute or two.

I have been walking regularly and doing most tasks around my house (except for vacuuming or reaching too far or anything too labor intensive).

So anyone had a similar fusion that was followed up with physical therapy?? What kind of PT, how often, etc.? Any info would be much appreciated!


  • sounds like youre doing great. i had c6...c7...t1...t2 fused. they gave me physical therapy when i was in rehab starting one week after surgery. i vaguely remember a bunch or arm and hand exrcises plus walking. i dont think youll have any trouble....ps i hope we get to see updated mri. i remember the one you sent to us....pete
  • I recently started therapy at 8 weeks post op for posterior laminectomy. I go 2 times a week. I am there about a hour and 1/2. i didnt have therapy when I had my fusion. I needed it this time because of the posterior approach was harder on me then the anterior approach. I havent been doing anything around the house but cooking. I hired a cleaning lady this time. I went back to work for 4 hours a day and thats all i can handle.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • You've had a huge surgery, and it is good to hear that things are going good thus far.

    If your doctor doesn't automatically put you into physical therapy, you may want to request it. Maybe even starting with aqua therapy at first. The posterior surgery is much harder to recover from, and a lot of muscles have weakened both from the surgery and also from wearing the collar. With me I started with exercises for the shoulders and gentle stretches with the neck. having a stronger upper core helps to support the neck, so my opinion is that therapy is a must! Find a good therapist who specializes with the spine.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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