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ACDF only helps my arms?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Is it true that the ACDF only takes care of the pain and numbness in the arms and fingers? Does it not help the pain itself located in the neck and between the shoulder blades when the nerves are inflamed?


  • Not necessarily. An ACDF, if done soon enough after the arm symptoms appear, can usually rid the patient of the arm problems, such as muscle pain, tingling, numbness and weakness, and is usually noticed immediately upon waking from the anesthesia. That's a blanket statement and of course some patients won't get relief in that situation, but most will.

    With that same situation in mind, it CAN help the pain located in the neck and headaches, but not always. That is very individualized.

    The pain in the back between the shoulder blades are usually muscle spasms that come from the stress placed on the neck with herniations, ddd, etc. You'd think these would go away with surgery, but in reality, most patients don't get immediate relief from these muscle spasms. It oftentimes takes medication and/or deep tissue massage, PT, acupuncture, or other non-invasive treatments in the months following recovery (usually 3+ months after surgery) to lessen the symptoms of muscle spasms. Sometimes, like in my case, they never go away.

    I never had neck pain before my surgery but suffer from it now. I get deep aches and some sharp shooting pain in my neck now that I didn't have prior to surgery. At first, my surgeon said that was normal as the discs try to fuse. Now, one year later, they say it's due to the lack of fusion at C6/7.

    Please keep in mind that I'm not a doctor and this is information from my research and experience only.

  • I just want to know whats the best way to get the pain out of my neck also...its not in my arms...
  • If you ever find out how to get the pain out of your neck, please let me know. I have no idea.

    My surgeon wants to see me again in December regarding the ongoing pain that's most likely due to nonfusion at C6/7. If I still have pain, he said he'll have to go in posteriorly and put in a cage.

    It just never seems to end. It truly seems like once you have spine problems you're destined to fight with it the rest of your life. I don't like what I just said, but I believe it, nevertheless.

  • all my pain is in my neck and I get constant "crunching" noises...
  • can we get some more input from the board please?
  • It sounds like the instability I used to get in my lumbar from my Retrololisthsis.

    What tests have you had? Any flex/ext xrays?
    Does the crunching noise usually have pain associated with it?

    My neck crunches a little now, but my pain usually goes down my arms/hands. My hands & forarms feel like I dipped them into scolding hot water. Lately I started getting shooting electric pain into my neck & jaw (about 1 per day). It will literally drop me to the ground. It takes my breath away but only lasts for a few minutes.
  • JDKE - I had crunching noises in my neck before my surgery and I still have them. It seems like they're coming from the base of my neck. The crunching isn't accompanied by pain, though.
  • Cath111 said:
    JDKE - I had crunching noises in my neck before my surgery and I still have them. It seems like they're coming from the base of my neck. The crunching isn't accompanied by pain, though.
    yea my crunching noise does NOT cause me pain but it lets me know the DDD is no joke...
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