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Will this @!#$%* heavy arm ever go away?

TonyDiscTTonyDisc Posts: 26
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

I am now 5 weeks post op for Posterior Micro-D without fusion.

Still no improvement in strength, not a bit. I kept myself in check until now, but the arm still feels very heavy, weak, and slow. I have been in the gym almost daily, working as hard as I can on this, lots of reps and low weights, and slowly building the weights up to the maximum i could do without pain. My right arm is now super buff, but the left one refuses to gain an ounce of muscle over the areas of atrophy. I didn't check it for a couple weeks, worked real hard, eating good, exercising and even jogging now. Then checked in the mirror and the wasted muscles are no different than day 1. But holy heck is my normal arm ripped, i suppose its kinda funny in a way.

Is it time to get realistic and face facts that this will not reverse? I understand that it takes time, but the fact that is not improving at all makes me think that time won't make much difference in such a case. Especially at my age, i thought after over a month i would be making some real progress.

I've found a lot of information on the net about nerves healing, and muscles recovering, but it seems in reality, and in this forum, a lot of people lost muscle and it never came back. This confuses me... how come it didn't come back for us spineys, but on the net there is so much information about nerves sprouting and regenerating and healing shrunken muscles by reconnecting them? Is there something different about spineys?

By the way, if anyone wants info about nerves, I have so much research i could probably write a book, so let me know and i can probably forward you info about specific questions you may have. Ironically though, i have not been able to answer my own questions.

Thanks guys, I hope everyone else is healing well.

Bed time,

Tony out



  • After reading your post, my first question is have you been to PT? So many times there are underlying muscles that you're not aware of that need to be worked on first before the ones we see can make any progress. I'm learning this from my post-lumbar fusion PT. They're very adamant about my working on my "TA" muscle in my abdomen, which is so down deep that I barely use any strength to tighten it and they said that I won't be able to get the outter muscles working properly until I can get this TA muscle as strong as it can be and be able to control it.

    So, you might want to at least consult one if you haven't yet and see if you should be working from the inside out.

    On the other hand, I could be full of it and really don't know what I'm talking about, but I've grown more and more amazed at what these PT folks know that I never would have guessed could be an issue. One time, I was apparently walking around with one leg shorter than the other because of a muscle problem I was having and wasn't aware of any of it. He fixed the problem in one session, painfully, but he saw it when I walked it and I didn't know how bad I felt until he fixed it.

  • i know exactly what your talking about here, just give it time. i had a cervical fusion in 1992 and 1995, same situation, i couldnt even hold my arm up or hold a piece of paper my arm was so weak.(left arm) had all kinds of nightmares going on in my head. but eventually all my strenght came back. as long as their is no permenant nerve damage it just takes time. Have you had a emg done recentaly?
  • I have a feeling that you are not going to like this suggestion but give it a try. A good PT (and there are some bad ones so don't get discouraged if you have to try a few) can diagnose better than most doctors and they will tell you if they can help.

    Cath is right. PT can work the underlying muscles which we never realize we have until they are gone.

    Good Luck and let us know what you decide.
  • hi blazer,

    just how long did it take to get back to normal?
  • Hi Cath,

    That sounds interesting. I wonder how that works, making the tiny invisible muscles strong so the bigger ones can work properly. Ill have to look into PT and try it out. Thanks again.
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