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Muscle Stiffness after 2-level ACDF

OoouchOOoouch Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all,

I am just over two weeks post-op from a C5/C6, C6/C7 ACDF w/hardware.

I am doing pretty well. My incision covering just fell off yesterday so the incision area is still a bit uncomfortable. I still have pain and sometimes numbness in my right shoulder and down the arm that comes and goes. Some pain directly in the back of the neck. I continue to take percocet when needed....usually one a day and two at bedtime. I am planning to return to work (desk job) this week part-time as approved by my surgeon. I will not see my surgeon until 4 weeks post-op at which time I will have an xray that he will review. I wear a soft collar at night and an aspen collar when awake and will continue to do so for at least the next 2 weeks.

I seem to have severe muscle stiffness to both sides of my neck (back of shoulder area) - I've always had such a problem but it seems to be hurting more than usual now...perhaps because of the collars and not moving, maybe. Has anyone else experienced anything like this and, if so, are you taking any muscle relaxants in addition to your pain meds? Thanks for any words of wisdom!


  • I should've also added that the pain in this area is greatest at night which makes is VERY difficult for me to sleep. That, right now, is my biggest complaint. Thanks!
  • Ooouch,

    You're only 2 weeks out, very - very early in the recovery stage. :) You need to realize or remember that your spine and muscles are adjusting to a whole new ballgame! Your neck is being controlled right now by the hardware and the collar. Your posture is probably a bit different as is maybe how you view TV or your computer screen. A lot of adjusting going on there. If you are concerned, of course contact your doctor. It sounds like you are healing well though.

    A bit more painful going to sleep, makes sense. You're unloading a bit, and now the muscles are going to be a bit sore just with that change. Plus with laying down, you're in a more quiet and still place, so you may be more aware of the spasms and such at that time. I hope it starts getting better soon. Take care, and keep us posted. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You are definitely very early in your recovery. But let me say congrats on your progress thus far, your doing outstanding. If you feel it is more muscular in nature talk to your surgeon's office about a muscle relaxer that may actually help more than the percocet at this point and time. With your return to work and looking down at a desk you may experience some additional discomfort so be prepared to deal with that as well. Same with when you are ready to ween off the aspen collar your muscles are going to be a bit ruff as the collar has been doing all the work to this point and time, so it maybe extra muscles involved in getting used to doing the work again.

    Congrats on your progress thus far, keep us posted how work goes this week and good luck. Take care.
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