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2nd cervical surgery monday

sdsherbearssdsherbear Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had cervical surgery on june 16th, the left me without the use of my right arm. I had a fusion from c-3 to c-7, My neurosurgeon thinks its a pinched nerve, so tomorrow he will go thru the back of my neck to unpinch nerves, theres no promise of getting the use back, might, might not could be worse, those were my possibilities. Has anyone ever had their neck thru the back of the neck?


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health, have a look around and you will find many going through the same thing as yourself or whom have gone through it.

    AS far as going through the back side(posterior) of the neck yes I have had that entry done on 3 occasions. I am in the process of recovering now from a posterior and anterior surgery. Not sure how you felt after your anterior surgery, but about the worst of the posterior surgery is the muscle spasms. I would guess they will add some meds directly into the incision site so while you might not feel it to bad at first, it is my experience that about the second week is when you really feel it. My best advice is to be sure you have a good muscle relaxer to help you out. Just keep in mind that the pain will get better over time. The recovery road is a bit longer for the posterior surgery.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If there is anything I can help with don't hesitate to pm me. Keep us posted on how you make out Monday, hopefully you will wake back up with the use of your arm back. Take care for now.
  • I had posterior at T1/2 and a bit above. I have nothing to compare it to but I felt my recovery was very good. I was driving as soon as I stopped the narcs (3 days) and I was back to work in 3 weeks. Your recovery will depend more on what they have to do than on the incision.

    Tamtam is right that the muscle spasms are the worst. You might want to talk to your doc about some PT to work on the muscles. I started PT in my second week and it helped alot.

    Good luck tomorrow. Think positive.
  • Welcome to spine-health. This is a great group of people who really around with encouragement and support.

    I have a little experience with having new problems after ACDF. Some of mine has come back, some hasn't. It sounds like your doctor will be going in for a posterior decompression, possibly? I hope that will allow the use of your arm to return. how was it pre-surgery? And is this the same arm that you had the majority of pain pre-surgery? Sometimes releasing the nerve can cause it to be quite angry and take a long time for it to settle down.

    The complexity of going in from the back for neck surgery varies, depending on what the doctor will be doing. However, it is always a longer and more painful recovery than a routine anterior approach. I have had both. My first was anterior only C5 to T1. My second was anterior and posterior (also known as 360), with a lot of reconstruct going on. If you can provide more details of what they will be doing on you, I would be happy to share my thoughts with you.

    My heart always cries a little when I read that someone loses use of their arm or has these types of problems from their surgery. It just goes to show that spine surgery is serious stuff, full of risks, and should never be taken lightly. The flip side of that is the surgery can give people back quality of life and amazing things can be done nowadays. I want you to know that one way or another, things will be okay. If the 2nd surgery does work and your arm is restored, that is wonderful. If not, you will have the ability to overcome and come out on top. Sorry if it feels too personal here, I've just been where you are and for some reason feel compelled to say this.

    Good luck with your surgery. I'm anxious to hear how it goes. There are a few of us on here who have gone the posterior neck surgery route and we can give you some good support if you need us.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Sorry to hear you are facing another surgery. I am on track for that mode myself. I am 1 year post op from an additional level (adjacent level failure)fusion (ACDF), and it is seeming, customary to my body, another level is going, and my prior fusion fubar'd my last one! Once they confirm "where" my neuropathy originated from they will go back in and (like Neck - sorry, we're about to be twins) take what is in there out, and in a mix of removal of what is in there, more corpectomy activity (removing more bone), and then re-fusion from C5-C8 (T1). Eck!

    Since around month 7 post op, maybe month 6, I started re-losing my right arm. In the last month, my left arm is starting up - tingles, waking with it numb etc. Like Neck of Steel said, if the surgery can free the nerves and gives you back your arm, go for it!!! And too, keep in your mind, that no surgery is a guarantee. I have found (for me) that my doctors have been excellent on telling me if I already have damage or not, and the likely outcomes. I will keep positive thoughts heading your way in that you have a WONDERFUL outcome!!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Ive had the dreaded posterior approach. I consider myself lucky that it wasnt a hard recovery for me once I got past the first 2 weeks. Good luck
  • I've had four posterior approach cervical surgeries, two at C1, C2, C3 and two at C7-T1.

    They aren't a walk in the park, but they are manageable. As Tammy said, muscle spasm issues seem to take precedence over the surgical pain.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Hope your surgery went well and that this will take care of all your problems. Good luck.

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364

    Welcome to SH.

    Sorry that we had to meet this way, in this place, for this reason. But since we are here lets try to make the best of it!?

    Like TAM, NOS(Cindy), and our fly gal Brenda (soon to be?)(and others) I am a post posterior cervical spine kinda person.

    My little journey started out as a 3 level anterior - that failed and then a year + later was revised into the miracle of modern architecture seen in my little picture.

    One thing I have learned is that there are a number of very special people here that understand what you - me - we go through on a daily basis with our conditions.

    There IS strength in numbers .... you just found a number of people like you.

    We are here to support each other. And its free for the asking. How cool is that?

    Again, Welcome,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • SD,

    I am hoping at this time you are getting some sleep and surgery went well. Looking forward to seeing how it all turned out. Thoughts and positive energy heading your way! *HUGZ* <--- Gentle of course!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • That would be wonderful if sherbear is resting peacefully. She's likely still in the hospital in a drug induced slumber. I remember asking for hot chocolate while sitting up on night 1 or 2 after my surgery. The nurse brought me a nice hot cup, I took a sip and sat with it in my hand careful not to spill it. All of a sudden I awoke to hot chocolate all over my front. Awake one moment, sleeping the next, then wide awake wondering why I was wet and burned. I guess I was heavily medicated.

    I do hope she comes back because we can offer her support that she can get nowhere else.

    Sherbear, I hope it went well. Let us know as soon as you are up to it.

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

    Love it! I had a GREAT night nurse on my last surgery. She even cut the rubber (Latex) from around the little bottles our shots came in! No incision rash! (G) I am sitting here grinning, as I can see easily what you went through! Too funny! Thanks I needed a chuckle! :)

    I too hope sherbear is in a "pain free" zone and sleeping right now. Hopefully we will hear soon how she is doing. I hear ya woman on the support! This is probably one of the best sites for that!!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • jhi thanks for the wishes. i'm 6 days post surgical and came home from the hospital. still no use of my right arm, if anything it lost any improvement i've gained in the 8weeks.pains still bad, spasms too...thank god for meds...lol we'll keep you updated. Sherry
  • Welcome home and thank you for posting back to let us know how you're doing. I know a lot of us neckies have been wondering how you are and have been thinking about you.

    I know the posterior method is a more difficult recovery than the anterior method so hang in there and keep up on the meds. Try to measure your recovery in weeks, not days, as it really does take some time to get through this.

    I'm wishing you much success in your recovery and hope it speeds along like so much in life seems to do, that before you know it, and you'll soon notice that things are getting better.

    Take care and please keep us updated on your recovery.

  • that you're home from the hospital and recovering. I hope in the days and weeks to come your arm starts feeing better and wishing your recovery goes well. thanks for the update. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • well came home friday afternoon, and it been pain and drugs sice, still no use of my right arm...dr said might, might not regain use of it. bothers me because its my supplementary income is crafting and can't do any. i live alone and only get disability. well enough whinning do way to much oh that..lol sherry
  • Great to see you are home. As for your arm, you and your spine just went through a pretty big deal with the surgery!! Some cases (like my first one), the results were know as soon as I woke up. My last one took a few weeks to see if the use and feeling would come back. I know it's hard, but try to concentrate on resting and letting your body 'come back' from all the trauma of drugs and surgery.

    We all will keep positive thoughts going your way in that your arm can 'wake up' now that your surgery is completed. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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