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Post Surgery Concern!!!

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hello.. seeking peace of mind here..

two weeks ago today, i had C5-C7 fused because of a herniated disk.. symptoms pre surgery were pain in the right shoulder blade, pain in the right elbow and numbness in the right hand when performing even the slightest of activities..

when i woke from the surgery, my symptoms were instantly gone!! i just had a nasty pain in my upper left back area, and i was told that was from my positioning during the surgery.. along with that pain was a numbness down my left arm that was constant.. strength and mobility was there though.. just felt like i slept on it or something.. well that numbness down my left arm subsided within a couple days and all that remains is a numbness in my thumb and pointer finger.. to this day, two weeks later, it still exists.. it doesn't really get any worse or any better, but it is really annoying.. feels weird picking things up, etc..

also, if it matters when i stand for awhile my upper left back burns.. aside from this i feel amazing!!! my scar is nearly unnoticeable.. i have a decent range of motion already in my neck and i'm relatively pain free.. i just get a little sore at night around the base of my neck into my shoulder blades.. and it's only been two weeks.. my doc says he's not too concerned about the finger numbness at this point and feels it'll work itself out.. but i was looking to see if anyone out there had some insight to add.. it would ease my mind.. i'm a very active 34 year old and my goal is to get my life back 100%..

thanks for any help.. sorry so long..


  • Welcome to Spine Health!! There is a search box on the top of the web page that you might find of use with additional questions or concerns. :)

    2 weeks out. You are very, very early in the land of recovery! You will have a lot of weird feelings and symptoms most likely in the following months until your body adjusts to your fusion. Fusions change the dynamics/loading on your spine, and as such your body has to adjust to this new change.

    I would just give your body the time it needs to heal. Of course if this continues, and too continues to concern you, get in touch with your doctor. I had some issues with my opposite side shortly after my surgeries as well. And in a few weeks they would resolve on their own. Hopefully all will work out soon. *HUG*

    Again, Welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Give it some time. Most of the aches and pains like this will resolve on their own. If it's still bothering you by two months then I would ask the doctor to do some tests.

    In the mean time treat yourself well. I heard that there is a secret cure all called chocolate ice cream....or something like that :)
  • very good.. thank you both for the response.. very encouraging..
  • Had the same two levels fused. My pre-surgery pain was on the left side. Post-surgery pain/spasms/knots were on the right side. Didnt understand how this could happen. However pain went away after the first month.

    Good luck
  • Aaron,

    It was explained to me by my PT, that generally when he has neck patients, the pain from spasms is on the opposite side of where the injury is or surgery was. I found that to be very true with me.


    I always have a recovery diary/log, where I track my progress and pain each day. It really helps to show me progress that I might otherwise not see. If at any time you feel something just isn't right, don't hesitate to call your surgeon. Don't try to plow on through the pain to make it through to the other side.

    Not sure where Kris came up with the two month time line, but if there's an issue that needs to be addressed, two months is a long time to "let it slide" I'd just go with your post op instructions and when in doubt give your doc a shout. That's what he and his staff are there for.

  • Hopeful,

    Hi, good to hear how well you are doing with your post-op symptoms in this initial phase and after just a couple of weeks. I agree with others who have posted their wisdom/experience and it's true the things you are experiencing our within the range of expected and normal.

    I can appreciate you having this major spine surgery at your age, my first was long in coming when I was 40 yrs young! Bone spurs encroaching spinal cord, who left side body neuropathy at C-3/4/5/6 ande symptoms did reverse with immediste change in no whole body neuro symptoms and took a while to work out of my arms, hand numbness for years.

    Do what you can to rest well don't do too much too soon, there will be progress seen more consistently as you move through this healing phase. I had alot of pain levels complicated with recovery room post-op screw up with inept nurse returning to work not administering injection as I came out of anethesia, nerves/muscles reacted without injection and pain cycles difficult to stabilize and when returning home. No permanent harm done, but I continued to stabilize well, as I trusted the process and nurtured myself well.

    One thing I learned to do was work with negative thoughts fears going thru trusting and discerning, and with it being first spine surgery and of course, lots of concerns (worries!).

    So glad you found this forum, I wish I had that to connect and address concerns and discern what was happening with that compassion and support thst is here!!

    It sure helps much in your overall recovery too! :)

  • wow.. looks like i picked the right forum to post on.. thank you all..

    yeah, there was no hesitation when surgery was strongly recommended.. after seeing my MRI, my doc would not even attempt to give me the cortisone/epidoral shot.. i figured the sooner i get it done, the better chance i have of getting my life back.. i'm a line technician for a cable company so i'm climbing poles, softball 3-4 nights a week, and at the gym 5 days a week.. all of which has been suddenly halted as of 2 months ago.. it's been very difficult adjusting to this *temporary* lifestyle.. but i'm committed to being a good patient with hopes of resuming my activities by next spring..
  • I like that term Hopefully "temporary lifestyle" - very good way to look at it! :)

    Hopefully you are feeling a bit better tonight. Like "C" said, if you haven't already, start a post op log. It not only can help your doctor with where you are, but you yourself 'can see' your improvements and changes! Please do keep us posted on how your doing and how it goes! Take care. :)

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