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everyone pre and post surgery

nurseaannurseaa Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone,i hope all of u are doing well and are not having too many problems. I am unfortunately still having severe neck pain since my ACDF C5-6 in August. I have tried many things besides meds(ice, lidocaine patches, tens unit) and have not had any relief. I have went back to work in September and it has been really rough, i find most days i am just depressed and dont know what to do. u know u go in for surgery and hope that what is going on is fixed or made better but mine has only gotten worse(lucky me). i know all of u are dealing with pain daily and I feel for u and i hope all of u get relief soon. between my neck and many back problems things arent looking too good. Take care.i tried to post this a few minutes ago and it didnt post so sorry if it posts twice.


  • Nurseaa,

    I am so sorry you are going through that. About 7 weeks after my last fusion, I did a full backslide if you will for both of my fusions. I know, it sucks. I have retired, so that took a load off, but not until about 8 months after that fusion. It is sooooo hard to go to work and "put on the happy smile" when you are hurting. Just wanted to give you a big support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Since my surgery on 18.9.10 I have been getting weekly massage from my physio using massage balm with arnica and it has worked wonders for me. I am in UK where we can get free limited physio, usually 6 treatments. Good luck and please contact me by private message if you wish any further info. :H
  • Nurseaa what do the doctor say? I know it's early but have they done any imaging to see if there is a problem?

    Also are you doing any PT? I know after my surgery I had alot of fluid in the area and massage helped to move it around so it reabsorbed.

    Being back to work is so hard. Hope today is a little easier for you.
  • it sounds like you went back to work rather soon after your surgery.What type of job do you have? Even a desk job can be murder on your neck after having surgery. I also did the massage thing after my surgery to help with the muscle issues,it seemed to help quite a bit.I also had therapy but wasn't cleared to have it for two months after the surgery.
  • Hey Brenda!Yeah its very hard to put a smile on my face when i want to hide and cry, people are depending on me to take care of them and i am so miserable its very hard to do. Thank you sooo much for the hugz! Wonderboytwice, i have had my husband to massage my neck but it doesnt seem to help, it is painful in some areas. KrisNY, The dr said that the fusion looks good n that I had DDD above and below my surgical site. He just says it will take time, they did another mri and thats what he said about it.As far as PT he said there really wasnt any PT i couldnt do at home so he just told me a few things to try. Work is hell, thanks for your reply! TammyC, Hey i went back to work in 8 weeks, I am a nurse and have to do alot of things. I do have lifting,pushing, pulling restrictions but if somebody codes out you know i will have to do compressions!!!I love my job and my patients but I am soooo miserable I dont know what to do. Thanks for your reply!
  • nurseaa, I'm also a nurse (operating room). It sounds to me as well as if you went back to work awfully fast. I was out for 3-1/2 months after my ACDF C4-5-6-7 in early November of 2006. My surgeon still felt that was too soon, given how extreme my condition was, but I was threatened with loss of my job if I didn't go back, so I did.

    What they say about surgery is true, no matter what they tell you: goal #1 is to stabilize the spine and remove pressure from the spinal cord that can cause serious issues up to and including paralysis. Any pain relief is secondary to that, and not promised. In fact, if your spinal cord compression was severe, you may continue with the symptoms you originally had (which was the case for me).

    I worked for three more years despite my pain, numbness, and loss of dexterity. It wasn't until I had had both shoulders worked on for rotator cuff tears, and rebuilding of my right thumb joint, that I finally had lumbar spine surgery this past June (which has left me with serious pain) as well as cataract surgery, a bladder sling, and in the next 2 weeks I will have spinal cord stimulator trials for both my cervical and lumbar areas. I also have seven herniations in my thoracic spine, and I'm not a candidate for any more surgeries.

    I was awarded Social Security disability just last week, with a disability date of October 1, 2009 and a benefit start date of March 1, 2010. This may be something you will need to look into in the future, unless you can move into an area that you feel will be easier on you physically and that you feel you can do.

    I understand your pain, I really do. There are a few of us nurses on the forum, you have people who understand your pain and your job requirements here. We're here if you need us.
  • I'm 11 day post op same surgery...used autograft. My left side has been affected by the compressed nerve and DDD. I have very limited muscle control now in my left arm since surgery. I was merely struggling with acute tendonitis before surgery. Did you experience the loss of muscle control after your surgery?
  • Hey babybubbles, i was also threatened to lose my job (im in cardiac cath)and short term fmla was only payin me 115.00 a week!so i was screwed on both ends, i have also had my rotator cuff repaired in Dec 09. i have 3 severely herniated discs (from my recent mri) on L1-2, l4-5, L5-S1 all from a car accident in Nov09 except the L4-5 i had issues with it prior but apparently it is worse now. So i know exactly what you mean about back pain except i havent had lumbar surgery YET I have heard horror stories about that. The spinal cord stimulator where do they put that and what does it do? I know I will have to look into disability far sooner than i had planned but we will see how it goes. If i could just get rid of this neck pain....my God it is sooo severe and NO ONE around me seems to get it or believe me. I had C5-6 worked on but my pain is more in the C7 T1 area, it is a very deep pain, then a severe burning pain,also i recently have two spots near the place it hurts that on the skin level it feels like a numb spot like the size of a half dollar and it itches deep under my skin! i know thats weird,the pain goes up my neck around my ear and down my left arm. Also about every other time I turn my head to the right it feels like a nerve gets pinched and I have to stop in mid turn it only does it when i turn to the right. When im at work i get to where i cant hold my head up any longer and i have to go lay back in a chair. sorry to go on and on but i thought maybe you had some of the same symptoms. Im glad u got your disability at least you dont have to worry about that. thanks for your reply im glad there are people out here who understand.
  • hey cgm, i never had loss of muscle control after my surgery but it doesnt sound good. What has your Dr said about that? I would definitely get back in asap to see whats goin on!I do hope you get better soon. let me know what happens.
  • I'm a nurse as well, last position was at a mental health hospital in the male adolescent ward. No more takedowns for me lol! My neck pain was horrible so I finally went on STD. The fusion of C5/6 went very well, but afterwards I had severe left arm problems (CGM please take note). Surgeon said he decompressed C6/7 and it "woke up screaming". Lyrica helped me with that problem. It wasn't until about 3 months out that I felt well.

    I agree that unfortunately you went back to work too early. Doesn't it make you crazy that we work in a health field giving excellent patient care and when it comes to ourselves it doesn't matter to those we work for?

    Are you able to go on short term disability? You may be able to get your surgeon to advise this due to your continued pain. I also have other issues going on and was awarded disability after being on STD and then LTD.

    Best wishes,

  • Hey! Yeah i believe that working in the mental health field would be an issue and very physical at times, thank god u dont have to do that anymore! Yeah i woke up in recovery and my neck was 10 times as bad as it was before i had the surgery. I have told my dr my symptoms and i have asked for lyrica or something for nerve pain and he said no he didnt think it was nerve related!? That is CRAZY! Even I know it is nerve pain.My surgery was August 4th so it has been a little over 3 months now and it has been constant every since I woke up in recovery. As far as STD they dont pay but 115.00 a week and thats only for 6 weeks then u get like 90.00, its ridiculous i cant support 2 kids and pay bills with that. Did u have any bad side effects from the lyrica? i hope you get better or at least get comfortable, thanks for the reply :)
  • Thanks Nurseaa and Marirlpm, Dr told me that he'd really stirred up some nerves when he went in and to give it a while. That is what I shall do. thanks again for the tidbit of info.
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