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Cervical neck surgery and vertigo

jksmith55jjksmith55 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Recovering from Surgery
My husband developed vertigo and dizziness after neck surgery on C5/C6 disc. Spine surgeon seems to have no clue as to why.....it happens when he turns his neck to one side especially. Anyone have this happen? Did it go away? Please reply - jksmith55
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Comments

  • Vertigo after cervical surgery can happen for a multitude of reasons. The best docs I've had for evaluating vertigo after surgery, were neurologists. The neurosurgeons seem to focus so hard on the work they did, that they are somewhat blind to other possibilities. It could be related or it could be totally unrelated. It is smart to have it evaluated though.

    "C"
  • Hi JKSmith, welcome to Spine-Health.

    I had vertigo for a few weeks a few months after my ACDF. The first episode was when I was sitting in a chair getting my hair cut and looking in the mirror. It happened a few times after that, but went away.

    Do ask your doctor about it, like "C" said. Evaluations regarding these matters never hurt and can only help.

    Cathie
  • Hi JKSmith, welcome to Spine-Health.

    I had vertigo for a few weeks a few months after my ACDF. The first episode was when I was sitting in a chair getting my hair cut and looking in the mirror. It happened a few times after that, but went away.

    Do ask your doctor about it, like "C" said. Evaluations regarding these matters never hurt and can only help.

    Cathie
  • yes, I thought I was alone. Mine started or I felt it after 5 days post op. I thought it was a side effect from the soma. Still have it 50 days post op. It's slightly better, but it is truly annoying. I spin and get off kilter turning in the bed at night, leaning to the side, turning my head and especially if I lean forward or bend the tiniest bit from the waste. My Neuro was scratching his head too. Said that it was probably some sort of inner ear infection from a cold. I don't have a cold. I did quit smoking not sure if that is a contributing factor. Anyway, I've been taking motion sickness tabs OTCounter. If I don't clear up by my next appt with Dr. I'm going to a Ear Nose Throat.
  • Not sure if your still on the site or if your husband is....just curious if he is still having issues with dizzyness??? I am still suffering. I've googled
    cervical vertigo and lots of info comes up. This sucks.
  • After my C 3/4 and 5/6 fusion in April 2009, when I did a search for vertigo following neck surgery nothing came up and every medical provider I went to said there was no such thing, not related, no way. Well, now obviously I was not the only one. After many, many visits, tests, and therapies, I found a physical therapist that was somehow able to help me through various hands on release techniques on my stiff and often swollen neck. He'd not heard of vertigo happening after surgery either, but I was extremely lucky that his techniques worked although it took about 4 months. I'm almost nervous to say that I've been vertigo free now for about 4 months, but it's so great to be off the rocky cruise ship. I wish more attention would be paid to this problem. I was even told by my spine surgeon that there was no such thing as cervical vertigo!
  • Hey, so how long did you experience the vertigo after your surgery???? since April 09? Holy Cow! Your right, none of the Health care people know, or even care to know that this is some kind of side effect of neck surgery. please, please tell me what your pt person did. I went to the ENT and it's clearly not an inner ear thing. Had actually given a script to my PT dude for vestibular therapy?! Is that what you had? My pt guy said that if its not my inner ear that vestibular therapy wasnt going to help. My PCP said that she wants me to go to a pulminary Dr. to check my arteries. Private message me or come back please and give me the scoop! :) thanks in advance!!!
  • My vertigo started 2 days after my fusion. I felt like I was on a rocky cruise ship and was told by the urgent care center doc that it was vertigo. My surgeon didn't want to hear about it and I literally stumbled out of his office! He insisted there was no way it had anything to do with the surgery.

    A few weeks later, a neurologist gave me a medrol dose pack (prednisone)which worked, but then it came back after a few months.

    None of the anti-dizziness medicines (like meclizine) did any good. Klonpin and/ valium worked a bit, but then I'd get rebound vertigo once I went off it. I spent a fortune in tests - brain MRI; ENG/VNG tests by a neurologist, then repeated by an ENT at a university hospital, 2 rounds of vestibular rehabilitation with different therapists and I can't even remember what else. I kept saying I never had a balance problem prior to neck surgery, but everyone said there was no relationship!

    Since I had no improvement in my neck pain after the surgery and still thought the vertigo was related, I went to another spine surgeon who suggested trying their PT's. I was lucky in finding a therapist who was able to help although I don't think he even knew for sure what was going to work since he hadn't dealt with this problem as well. I think his main focus was on calming down the nerves in my neck as well as my whole body.

    This was last summer and I'm now going for shoulder PT. Of course, I'm having complications from the shoulder surgery as well, but at least it didn't bring back the vertigo.

  • Mine started on day 5, I was so loopy on Meds though..it could have been sooner. Your neuro has the same attitude mine has. This is surgery related no doubt. But here is what I was hoping you could share with me.....My ENT did all the test too.. I had the whole MRA and another MRI on my brain....This is costing me a fortune.

    What did your pt guy do with you to resolve the dizziness? I would love to know exactly what exercises you did. I'm going to Private message you again...Thanks so much....
  • HI
    did he ever find out what caused this ? did it go away?
  • CGM,
    Did the ENT diagnose your vertigo as BPPV (Benign Proxysmal Positional Vertigo)? I developed it 8 years ago by just turning my head in the shower. It could be a result of the positioning for surgery. It is one of the most common inner ear disorders. Both physical therapists and ENT's can treat it by using specific maneuvers. Time can also remedy it. Neither helped me, so as with all the age related changes that occur, I just had to make modifications to my lifestyle. Just one more of life's little challenges.
    Mary
  • When I started turning my neck to decrease the stiffness, I got physically ill and nauseaus. This happened twice and then I started just turning my whole body to avoid the feeling.I am going to an ENT soon but I don't buy that inner ear thing either. I am moving my neck better with the intensive PT. I don't know when I am going to try again with turning my neck too much. Is PT and /or time the only things that will cure it?
    mkirv
  • I too developed vertigo 7 weeks after C5-C6-C7 fusion. Were any of you prescribed gabapentin / neurontin after your surgery? I've heard some people develop vertigo as well as seizures either shortly after they start it or right after they finish it. Mine started 2 days after I finished gabapentin :-/ Perhaps thats why the surgeons strongly disagree with it being from the actual procedure..? Anyhow, my eyes are starting to blur so I have to stop here. Good luck to everyone!!
  • I also have I believe is what is being is cervical vertiigo but my PT can usually work on the tightness with the muscles that is causing it . My surgery was June 2013. Every couple of months I am back in therapy. Could start from sleeping wrong way or nerves becoming pressured or hung up. Not exactly sure but I know it's coming from my 4 level fusion.
    Vicki
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,233
    AliciaNicole79 said:
    I too developed vertigo 7 weeks after C5-C6-C7 fusion. Were any of you prescribed gabapentin / neurontin after your surgery? I've heard some people develop vertigo as well as seizures either shortly after they start it or right after they finish it. Mine started 2 days after I finished gabapentin :-/ Perhaps thats why the surgeons strongly disagree with it being from the actual procedure..? Anyhow, my eyes are starting to blur so I have to stop here. Good luck to everyone!!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,233
    AliciaNicole79 said:
    I too developed vertigo 7 weeks after C5-C6-C7 fusion. Were any of you prescribed gabapentin / neurontin after your surgery? I've heard some people develop vertigo as well as seizures either shortly after they start it or right after they finish it. Mine started 2 days after I finished gabapentin :-/ Perhaps thats why the surgeons strongly disagree with it being from the actual procedure..? Anyhow, my eyes are starting to blur so I have to stop here. Good luck to everyone!!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I had c6/c7 disk replacement surgery about 3 and 1/2 weeks ago.    This morning, I had my first dizzy spell in my life and it went on for several minutes.    My neck is stiff, and I am certain that its not due to any meds because basically I am only taking tylenol once a day.    My wife found this forum and I just wanted to post it.    Hopefully it goes away.  
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