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darlenegarciaddarlenegarcia Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This April will be a year that I had my surgery. C3-4-5-6-7. I am not fully recovered. I still can't sit, stand, type, clean house, etc. for long periods of time. I have problems sleeping (snore) and swallowing (bread and meats) When I saw my surgeon this week, he said "all went well" you're fusing great and you don't need to see me anymore. But, I still have pain, numbness and tingling in my right arm. My right shoulder started hurting again 6 weeks after surgery. I go to PT 3xs a week and walk everyday. My mobility is fine until I turn my neck fast (without thinking) and I can hear a loud pop. Now he wants me to start seeing my pain management doctor again, to rule out muscle problems. This is very frustrating for me, has anyone had a long recovery after surgery?
darlene garcia


  • Darlene,

    My first ACDF went almost textbook! I herniated the next level a year and a month later, and pretty much the nerve damage was done at that point. I started having problems around month 5 post op, most of my issues returned and then some. My NS sent me for x-rays, MRI and nerve conduction studies. The x-ray, and too in the MRI you could see it, my C6 vertebra cracked through. My NS acted like it was no big deal, and told me to see him in a year to see if it self resolved.

    I am now a year and a half out, and the symptoms are still ongoing. I am set to see my Neurologist on of all days, April 1st! I'm hoping that he will have me get updated imagery, and a game plan. I might ask to see a new surgeon if surgery is back on the table. I felt that my NS basically dropped me when the surgical results were not what he hoped for!!

    Sorry your NS is basically ignoring you as well and discounting what you are experiencing. Please let us know how it goes.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Pain management is not always a bad place to go. It sounds as though he is saying from a surgical stand point he doesn't see anything else he can do. But, he is not stating you don't still have issues, which is why he said to go to pain management. There is the possibility that you sustained permanent nerve damage and unfortunately there is nothing they can do. But I also wouldn't doubt that you will have on going muscles issues with that large of a fusion. There are many of us with the multiple level fusions that have on going issues and are in pain management. I personally have a physiatrist whom orders test, pain meds, physical therapy. I still do see a surgeon but he is following the structural part of my spine, not the subsequent pain I still have. Keep in mind surgeons do surgery and once they have you structurally sound then more times than not they place you in pain management if you have on going complaints. Sometimes it will take injections, meds, therapy or any combination to help reduce the pain. Hopefully your keeping a journal of the pain and what your levels of pain and type your having? Another thing I have found to help is a ten's unit, which if you don't have one your pm doctor can order for you.

    As far as your issues with swallowing still, you might want to see a GI doctor and have them perform a swallow test. They can and sometimes do stretch the esophagus to open it up more for easier swallowing. It is a simple procedures done on a out patient basis. If for some reason it is your anterior plate, till your fused there is nothing they can do for it.

    Keep us posted on how it goes in pain management.
  • I agree with TamTam on this one. I had the surgery for C5-C7. My arm pain and weakness were gone after the surgery, but I still had significant pain that did not go away. I did PT and eventually was sent to pain mgt by my neurosurgeon as well. She had done all that she could do. I fused and that was the goal for her. I don't think it is unusual at all for a surgeon to send you on for other treatment after the fact. I'm just sorry you're having continued pain. A lot of us do!
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