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Posterior Foraminotomy C7

KinneyKKinney Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery


I just had a posterior foraminotomy this past friday for the C7 nerve root. I feel more sore today then I did yesterday. I assume this is normal because the muscle soreness is kicking in?

Any advice for the first week? Do you walk or rest the first week?




  • HI Kinny,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. The hard part is over now that your on the other side. Posterior surgery does cause more muscle pain, so be sure to stay up on your muscle relaxers. If you find they are not helping don't be afraid to call the doctor and get something stronger. As far as the walking goes, it is important for you to be up and about. The longer you lay low the harder it will get. Of course that is a balance. Hopefully you have some walking program that has been given to you. If not google walking programs and you will find some good ones out there. One of the ones I like is 10,000 steps. You should start out slow and then build from there. So you will walk some but also have time to rest and let your body heal. Good luck and keep us posted on how you feel.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I had a posterior foraminotomy in 2008 and it is indeed more painful than an ACDF. Because they go through muscle the recovery can be a bit tougher. I needed muscle relaxants immediately after waking up.

    As tamtam said I did some walking. When I did my ACDF in 2006 and returned to work 6 wk later I was miserable. Not becuase of my neck but becuase I had done nothing for 6 weeks and the walk from my car to the office door was exhausting! So after the foraminotomy I used our treadmill (with the neck surgeon's permission) and on day 7 post surgery I walked for 5 min at 1 mph. I increased it 1 minute a day at 1mph until about 3 weeks post op and then gradually increased speed. BUT, if pain suddenly occurred or worsened I stopped immediately and even took a day off if the pain was aggravated. When I did go back to work 7 wk after the foraminotomy I made it to the door without even thinking about it.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • thank you both for the responses!

    did you go to pt early on? and if so did you do anything active, or just ice and stim? i am scheduled to go to pt less then a week out. i am looking forward to it, but i was just curious what others experienced.
  • Kinney I had a posterior microD, lami & forenotomy at T1/2 a year ago. I had done PT before surgery and went back to PT I think on day 5. My PT is fabulous and he knew exactly what to have me do. It helped alot to breakup the scar tissue. It was also good because it got me out of the house and moving in general.

    Yes posterior is harder because of the muscles but don't let that stop you. Make sure you have a good PT and then trust that he will guide you.

    Oh and by the second week I was doing just about everything and off all meds. Went back to work after three weeks. Hope you are as fortunate,
  • Kinny,

    As far as doing PT following the surgery? Go and try what they say to do. There is a lot they can do and get your arms moving again. The only thing is if it hurts or you feel any radicular pain be sure to tell the PT what is going on. Good luck and keep us posted on how you do. Hopefully this will be a distant past for you soon.
  • this website is great. thank you. i'm going to try pt today and i will let you know how it goes!
  • Glad to hear that PT went well. Walking should be fine too. Not sure if I would do the treadmill in case you became unsteady. But walking around the house is good and if we ever get some nice weather it's great to get outside. Trips to the store or an indoor mall are also great.
  • I had my first PT session yesterday. Overall I think it went pretty well. Ice, stim, and a little massage. No rehab exercises yet.
    Kris did you find the PT helped the upper back pain or was it more of just a time thing?

    Everything I have read on the internet suggests doing some walking to maintain some fitness level post op. As long as it doesnt aggravate the neck area/wound. Neither my Dr or the PT have suggested it. From your experiences did walking help you? I am thinking of trying short walks on my treadmill to break up the day a little.

  • edited by tam for spam
  • edited by Tam for spam
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