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6 month post acdf with severe neck and arm pain

sparkyonessparkyone Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi All, I was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems post acdf surgery? I had a 2 level acdf at c4-c5 and c6-c7 with cages and hardware. Prior to the surgery I was having severe headaches and neck pain but no pain radiating in the arm. Lately I have been having blinding headaches with pain in the neck radiating down my right arm. In the past month I have had 3 episodes of this pain lasting from 24-48 hours. I have also been having problems where the incision was made in the front of my neck. The area around the incision is still numb. The numbness has spread though out the front of my neck and chin and extends onto the left side of my face. The doctor told me the numbness would go away over time, but it feels like it is spreading and becoming even more numb. He said it's possible a nerve was cut. Anyone else have this type of numbness at the incision site? The doctor acted like it's no big thing. Personally I am very disturbed by the loss of feeling in my neck and face.



  • I am having ACDF in a couple of weeks. I have had other surgeries - the last one last August, and the incision site is still numb. With the location it is no big deal, but I can certainly understand your concern about your neck and face.

    Take care,

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    My incision site was numb for years. There is still a small area on my neck that is numb but most of the feeling came back in time. If you are having new symptoms 6 months following surgery I would make a appointment with my surgeon to determine if anything is going on.Susan
  • I need to go back to neurosurgeon for evaluation. He suggested a new MRI to see if there are any changes but wants the NS to make that call. Has anyone with multiple-level ACDF experienced post surgery changes with respect to lower vertebrae? I wonder what the incident rate is for this occurring..
  • Wish you the best with your ACDF surgery. Thank you for the reply..

  • Thank you for the reply. I notice you have had multiple surgeries. Was it just one of the incisions Where you still have numbness at the site?

    I asked my doctor if the numbness was due to the neurosurgeon having cut a nerve.He said it is more likely the nerve was disturbed by the clamp and not permanently severed. I found a Grays Anatomy book and tried to figure out which nerve affects the area of the incision site. It was interesting that the numbness in my neck and face corresponds to a specific nerve close to where my incision is located.

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