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ACDF c5-7 - 3 Months Post Surgery - How to Pace?

amosaamos Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey Everyone -

I'm coming up on month 3 of a 2-level ACDF. My life has resumed as normal, but I can't shake this pain that stems from the inside of my right shoulder blade down my arm, as well as the feeling of that darn plate.

Can anybody share what their recovery was like at this point? My surgeon thinks that is is my body just 'sorting out' everything, that it'll settle with time. He took a second X-ray at 2 months, and said that everything looks fine, but that he can still see swelling, which maybe accounts for the plate sensation?

Also - re: the scar. Mine is still red and raised. I'm putting vitamin e on it, rubbing in circles, etc. It's still sore to the touch. Normal?

Just wondering if how to pace myself for all of this. Recovery stories, anyone?



LA area
c5-7 ACDF om 3.24
No pain prior to surgery, just occasional leg numbness


  • Believe it or not, 3 months is still pretty early from ACDF - especially 2 levels or more!! Give it more time. Nerves heal at a rate of about 1mm a day and they don't like being entrapped. It can take up to a year before your nerves are "your friends" again sadly...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am just over 4 months post-op from a single level fusion. The pain and discomfort level got better for me and then I started to get back into my life which set me back some. Overall, things have gotten better, but PT has given me the best results in terms of reducing muscle spasms and pain. Pain can also be a result of muscles relearning its function to support your shoulders. As my physical therapist said to me, "Just because your scar is small, doesn't mean that you didn't undergo major surgery." In the meantime, take it easy and start PT if you haven't already done so! :)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • my cervical fusion will be 5 months in a few days. It has healed for me . I know the fusion part takes a year to 18 months so I don't do anything to demanding now. The redness and puffy might be infection. But I'm not a dr. Maybe when I had my lumber surgery last month it took my mine off my cervical fusion so I don't notice it as much.
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