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C6-C7 Disc herniation causing nerve compression-post surgery

DebraelizabethDDebraelizabeth Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I'm 41, worked out 5-6 days week, very in shape, toned
4/18 I was hit in a car accident, pcp diagnosed whiplash
Went to chiro, he said he felt bulging disc, a few days later I began
To get pain in neck, shoulder, upper chest and down arm
Numbness in pointer and middle finger. Next MRI, MRI WAS Misread and
Report faxed to my pcp showed no findings
Pain became worse to the point I got the pain
And numbness 90% of the day. Pcp gotme an appt
With neurosurgeon, they had me pick up CD
of MRI. herniated disc c6-c7, they explained
The "jelly" inside of disc was pushed out and
Hardened compressing root nerve. As the numbness
Illustrated it was completely compressing nerve
And the pain was unbearable at that point they
Scheduled surgery for 4 days later out of fear
For possibility of permanent nerve damage.
The surgery was through back of my neck and
Was to only shave the disc to release pressure of nerve
When I woke up I had pain at incision site but
All of the other pain/numbness was 95% gone
I was up walking around hospital and released the
Next morning, after a few days I was getting around well. Saw
Pcp a week after surgery and she removed steri strips
And checked incision for infection. All good. I felt
Better everyday, maybe over did it. On day17
Post surgery I woke up with all the same pain I had
Before surgery, maybe worse, after crying I called
Neuro office, I was told it could be swelling, scar
Tissue could be compressing nerve, and that it is not
Uncommon for pain to dissapear immediately after
Surgery and come back within 4-6 weeks. They
Added flexural to the percocet I was already taken
And told me to ice it (neck) and take motrin 3-4. Hoursafter
Percocet. I'm now at day 20 post surgery and pain
Comes and goes down arm not getting the finger numbness
Days 17, 18 & 19 the pain was horrible and continuous, day 20
Today it came and went. I stopped everything I
Was doing and stuck close to bed couch and short
Walks. I've tried completely relaxing myself and also
Keeping positive thoughts.called neuro and left message today.
I've NEVER had any surgeries for any spinal injuries
Never had any problems before car accident, I just
Want my life back and when I think of the prospect
Of having more surgery or that more stuff came out of disc
and Hardened, i want to cry, any suggestions or insight
Would be greatly appreciated.
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Comments

  • Hi, I had a two level acd about a year and a half age. I was xrayed at one week post op, and at freq intervals after that. This was with the neuro-surg. who did the surgery not my pcp. You need to make an appt. and have the them check you out.Best to play it safe.

    I used ice freq. I wore my soft collar after about two weeks of so. I did continue to use the hard collar at night when sleeping (I did not have to, but it made me feel safe)

    Let us know how your follow up goes!
  • Surgery was 5/31, they made follow up
    Appt for 6/27. My pcp offered to remove steri
    Strips and check incision 1 week post op since neuro follow
    Up was not for a month. The pain that started on day 17
    Post op has me concerned
  • You are pretty "new" on your recovery. One of the nasties that happens after spine surgery (as the muscles, ligaments and spine adjust) is spasms. The spasms can mimic a lot of the mechanical pain we had prior to surgery. You need to see your surgical changes via weeks, not days.

    Hopefully it will be found that the surgery was fine, but your spine is fussing presently. When you have spine surgery, even if "just to shave", a lot of trauma has been introduced to your body. Now going through the back, the muscles are for sure going through a healing phase.

    If in doubt, keep in touch with your surgeon. Hopefully you will start feeling better soon. Sorry you are hurting.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am a little over 4 months post-op and had a smooth recovery up until around the 2 and a half mark. I overdid it (opening a jammed window) and it set me back more than 2 months. My muscles were not ready to do some of the things I was doing. The pain was worse than prior to surgery. I had tingling from my head to my lower back. It was a scary time for me because I didn't know if the fusion sight moved or if I herniated another disc. The x-ray proved that structurally the spine and fusion sight was fine. In the meantime, I've started PT and go to acupuncture for a couple of weeks now and see signs of improvement. Any type of spine surgery is considered major surgery. Recovery generally takes months. Before my pain started a year ago, I was a healthy, active 41 year-old woman. Since I was diagnosed with disc disease, I had to accept that I will have some limitations even once I recover. Take care and be well! :)

    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Thank you both. I was very active before this injury
    Gym 5-6 days week, soccer mom etc. I was on cloud 9
    After surgery because all the pain down my r arm hand shoulder
    Was completely gone immediately after surgery and stayed gone until 17 th
    Day post surgery. I've been icing it 4-6 times a day
    Taking percocet, flexural andjust added motrin. Waiting for surgeons
    Office to call me back and see what if anything else I can do
    I was a bit naive in thinking I would have surgery through the back of my
    Neck, mess with muscles, nerves discs etc and
    Would be back to normal after surgery. I was
    Told surgery was not optional because I had
    The pain abd numbness 24/7 for a week prior
    To surgery and there was danger of permanent nerve
    Damage. Hoping I made the best decision and
    That it does heal. My only other experience with
    Nerve issues was in 2004, I had breast augmentation
    And a nerve got pulled, it hurt for 6 months afterward
    And felt like I was being stabbed in the chest, so
    I know nerves and muscles can react weirdly with no
    Rythme or reason. Hoping I can start chiro or pt
    Just not sure if it's best to lay low and stay quiet or
    Being moving around
  • I would check with your surgeon about going to a chiropractor. It might not be the best thing for you. PT has been the best therapy for me so far in calming the muscle spasms.

    Yes, I have 2 kids and was just like you - very active and taking them to activities, playdates and I was a full-time student in a demanding master's program. I was the super mom and pushed too hard, so it's difficult for me to slow down. Give yourself some time to recover. Staying busy is better than lounging on the couch, but just be mindful of not overusing upper body muscles or lifting more than you should. I let my muscles get weak by spending the 3 months before surgery on the couch half the day in pain. I'm only just starting to gain strength again.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • edited 08/27/2014 - 5:31 AM
    Debra- Not sure if you are still responding to your post but I am curious how you are doing now. I have had chronic neck problems from many years of wrestling and I may need to have this surgery soon. Not looking forward to it but it may be my only option if I want to use my arm and have any muscle recovery.
  • Jonny ZeroJonny Zero Posts: 69
    edited 08/28/2014 - 4:28 AM
    Hi Markus,

    I sent you a PM. Deb hasn't been seen in 2 years and 2 months (it's written just underneath her name)!!!
    4 Level (C5-T2) Posterior Instrumented Fusion w/ Decompression (Car Accident in January 2014)
    And I can't forget that I'm not ashamed, to be the person that I am today.
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