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Pain throughout back after ACDF - others have this issue?

KarenDKKarenD Posts: 742
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:54 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had 4 level ACDF about 10 weeks ago. I am getting more and more pain in my upper and lower back, hips and sometimes down my legs. I do have lower back issues that will be reviewed in the near future but the pain has increased from before the surgery.

Could it be that with the restructuring of my neck that my back is being thrown farther out of whack?

Thanks for any advice.
KarenD
4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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Comments

  • It very well could be that sense you have lost some ROM, you are doing very different body mechanics than you are used to. You might not notice it as much, but your body will notice it. Also you might be compensating for your neck issues and putting more stress on the lumbar. But of course only your doctor can tell if you have a progression of lumbar issues. Hopefully it is just some additional pain from body mechanics and structure wise you are fine or not much of a change. The upper back pain is to be expected. Are you on a good muscle relaxer? For me the muscle relaxer's are a life saver as 4-level cervical fusion.
  • Thanks. I figured that was likely what it was. I will be seeing my surgeon the beginning of August so I can address it then. I do try to avoid using muscle relaxants until night because it can cause drowsiness, but I guess I'll need to try taking them more often to see if they make a difference for me.
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Right about my 12 week mark, I noticed that my lower back started to burn. Some times I would feel electric sensations in my legs. Prior to surgery, I was told by my chiropractor that I have issues in the lumbar and thoracic areas. I finally went to get an MRI and confirmed that I have a couple of mild disc bulges in lower back. Tamtam is right that your body mechanics have changed due to the fusion, therefore accentuating problems that you already had prior to surgery. I used to get lower back pain on occasions, but nothing worth noting. Now the burning in the lower back has gotten better, but has not completely gone away. Once you get the okay from your doctor, you should try swimming. So far, it's the best therapy for my shoulder and neck pain.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Thanks Lili_Inu
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Yes... I have been having a lot of lower back/hip pain since acdf surgery, but I also was having it prior to surgery. I think (HOPE) it was from doing physical work before acdf and moving differently because I was in so much neck pain.

    I need a good muscle relaxer... I was on soma 350mg and it worked well for a while, then the surgeon put me on valium 5mg, does not work well at all. Going to ask for something else.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I appreciate the feedback. It just seems like one thing goes after another. A day without pain is like a day without rainstorms.
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • I appreciate the feedback. It just seems like one thing goes after another. A day without pain is like a day without rainstorms.
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • I had an ACDF at C-4/5 on 10/05/11 and my surgeon put in a large bone graft to help restore my neck's natural curvature (I have kyphosis). I've been dealing with a lot of neck pain and spasms and weakness in my upper back and shoulders. Now that my neck and shoulders have calmed down, I'm getting a ton of mid-low back pain. I have some mild bulging in my lower back.

    For exercise I've been doing the elliptical, a little running, weight lifting and I recently returned to yoga. Did your low back pain ever subside? I keep hoping that this migrating pain is just my spine protesting the new neck structure. I think I'll try swimming after reading your post.
  • Just wanted to add that the swimming isn't necessarily the solution. I've been dealing with a lot of ups and downs. Swimming is fine if you start slowly. I thought that I could start swimming laps after I felt things were good. It started to aggravate my muscles and I regressed to the point where I had to start from square one with PT exercises. Proceed with caution and listen to your body. Try swimming for 10 minutes first and see how you do the next day. Take this from someone who had to learn the hard way!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
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