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1 week post ACDF

swassesswasse Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I am new to this forum. I just underwent ACDF for c5-c6. My right arm pain had resolved before surgery, but I still had tingling and a lot of weakness in my right ( dominant arm). I had the surgery on Friday 8/19 and went home on 8/20. By Sunday I started having pain in the left side of my neck, shoulder and arm. I called the doctor who said that do work on both sides during surgery and to keep taking the vicodin and valium. By Thursday the pain was not any better. I went to see the Dr. and he did x-rays which show the hardware is in place and started my on antiinflammtories. I paged him today as the pain is still not any better and he put me on steroids. Has anyone else experienced left or opposite side ridiculapathy following c5-c6 ACDF? Thanks for any help with this. I am a pediatric Occupational Therapist and we really do not see these types of disc issues with kids.



  • This all seems normal to me.... I had acdf about 2 months ago. For quite a while after I was getting right side pain that felt almost identical to my left sided pain pre surgery!! I was freaking out! I also was on vicodin and valium. I found they only helped a little. The symptoms should become less and less. I still get it now, but not very often. Just remember... This was a serious surgery. They also put your body in strange positions on the operating table. It will take a while to heal. So just give it time!! :)
    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
  • Thanks. That makes me feel a little better. I am 35 years old, but have never had any type of pain or herniated discs before.
  • Following surgery my left side hurt more than the right, which is opposite as before surgery. It is a slow process, but hopefully over time you will feel better.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Before surgery all my symptoms were on the left side. I am almost 7 months post-op and can tell you that I used to never get right thumb pain before surgery, but now I get them on rare occasions. Nerves have a mind of their own. Some days pain is better than other days. Overall, I am glad I had the surgery. Recovery requires a lot of patience. Hang in there! :)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Hi,
    I"m 6 months post ACDF C6/7 and I did not have tingly numbness pain as you describe but definitely muscle pain that stemmed through both trapazoids. Regardless if your surgery was the result of trauma or elective, the muscles in the cervical can tighten so much that they affect a lot of other parts. It has taken substantial amount of physio, chrio, and massage to fix it. Its completely gone now.

    Don't worry yet, its probably muscles tension but mention it to your surgeon on you next follow up @ wk 3 or 6 post op.

    Its a good ride to recovery so take your time, we all get there eventually.
    ACDF C6/C7 - 2011
  • Sara,

    I'm kind of a cervical / thoracic mess now, but my first ACDF was the C5/6, and like the others have stated....you are having pretty much what we got. Not sure if it is a change in loading or stress, but yeah..sadly, the opposite side sometimes gets fussy.

    Of course, please keep your surgeon in the loop. You are very young in your recovery from surgery, so he/she will probably tell you similar to what you're getting from us. Not out of the "ballpark" yet.... :)

    Oh, and Welcome to Spine Health!!! You'll find a great group here for sure!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Very slow process.......I had ACDF C3-4, 4-5 just over 5 weeks ago. Nerves wake up and don't usually like it, and muscle spasms can be often.

    Good luck!
  • Thank you for your comments everyone. The Surgeon started my on a medrol dose pack (steroids) as well as anti-inflammatories. I do notice some improvement, but I guess I will just have to be patient! Thanks again.

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