Had a bad fall from a bicycle July 2010. Four months later I was in agony with burning pain in left arm. Finally diagnosed by MRI with herniated discs at C5-C7. Tried extensive PT and epidurals with no relief. Never had any tingling and numbness, only pain. Tolerated the pain with 3800 mg. daily of Neurontin, the maximum allowed. Exactly one year after accident I had two level ACDF. Surgeon removed "two large herniations" during the surgery that "went very well," in his words.
Unlike many people I've read about, I awoke from surgery with NO pain relief whatsoever. In fact, the first four weeks were so painful I became convinced the surgery was a failure. By about the fifth week my pain lessened. It's now five months post-op and although my pain is less, I'm still taking Neurontin at 1800 mg. daily, and am very discouraged that I won't see any more pain reduction. I think my surgeon did the best he could, but he's only human. I worry I may have ruined my chances for optimum healing by waiting "so long" for surgery, though my surgeon doesn't think so. My pain seems to be all from my formerly compressed/damaged nerves. I seem to be past the point where my pain can be blamed on "inflammed/excited" nerves that just need time to "settle down." I do not have any muscle aches or spasms.
If anyone has gone through the same pains that eventually subsided and improved, I'd love to hear what you did, if anything.
Would also like to know why some people seem to get almost immediate pain relief after surgery, while other unlucky souls don't get immediate relief. Thanks!