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Posterior Cervical Surgery to C5/6/7 and Facet Joints

WonderboytwiceWWonderboytwice Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
:H Had surgery to the above on 19th December 2011 but unfortunately something went wrong and I had to have another operation on 23rd December 2011. Apparently some of the plates affixed to facet joints became loose and caused paralysis to my right arm/hand. Still have numbness today 3rd January 2012. Pain is very severe and they had to put me on heavy steroids and insulin to try to cut down inflammation. Now home but have to wear cervical collar for several months and no driving of car for 3 months!

Previous ops: PLIF plus rebuild Dec 2008. Rt knee replacement then revision 1998/2000. Lt knee replacement 2006. ACDF C2/3/4 in September 2010.


  • Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble,I hope you recover very soon,I am due to have cervical surgery later on this year,it's anterior decompression at C5/C6 with pedical screws and fusion,I also have bone spurs at different levels which need trimming,I'm a little worried having a disc removed at such a sensitive area.
    I have also just undergone lumbar decompression for spondylolisthesis at L5 S1 with fusion on 17th nov 2011 and recovering ok'ish. My surgery did not go to plan during operation as the spine had not formed properly from birth so not enough bone for the pedical screws to go into, 2 1/2 hour operation turned into 5 hours.The nerve damage did not recover fully after surgery so may take a while,The site of surgery feels much better than before so feeling positive at the moment.
    Previous ops left knee cartilage trim,right knee cartilage trim,right knee debridment.
    Also 3 Nerve blocks,2 Nerve denervations between C5/6- C7-T1
  • :SS Saw my Surgeon today 27/1/12 and received some good news in that he felt I had made such a marvellous recovery that I could cease wearing my neck collar also that I could carefully drive my car again. However I have to see him again in 4 weeks as my right arm is still not even 50% with considerable numbness in right hand/fingers. He explained in detail to me that my nerves damaged could take a very long time to recover and might not fully. Perhaps tonight I can have a decent night's sleep with no collar!
  • Hi good to see you have some good news,sorry to see your arm is still hurting I have had a lot of problems with this in the past but found relief at a pain clinic..

    I had a denervation at a pain clinic for right arm and finger pain and it worked very well,my new surgeon at the spinal unit was not pleased I had nerves cut although it worked,he would prefer I had surgery first and give the nerves a chance to heal.but if you have no luck with arm pain it may be an option to see a pain doc.

    Made a mistake with last post I put pedicle screws for my neck I mixed this up with my lower spine surgery,my neck is anterior cervical decompression with fusion.,and osteophyte bone spur removal.

    All the best Des
  • Don't be surprised if you have some extra spasms after removing the collar you have been in so long. It will take the muscles sometime to get used to this, so you might want to gradually wean off of it. A good muscle relaxer might be of some help. With the arm still in the current situation, hopefully you are working like a squeeze ball, or something. I had the some what the same thing happen, and after about two years it did come back, however it is not a 100% and doubtful it will ever be, as the nerves are damaged. Damaged nerves don;t heal and it if the nerve was cut, it will never heal. However your case doesn't sound like the latter sense you have gotten some back. Just know it is a long process and we are here, keep me posted on how you do.
  • :))) Have seen my Surgeon again end of February and he wishes to see me in April as he is still not happy with condition of my right arm. Pain in right shoulder and right shoulder blade is quite bad and generally wakens me during the night!! Neck pain is slowly reducing but now and again I get bad muscular spasms. Have been told it will be a long uphill battle to get fit again and may take 12 months. Main problem is that I have now had 3 operations in same area since late 2010.
  • :SS Saw my Spinal Surgeon today 4th May 2012 and now have to get specialised extensive physio to my neck and right shoulder which apparently is frozen! Pain is still quite severe especially when I shave and have to lift and lower my head. Also have to get Epidural Injection to lower spine which he operated on in 2008 as large mass of scar tissue is causing problems to my left leg. Honestly I feel like a prisoner of war with no escape!! Have resolved if possible to be pain free by 2013. Regards to you all across the pond in USA. When I get physio they are not to touch spine area my Surgeon said.
  • about the complications with you neck, shoulder and arm problems post-op.

    I am a surgical candidate but not with good prognosis for having C-6/7 T-1/2 anterior & C-5 down into T-2/3 posterior two separate surgical procedures in hopes to save right arm/hand nerve damage & weakness progressing since MVA in Feb 2012. Left arm/hand is polyneuro damaged (all nerves damaged)with muscle wasting and almost total lost of intrinsic ligaments in fingers and lost of coordination.

    It's a hell of a package those 2 surgeries and high risk (my second anterior approach - 3 levels done in 1995), major hardware implementation & drastic change to spine which has adapted and pain remediated with meds.

    The 3 assessments I got in 2010 and into 2011 all say the C-6/7 end of c-spine surgeries are tough and complex and not highly successful as the c-spine levels above C-6 (per NS and OS surgeons).

    I read lots of medical case studies & publications on Neuro & Ortho sites and they have many around the world peer review and studies still trying to improve the outcome, but havent achieved, nature of "unique end of one area of spine ...cervical spine" and "beginning of thoracic...each being unique and creates the complexity of reconstructing for successful hardware implementation, low complication rates, and difficult to get good recovery of neuro-radiculopathy symptoms (per OS at 5-star University Neurosurgeon 35 yrs+ doing only cervical and thoracic surgeries).

    I share this as it is appears this reality is not as good as we need & deserve for undergoing this difficult spine surgery and what is stake for us to lose (shoulders/arms/hands fingers - - and in researching C-6/7 surgeries and the medical case studies prove to be shared amongst medical peers around the world to change and improve this reality.

    This does not mean successes do not happen, but the remediation of nerve damage + complex junction and disorder & degeneration factors can weigh heavily in not as good of prognosis.

    This may keep me from undergoing these two difficult surgeries = 12 hours of surgery (2 levels anterior fusing remaining levels of my c-spine and 4 levels posterior bridging c-spine & t-spine for stability and greater stabilication & fusion of C-6/7 T-1/2 DDD intervention surgery.

    Wish you continued healing and for your the shoulder, neck and nerves post-op further out and hopefully more improvement realized and less and less pain and immobility.
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