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Pain after ACDF

aseacaaseac Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi all,

I had my three level ACDF( C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 ) on 23rd November, 2011. ( 11 weeks ago today ! ).

I must say that before the surgery, I had no feeling in my right foot, leg, hand and arm and became incontinent as well :''( . I had 3x prolapsed discs and canal stenosis due to degeneration and an accident at work last March ( 2011 ). They used metal cages, screws and plates as the hardware. My op was 7 hours long and the NS had to put my r arm in traction to work on C6/7 ! He mentioned afterwards that he was a bit concerned about my Bracial Plexis ...

Due to see my NS next Monday ( 13th Feb ). I was very happy when, a few days after the surgery, I was able to feel my hand and foot again which was great! I was in hospital for 8 days. My following few weeks were spent walking , sleeping , resting and doing everything I was told. I have had 2x PT sessions as well, yet very painful.

I don't feel that I am ' progressing ' as quickly as I would have liked ? maybe I am too impatient ? My nerves were compressed for a long time prior to the surgery .. spinal cord was being comprimised as well. I suppose I should just take each day / week as it comes and be thankful that I'm not like I was before ? However -

In the last week or so I have had hot ' burning ' pain between my neck and my shoulder blade on the r hand side ! This pain is also travelling down my r arm and I am experiencing pins and needles on and off in arm and hand ! I am frightened . What is going on ? On top of all this, I have developed a really bad itch from all the pain tablets ....you might say that I am a burning , itchy mess atm ! :<

Ive just typed this , and thats all that I can manage for the time being. Dont know when I can get back to work ... I sit at a computer ALL day ?

Cant wait to see my NS next Monday ...

Take care, I will keep you posted.




  • My doctor explained the soft tissue damage to nerves in the simplest terms....think of it like furniture on a carpet. After it sits there for a long time, there's a dent in the carpet after you move the furniture off of it. The carpet will come back, it just takes time. You are progressing and that's great! I continued to see improvements for 3 years post-op. You're doing what you're told for your recovery and that's excellent! If your PT is painful, mention it to the therapist, there may be modifications that can be done in your exercise routine.

    The burning pain (feels like your neck is being touched by fire?) can also be an indication of improvements...the nerves healing.

    The itching.....you may be allergic to the pain meds. That's how I found out I was allergic to percocet.

    Glad to hear you're seeing your doc next week. He will be your best advice on your progress.

    Take care.

  • Hi Anne :H ,

    I agree with Patricia. Maybe a short call to Dr's office is in order? If you have a drug allergy, perhaps he/she should know. May want to change med for you. Might want to mention your other symtoms as well, especially if you have not experienced them before.I know my NS and his PA said to call anytime I had a question or something new was going on. If nothing else, it will ease your mind. Otherwise, glad you are coming along. Remember nerves take longer to heal than other parts of the body. One day at a time girl ... slow and easy is the course, Take care and keep us posted. Here's a >:D< for luck. God Bless.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Thanks so much to the two of you ... I feel like I am improving, but its just SO frustrating. ~X(

    Patricia, my " furniture ' was on the " carpet " for a long time ! Hence , I suppose the "carpet " is taking longer to right itself again ? :?

    I will see my GP today and then the NS on Monday 13th Feb, I will let you know how I go.

    Take care and thanks for the support ( this forum is fantastic )



  • Yep, my "carpet" was in the same condition.

    I would even get a "buzzing" feeling in my left leg as the healing progressed. It was a strange feeling, but yet another indication of improvement. It was the third year post-op that the random numbness in my leg finally disappeared.
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