Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

C5 Palsy after Decompression Surgery and Disability

Hi all! I am a new member and am hoping for some feedback from those of you who've experienced C5 palsy after decompression surgery.

I was diagnosed with DDD in June of 2010. I had severe cord compression and ended up with an ACDF on c5-6. Since then, I have had 3 additional surgeries; Posterior Foraminotomy in October of 2011 and then a follow up of another ADCF on C6-7. 4 weeks ago I had a Posterior Decompression on 3-4 and 4-5. I am 46 years old.

When I woke up from this last surgery, I could not move my right arm. After a little bit of time, I was able to move it from the elbow to the hand, but had very little control of the upper arm. I was diagnosed with C5 palsy. The surgeon said it can take a while for this to heal on it's own. 4 weeks later, I am seeing a very slight improvement, but still find my right arm pretty useless. I will be seeing a neurologist for an EMG soon.

My question is has anyone else experienced C5 palsy and if so, how long did it take to fully recover. The other question is has anyone applied for permanent disablility for cervical DDD? I am in constant pain with numbness in my arms. I also have a permanent bruise on my cord from when I had the compression issue in 2010. This results in hyper reflexia and some difficulty from time to time with dragging my right foot. I have taken a few falls because of it.

Any thoughts, comments, ANYTHING, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!


  • I had plif surgery 4 weeks ago and also suffered with the numb arms, my surgeon told me they would correct themselves just give them time, they have got a bit better but feel very sore still. I was also left with drop foot after the first plif surgery.
  • AlgofAAlgof Posts: 2
    edited 10/19/2012 - 2:24 PM
    Hi kfortini
    In my opinion you have not only C5 palsy right side, your complains of the bruise on cord look like myelopathy ( local permanent injury of the cervical cord). It is important to compare the result MRI before the your first operation and after the last operation and make estimate the injury area .
    Another thing- after Posterior Decompression ( I think there was Laminectomy C3-7) the cervical cord is straightening little bit and roots C5 are stretching more than other roots.The stretching occasion the palsy of the nerve. I really hope there is temporary injury.
  • Approx 8 weeks ago, I went to a chiropractor to have an adjustment with no xrays.. he adjusted me (my neck) and an hour later I was in the ER with excruciating pain! ER did nothing.. sent me home that was it.. next day went to reg doc.. he again adjusted my neck? And he knew the pain I was suffering.. So now I have gone to two doctors and ER and NO one has done any xrays/MRI or tests..
    2 days later I woke up with my left arm paralyzed from the shoulder to elbow.. thought I was having a stroke..
    Went to a different ER and found out that I had degenerative disk disease and that the nerve C-5 was compressed (Squished)
    It was another week before could get into the neurosurgeon.. He immediately scheduled me for emergency surgery the next day.. Not sure what the procedure is called, however the disks that were removed were C-, 3, 4, 5, 6 and probably a fusion..? I will know more next week for my 6 week post opt..`
    My left arm from shoulder to wrist is paralyzed with no change since the surgery.. Diagnosed with C-5 palsy..
    I really need some encouragement. I am in PT.. but really? there is no criteria for this?? That I know of..? I really can do most of the exercises at home.. I am a very active 60 old woman.. volunteer, cook, fishing, hiking, kayaking, quad riding, RVing, the outdoors women.. and now? I have a hard time just to pull up my pants.. :( I try not to let it get me down.. and then there is the pain.. no sleep.. And maybe this isn't even the right forum..? Any encouragement?? Thanks in advance.. :)
    PS.. Neck surgery has never been an issue.. never once have I been uncomfortable.. wouldn't even know I had it really.. :)
  • Sorry Linda, that you're having to go through this. If the surgery was non painful, it was probably the ACDF through the front of your neck (?). I did not get the palsy myself, but have seen posts/papers about it, and I believe it takes around 6 months to resolve. I know that's hard to swallow, but better than not resolving at all, right?!
    I'm a 43 active professional female - well, I *was* active, that also had a 3 level fusion, over 3 months ago. It is an absolute roller coaster of a ride, isn't it?! I would agree, the pain of surgery was never bad. I have some neck pain that I've always had. To me, it's the neuro symptoms that are hard to deal with. Find a buddy on here that has similar challenges as you, it has made my life a lot nicer.
    Good luck!

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

Sign In or Register to comment.