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Nerve pain - going insane...

Im almost 6 months out of my 2 level ACDF, and had a lot of nerve compression surgeon said.
My neck is doing really good at this point, a little stiff but feels stabile and most days pain free.

My left arm is a different story and that was the main reason I had surgery, to stop the nerve damage. After 2 epidurals recently the arm pain finally calmed down 2 weeks ago, and then boom a couple of days ago it was back. Today the pain has been insane and my Oxy's dont touch it a bit. Have switched over to Neurontin and ice now, but as soon as I move the arm just slightly, the stabbing, burning pain is there. Nerve pain absolutely stinks!

How freakin long is it gonna take for this arm to heal??? Im going nuts with the pain, and will loose my job if it dont turn around soon. Surgeon says Im almost fused and that they cleared out everything around the nerve at surgery. So why this ridiculous pain and weakness in the arm still? Before surgery 2 levels had nerve damage, but luckily surgery cured one level, those nerve symptoms are gone.

Anyone who has experienced the same type of recovery and can tell me that this is "normal"? The surgeon says wait and see, Im still healing. Pain clinic says injections and new EMG test. I know nerve regeneration takes a long time, but it was good for months after surgery and then all of a sudden just came back with a vengeance.
Anyone using Fentanyl patches for nerve pain? The only thing that helps a little is Neurontin/Lyrica and ice. I need to get back to work!

Cause: car accident & genetics
Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
Moving Forward: SCS


  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry you in so much pain after feeling fairly well after your surgery!! we all heal at different rates, it is never the same for anyone!! i have found the nerve pain medications to be the most effective in working with my nerve pain.. i have sciatica badly in my left leg and have found alot of relief with Lyrica..if the neurontin is not effective enough, ask your surgeon to try another!! if the pain persists, perhaps you need to push to see your surgeon! i hope you find some pain relief soon.. have a good look around the forum and make yourself at home!! good luck to you!! stop by anytime.. Jenny
  • so sorry you are still in pain, I had the same surgery in 2009...as you know nerves can take up to a year to heal and sometimes like in my case they never do.. I have nerve damage from waiting to long and from the surgery. I am on Neurontin and pain meds, although neither work for nerve pain. Have been on Lyrica but gained way too much weight and had bad swelling in hands, feet and face. I use heat and ice to help with some of the pain, but doesn't help all the well. I tried the patches and they worked pretty good but ended up with side effects :( good luck!!
  • On my way to pain management now for injection, and tomorrow I see surgeon for 6 month follow up. Im gonna address patches and if there's any possible explanations to the nerve pain coming and going like this - and being extremely intense when it shows. Yesterday I ate Oxys like candy.
    Thanks again for your input and words of encouragement.
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
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