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C6 C7 posterior foraminotomy and disectomy

Hey there,

I am 34 years old and just recently (13 days ago) had a posterior foraminotomy/discectomy for a C6/C7 herniation and pinched radial nerve. Before surgery, I underwent an intense 6-week therapy program in an attempt to avoid surgery, completed (2) Medrol dose packs, but could not retain any strength in my right tricep, lat or pec . I had severe pain, atrophy as well as intense muscle spasms.

I am about to begin my post-surgery PT session to treat the loss of strength in my arm and the atrophy, but continue to experience these muscle spasms in my right pectoral and lat muscles. Is this normal? I am almost 2 weeks post-op. Will they eventually go away? I am assuming my body is probably still in shock, and am hopeful that I will at some point be able to sleep through the night without the twitching.

Has anyone out there also experienced these problems? I hope that I do not have to live the rest of my life like this or on meds to eliminate the spasms.

Thank you in advance for any insight.



  • Dear BFarq, My experience was not typical however any Posterior surgery is going to take some time to heal. I would think in months rather than weeks. When they dissect the paraspinal muscles off your back to get at the offending disk, these need to heal. They have to push material to the side during the operation which needs to then strewtch back in place. Also if the discs were pushing on your nerves to begin with they can take up to two whole years to fully come back it badly impinged. so you will really need to be patient. Your problem was likely fixed however your body really does need time to heal. You are so soon out from your surgery. They may have told you you will feel much better in 5-8 weeks and you may be one of the lucky ones! But nerves take much much longer to heal and since they are the commander of your muscle fibers, you may experience those symptoms for quite some time because of that. You can ask your doc for nerve pain meds like gabapentin which are not narcotic but kind of dial down nerve pain to a more managable level..Warm wishes to you in your recovery
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