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

Pain after ACDF

I have had pain since 04/30/2011 due to an injury at work. In November 2012 I had an ACDF surgery. The surgery helped the arm pain & headaches, but I still have chronic pain in the neck. How long does the pain last after surgery? I also have chronic back & leg pain due to the injury and I have had epidural shots with absolutely no relief. What can be done to alleviate some of this pain? The pain is so unbearable at times & causes difficulty with walking, climbing stairs, standing and sitting. I am on pain meds but sometimes there is still no relief and I have a poor quality of life. Please someone tell me if you have had some of the same issues and if you received relief, so please tell me how.


  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 05/26/2013 - 4:03 AM
    i hate to be sarcastic but welcome to the wonderful world of chronic pain. a lot of us had had multiple surgeries, take strong narcotics, get injections, see doctors and have problems walking, climbing staris, and all of the issues you have chronicled. this includes myself. unfortunately for a lot of us, there will be not relief and we have to adjust our lives to compensate for chronic pain. i have and i mean never had relief from pain after my surgeries and i have had 4 fusions, and a lamincectomy, along with laser surgery, and removal of the metal. so all in all i have had 8 back surgeries counting all of the above, you can see the meds i take daily, but as i have said numerous times, i work which helps measuably with my pain. keeping busy and taking control of your life and your pain will help. if one lets pain control them, then one will have issues. i don't complain about pain at work or with my family because frankly no one wants to hear it or cares. so keep busy, try to go back to work and refuse to have the pain control your life is the best advice i can give. most doctors want people to go back to work after an injury. i work with a guy that has had 4 neck surgeries and he teaches and is the coach of the school baseball team. he has been on disability on and off but he still works. there are students at my school with chronic pain issues, go around in wheel chairs and plan to graduate. so once again, take hold of your pain and not visa versa is the best advice i can give. by the way i have had chronic pain for more than 10 years now.
    good luck
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - As a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. You should read Forum FAQ

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:
    dilauro , tamtam, liz jellyhall or sandi

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • In April of 2012 I had ACDF surgery. C4-5 5-6 6-7. A year later I am asking myself the same questions, and wondering how to survive the pain. The pain I have is neck muscle pain. After going through a stretch of 6 days with only a few hours of sleep, I seriously started to lose my mind. I went to a brand name store that sells air beds. After sleeping for 4 straight hours in the store, the first time in several months, I purchased one of those air beds. It did help me sleep but is by no means a solution, but it helps. From what I gather each person has to try experimenting with a wide variety before we will start to find what works. I promised my wife that I would not give up. No medications have been successful for me, as it would appear for you as well although Robaxin has helped a little.

    I started experimenting with alcohol and what has been recently legalized in 2 states. I had never done that before , and did not even drink. This has helped more than anything the medical community has been able to offer. I consider it a stop gap measure and continue with my quest to find a solution.

    After running into a couple of people that have had everything from lower back to neck surgeries, most tell me that it takes a solid 2 years to get over and that seems like an eternity. Having said that, my sister-in-law had a more primitive version of the ACDF surgery 10 years ago and she struggles with pain still. Some stuff Mr sarcastic says is true. trying to keep busy helps keep your mind off of it , but when it comes to sleep - thats where I can no longer shut it out.

    Good Luck to us all

  • alcohol is the worse thing you can do especially with meds, specifically narcotics. i don't know if narcotics are meds you take but alcohol can be just as habit forming as narcotics. pain meds do not get rid of the pain. they basically help the mind put the pain in the background of your brain. no matter how much meds you take, you will always have pain you can take 100 pain pills a day and you would still have pain, dead, but still a have pain. i take oxycontin and i don't feel it. it just helps my body cope with the pain. i do not get high with it. that is what is supposed to happen with narcotics. your body gets used to them and as a result you do not feel them. that does not mean they are not working. there are all sorts of people who take narcotics and since they don't feel high, they think the meds aren't working. we are not supposed to take meds to get high, just to let our bodies cope. alcohol is the same. your body gets used to it and then next thing you know you become an alcoholic not a drug addict. i would suggest if you have not done so, go to a pain doctor and see him at certain times. i see mine every 2 months for refills and to also have him check me out. there is also on the moderator's site, ron or sandi an extensive triste talking about meds. pain and how to cope. i would suggest the first thing is to read it. it is very helpful and will help you cope.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • bluej_56bbluej_56 Posts: 2
    edited 01/21/2014 - 2:20 AM
    First, I want to say, I happy there are forums like these out there, although I have to be honest it did frighten me prior to surgery. :0)
    I recently had ACDF Level 2 surgery with a titanium plate installed in mid-December 2013. I was diagnosed Cervical Stenosis with Myelopathy, with severe spinal compression to C5 - C7 and I am in my mid-40s.
    My surgery results, the prior pain I experienced, the numbness and tingling in my arms and hands have disappeared, my severe shoulder and neck pain are not as severe (really mostly pain from recovery), and so far I have not had any migraines (crossing my fingers - suffered with them three times a month).
    I am still recovering, there are some days I am okay. I have some ROM, less on the right and definitely tilting my head back. I find I tire very easily even doing the most minuscule tasks, (such as laundry, washing dishes, small walks, or going to the store with my spouse, to just get out of the house} and then requiring naps to go about the rest of the day. I do not sleep very well at night, but if on a rare occasion I do, I wake in the morning with my upper arms feeling as someone has been sitting on them. My legs, from the knees down feel heavy at times and I walk as if I am shuffling when they feel this way. Is this uncommon or normal to feel this way? At this time, I have not been offered any PT and I already did inquire at first the follow-up appointment and was advised it was to soon.
    I am due to go back to my Neurosurgeon and PA for a second follow up in a couple days to discuss my progress and potentially returning to work. I am uncertain and not comfortable about returning back the way I feel (exhausted, stressed, and problems described above) and do not know how to approach this without sounding as if I am trying to avoid working, which is not my intentions. I work at a desk on a computer all day and do have opportunities to work from home. But I do not feel I can perform my duties 100% at this time. I really feel I would benefit if I had a couple more weeks to recuperate and then have work restrictions to slowly bring myself back to my prior schedule. I am offered a total of 12-weeks of leave a year, but at my last follow up the doctor mentioned he can only offer 6 weeks. Is this accurate/true? Does anyone have suggestions on how to approach this subject?
  • This is a copy of the PM that I sent to GearHead: "Please see my post. I too had acd&f fusions of C4,5;5,6;6,7. The first was 2008 and the last C6,7 in Dec of 2012. I have had constant pain around T1 (the Prominent Vertebra) at the back of my neck. I've tried radio frequency lesioning/ablation, many meds and am on 18 mg a day time released hydromorphon (dilaudid) which gives some relief. I've also tried nearly every alternative solution there is. Finally, my neurosurgeon sent me to another for a second opinion. This NS believes the stress of having 3 fused joints is causing the pain. He is recommending that I get this joint freezed under Xray guidance. And, if that relieves the pain, then he suggests fusing the joint to T1. While awaiting a date for this procedure, I went back to my original NS who believes that the fusion of C7/T1 may well cause more pain since that surgery would go through my back (not acd&f) where there is a lot more muscle tissue to cut through. If however the freezing does provide relief then he may well agree with NS no 2 and recommend the fusion. I'm wondering, while I await this freezing procedure, if you have had any luck with other solutions as you have the same fused joints as do I. Please advise. Thank you and good luck!"
    I would add that "Mr. Sarcastic" should keep his/her self-applauding and sardonic comments to himself. I believe this is a forum for seeking help for chronic pain sufferers. If he is ok coping by himself, then good! But don't slam those who do not fave the same courage as you seem to have.
    If any other members of this forum have something similar to my (or GearHead's) complaints, please share them with us. I spend most of my days lying prostate in bed as this is the only real relief I get! Before my first fusion, I had run 6 marathons in 3 years (when I was in my early 60's). I also played squash and did the gym at least 3 times a week. Now, I feel like a vegetable. (Note, Mr. Sarcastic, I am not seeking pity, just relief suggestions.)
Sign In or Register to comment.