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Confused on Pain and release to full duty

I recently had ACDF C6&C7. I am 4 months post op. I have had 1 X-Ray done and another MRI performed on my Thoracic area because I am still having problems.

When I roll my head it sounds like cornflakes being crushed by a glass on the counter top. Even after Therapy my muscles are still cramping (bad at times). My neck burns like fire at times in the back. I can't do things like read a book, look up for very long, stand in the kitchen to cook for very long, etc.

It is painful to lie down at night. I can't take aleve or any type of NSAID because I am on Nexium for acid reflux.

I have weakness still in my right arm. When I look to the left and up I feel a nerve being hit in my left shoulder and arm. During therapy when I got to the arm bike that repetitive motion really irritated me right between my shoulder blades.

My thoracic MRI showed no problems, however a final Xray has not been done.

I have been released to go back to work with no restrictions. I am really concerned at this point that I may do more damage or that something is still wrong.

I also do heavy lifting.


  • I'm at a loss at what to tell you to do. Are there more than one doctors involved? If so perhaps you could get another opinion. 4 months seems to me a short amount of time to heal. Keep in mind I'm not a doctor and this is just from my experience. With a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting, I'd be concerned.

    Hopefully others will pop in with other opinions. Welcome to spine health, there is a wealth of info on this site, just look around.

  • ssauls46sssauls46 Posts: 7
    edited 05/27/2013 - 11:34 AM
    Something strange is going on that is for sure. I was told in the beginning that with what I do I am looking at 6 months and then I am having all of these symptoms and suddenly, your ok???? I am pushing for a second opinion for sure.
  • Is this a workmans comp case? If so, I would do everything possible to get a second opinion. Workmans comp is notorious for trying to get you back to work and off of there payrolls. If this is the case I'd pay out of pocket for a second opinion.
  • Can't say. But sticking to medical facts, this just doesn't sound right. I was told your not fully healed until 6 months by the same doctor. He didn't even do a final XRay.
  • I have been having some of the same issues! The Cornflake really hit the nail on the head! I have had several x-rays by the surgeon, but my fusions looks good! I had an MRI done and that came back good also! My body is telling me something else though! I have lots of muscle spasms from shoulders to mid back between shoulder blades, like prior to surgery and pain radiating down my left arm. I am at almost 7 months post op now from the same surgery! I was doing really good after surgery and then in early Feb I slipped on the ice and fell pretty hard. Since then, been nothing but problems! Hope you get some answers!
    C-6/7 fused. Sever lumbar and cervical degeneration.
  • WOW. Identical to me except for the falling. I have pain going down my left arm too. And tingling in my right leg. But the Dr has just thrown up his hands and basically tells me there is nothing wrong. So aggravating. I have muscle spasms so bad that I hurt out through my chest at times. Nobody believes me. Thanks so much for your reply. I feel much better knowing that what I am feeling is real. I just hate that you are having the same problems. God Bless
  • I went in to see the surgeon again yesterday. He gave me a referral to see a different guy and have a EMG done. That same doc does the epidural injections too. I'm not real excited to get into that whole process, my dad has had probably 50 of them in the past 10 years. Yeah, they help him for a couple weeks, but for him, I am concerned that he's building up a lot of scar tissue, making his worse.
    I have found that you really have to keep after the doctors! Yesterday, he did a couple more X-rays, and didn't see anything, and was just going to let me leave without any answers again. Just wanted to throw pills at me and send me on my way. My insurance sucks, and I told him I cannot keep coughing up $170/visit every couple weeks, and leave shaking my head!
    Good luck!!! I hope you find something soon!
    C-6/7 fused. Sever lumbar and cervical degeneration.
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