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Post Op Questions/Fears After Anterior Cervical Surgery

I had my surgery on 07/23 for Herniated Disc/Bone Spur C6-C7 (done through the front of my neck). I woke up from surgery with the right arm pain, numbness & tingling, that I had been dealing with for months, gone. It was gone for a couple of days. Now, almost a week post-op, the right arm pain & the numbness & tingling in that arm & fingers has returned. It's not nearly as bad as it was before surgery, but it is there & it is scaring me. I have also had a lot of pain between my shoulder blades from the time I woke up from surgery. That pain almost never goes away. My question, is this normal during recovery? I struggle so much to find a comfortable sleeping position with wearing my soft collar. I hope I haven't damaged anything that was done during surgery by all of my moving about trying to get the pillows to feel just right each time I go to sleep. Feeling discouraged & depressed today. Does it get better?


  • Try not to let your fears hinder you from recovering. Pain post-op is normal for a while. You are not even a week post-op! Give yourself time to heal. I was so sore for at least 2 weeks post-op. It does get better. Consult with your surgeon if you feel that something is not right. Keep us posted!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Most are muscle spasms and are NORMAL after neck surgery but they DO GO AWAY and it does get much better and easier at around 6 weeks post-op.
    I know you dont know what to do with yourself at times and want to SCREAM but its all worth it.
    Buy THE STICK, its a rollar type thing ( like a rolling pin) to get rid of the knots and muscle spasms, it really helps
    Online at a surgical supply store
    Hugs and hershey kisses
    StenosisRose ( 2 years post-op anterior cervical fusion with instrumentation)
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Upon waking all my arm pain was gone. Within a week it was back, He explained that due to the swelling of surgery it is irritating the nerve once again and once the swelling is gone it should subside. It takes a long time for a nerve to heal after being compressed so unfortunately time is what is needed. If you truly feel something is wrong then call the surgeon. You know your body best. Good luck and keep us posted

  • Welcome to Spine Health.

    I think that jlrfrye/Susan has posted just about everything that I was going to say.

    Hopefully, in a week or two you will feel the improvement in your arm symptoms again.
    In answer to your question, yes it does get better :-)

    I will look forward to seeing more posts from you and hopefully will hear that you are feeling much better again before long.

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