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Muscle spasms post ACDF

Looking to compare symptoms.........especially those past the 3 month surgery mark.....how long do the spasms last....where is their location. I'm at 6 months and have spasms most of the day especially in the left side of the neck at the base of the skull. Anyone ever have a pain free day?


  • I am 8 months post my ACDF and don't really have spasms, but I do have very tight muscles and each week when I see my physiotherapist, he says that my trigger points are back again. The right side is worse than the left, but that was the case before I had my surgery too.

    The tightness goes from my occiput/base of my skull down into my shoulder.
    I don't have pain all the time but understand that my muscles are very tight all the time. I do get quite a lot of headaches, but I don't think as many as I used to have.

    Have you tried having physiotherapy on those muscles?
    I see a spinal specialist who has been great. I started seeing him about 3 months after my lumbar fusion. I was seeing him before my ACDF (he spoke to my neurosurgeon to check what treatment he could use on me) and am back seeing him again now. He also works on my thoracic spine because I have problems and trigger points there too.

    I would be very careful that you get a physio that specialises in spine problems. The first physio I saw after my lumbar fusion did not instill confidence in me at all. A friend talked me into finding a spinal specialist physiotherapist and it was amazing the difference that made.

  • I think I am doing physiotheraphy. I go once a week to a chiro....who massages the areas (left side of the base of skull, shoulderblades, trigger points). She also uses cold laser therapy (haven't see the benefits of that). I've been to her about 20 times since mid April. I assume that is what you are talking about, please confirm.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 08/12/2013 - 5:17 AM
    My physiotherapist does massage on my trigger points and tight muscles, so it does sound like your chiro is doing similar.
    I don't know what cold laser therapy is. ???
    I see my physio each week generally.

    I was told by my surgeon not to let a chiro manipulate my neck before my surgery. I have decided not to go back and see the chiropractor that I used to see before my lumbar fusion. He used to adjust my neck and thoracic spine as well as my lumbar spine. Since my first spinal surgery, and I found this great physio, I am sticking to him.
    Are you finding that your muscle spasms are improving?

  • I just went yesterday. The chiro (who at this point has just been doing massages) has suggested that I ask my ortho doctor if she can adjust my upper cervical. It would be the levels not near the fusion. She thinks the area where I am having the constant ache is not near the discs that got fused. She won't do it, unless the ortho says it's ok. I'm at 7 months out. The best way to describe how I feel...is squeeze one of your forearms......hold it for 10-15 seconds.....that is the ache I have constantly under the left base of my skull at the back of my head.
  • Hello!

    I am a little over 3 months out of a L5/S1 MIS TLIF fusion and the muscle spasms are present but not nearly as frequent as they were right out of recovery. Remaining active was important to me and my surgeon recommended walking short distances as that would help my muscles to get back to normal.

    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
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