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How long to expect radicular pain to continue after an ACDF

Hi everyone- first time poster. I had an ACDF C3-C6 with hardware in mid-December (six weeks ago). I am still experiencing radicular pain down my right side (pain in the back of arm and forearm), which equals or exceeds the pain pre-op. The pain is not a debilitating type pain but is a quality of life issue. I saw my surgeon last week and he is pleased by the X-rays and that the spines continues to fuse. He was a bit vague regarding what my expectations should be regarding the pain. I am taking tramadol and Tylenol as needed By way of quick introduction I am a 54 year old male who is active cycling and running.

My questions are as follows:

1) how long should I expect the radicular pain to continue? is there a point when any potential gain from the surgery should have occurred and one must come up with a Plan B.
2) the surgeon cleared me to run. I got about a quarter mile and noted the impact was jarring me and causing pain so I stopped. I feel like despite his clearance I'm at least a month away from running. Can any runners share how long it took them to get out there.

Thank you!


  • well, I had a C5/C6 and C6/C7 20 months ago and still have nerve pains. I guess it all depends on how badly your neuro nicked/bumped/irritated a nerve.

    He's not going to tell you because he doesn't want to commit to anything or wants to admit they might've "bumped" something.

    Mine gets better as time goes on. Hopefully yours will too
  • If the surgeon bungled it and damaged a nerve root stem cells may help. For the life of me I don't know of a medical reason why hardware is used so often now other that the fact that it increases revenue. Every unbiased study I read shows that old style fusions are better in most cases.

    The bottom line is failed spine surgery is the fault of the surgeon.
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