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Muscle Twitching 6 Months After C4-5, C6-7 ACDF

BostonianBBostonian Posts: 3
edited 07/09/2014 - 2:13 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All,

Getting nervous ! Tried to give all the info you'd need below, but feel free to ask questions:

I am 6 months and 2 days out from C4-5, C6-7 ACDF and within the past few weeks I've been experiencing muscle twitching on right side in: eyebrow, shoulder, tricep, forearm, space between thumb and index finger, right side of back, right calf and some left calf and left trip. Also started getting pain in my right under arm and right forearm.

My 2 level ACDF was performed to arrest cervical spinal cord stenosis (impingement w indentation), as well as foraminal stenosis (impinged roots), coupled with what the neorosurgeon termed a large osteophyte complex that was fusing toghther on the lower right side of my neck.

After surgey I was off my pain meds in less than 2 weeks and walking 2 miles a day in the brutal winter we had here. I started twice weekly accupunture plus weekly massage therapy and chiropractor I think about 4 weeks after surgery. At my three month follow up I thought I was doing okay but had a HUGE, sore, rock hard knot in my right trapesius/ thoracic area and was cleared to begin twice a week Aquatic PT.

I did all the above for 2 months then began light weights 1 of the 2 days a week in PT and added gentile yoga 1 day each week end of 4th month. The HUGE knot in the back was FINALLY broken up one day by what the massage therapist called Sliding Cupping (it really helped).

Started swimming (freestyle/crawl) at the 4.5 month mark and was up to about 30 mins nonstop and doing that swim about 4-5 times a week (sometimes every day) for about 3 weeks until laying off ALL exercise 3 days ago. Because of all the symptoms in paragraph 1 above.

I was quite active (swim, bike, jog, weights) before my symptoms (pain between fingers, pain under right arm, muscle twitch right arm, leg spasms, ankle pain ...) began last May. Tried the non-surgical route (PT, acupuncture) from June to December and met w/ several different Surgeons (Neuro/Ortho), neurologists, chiropractors before having to face surgery largely because of my CatScan results.

Up until a week, or so, ago I thought I was making progress although I was impatient with the one remaining symptom at the time: a frequent twitching in my right tricep. Had only one real set back of pain etc. around week 3 mark after dump my 80 pound doff a floor cushion he was laying on.

So my question to those who have come before me, and were kind enough to read this far is : Are those symptoms in the first paragraph normal at the 6 month mark? Or have I been overdoing it and are they normal at the 6 month mark if I've overdone it? If yes on either of the first 2 questions how long before I can get back to the activities I described above ? Or is something else going on ?

The Twitching is maddening . And worrying plus shoulder pain has had me up most of the last few nights.

Thank you very much for reading this post.




  • If there is a return of symptoms or onset of new , worsening symptoms post op, your best bet would be to see the surgeon and find out what he thinks. Picking up an 80 pound dog off a cushion was probably not he smartest move, but what's done is done.
    How long has this recent onset of new symptoms been occurring?
  • Thank you for the kind reply sandi. Trying to move the dog was stupid. I know that.
    I've stopped all physical activity except walking and got an appointment w the Physician's Assistant to the Surgeon this Tuesday. I still have twitching from my right triceps thru forearm and space between thumb and index finger as well as some pain in shoulder and under armpit and around my scapula.

    Best case scenario is they take some images to see what's going on in there and then tell me there's no more impingment, that I was over doing it and taking easy will clear this up.

    I just wish I knew if those symptoms 6 post op is not unusual during a recovery and that that will fade away.
  • BostonianBBostonian Posts: 3
    edited 07/13/2014 - 6:07 AM
    Also recent onset of all those other symptoms has been occurring for about 1 - 2 weeks. The switching has been occurring for about 3 months.
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