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complications 9 months after c6 c7 acdf

Looking for anybody's input on continued problems with neck/arm pain and numbness in fingers 9 months after neck fusion. I had an acdf of c6 c7 in early December of last year, the issue was the disc was ruptured and putting significant pressure on the nerve controlling my tricep on my right arm, also lost most of the feeling in my thumb, pointer, and middle fingers on right hand, Ortho Doc said the nerve could take a year to regenerate due to the severity of the ruptured disc, recent X-Ray showed vertebrae straight and fusion looking good, issue is almost none of the symptoms are better at all and almost seem to be worsening. I talked with another guy that had the same surgery he said basically this is as good as it gets, get used to it. Someone tell me it gets better!


  • to recover , if it is going to . That doesn't mean that you won't see improvement in the meantime, but you do need to be aware that it can take some time before you see if it resolves.
  • I didn't know it could take that long for nerves to recover, I had hoped I would have this fusion and be done with it all 6 months later. I had an IME Doctor tell me last week after checking my range of motion that he didn't think I wold ever regain full use of my arm, since it hasn't gotten any better yet, said he was expecting more progress than he was seeing. anybody know if P.T. would help with regaining strength? Both of the Docs I've seen said absolutely no P.T. until 1 year post-fusion.
  • I had my ACDF 2 level, C4-5 and C5-6 surgery in Dec 2011 and my symptoms never went away. I have permanent nerve damage which was confirmed by a nerve conduction test which was a painful test. I have numbness, tingling & pain in both of my arms, wrists, hands, fingers with the left being the worst and the pain in my neck & shoulders has returned. When I wake up every morning, my left hand is always swollen and It hurts. I am taking gabapentin which works great except for the laps over night because I don't take a dose in the middle of the night.

    I had a MRI recently and now have disc herniation at C3-4 and it's poking onto my spinal cord. Then C6-7 there's a osteophyte complex (bone spurs) and disc protrusion. Needless to say, I am not happy about it. I just had back surgery this past Dec 2013 (is another subject) and having another surgery, I want to say is out of the question but I can't. If compression is on my spinal cord it could cause paralysis and I won't take that risk.

    So, for me, I chose the surgery because I didn't want to become paralyzed as well as hoping all my other symptoms would go away. I was not one of the lucky ones and there are a lot who are. There's never a guarantee with these surgeries and I knew that before going in.

    That's basically my story of my ACDF surgery. I truly hope you do get relief and the nerves heal. Give it more time, ya never know...
    New MRI's Not good-Cervical-Thoracic-Brain
    DLIF 4 level lumbar fusion L1 to L5 Dec 2013...
    ACDF 2 level cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 Dec 2011
  • IME Doctor showed that I have a "level 3" permanent impairment resulting from my ruptured disc at C6-C7 that I had fused, what does level 3 impairment mean? His report also showed that I was at "maximum medical improvment" and recommended closing the L&I claim this week, is that normal?
  • Hi gfry77,
    first can you tell me what IME stands for? I see it a lot on here but can't figure out what it means other than a type of doctor.

    I am assuming that a level 3 permanent impairment means you have permanent nerve damage on a scale of 1 to 3. Do you have anything in writing that says more about that?
    Max med improve, sounds like your at the best it's going to be. Again, anything else?
    What is a L&I claim?
    Is it normal? I never heard of this being a result of a surgery worded like that. It sounds rough to me. "wow"
    Is there any more you can add to this?
    New MRI's Not good-Cervical-Thoracic-Brain
    DLIF 4 level lumbar fusion L1 to L5 Dec 2013...
    ACDF 2 level cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 Dec 2011
  • Just Duckie, IME stands for: Independent Medical Exam usually done by a doctor who is contracted with workmens comp. this is something that a doctor will typically request when they feel the patient has reached maximum medical improvement when there is a workers comp claim. L & I stands for Washington state department of Labor & Industries. A level 3 impairment is what the doctor doing the IME would rate during the exam, they measure things like range of motion, loss of grip strength, persistent numbness, etc. There are 5 levels of permanent impairment, if a person is found to have an impairment rating they would be awarded a monetary amount, and then the workmens comp claim would close.
  • I had a spinal fusion discectomy of the c4-7 on July30 ..ugly scar..my problem is I still have so much pain. As soon a s my pain pill (Percocet 5 mg) , gabapentin, and muscle relaxers wear off I am in severe pain. Had several MRI's done and they say everything looks good..but the last was a few weeks ago and Dr said I am in the early stages of healing. What!? ..still in a lot of pain and depending on meds to get through the day and night! I am wondering do I need to do the Nerve conduction test they mentioned that..and what about a thing they put inside like a pace maker to block the nerve pain? What now?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
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