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ACDF C5 C6 April 2014 pain worse, more than ever

Thalll01TThalll01 Posts: 3
edited 09/18/2014 - 7:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My name is Tammy and I am new to here however, not new to the issues. Had a MVA in 2012 and was told just whiplash.... Just!!! I pushed and pushed my GP to do tests after conservative treatment was not solving problems.....Since then , I have had ACDF surgery in April 2014 and for the first two weeks felt great. Now fast forward every symptom prior to surgery has returned 2fold . Numbness to tingling and zapping from shoulder down R arm and recently moved into R leg and right side of foot ????? What a nightmare. I am so happy I can now finally speak to someone else with the same issues. Seems sometimes so isolated. I have been to my GP who says it looks like the placement looks good, however I believe since my X-ray 3 months ago something has gone terribly wrong. I am currently taking a high dose of long acting medication Hydro morphone, Ralivia and Gabapentin daily which does not even touch the pain I am in. I have just taken a plane for a one hour trip to visit my mother and feel like I'm about to pass out from pain. Think my first stop is the ER. I will keep you posted. I really hope someone will have the time to chat.


  • Hi Tammy, firstly let me say I don't think I can answer your issue with your ACDF but what struck me was the pain in your legs. You need to push for lumbar X ray or mri. I have had so many problems with my lumbar spine after an unstable L1/L2 fracture many years ago. I am now in a wheelchair but they haven't been able to pinpoint what has led to my leg problems but they know that I have osteoarthritis of the facet joints of lumbar and sacroiliac areas which is synonymous with leg problems. I had an MRI of my whole spine as it all felt problematic and they discovered C4/5 and 5/6 is pretty bad so I have been scheduled for surgery in a couple of months. I had badgered the doctors for a year before they would send me for a new mri so all the advice that I personally can give you is keep going to the GO and tell them you know something is wrong. Eventually they will listen.
    Fracture L1/L2, Osteoarthritis of lumbar, cervical spine and coccyx, wheelchair bound, ACDF C3/4 &C5/6
    Discectomy L4/L5
  • Aloha Tammy
    I had my first fusion in 2008. It was having numbness and tingling in my left arm. I went in surgery with the understanding that I would be fused from C-4 to C-6, but woke up with only C-4 to C-5. My surgeon stated that it would be 10 years before I would need C-6 done. My symptoms didn't go away, so less than a year later I had C-5 to C-6 fused with a cage. After recovering with some relief, and being released to work. I went back to my regular lifestyle ignoring the numbness until it my symptoms progressed to severe tremors in my left arm. I also started to have muscle spasms at night that would severe enough to levitate me off the bed. Until I was put on Requip for the spasms. I was afraid of hurting my wife in my sleep.
    I went to my surgeon who stated that I had crushed my implant. I had a third surgery to decompress, and replace the crushed implant with a cage. I am now permanently disabled, and live with severe chronic pain. You should consult more than one surgeon, and continue to do research on alternative pain treatments. If you current PCP isn't helping you. It may be time to change doctors. I started medical Marijuana ( legal in Hawaii) several years ago. I tried a lot of treatments for the chronic pain, and currently take Gabapentin, Requip (spasms), and Dicloflonec
    ( anti inflammatory) . I also see a physical therapist who is more in tune with strengthening my body to helps with the pain. I find the best relief from the medical Marijuana, and have tried the pill form which didn't work well as smoking it. Everyone's situation is different, so keep trying new medications and treatments until you find whats works for you. If your doctor or surgeon are not willing to find a treatment that helps your quality of life. Find one that will. I hope you find relief from pain, and some kind of balance in life.
  • If the symptoms have returned and increased/spread to new areas you need to consult with a board certified spine surgeon, not your general practitioner. They are not versed in conditions of the spine and while you should keep them in the loop, you need a proper diagnosis, imaging, and follow up with a board certified spine surgeon.
  • Thanks so much for your comments and concern. I will be seeking a new GP, consulting with my Surgeon and am hoping I get some answers. I will keep you all posted and let you know the minute I get some answers. Again, thank you.
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