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help from anyone who has had surgery

tammycttammyc Posts: 894
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:18 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
:) I am ten weeks post op and i keep getting recurring pain and symptoms that i had before surgery. my arm pain will go away for a week at a time and then all of a sudden return with a vengance. today i was just sitting at the computer and i started getting bad pains across my ribs so bad that i had to take a pain med. i also have a disc herniated in my thoracic area so i don't know now if the pain is coming from that disc or if its inflammation in my neck still. i'm hoping its just more symptoms coming from my neck. since the surgery my back has felt really good(middle and lower) that is. upper has been very sore.i was just wondering how many people have recurrant symptoms after there operation or if this is something that i should be worried about? :? thanks for the replies in advance. ;)


  • Tammy,
    If the pain is coming back that severe i would make sure you surgeon is aware of that. Didn't you post that you are in therapy as well not sure though. Anyway if you are maybe the therapist will have some ideas for you. I have had plenty of pain after surgery but it was related to other problems that happened. When was you last set of films taken. Let us know what they say or how you get along.
  • I just had surgery on c6-c7 on 6/9, but I was in therapy for what they say was a lumbar sprain before my surgery. Anyway, my upper lower back was really bothering me, stiff as a board. My PT said it could be my cervical.

    My PT informed me that the thoracic region also sends pain around into the ribs, which I didn't have... Sounds like you might be experiencing something with your thoracic disc.

    Good advice given, talk your PT and surgeon.

    Wish you the best!
  • definitely need to make your doctor aware of this....anytime there is a change in how you are feeling (especially if it is that severe) then the doc needs to know immediately. It could be nothing and hopefully it is....I know after my surgery I had aches and pains all over the place but they eventually went away. Now I still have symptoms but that is because I need more surgery and not because the first one went bad. I wish you the best and please keep us posted as to how you are doing and what the doc has to say....take care , Miki
  • Tammy,

    Call the doc and make them aware of the problems. It may be what you think, inflammation, you may have done too much, slept in the wrong position, or a million other things, but you should have it on record. I don't want to tell you what happened to me and my recurring/new symptoms LOL!

    Listen to your body. That's the best advise I can give you. If you feel like something is really wrong then you need to take action. Certiantly if you fell or had a jolt of any kind then you need to be seen ASAP. That's nothing to fool around with.

    Let us know how you're doing!

  • Hey,

    Wow, some of that could have been written by me! I know it sounds lame but I am really glad that I am not the only one. I am about 20 weeks post-op and am still having problems... but I agree with everyone, let the doctor know. I too had to make an emergency call to the doc which resulted in 2 MRIs and a CT scan to see what was going on - and they still aren't a hundred percent sure whats up. Good luck with everything!!!

  • Yeah, still having random symptoms....shoulder pain, neck pain, thumb pain, hands numb thru the night, etc During the past week my left leg was bothering me a lot. At times it felt weak, sometimes numb and sometimes I had a lot of pain in my knee. I'm now wondering if this is permanent damage from the cord compression, or something new in the L-spine (although that MRI appeared to be perfect), or maybe I just simply have a problem with my knee. Yikes! Who knows! Maybe it's just cuz I'm gettin old! Eeeek...did I say that out loud! :jawdrop:
  • Tammy,
    It gets old, doesn't it? It is normal to continue having some pain for a while. The nerves are probably still settling down. My doctor said I will feel good and then all of a sudden go backwards, and that this could be for up to 6 months. good days/bad days. If I remember right, you had a lot of nerve impingement prior to surgery. As those nerves heal, you will feel all sorts of symptoms. It is difficult not to panic and think that something new is wrong.

    But, it is also important that you call your doc and report what is going on. It could be nothing, but it could also be something he needs to check out. Have they done post op x-rays yet? You should be having your 3 month check pretty soon and they should x-ray you to make sure the hardware is where it is supposed to be.

    Are you taking any kind of nerve pain medicine? This might help you, something like neurontin, lyrica, or cymbalta.

    I wish you well tammy. Try to stay calm, but be sure to let the doctor know what is going on.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Patricia said: Maybe it's just cuz I'm gettin old!
    You definitely don't look old in your pic Patricia. It is nice to finally put a face with your name. You look beautiful.

    I'm sorry you are still continuing to have problems. One day we are all going to feel great again.


    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Anytime I go to a restaurant with one of my girls (they're 20 and 24), the waitress asks if we want separate checks. I'm sure they never guess I'm the mom. Also, both girls are blonde...they get that from their dad.

    So I noticed that when you post a message with one avatar, then later change the avatar, the avatar attached to the 1st post doesn't change to the new one.
  • ;) Ok cindy to answer you questions :D
    I had my check up with my surgeon just before i started therapy, they said that i was doing great for how early it was in my recovery ,there were x-rays taken and i saw them everything looked great. Nothings wrong there 8) cool eh!! i did have some re occurring symptoms before therapy and i did tell them when i went but really didn't get any response so i thought ok i guess its fine,but the symptoms weren't that bad then.They seemed to pop up more once i started physio maybe the extra exercising just stirred up the inflammation. I've been on Gabapentin for about three years now and am still taking it.I started to try and reduce it before i started therapy and was doing quite well but then my pain started to get bad just after i had started so i ended up having to go back up to my max. doseage again and am still feeling the pain. I called the surgeons office to find out what else i could take and the nurse told me to go back to my doctor and get something for muscle pain.I told her that she wanted to put me on anti inflammatories and she said absolutely not to take them so instead i went to the walk in clinic and they gave me some Tylenol #3 same thing i had when i came home from the hospital. :) The two of them together just cover the pain.
    When i went back to therapy i knew it would be a struggle because i'm having to strengthen my entire body,but i think i really underestimated what it was going to be like.
  • Hey hey, I would jump all over that one and YES!!!! But I know it doesn't really work that way. I always pay for my 19 year old's meals when we go out too.

    That is cool that the avatars stay . I'll have to check that out.

    Have a great day!

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Tammy, I am doing water therapy and I don't get any of the worsening of symptoms, but I can tell that it is helping. I look funny in the local pool doing my exercises for an hour while everyone else is splashing around and playing, but I can take the "you're weird" looks from the local teenagers. Maybe you should ask if this would be a good thing for you to try. I too am working on strengthening my whole body (you remember my story I'm sure), so we should report to one another on how we are progressing. PM me if you want to.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I may be wrong. Seems that the pic of me is now gone even though it was still there this morning. Now you see a pic taken from the inside of our boat...2 years ago...pre-surgery and not knowing what the heck was wrong with me.
  • Hey guys.
    I am new to the site. I'm 54 and live in CT. I have been diagnosed w/multi-level cervical herniations resulting in severe stenosis. It is degenerative and has occurred over time.
    Anyway, three neuros have told me that I need a C5 corpectomy and discectomies @ C4 and C6. A "P.E.A.K." or "cage" will replace my vertebra. I am very concerned and would like info from anyone who has gone through this.
    Tammy, I see that you had surgery, as did Patricia. Neck of Steel is where I think I am going (gulp). Anyway, I'm pretty worried. Should I be?
  • Hi az...
    I can't comment on the PEAK cages or the corpectomy as I had an ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy & fusion). In my situation surgery was definitely the right thing to do. The question for you is, will it get worse without surgery?

    Take care!
  • Hi az...
    I can't comment on the PEAK cages or the corpectomy as I had an ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy & fusion). In my situation surgery was definitely the right thing to do. The question for you is, will it get worse without surgery?

    Take care!


    Well, my options are: It might get (a little) better; it can get worse over time; it can suddenly get worse.
    I have no neurologic signs- and that surprised the neuro guys, as my MRI looks pretty bad.
    I have left neck/shoulder radiculopathy pain (shooting)that constantly bugs- me but is tolerable. In fact, THAT has gotten better. My symptoms started only two months ago. Before that I had no clue I even had stenosis.
    The problem is, if I have an accident, I'm pretty fragile, and I could end up w/paraplegia, so all of them said I need the surgery "fairly" soon though none of them stated it was an "emergency."
    You see the dilemma. I was brought up to believe that you should ALWAYS avoid spinal surgery-yet here I am. And it stinks!
  • It certainly is a tough decision. I was in denial about the need for surgery and absolutely refused, insisting that it would get better on its own. When I went to the neurologist two things happened that convinced me I had no choice. 1st - he checked my reflexes and when he tapped on the inside of my left elbow, I felt it in my right shoulder and left foot. wtf...yea! The 2nd thing...he said "Do you realize how bad this is? I can't do anything to help you. You need to see a surgeon." So I guess in that sense, I didn't have a choice. I have no doubts that surgery was my only choice and I have no regrets. I am waaaaayyy better than I was before surgery. I will probably never be "normal" again, but that's not cuz of the surgery, it's cuz of the herniation/protrusion.

    Spinal surgery isn't as bad as it used to be. Research the surgery and research the neurosurgeons. Maybe you're not ready for surgery if you have so much doubt. Maybe you're just scared....that's normal.

    Take care, keep reading and keep asking questions. The more educated you are, the easier the decision.
  • I had stenosis as well before surgery and was told the same thing as you.even though i had neurological issues early on they seemed to subside.but i just kept getting worse and worse until i couldn't stand it anymore. ended up in the hospital because the pain was so bad,they kept giving me pain meds but nothing took the pain away they finally just sedated me. my husband called the surgeons office and asked them to talk to the doctor at the hospital and i was scheduled for my surgery for a week later. i had to have a new mri done and pre op physical.i suffered for another week but it was all worth it because when i woke up from the operation that horrible pain that i had was gone.i could tolerate the pain from the surgery but i was so relieved when my back pain wasn't there.when they say that your problem can get worse fast believe them cause its definitely true.Just because its not happening now doesn't mean it won't be bad tomorrow.
  • Tammy C and Patricia: THANK YOU!
  • Hi Tammy,

    I am sorry to hear that your still having so much pain. I hope that it will turn out to be just the nerves getting excited trying to reapair themselves.

    My NS wants to do the same levels on my neck. I will se a OS on the 17th for a second and then back to the NS to hopefully figure out if he wants to do all three of those levels. He originally said C 4-5 C 5-6, but at the last visit he said possibly C 3-4 as well. SO off to see the OS per the NS's request. I have seen this OS befor for a second so no biggy.

    Please keep us posted on how your feeling! I will send out the good vibes and prayers for you!!!
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Be Carefull with the T3's ... can be addictive and lead to other opiate pain killers.

    Have the surgery BEFORE you start Chicken Wing-ing.


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  • metalneck not to worry about the T3's i get used to them very quickly.I was on them before surgery also and my body gets used to them so fast that i can only use them for a few weeks at a time and then i have to stop using them for a while because they don't help me.I don't think i'll get addicted to them that way. :D I'm still doing ok in therapy although in the passed week i've had to cut out two machines from my routine. :D Way too much pain for me i'm not ready for the big exercises yet. LOL.my muscles seem to be strengthening even though its slow its still progress and thats better than nothing.If i could get a handle on this stupid pain i'd be really happy.
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