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1 week post following C5/C6 ACDF and have Twitching fingers, hands and legs

BellabeeBBellabee Posts: 1
edited 02/25/2015 - 8:57 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am new to this forum and I hope that I might be able to get my mind put to rest.

I am 1 week (surgery 19/2/15) post op a after a C5/C6 ACDF. I had a C6/C7 ACDF in 2011

My recovery from my first ACDF was great with minimal pain or issues. I was back to running, and competition swimming all within the first 12 months. Whilst training in the pool with my coach 11 months post op for an upcoming comp I hit the concrete wall head first at full speed doing a backstroke drill knocking myself out. The result of this was not known as I tried to shake it off and just went home to rest. Weeks following I was in constant pain and back on pain meds and physiotherapy which I have been still doing up until about 12 weeks ago when my numb arms and hands started. I have been under my GP for pain control as I was 100% NOT having surgery and was trying to treat conservatively. After an MRI showed a servere bulging disk at C5/C6 ACDF along with a bone spur it was back off to the surgeon for review.

Review concluded with a nerve conduction test showing numbness was not from carpel tunnel in the wrists (he was being very thorough) and was indeed from both nerve and cord compression as my reflexes were also off the chart.

As I am only 38 my surgeon wanted to preserve the 5/6 level as surgery would mean being fused from C5-C7 however the fact the it would take up to an hour for my arms and hands to work after waking in the morning he recommended surgery.

Following surgery I was advised that the bone spur was almost piercing the spinal cord and that I was a time bomb waiting to explode. It wouldn't take much and the spur could have severed my cord. The diskectomy from a surgery point was a success. He also said that the nerve was very tight where it exits so he also made the space a little wider.

1 week post op this time and I have a pain down my left arm to the elbow. I also have involuntary twitching with my fingers, hands and legs. I noticed that when I was in the ICU that my hands, fingers and legs were twitching. I mentioned it to the nurse who said that it. Isn't be a vitamin or mineral deficiency but I don't think so. On a high note I have NO numbness in my hands or dead arms following surgery

I am following Dr's orders and being a total couch potato not doing anything but get out of bed, shower lie on the couch and go to the bathroom but it is really frustrating with the twitching. I am hoping that it is just nerve healing following such a bad compression now that the disk is gone it will get better...

I am wondering if anyone has had the same symptoms following ACDF and if so how long for your symptoms to subside....

So sorry for the life story but I thought it be best to give as much info as possible....


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Welcome to Spine-Health

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 556
    Are you on any meds? The reason I ask is because when my pain doctor had me on amitryptline for nerve pain, I had awful hand tremors. He has since switched me to gabapentine. Also, after my 2 neck surgeries, I woke up in recovery room with arm & leg twitches. The nurses told me it was from the anesthesia? If they continue, I would keep asking your doctor to look into it. I know how annoying they can be!
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