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Long term after PCDF

batildes1bbatildes1 Posts: 1
edited 03/08/2015 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone!

So glad to have found this site. I had a fall in November and suffered a fracture of the c6 vertebrae. Had levels C5-T1 fused, instrumentation, the whole nine yards. I was really lucky. My doctor told me I could easily have ended up on a respirator so I cannot express how grateful I am to be mobile.

I have been going to PT and doing my home exercises. I started back to work part time about a month ago. I am a baker/pastry chef so this is a physical job. My doctor told me to let pain be my guide. What I am concerned about is that I can only work for about 5 hours (and that's pushing it). The muscle pain in my upper back is excruciating. At times my arms are so weak I feel as though I can hardly lift them. What I would like to know is when does the pain subside???? Or does it? I am seeing an acupuncturist next week and continue to exercise but my job is killing me. I love what I do. My boss is great about the hours and pacing myself so that's not an issue but I really wanted to be up to speed by now.

I know it takes time but I'm worried that some atrophy might be happening. Shouldn't I be feeling better the more active I am? It seems like the muscles are not getting stronger. Any advice would be welcome.

Thank you and best wishes to all for recovery!
Kathryn Coyne


  • 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
  • I can't really tell you when it will get better, but I can commiserate with you! I've been working M/W/F for 4 hours each (well, it ends up being anywhere from 3 to 6 hours) since the beginning of Feb, and I'm always exhausted afterwards. My job is probably equivalent in physical duties as yours, maybe a little less. They JUST called and asked me to work this Tuesday, I'm quite nervous how I'll handle no day off in between. Your surgery was even more invasive than mine since it was posterior, I imagine you're quite sore!
    Maybe someone will chip in. My doc said most feel "normal" by the 3 month mark - which is today for me. Hmmm....maybe mentally I'm almost back to normal, but certainly not physically! Everyone heals at their own rate though.
    BTW - Mmmmm, pastries! Your job would be awesome!

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

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