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Posterior cervical pain

nmacnnmac Posts: 112
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a posterior foraminotomy 2 weeks ago. I knew it was going to be painful recovery but ouch! I have gotten pain releif from my left side radiating pain but now I have extreme muscle pain in my right shoulder and neck. Why would I have so much pain on the right when he relocated the pinched nerve on the left? He told me at my post op. check that Iwould have to add a week or two to my recovery since he had to increase the size of my incision to get to the nerve due to my congenital fusion. That will make recovery 4-6 wks. Whenever I bend at the waist or reach I feel a painful pulling sensation. He said I could gradually increase my activity level and didn't give me specific instructions of what that means. Yesterday I showered, when to lunch and the store. I didn't drive or lift anything. By the time I got home pain was at 10+. Does anyone got to P.T. this soon? I am afrad if I don't stretch this area it is going to become very tight? I am thankful for all the info. spine health has given during this bump in the road.
Severe DDD. Klippel Feil Deformity. Cervical Foraminatomy that turned into Lamy. I have tried so many treatments, therapy's and medications.


  • Nancy,
    I am a little over 14 weeks out from a 3 level posterior cervical laminectomy and I just started PT at the 12 week mark. Some doctors do things differently and we all heal at different rates. I am still having muscle spasams after PT and at night, Soma helps with that. Think about all the muscle tissue they had to cut to do the foraminotomy, there are lots of nerves and such that have to heal before you feel better. It was a major surgery and your body needs to recover. I am not a doctor, but my advice would be to take it slow if you are doing PT. Good luck and I hope things get better soon!

  • Nancy, I am 3 weeks post op cervical foraminotomy and yes it has been really hard with the pain. It is slowly getting better but at 2 weeks I told my NS my arm pain was worse than before surgery and I also told them I am NEVER having surgery again it hurt so bad. I had a ACDF two levels Feb 2006 and it was a cake walk compared to this!! ;) I am also looking at longer recovery time as my thumb up to my elbow is still numb, 3 weeks out. They say it is normal and the last thing to go away as I heal is the numbness. I have not experienced any pain on the opposite side so I am not sure what that could be. But it does get better. I have had nothing but Tylenol and Flexiril for 2-3 days now. Oh and I am still on neurontin and increased my dose of that at night so I wouldn't have to take a soma plus vicoden to sleep!!
  • Nancy, I am about 9 weeks post op from my posterior surgery. My surgeon said he is always hesitant to do posterior because of how bad the patient hurts, and how long it takes to heal from it. I can tell you through all my surgeries, this has been the most painful "surgery pain" I have had. I'm pretty tough, but this one has gotten me down.

    Just wanted you to know that you are not alone. There are several of us going through posterior recoveries now, and it sounds like we are all having similar issues. Are you taking any type of a muscle relaxant? I find that I don't really need pain meds much at this point, but I do need that relaxer or the spasms get out of control and makes me hurt even more.

    Good luck. It will get better, eventually.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thanks for your encouraging words. I get kind of frustrated not being able to bend or twist without severe pain. Today is my hubbys first day back to work after his double bypass surgery so I am worrying about how well he will do. He has been home with me but hasn't been doing any house work so the place is a mess. I know that stress doesn't help with pain control. My NS did say 4-6 weeks so I just need to be patient. My previous symptoms do seem to have decreased, so hopefully that is a good sign. I hope your symptoms decrease soon.
    Keep in touch.
    Severe DDD. Klippel Feil Deformity. Cervical Foraminatomy that turned into Lamy. I have tried so many treatments, therapy's and medications.
  • Postop. apt. he wrote a RX. NS forgot to give a RX when I was dc'd. They do help. I am trying to figure out how much I can decrease my meds. but it appears to be too soon for that. I have some interesting structual problem with my spine and I am concerned that this may be just the beginning. Sorry to sound so down and out, today I am just feeling useless.
    Severe DDD. Klippel Feil Deformity. Cervical Foraminatomy that turned into Lamy. I have tried so many treatments, therapy's and medications.
  • Nancy, we all sound down and out at different times. don't apologize for that.

    It took me a long time into this spine stuff before I decided to take a muscle relaxer routinely. It was prescribed every 6-8 hours, and I would only take one when the spasms were so bad that I couldn't take it any longer. Someone suggested that I try taking them routinely, and what a difference that made! Seriously, taking just one pill once in a while didn't give my body a chance to let go of all the knots and I continued spasming making them worse. After just a couple of weeks of taking them as prescribed, I felt much better and was able to decrease to an "as needed" routine. And now I have had surgery again and am right back to those awful spasms. Darn!

    Just my experiences. Be sure to discuss this with your physician. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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