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C5/C6 recovery and reoccurrence of symptoms

Has anyone had recurring episodes of muscle twitching in the arms, chest, and/or back at 8 months post op ACDF at c5/c6? My spine was compressed for quite some time, just wondering if anyone else found that was their experience. Had x rays last week, disc height, alignment, and bone structure was great. Any help or insight would be great, hopefully it will reduce some of my anxiety.

Thanks, blake
Blake baxter


  • I've been told it's due to nerve and muscle memory. They remember being in pain or mis-firing like that and decide to re-enact it even though all the pressure has been taken off of them. That's what my NS said. You can have reoccurring pain as well. The longer nerves were compressed the longer theses symptoms can last.
  • Sam SabSSam Sab Posts: 1
    edited 06/26/2015 - 1:46 AM
    Hi. I had to undergo anterior cervical discectomy at C5C6 level using a bone graft to decompress a moderately compressed spinal cord. This happened in January 2015. Since then, I had been fine for the 1st month. Then my left hand which was the problem area flared for a few weeks. After the flaring stopped, my last 2 fingers were still numb. Then it was the turn of my legs as I had started taking longer and faster walks. My right leg, where I had lost temperature sensitivity faced inflammation randomlyand left leg used to pain a lot. From April , I was allowed physiotherapy for I had a bulging disc at L4L5 which was compressing my l5 nerve root.

    My surgeon prescribed me lyrica 75mg which gave me relief in the legs after a month. But a friend suggested me to resolve my l4l5 issue at an acupuncturist who had treated him too 2 years ago. I decided to try him as I thought it could do me no harm. But after the 5th session, my constipation problem is revived. Before my surgery, my left part of stomach had pulling issues and my bowel movements had become erratic. Either I would stay constipated all day or couldn't wait for a minute. The acupuncturist used to pierce needles in a different finger and toe each time and apply TENS on my lower back or wrist or ankle. The last time he even piercings a needle in my right ear.

    I am wondering if the acupuncture treatment has backfired. My motions had become absolutely normal since surgery. So did I do a mistake by mixing physiotherapy and acupuncture as some people are now telling me. Please tell me if this has to be treated or it will also go away. Thanks.

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  • Hi,

    I have no personal experience with acupuncture, but I have read that studies have been done to show that it is no more effective than a placebo - and has no scientific reasoning behind it. So the acupunture may not have had any effect on you at all, though I guess the TENS machine could... Good luck.
  • I was an acupuncturist in private practice for 17 years, and absolutely acupuncture is beneficial. If it weren't it wouldn't have survived 2,500 years. It just doesn't always help everybody. If acupuncture was only a placebo, it wouldn't work or be useful in animals as animals have no "placebo effect". The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as beneficial for many problems, pain being one of the major ones.
    The acupuncture did not cause this. It is normal with this type of surgery to have random flare ups up to a year post op due to muscle and nerve memory. As far as constipation goes, acupuncture cannot cause constipation. If you carefully consider your life, maybe you added a new medication due to pain, or are less active due to pain and this caused the constipation.
    I really hate how people who go to acupuncturist are never willing to give them credit when their symptoms go away, but are the first to be blamed when new symptoms arise. That is just wrong.
  • sorry blessedmom, i shouldnt have commented on something i don't really know about...
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