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C6-7 ACDF - New Member

jbullock126jjbullock126 Posts: 3
edited 07/08/2015 - 4:01 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just got home from surgery this morning. Was doing ok at first, no tingling no numbness and some pain. When I walked around the numbness, tingling and pain got worse. Seems like most of the pain is coming from muscle spasms in the back of my neck into my shoulder and arm.

Asked for muscle relaxers and they did this along with oxycodone. Just one day from surgery but really hurting. Is this kind of par for the course? I know everyone's body is different though.

Just looking for somments and epxeriences that have dealt with this. Thanks!

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--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 07/08/15 22:03est


  • I think what you are feeling is normal, I am now 4 weeks post op and I remember the first 3-5 days being the toughest, I had muscle spasms right between my shoulder blades that were really bad. I couldn't seem to find a comfortable position to sit, stand or lay in. I just kept active and day by day it got a little better, remember you just had major surgery.

    Good luck!
    27 vehicle accident in 1984 at age 17 caused neck injury
    C6-7/C7-T1 Disc herniation's diagnosed 2013
    Surgery June 11/2015 Artificial Disc Replacement C6-7 & ACDF C7-T1
  • My wife had this same surgery done a few years ago. Everyone is different, but yes, this is totally normal. You will start feeling better each week. :)

    Oh and she is 100% again. Sometimes she totally forgot she even had it done. :) So, hang in there and hopefully you will have the same results.

    One piece of advice I will give you is do not ever lift anything heavy (over the limit your doc gave you) and do not ever reach for things far above your head. Reaching for things up high can trigger very bad things you do not ever want to experience.
  • SkoshikaSkoshika Washington StatePosts: 22
    Hey jbullock,
    The neck spasms come and go for me. If I don't wear my collar when I go for a walk and it's cold out is when they are the worst. It's been 3 weeks today since I had ACDF C6 w/hardware. The first week is the hardest. Trying to find a good position to lay down. Getting comfortable. Not reaching above your head to grab a glass since I'm a little short, lol.
    I haven't had to wear a collar since I came home from the hospital. I only wear it when I ride in the car or go on a long walk. Which from what I've read on the forums is unusual, must surgeons asked their patients to wear it for the first 4 weeks. It also could explain why I have been fighting a migraine for the past 4 days and feel really horrible today. But I'm stubborn and hate to wear it in the heat.
    After the first week I really didn't need pain meds. I was able to only take half of an oxy every 6 hours. I had neck surgery over 2 1/2 years ago and I didn't recover as quickly as I have from this surgery. But, this time with the plate in my neck I have run into things I didn't have to deal with before. Like bending over, stretching my neck laying on my side sometimes my arm will go numb, swallowing to big of a bite of food or eating something that doesn't chew down enough and you feel like it sticks where your plate is in your esophagus. Sneezing is a not so fun experience, try to avoid it at first, so everything you can to not sneeze. Make sure to rest often. Don't push yourself just because you start feeling better and follow your surgeons instructions.
    Be patient and things will work out and you'll feel so much better. Good luck to your speedy recovery and enjoy your time off from everything. Watch Game of Thrones, lol. I am into the 4th season.
  • Hey Jbullock 126,
    I had the same surgery 2 months ago. Yes what you are feeling is normal. The swallowing first 3 days was so uncomfortable and I had neck spasms and pain in my trapezius muscle on the left side. Initially my numbness in my fingertips was gone but sadly it returned the day after surgery. The left arm pain I had was completely gone and Inow am slowly gaining strength in my left triceps muscle. My numbness in my fingertips continues to improve, I no longer need the killer pain meds that I was using prior to surgery. Wearing a cervical bone stimulator 4 hours a day to hopefully improve fusion rate and continue to work on strengthening my left triceps muscles. You will be fine . Just give it time. I still have lifting precautions nothing over 20 pounds. Be mindful of that.
  • jbullock126jjbullock126 Posts: 3
    edited 07/13/2015 - 10:16 AM
    Hi Lisa,

    I am now 6 days in and the pain is better but the pain and tingling comes and goes. I have definitely been watching the lifting (nothing heavier than my laptop). I think I am Expecting too much too fast. Just thought I wouldn't have to deal with the numbness and tingling at this point.

    I appreciate everyones feedback as this week has been painful and discouraging but also encouraging (if that makes sense). I was surprised my affected arm was worse after the surgery but was told this was possible as well.
  • It's normal. I used ice on my shoulders and it helped a lot. If you don't have an ice pack you can use a ziplock bag or frozen vegetables. It does get better but the first week is hard.
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