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Neck Surgery Experiences?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My name is Susan and Im 41. I had my first ACD in 2004 (c5-6). I woke up pain free and it was a cake walk. My most recent sugery was July 3, 2008 and I am having a differnt experience. I woke up from surgery feeling much better of course, but recovery is going much slower. My left arm and fingers are still quite numb, my arm aches constanly amd from shoulder to shoulder aches and burns. It hurts the worse when I lie down, so I have not gotten a lot of sleep. I have called my dr and the nurse assurems me this is normal.
I was just hoping to find others who can share their experience.



  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I had a corpectomy, discectomy, multi-level fusion of C3 thru C6 in August of
    '07 and my post-op symptoms were identical to yours, left arm and hand also. Your Dr's and nurses are truthful, you will get better with time. Just stay on top of your meds so you don't get behind in your pain management. Also take it easy and not over do it physically so you hurt yourself more.
    Take care and keep us posted here.
  • Thank you so much for you reply! Last night my husband convinced me to take the meds the dr prescribed. I am not one to take meds. Anyway, I took percocet at 8,12,4 and got about 5 hours of sleep, so I feel much better today. Thanks again.
  • Susan,

    So sorry to hear that you are in pain...it is normal though. Please take your meds....before the pain gets too bad. The more sleep you can get, the quicker your body will recover.

    Good Luck
  • Bubblegum,
    My surgery last week was on c6-7. The rupture was much worse than 5-6 so Im attributing that to the longer/harder recovery. Dr was going to take off the titanium plate from 5=6 and use it on 6-7 but he could not get to it. He said he worked on it for 30 min. Since he could not get it off he had to use "new hardware", which kind of scares me. Instead of the plate going on the outside of the verterbra the bone is attached to the plate and they both fit inside. Does that make sense?? Supposedly I was the first in Arkansas to get this hardware.
  • Susan,

    I had ACDF, two levels on June 20 this year and the shoulder pain you speak of was just almost unbearable for me. I woke up in the recovery room with it and for about the first week or so, it felt as if the muscles were on fire unless I was on a strict schedule of taking my pain meds and muscle relaxant. I tell you, sleep was definitely the best thing for me. My days and nights were mixed up and my family and friends just had to get used to my grogginess, but finally, that sort of pain did pass.

    I'm now three weeks postop, still take my muscle relaxant every day like clock work and occasionally take Aleve and if the pain gets bad, sort of like overdoing type pain, then I'll take pain medication. But that's very infrequent now.

    So give it some time. It should settle down. On my two-week follow-up with my doc, he said it was all normal, to take the meds, not to give up, be as comfortable as possible, rest as much as possible and it would all get better. And he was right!!

    Good luck. Hang in there.

  • Monique,
    Thanks for your post. Im glad you are starting to feel better!! I think each day I get a tab better. Sleeping is what is hard for me. I just can't get comfortable. I take percocet at night, so I get about 4 hours combined, and try to nap during the day. Knowing this is "normal" pain I am just trying to be optomistic.
  • Bubble gum. from what I understand it was a plate, but instead of going on the outside of the vertebrae it fit inside and the bone was attached to it. When I go for my post op appt next Tuesday I will get filled in more.
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