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ACDF C5-6 Still in Pain 7 weeks Post-Op

ann_6aann_6 Posts: 2
edited 09/16/2015 - 6:11 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, I'm new here so Im a little nervous about my question;
I sustained an injury from lifting overhead causing a rupture of my C5-6 disc. I had significant neck pain, pain under my scapula, and numbness in shoulder/arm/fingers....This led to my ACDF of C5-6. I had immediate relief of the severe symptoms.... At my 3 week checkup my spine surgeon said my x-ray looked great and had me discontinue use of my J-collar. I was then permitted to lift up to 20+ pounds and drive (both I was too nervous to do.).... I began have shoulder and back pain as I began light chores. I am trying to back off my Percocet and Flexeril but the more activity I do the worse the pain gets. It radiates up my neck and down my back, not the same pain as the nerve pain before surgery. I called the doctor and he said I should have NO PAIN, but put me on a steroid dose pack which really helped temporarily. Now 7 weeks post-op and I'm still hurting. I go back to the doctor next week, however I am terribly discouraged about all this pain. Is this familiar to anyone at 7 weeks? My doctor seems shocked each time I call.

Thanks for any wisdom~

You are still very fresh out of ACDF surgery. 7 weeks is not a long time. Every doctor, every individual is unique , but if anyone was to try to put an guess at which time frame do you really start to feel better, its the 3 month mark.

Please take a look at this Recovering from Spinal Surgery

-- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 09/16/15 14:09

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  • BlessedMom74BBlessedMom74 Posts: 322
    edited 09/16/2015 - 8:35 AM
    Ann, what I have learned is that we all heal and recover at different speeds. While it may not be "the norm" to your surgeon to still have pain at 7 weeks, it may be the norm for you. I like you was still having a lot of pain at the 7 week mark and feeling inadequate about it. My surgeon said "some" people have pain until fusion is complete. He has been very patient with me still needing pain meds. I finally turned a corner at 18 weeks post op and now I just take Percocet and flexeril as needed, which is every few days, mainly when I over do it. So be patient with yourself. Some of us take longer than others.
    Maybe you are doing too much too soon? I know for me that was the case. Days I took it easy, my pain was significantly less. Take inventory of your activities, maybe you are over doing it.
    Hang in there, you will turn a corner soon.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    I don't get how doctors can say you shouldn't have any pain one month after major spine surgery??? That's just unrealistic.
    I agree, everyone heals different, everyone handles pain different...but spine surgery is painful!
    Maybe start a diary & write down your daily activities & your pain levels. That way, it'll be easier to see if you're overdoing it.
    Hang in there. It will get easier.
  • ann_6aann_6 Posts: 2
    edited 09/16/2015 - 12:11 PM
    I appreciate the feedback and good ideas. I guess taking something for pain isn't crazy after all !!
  • Sounds like you're overdoing it! The other replies are spot on - although I think it's really rare some are able to do a lot at your point, most are in your shoes. You'll find certain things set you off - for me, I can't do anything repetitive (mop floors, vacuum), or anything overhead (hang laundry) or it sets off spasms. Take things very slow and easy, and make note of what you can and can't do.

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

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