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Extreme arm weakness

Did anyone else experience extreme arm weakness after surgery and before starting PT? I am 3 weeks our from 3 level acdf today and my arms seem to get weaker every day. Just putting my hair behind my ear is a chore. It started on just the left side but is now on the right also. I used to be pretty strong and did yoga right up until surgery. This is horrible for me.


  • I had the same problem. My arm would get tired just brushing my hair. And I couldn't open jars or squeeze shampoo bottles with my right hand. Also for some reason couldn't put my arm far enough behind my back to hook my bra. I'm 13 months post-op now and I 'm much better, although I can tell that my right wrist is still weaker than my left. (It should be stronger because I am right handed.) When you go to physical therapy, the PTs will measure your strength and then check your progress. (If they don't, ask them to but I think it's pretty standard.)

    I'm a yogi also and you'll be glad to know that I'm able to do everything that I could do before surgery except a head stand. (Actually, my NS said I can do them now that I'm a year post-op but I'm too afraid.) Hope you have the same good result I did. Just be patient. (Don't overdo it. I went back to yoga too early and wrenched something doing cat/cow. Thought I really did some damage but my physical therapist is a miracle worker and straightened me out. I did take a yoga break after that.)

    Good luck!
    C5/6 herniation, type 2 diabetes, generalized anxiety disorder
  • Thank you for your response. I was so strong and active before this surgery and now I feel so weak and worn out! I wonder how that can happen in just four months. I have a very mild yoga workout I will start with when I get the go ahead to begin again...I guessing in 2 months after the next xrays. My first ones are this Thursday. Not being active is killing me! I do walk but it isn't the same. I just want to regain my strength. So glad to hear you have had a great outcome!!!
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