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posterior cervical discectomy, c4-c5, 8 days ago

sociologizessociologize Posts: 2
edited 01/23/2016 - 9:12 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello! I'm 31 and last Friday I had my surgery, after nearly four years of misdiagnoses and lots of pain.

Apparently, when my surgeon went in to remove the disc, there was much more scar tissue than expected that he was only able to remove part of the disc and decompress the spine/nerve. We went in posterior because at the time, we thought it would be the best option and because the herniation was lateral, plus he wanted to avoid a fusion. So I guess I had a partial discectomy in the end? I have to admit the terminology confuses me a lot because we never went over the technical terms, haha.

Anyway, now I'm 8 days out and still in terrible pain. I've been all over the site trying to figure out if this is normal or not, since the surgeon said I'd either feel immediate relief or 3-5 days of worse pain before it started getting better. Suffice to say, I'm experiencing neither and just constant, grinding pain in my shoulder and back - hilariously nowhere near the incision. The side of my neck is also rock-hard tense. On top of that I have this weird numbness in my skull on the left side, near where the pins were placed to keep my head still, and an aching pain in my left leg that feels like I had a charlie horse there - but I know I didn't, because that's the kind of pain you'd remember. I have pain medicine and muscle relaxers to take, of course, but they only take the edge off. And I will be calling him on Monday for a different manner, but.

Do you guys have any suggestions for relieving the pain while resting? Mostly, if there's anything I can do while laying down - ways to sleep, ways to organize how the pillows are, etc. I'm laying on my right side (surgery was done on the left) and no matter how I rest the pain is still just as intense as if I'm sitting up/awake. It's made getting a decent night's rest a little difficult.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 556
    edited 01/24/2016 - 1:17 AM
    I had posterior c4-5 fusion surgery almost 2 years ago. It was done through the back of my neck because my first surgery through the front of my neck didn't fuse.
    I can remember that I was in much more pain compared to the first surgery. I had severe muscle spasms.
    Do you have to wear a collar? I had a soft collar for 2 months. I slept on the recliner for a long time. I also used one of those travel neck pillows. It was very hard to get comfortable.
    You are still very early in your recovery. I expect you will feel very sore for a while.
    If you want reassurance, call your doctor & let him know how you are feeling. He can tell you what is normal.
    Good luck in your recovery & be patient & be sure to follow your discharge instructions.
  • Motor1 said:
    I can remember that I was in much more pain compared to the first surgery. I had severe muscle spasms.
    Do you have to wear a collar? I had a soft collar for 2 months. I slept on the recliner for a long time. I also used one of those travel neck pillows.
    I don't, no! I do have a travel pillow though that I had bought before surgery because of all the problems I had.

    Not that I'm glad you were in pain, but I'm glad to hear that it's more common than I thought. I read a lot that said I should be feeling better and I was just feeling worse, so I admittedly panicked a little bit. I'm definitely going to contact my surgeon, though, but I already had to for other reasons.

    Thanks for the luck! I've been patient for the last two years over this, so hopefully that'll pay off now.
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