I am 5 months post ACDF surgery (C5-C7) and have a bit of discomfort in a couple of areas. Although it appears that I will have permanent tingling in my left hand middle finger, index finger and thumb, I can deal with that compared to the discomfort I have where the incision was made as well as the pain I have while trying to turn my head.
Every morning, I wake up and it feels like I have a weight across my neck where the incision was made. I feel the discomfort more on the inside than on the outside. It lessens a little as I get up and move around, so that is good. The other thing I have noticed is that when I deeply cough or clear my throat, it feels like something is pressing up against my esophagus. I seem to feel it more when I tilt my chin down toward my chest while coughing or clearing my throat. I also seem to not swallow as easily since the surgery.
In regards to the neck pain while trying to turn my head, I am limited to how far I can look to the left or right without having to actually turn my upper body (like when coming to an intersection and having to look both ways). This has not only been painful but a bit frustrating. The pain starts at the base of the back of the neck and the more I turn my head, the more the pain starts to come up the back of my neck. If I accidentally turn it too far, the pain shoots over the top of my head to my forehead and it becomes like a temporary strong headache.
I am just curious what everyone's thoughts are about if this is normal at this point and I should just be more patient or if I should start pressing the doctor a little harder for better answers.