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Pain 13 months post acdf

Hello all!! 

I had cervical spinal fusion last year at this point.  I am still having painful muscle spasms and I am feeling so very discouraged at this point.  I am doing acupuncture, massage, muscle relaxers.  My Ortho also gave me a Steroid pack.  Any insight out there or words of encouragement?

Xo mary



  • Hello, I am about 14 months post op acdf. Are you doing any kind of physio? (if your surgeon has cleared you for it)

  • mlavellemlavelle Teaneck NjPosts: 41

    My physio consists mostly of manual therapy.  Are you doing strengthening or stretches?  

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  • nz1025nnz1025 Posts: 194
    edited 08/21/2017 - 5:57 PM

    I am doing strengthening for my neck - and strengthening and stretching over my whole back and core muscles etc. (the weakness from my neck issues really aggravated some other back issues - so this way the exercises address everything i think).  exercises are slow (at least for me as I was pretty weak). my physio doesn't do any manual therapy (he did that pre-surgery, as well as a bit on the middle of my back a while ago - but hasn't touched my neck since surgery). i think the exercises are really helping - particularly on the middle of my back (which has really been playing up lately). overall, i prob do 30-45 mins exercises every other day. i think the idea is that i need to sort out my upper back so that i dont put too much stress on my neck

    but you might be totally different from me muscle strength wise... so its up to a physio or surgeon to work out what you need i guess

  • mlavellemlavelle Teaneck NjPosts: 41

    thank you so much!! What type of exercises are you doing? I won't try to do them!!

  • quite a lot of different exercises - i prob better not say exactly what they are in case someone does try to do them... but a whole range to cover my neck/shoulders/upper back/mid back/lumbar and hips (i have a lot of imbalanced muscles from old injuries etc). nothing with weights - but some of the core stuff is body weight bearing (i have to go pretty easy on these though). my physio adjusts the exercises (positions/repetitions/etc) depending on how my muscles/nerves respond.

    i wonder if your muscle spasms are from the nerves being aggravated? im not too sure how they are caused...

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  • mlavellemlavelle Teaneck NjPosts: 41

    Thank you so much for your response.  That is what's baffling me.  The therapist says that it seems like the muscles are adjusting and this makes them tired and they fatigue and knot. I'm so careful all the time...just frustrated. I don't expect to be painfree--although I can't help. It hoe for that.  But feeling like I am having a bee sting my trap for 8 hours straight isn't fun.  I just have to keep plugging forward with soffeeent therapies until it calms down.  I will follow up with the therapist about stretched and exercises. Thank you!

  • i guess everything works differently after surgery... i struggled a bit with muscles in my upper back after surgery - they would feel like they were sprained/strained if i went out and sat in a chair without a lumbar roll - at first they would take weeks to recover - but now they just feel a bit stiff the next day - its taken a long time though.  it was like they were too weak to cope with certain postures... yours sounds much more painful  - but maybe its a kind of similar process... hopefully you will get there! good luck!

  • I am 11 days post op for acdf c4-7. Is it normal to start feeling an ache pain between the shoulder blades?

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