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3 month post ACDF

kimmeamkkimmeam Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Wow! I can't believe it's been 3 months. Honestly it feels like last week! I've still got hope :)
I started massage therapy & myfascial release therapy yesterday. This is not for sissies! OUCH! :''(
I still feel pretty beat up.
I am going in for my 3 month post op tomorrow. I also have an appointment in 2 weeks for a 2nd opinion. I have not gotten better. I have complained the whole way through that I feel worse than before. I hope to have some answers tomorrow. He told me last month that I was "fully fused" & that there is nothing wrong with my neck because " I fixed you neck". Is it then the c3/4 that he did not fix? Why then am I not getting better? Will I get better? I can not imagine living my forever like this. I am looking forward to having another set of eyes look at me too.
I had to get a refill on my percs last week. My surgeon was gone so another refilled. This has a different scheduls. 1-2 every 6-8 hours. On the phone my Dr. asst. told me to take 1-2 every 4-6 hours. I have been taking just 1 every 6 hours for some time now with very little relief. I have asked for something else numerous times. He tried vicodin ES. That gave me a severe headache. Not the same as my normal daily headache. Taking the 2 now gives me much better relief. But it doesn't last long. I can't wait 6-8 hours. I will be addressing this again with him. I'm also on Lyrica. I find no pain relief from this. I do not like what it does to me though. I feel dizzy, off balance & kinda stupid. I'd like to discontinue those.
I can't say that I am pleased with the surgery. So far I am regretting it. He told me I had no other option though. I guess that disc won't get worse.
I'll post my post op news. I hope that if he feels he is done because he fixed me that the new set of eyes that I scheduled will have some answers.
I thank everyone here for helping me & others get through this. It's not a piece of cake for sure. I wish everyone good recoveries & healthy days ahead! >:D<


  • Hi Kim,
    I find it hard to believe that your surgeon told you that you were fully fused last month. How many levels did you have done? I had 3 levels done and when I had my 2nd check up (the first was to check the incision) at about 6 weeks they doctor said that fusion was just beginning. They showed me on the xray how to tell and I had them give me a copy of the xray. I have as mentioned 3 levels with cadaver bone grafts and plates and screws. You can see the space around the grafts and I was told that when you can see the edges getting fuzzy and not black space around the graft that is fusion taking place. I see lots of black space around and behind my grafts with just a tiny bit of fuzzy edges on the top two. I still have a lot of problems as well with my right arm and hand still getting numb (but different then before surgery) and major problems with my right shoulder which the PT says has soft tissue disfunction. I LOVE physical therapy and I am very hopeful that this will resolve a lot of issues. The PT says that it takes a long time for nerve problems and other problems from before surgery to totally resolve (she has worked with a lot of people who have had this surgery).
  • If you've only been once I hope you aren't giving up on it. I've been through some pretty rough Phsyical Therapy in the past for another issue but I just determined to never give up and I gave it my all and today I can use my left hand and I could have been left without the use of it at all. And I will do it again this time. I hope you find relief through your PT. When you say you're not getting better is it because you still have a lot of pain? Where? What levels did you have fused? Are there specific symptoms that make you think that? If you answer some of these questions then maybe we might be able to help you think of some specifics for the type of pains you're still having. For instance, I still have muscle spasms. I still have moderate neck pain occasionally. Everyone on this board is full of good advice and may be able to help you find some relief when the percocets aren't working. We've all been where you are and we are here to support you. We don't want to see anyone in that much pain. Percocet masks the pain but it sounds like you need to find the cause and fast. You may have already posted this somewhere else and if so my apologies for asking all of these questions.
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  • I had my 3 month post op acdf c 5/6 yesterday. The Dr. is thinking that there is a possibilty of another herniated disc that is causing me so much pain. I told him that I had a total of 3 herniated discs before surgery & he elected to fuse just the 1. No explanation just we'll see what the MRI shows. If no other herniations I will "probably" get better. If it shows herniations then he'll have his next paln of action. I will not go through anothere fusion.
    For right now he has given me MS contin 3x per day & my percs if needed between. This is hopefully going to get the pain under control. I have the same pain in my neck & shoulder as before surgery. I now have new left sided pain that is even more intense. Before surgery everything was on my right side. The numbness now just comes & goes. I drop things without warning.
    I will not give up the massage therapy yet. The therapist told me that I would feel just like I did after & if it was too much wait a week. It will hopefully get better through time.
    I want to live my life again. I am tired of being in so much pain & not being able to do simple things. Simple things as making dinner at night & enjoying my family. I should be baking pumkin bread & apple pies. I love to bake in the fall & winter months. I love hanging out with my family. Walking my dogs in the fall to see the trees change go for a drive through the mountains. Hopefully the new medicine won't make me a zombie but will allow me to do some of the things that I enjoy. I force myself to go to work each day for 8-9 hours sometimes more. That's all I have. That is such a hard struggle for me. I put on my happy face & wince through the day.
    Thank you for your understanding & kindness. Nobody can understand until they have gone through something like this.I know that I have a new understanding of what pain is & how people really feel when they are fighting it.
    I'll get better soon.
  • I'm glad to hear that you aren't giving up on your massage therapy. I had my visit yesterday and I have another tomorrow and I'm seeing signs of progress. I've heard this so many times now that I feel confident in repeating it. Sometimes those pains just take time to go away. I also had an episode where numbness changed sides for a little while. I didn't have any explanation other than what your doctor probably already told you that the muscles and nerves in your neck DO NOT like to be disturbed. That's why there's pain. I am only assuming here that the one level had to do with needing to be stabilized? Maybe that's why just the one? And you are so right! Everybody will tell me "I know how you feel." and I just want to respond with "Really? Which surgeon cut your neck open and operated on your spine." I can't relate to the back patients on these forums and would not even begin to offer advice to them. I have never been there or done that. But I do know how you feel. It's just that you seem to be feeling much worse than me. So if I can help get you up here with me I will. I think you need a hug. >:D< You're strong. Or you couldn't do what you do everyday and for that there should be a medal instead of a scar.
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