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PT after 2 level ACDF...approx-3 months Post-op~~still have pain in a certain area...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everonyone!
I have changed my screen name and hope that some of you will recognise me! I have not posted in a while and thought that I should let everyone know how I am doing since I had my 2 level ACDF on Sep. 3, 2008

This may be a bit long but I hope you all will read it anyway!!

I have just now started to go to PT. I had my evaluation at the begining of the week and that was good. Yesterday was my my first real day in PT.

Since my surgery I have seen a remarkable difference in the neck pain. The Physical Therapist feels we can get more ROM back then what I hae now so I am willing to work on that.

Yesterday at the first real session they just got my heart rate going a bit by doing a few minutes on a stationary bike and then I got into some stretches of my upper body. and shoulders...they had found a lot of tightness there.

Then I had some Myofacial release stuff done on my neck and mid spine....that actually felt really good.

Now we are having a storm system come through our area and it has bring with it some High winds and very very cold weather. This morning there was a dusting of snow on the ground...
Weather usually gives me more pain so I am not really sure if the PT has caused my added pain today or if it is both the weather and the PT

The thing that is hurting me most is an area that has been bothering me since before surgery.

I have an area down aaround T-7 and sort of under or at the base of the left scapular area...
The pain is a burning type of pain and this morning it is pretty bad! Take my breath away bad!

Even though I am 3 months post op I am still on pretty much the same amount of pain meds and this amount covers my pain better then it ever has!!

But I am concerned about that particular area!!
My neck issues stem from a car accident and I never had any spine or neck issues before the accident....I do have some scoliosis but have been told it is not that bad!

I have heard conficting things between my PM and PT about the cause of that pain....
PT says they feel it could be a problem with the way my spine is twisted due to my scoliosis and the way the ribs are...

PM says that the studies don't really back up a whole lot with pain being generated from issues with the ribs...

SO I don't really know what to think...

At this point the pain there is liveable but I am on a lot of meds and would like to go down on them eventually....

I think my ACDF was a success and that as time goes on my neck will improve even more then where it is now, but that area around T-7 hurts like a you know what...and frankly I am so sick and tired of being a patient that I am afraid to make a whole lot of co,plaints about it!

My health insurance will have nothing to do with this issue and my case for the car accident has already been settled...

I have discussed the possibility of some other types of intervention such as trigger points and ESI's later down the road if the pain around the scapular area is still being very persistant...

If anyone has this pain that burns in that area and or has anything they would like to suggest or offer up as their experience please do so!!!

I will see my Othro Surgeon in mid January I think...got to look that one up, but I know it is a ways out from now!
Well thanks for reading this far and if you have not figured out who I am my former name was Chrissy1311. Now Misty Spirt...

Thanks everyone



  • Hi Misty, I was about to tell you to look up Chrissy as she has this same problem :))( As you know, I am a lumbar patient but I do know that PT brings on some new pains for sure. It is worth it though because in the end it helps a lot. I got out of my brace and started PT at the same time. Ever since I have pain/spasms between my shoulder blades. (Oh dear, I hope I don't end up a cervical patient as well.)

    I wish you much luck and success in PT. Remember it is a slow process, with new sensations, but will improve your ROM and function and hopefully pain level in the end. Keep us posted. Take care, >:D< Cali-Sue
  • Hey Cali...
    Thanks a lot! I know PT is going to bring on some pain, thats a given for sure...
    Today I have my second real visit doing some work with my neck so afterward as cold as it is here I think I may go to the natural hot springs afterward....

    It is a mineral hot springs pool that is about 98-99 degrees and has a couple jacuzzi's that are even warmer....
    The jacuzzi's have some chemicals in them bu the pool does not...I just want to soak and get nice and warm...I think it will be good for the pain

    Yesterday afternoon I had the burning type hot poker pain and I have not had that pain since before my surgery so I was a bit shocked in the afternoon to feel that pain...it is an awful burning sensation/pain..

    I guess I will mention it to the PT people and see what they have to say about it.

    They did the myofacial release type of massage and that felt real good while they were doing it!

    It snowed here the other day and it has now made a serious mess of the roads in my gated community...usually they plow but I guess the truck was broken and now is in the shop...the end result is there has been no area to walk outside over the last few days...to icy. Oh well maybe I can do a treadmill at the PT place...

    Is there anyone else who has started PT yet since they had ACDF surgery???
    Just curious about how others are doing??
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  • I have most of my pain in my upper back, I was told by 2 PT's it was from one of the pinched nerves in my neck, the muscles got so tight and pulled my ribs out of place, sometimes it feels like a catching, and I also have the burning pain like a knife in my back.
    My surgeon ended up canceling my surgery one step before going in because my arm pain was not the issue at the time. I was devastated. Trying to get surgery going again. Was suppose to talk to him today but we got hit by a blizzard. :''( But I would ask PT if your ribs are out of place, my PT puts mine back in and works the muscles, even though it goes back out soon after, he just keeps working on it. Sometimes the muscles are so bad that I come out of PT bruised to the touch on my upper back, but in the end it felt better within a couple of days.
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