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post op problems

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
:H Hi im four months recovery from acdf c5 c6 c7 I still have burning in back of my neck and across my shoulders.My biggest problem is swallowing and sleeping in a bed. Just wondering is this common problem. The surgery for my arm pain is gone the other problems followed surgery.Thanks for your time. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks


  • I had my acdf c5-c6, c6-c7 9 months ago. I too have alot of burning in the back of my neck, shoulders and arms. I believe these are common problems copenhagentech. I have alot of problems swallowing and sleep in my recliner better than in bed. I saw an ENT for voice issues and my rt vocal cord is paralysed so I have very little voice if any at times. After much reading and research I have found out it can take six months to a year for recovery. I too,have been concerned about all the burning I am experiencing. Most of my problem was on the left side but now I am having burning, numbness and tingling of the rt arm and hand.
    Every time I have seen my neuro post-op he says the fusion looks good after looking at an x-ray, but he does say, however, some nerve problems may be permanent. Are you seeing a pain mgmt Dr. Many people whose posts I have read are taking neurontin or lyrica for the burning pain.
    I was put on Lyrica for burning in various areas. I have not yet noticed a huge improvement but have read it too takes some time or perhaps I need a different dosage. I have an appt with my PM dr on Monday to discuss. Also, I have decided to keep a pain diary. Seems like every day the pain can be increased or different. If I write it down it will be easier to explain.
    I am happy your surgery corrected your arm pain. Hopefully these other problems will subside soon. Good luck to you and keep us posted.
  • And I am sitting with my back on a heating pad praying that the pain in my shoulders will calm down enough just so that I can get one good night's sleep. I have spasms in both of my shoulders. I think the burning pain is normal. But I sure hate normal right now. I intend to have a talk with my doctor this week and might suggest that you do the same.
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  • And I too still have the burning pain in my shoulders at times. I also get numb and tingly like before surgery. It's going to take time to heal.

    I try to roll my shoulders to relax them and use a heating pad or "Bed Buddy". Got it at WalMart in the pharmacy area. Heat it in the microwave and just rest it on my shoulders. It pretty much does the trick.

    Hope you feel better soon. :)))
  • I just went and looked at it. It is EXACTLY what I've been looking for. I looked at the hydrocollator that they use in PT but they are a little pricey. $15.00 is a small price to pay for relief that will travel with me.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I had a multi-level cervical fusion of C3 thru C6 about 16 months ago. The fusion was done both from anterior and posterior sides. I had a strut, cage, plates, rods, and screws installed. I did have nerve damage to my left arm and hand prior to surgery. I do have the burning pain in my neck and shoulder blades which is nerve pain. At this time I am on 900mg daily of Gabapentin/Neurontin and it seems to for the most part giving me some relief.
    I'm sure my nerve damage is permanent and the pain will always be a way of life I need to deal with. I just try to keep busy and my mind off it to survive.
    Then I look around and see that I am a lot better off than a many other
    people. I am and will never be the person that I was, I just need to be able to adjust and adapt to the different person I am.

    Take care,
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  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Has your swallowing ever gotten any better since the surgery. Are you having issues with choking on food or is it just doesn't feel right. I would make sure the surgeon is aware of the swallowing issues. I just recently did a swallow test and there is a problem with the plate on my esophagus causing the problems. If something happened with the esophagus due to the tube they can stretch it to aid in the problem. The surgery just involves a scope and not that big of a deal as i was told. As far as sleeping in the bed my only suggestion is to try and sleep without pillows. I have purchased every type of pillow and none do the trick. Most nights i land back in the recliner. But sleeping flat seems to be the best for me. Good to hear the surgery did help you though. Just remember as time passes somethings will continue healing. I do hope things continue to get better for you.
  • Glad you found one. Yes, great price for such a convenience.


    I even take it to work some days.
  • Hi there!

    Some common problems I see after acdf are swallowing (for a period of time), talking (to varying degrees) and sometimes continuing arm/hand pain or those are gone and pain in neck (like burning), etc.

    It does concern me some as my work is as a call center rep---4 10 hour days a week talking to customers on the phone and at the same time keyboarding/mousing...all at a fast pace. I've thought about the possibility I may not be able to continue in this line of work after surgery. Dunno. My doctors have suggested the same as has my LTD Claims Manager.

    All I can do is wait and see.

    Ken GreyEagle
  • :S My surgery was 2/13/08 and I'm still having major issues which have kept me out of work. The EMG didn't show any nerve damage (only carpal tunnel) but they can't expain the debilitating pain. Meds don't seem to help and depression is starting to set in. I'm on the verge of losing my job of 22.75 years, if anyone has any advice please respond.

    Symptoms: Neck pain, burning and muscle spasms across right shoulder with pain down right arm to above elbow. At times pain radiates down arm to right hand. Can't lift right arm to shoulder level and any resistance causes unbearable pain. Throat issues as well, can't swallow on right side. When I talk too long voice fades with throat pain and loss of air which then leads to migraines.
  • :/ Hi,just went doctor for my 4 month check up on 12 /29/2008.Doc said it muscle related.My wife told me the o.r. nurse said it took almost 40 minutes to get the breathing tube in my throat. They say I have a narrow passageway.I have had 3 knee operations never had a problem.Still stuck sleeping in a recliner.Any suggestions? What is the procedure called to restreach the tube and who would Igo to. Thanks for your time.
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