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Newbie w/ Cervie 5/6 & 6/7 fusion post-op ?s

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone,

I am new here and wondering if anyone could lend their opinion on my questions. I had a two level fusion Dec 9th (three weeks ago) and was doing pretty well up until today. In the last day or two, the lump-in-the-throat feeling has become almost intolerable. I feel like I am being choked all the time. Also, I am feeling weird tingling in both hands that is new. I previously only had right sided pain and numbness pre-surgery.

Are these sensations part of healing or should I be more concerned. Up until now, the worst part has been the bone graft donor site on my hip. The neck incision is healing nicely and the swelling is barely noticable. The new tingling has me a bit freaked out. Any thoughts?

I am only having to take Tramadol or Flexeril on occation and still in a Miami J hard brace. I can sleep lying down now, but maybe I shouldn't be??? I was using a wedge the first two weeks after surgery and was more comfortable with it than in my recliner.

Thanks everyone,

PS I am a 42 yr old mom from Texas with no prior neck problems until the double herniation Sep of 07.


  • You shouldn't be feeling like you're choking. You need to call your doctor first thing in the morning and tell him/her about that. The numbness at this point might be normal but I had surgery back in Oct. and developed new tingling on the right side just this week. All of my tingling and numbness was on the left side before my surgery so I will be calling my doctor on Monday. But that choking feeling may have something to do with the collar. I was never in one so I don't know. I'm sure someone who did wear one will pipe in and let you know what they think. But feeling like you're being choked does not sound like any side effect from the collar that I've heard of.
    Call your doctor ASAP. I'm only speaking from my own experience here and your doctor knows you best.
  • I had a fusion C5/6 in March '08 I had some strange feelings as I healed. I guessed it was some nerves that were disturbed. If it is not better soon I would call your doctor and make sure it is nothing to be concerned about. I spoke with my surgeons PA several times during the months of healing, she was always great to answer any concerns. I hope you feel better very soon.
    It is a slow process and its hard to be patient, especially when you think you are feeling better and do a little more and then you pay for it the next day by feeling worse. It is two steps forward and one step back. After about 4 months I was feeling good, but my doctor said it could take a year to be totally healed.
    I did not have to wear a collar. I did not go to PT, I think PT would have been good, but my surgeon did not suggest it. It may have resolved some discomfort I had into the 4th month after surgery.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. This is just my experience, but I hope it helps. Feel free to PM if I can help you.

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  • I was involved in a diving incident into the ocean surf. I hit head first into the sand causing a c5 vertebrale body fracture and right pedical fx. I was eventually transferred to a trauma center with a MRI which noted 4mm displacment of C5 ant. and bulging of c5c6 disc. A quick noted I am a flight nurse and I have taken care of many patients with a similer injury. At first I couldn't get myself out of the water, i was pulled out very carefully. Due to my knowledge of what had occured I was very concerned as to what my long term out come would be. I was in another state and didn't know any of the physicians. I consulted with some neurosugeons with whom I knew from my work and base on the local surgeon and my own personal observation of the MRI and my numbness and tingling in my arms. The most conservative treatment was to have a c4-c6 fusion with two disks removed and replaced with cadaver bone. An anterior plate was placed with two screws placed in each vertebre. It has be 10 week post op and I have full ROM. Recently I have had tingling in my feet however i am hoping it is due to nerves redistributing because my ap and lat x-rays are stable. I also have been using a cervical bone stimulator which i think has helped alot. I feel with proper managment that I will be able to function as I was prior to my accident. I know that it is a true miracle that I have minimmal neuro deficits and post this to inspire others. My hope is that my story will education people on what to do, think and decided in a situation that is almost impossible. If my wife and family had not been there things would be different. Feel free to email me for advise and for more details of what you can do as the patient to encourage you physician to seek out the proper treatment for you particular diagnoses.
  • Thanks so much for your responses. I am feeling a little better today. Yesterday was rough. I definitely agree with the "two steps forward, one step back" description.

    I will also be speaking to the Dr on Monday to ask about the sudden tightness in my neck. I think I am just having sensations as the area gets more feeling back and it just feels heavy on my windpipe, but I am paranoid something might have slipped out of place.

    Thanks again for all your support.
  • Right after my fusion I was TERRIFIED that something was going to move. Not much so now. I'm pretty sure those screws are in there pretty tight.
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  • Hi, I had my surgery the same day as you but mine was only one level c6 and 7. I am having similar symptons as to what you describe. I am in an aspen collar. The worst thing for me is that I cannot sleep. I have tried sleeping on the couch, in bed and in a recliner. I usually only sleep for two hours at a time.

    The worst thing for me at this time is the muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders. Is this still normal?

    Hope you all have a great weekend. God Bless!
  • . . . and I still have the "choking" thing going on. If I talk alot, stretch to reach, look up, or get stressed, it's worse!!! Also, by the end of the day, it's horrible. I've actually woke up in the night choking -- my daughters have run down the hall to me to make sure I'm okay.

    I had left sided problems -- and after surgery, I developed right sided numness and tingling. It's intermittent but disturbing. My NS said it's all just part of the process.
  • I had surgery in Oct and still have muscle spasms in my shoulders and neck. I'm still taking Percocet and Valium for them. So it seems to be a common theme around here after surgery. Some lucky souls have no problems with them but others like me seem stuck with them.
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