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Progress with Nerve Damage

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
It's been a while since I have posted. I had posterior cervical foraminotomy and foraminectomy in August 2008 to try to remove pressure on nerves at three levels. My prior ACDF (C6-C7) 16 years ago resolved all issues at the time, but now I have severe degeneration at all levels.

I'm curious what everyone's experience is in this area. I continue to have constant neck discomfort, but I'm used to it and can deal with it. My nerve damage has not healed. As a result, my left arm, hand, and fingers are about half as strong as my right. Fine motor skills are not good in my left hand, and I have quite a bit of numbness and weakness in my left hand. I also have some pain in the area of my humerus (funny bone) and tricep.

My NS said that nerve regeneration takes a very long time, even more than a year. My 6 mo. follow up is in March. Six weeks of PT did help me improve my posture and the exercises did increase my strength somewhat, but things still are not good.

Any ideas or encouragement would be appreciated.


  • and welcome back to the forum. I can understand what it is that you are going through. I too experience weakness and pain in my right hand , arm and shoulder area....I am also right handed so I have been trying to learn the use of my left hand more...which is funny to say the least. I truly hope that you do not end up with permanent nerve damage , please do keep us posted as to how you are doing. If there is ever anything that I can help you with then just let me know....take care....Miki
  • wow, we are going through the same thing,, I was operated on in august too, I had a cerv laminectomy with 3 level fusion with lateral rods and screws. I had also had a previous surtery 4 years prior and had an anteriour 3 level fusion with plates and screws.... I am now not working as my doctor deemed me disabled.. I have so much neerve pain now that is sort of new to mek with this whole thing, Its been about the last week or so that it set in my fingers do weird things when i am typing and just holding my hands still, also pain down my arms... All in all I feel worse than I have before, Guess we will have to keep up with each other with this.... Cyndi
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  • have lumbar issues, permanent S1 nerve damage, so can't help with your cervical issues. But I was told for 3 years, "oh, you have to give your nerves time to heal, relax, yada yada". And I suffered needlessly. Finally got the EMG, but my doc had to be comfortable that I was far enough out of surgery (at that time, 11 months out.)

    Good luck and I hope your nerves do heal for you,

  • hi all,
    im suffering nerve damage too, my surgeon damaged my L5 nerve root with a pedicle screw during my L4/5 PLIF in AUG 07, six weeks after he then took the offending screw out but it was too late, the damage had been done. i am lucky as it could have been so much worse, i have pain in my leg/ankle/foot area with all sorts of spasms going on in my ankle and foot. its worse at night!! i take amytriptilline at night and it does help but other than that i take nothing else. my surgeon said it can take up to 2 years for nerves to settle, but i dont think mine will settle/ repair.
    i feel for you all - esp if you cant work.
    love to you all xx
  • Does anyone know if there are any interim signs that the nerves are or are not healing?
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  • ...in Oct that I'll know by next summer if the nerve pain I continue to feel in my legs is the nerves either regenerating & now recepting the pain or dying off & sending out "SOS " signals.... He said both conditions can feel the same way & only time would tell..

    I see him tomorrow for my 1 year check up & the my r foot/leg sciatica stuff is really getting worse, about where it was pre-fusion...so it'll be interesting to see how he interprets THIS...!

    I'll let everyone know! Right now, there is numbness, tingling, knives, sharp electrical stuff, weakness & burning, from my butt to my toes....

    Let's see what he makes of that!! Healing?! And it hurts that much to HEAL?!

  • how long they let us go before they intervene to stop nerve damage.
    Most of my posts have been about my lumbar fusion 3 weeks ago but I also suffer from C6/C7 herniation w/ pinched nerve down left arm. By the time they decided to operate, I already had permanent nerve damage in my left arm & have about 1/2 the strength in a particular muscle group. The nerve just doesn't fire to that group as I understand it. I really notice it when I go to catch a door with my left arm or try to open a bag of chips, etc....it's weird, it just doesn't work right :(

    I ended up canceling the surgery, the damage is done, and the pain eased up with time & PT.

  • In all fairness to my surgeon, he got me on the table about 3 weeks after I started having symptoms of numbness and weakness. Apparently the nerves were in pretty bad shape, but I'm trying to be optimistic, as I understand that it can take a year or two for the nerves to regenerate.

    When I had my previous surgery, my strength returned very quickly after my ACDF.
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