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C5&C6 recovery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, My name is Phil from Mid Wales in the Uk.I thought I would just let anybody who is going to have surgery know of my experience in case it will help to put Their mind at rest.I am 52 and active, about 20 years ago I had a motocross accident which damaged C5 & C6 in my neck, I had tingling in the fingers for this time but about 18 months ago things got worse with the loss of feeling in three fingers in the right hand and burning under the forearm. Anyway I got booked into Birmingham Hospital to have C5 & C6 removed on monday 23rd Feb 2009 with trepidation after reading these forums.The surgeon said I would have problems swallowing etc but probably the worst thing would be the bone graft off My hip. I was in surgery for 2 1/2 hrs, when I came around I had slight discomfort on My hip so the nurse gave Me one pain killer.It is now 10 weeks on and this is the one and only pain killer I have taken. I have had no problems whatsoever, I realise I am very lucky and had a very skillful surgeon.My symptoms have not got any better but they said this might happen and the surgery was to prevent further damage not repair what has happened. In the UK we are not issued with any form of collar after surgery as they like us to keep the neck active. I was off work for a few weeks but active at home and have been back at work(engineering)for the last 3 weeks.I am now back on my motorcycle although I do use a proper motocross neck brace just in case. I hope this might help anybody who is going to go through a similar operation.


  • Congrats! on your successful surgery. I think I'm looking at the same coming up soon for C5-C7. I hope I do as well.

    I hope you continue to heal and feel good. Did the surgery resolve all your finger/arm pain and tingles? I'm having those on top of burning/stabbing in my shoulder blades.

  • I've been taking Neurontin 600mg before bedtime and 1 30mg Cymbalta in the morning for nerve pain. My GP said he'd probably up the amount of times to take Neurontin later. I can't really tell it has helped me that much except I have been sleeping, whereas before I wasn't sleeping.

    Glad to hear that the surgery has resolved a lot for you too. My MRI report said I had spondylolysis (which is fracture and not arthritis) at C5/6 and C6/7, but it doesn't say where the fracture is. I can kind of make out something on the axial MRI views, but I'm not versed in reading anything except books. hahaha. I'm also wondering how in the world I fractured two vertebras except this horrible pain started during PT for my lumbar, so I wonder if excessive straining trying to do the exercises could have popped the smaller bones on the back sides? It has me scared, but I'm trying to just wait for the nerve study the 12th and then the appt with a new NS. I'm not a patient person!!!

    Good luck with your continued healing.
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  • Hi Melisa, in reply to Your Question about My finger and arm problems they are not any better at the moment. On the right hand my thumb and forefinger are ok but the other three fingers have no feeling as yet and are also very stiff. The worst problem however with these fingers is lack of control and not knowing where they are. The surgeon did say He did not know whether they would recover or not so here`s hoping.The ACDF I had was to prevent further damage to the spinal cord rather than cure my problems.The only aches I have had from the op were due to Me having a different posture after having the bulging discs removed.My neck seems much freer than before and I have had no tension headaches since the op. Anyway I hope your op goes as smooth as mine and you have a pain free recovery, Cheers Phil.
  • ... Sounds like it's going great! I also had anterior cervical discectomy, fusion and plating at c5-6 (ACDF) on March 5, 2009 with excellent results, my pain pretty much resolved, except for some right shoulder pain. I do have one other problem since I've gone back to work, (part time w/ lifting restrictions 20lbs) I get exhausted fairly easy now, I was wondering if that was a symptom you have as well?
    Good Luck
  • Hi J, regarding getting tired quickly, yes that was a symptom that I had for a while. I see your op was about a fortnight after mine you may find that this tiredness will disappear soon now. I seem to have come on very quickly in the last three weeks or so and am now working physically hard on a 10 hour shift at work with no problems. The strength in my neck has also improved a lot in these three weeks. I suspect the tiredness is from the anaesthetic.Hope you continue to make a good recovery, Phil.
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