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almost 2 years since cervical spine surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:35 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
ok here I am typing on a message board while my neck spasms for the 4 millionth time today.
I did everything right
I was losing feeling in my hands & under the threat of ending up like the poor late Chris Reeve I climbed up on an OR table at one of the foremost centers in FL with a world reknowned surgeon.
My recovery went fine---my MRI's LOOK fine my cord is no longer being squeezed & the stenosis is under control
I no longer drop things although I still stagger now & then. I was almost totally asymptomatic prior to the surgery.
I have not been able to work ONE day since surgery. My work was physical I was promised I could resume 3 mos after surgery.
I am wracked with spasms & torture in my neck & shoulder blades 24/7. I have had facet injections.I have taken antiinflamm's I have had steroid injections..
I now take antidepressant meds.
Anyone reading this that has NOT had surgery yet---RUN FOR THE HILLS & take your chances!!!!!!!!!!!!



  • Hi R60,

    Hi and welcome to spine-health. Sorry to hear your still having so many problems. You say your surgeon was so famous but I tend not to believe that. Surgeons never guarantee surgery. They may give a percentage of odds as to how you will do, but i have yet to see one make any guarantees to myself. I'm not sure why you originally had surgery but sounds as though you and a cord compression. Wonder where you would be without the surgery?

    It is unfortunate that your surgery didn't alleviate all of your pain. However it does seem to have helped by part of your post. Not sure telling others to run for the hills is really appropriate or scarring them out of a much need surgery. There are many that have come here and are long gone, back to leading normal productive lives. Not sure if you suffered from myelopathy but if so surgery will on stop the progression but not undo the damage that has been done.

    I missed in your post what surgery did you have done and what levels? Have you gone to see a new surgeon since having surgery and gotten a second set of eyes on your issues. Do you have some type of permanent nerve damage that is showing up on emg studies? What type of meds are they using to control the spasms? In my experience it has taken a combination approach to get some relief from the pain and spasms. Although it will never be perfect I kind of except that and need to learn coping skills. I do have permanent nerve damage, well it is called chronic. After 5 cervical surgeries there isn't much hope it is going to get better. Have you tried massage therapy or acupuncture, trigger point injections? In my case with my pm we have to continually adjust to the issues still having. But I have faith he is still trying to solve these issues.

    Anyway wanted to welcome you to spine-health. There are some great doctor written and per-reviewed articles that you may find helpful. Take care.
  • Welcome to Spine Health. I hope that you came here with intentions other than trying to "scare people straight" with your "run for the hills" comment. While these forums are all about discussing the meat and potatoes of spine issues and spine surgery including the good, the bad and the ugly, it doesn't make sense to undermine good healthy discussion by trying to stampede everyone over the cliff.

    Most first time posters on Spine Health don't generally come out with such OMG statements for their first post. Generally they will tell a little bit about themselves, their injuries, their treatments and their current condition or quality of life.

    Stick around for a while and meet a few of the other members. Join in chat if you are more into the IM type of communication.

    Welcome to a great place for information exchange and support.

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  • welcome to spine health r60 and i hope you get through your down mood. i myself have spells where i wonder if the pain is worth it. what gets me pass it is my faith in God. before surgery, my cord was pinched at c5, about 20 to 30 percent i think? i also did asked my ns what my options were other than surgery, and he told me my other option was death, period. after my long recovery from surgery, it has been very difficult for me because i went from a person who could do everything for myself, to a person learning to ask for help and learning to limit what i can do. i just look at myself as the new me, and a lot of times it still can be very difficult. i do consider my surgery a sucess even though i still have swallowing issues among many other things. thats my story and i am sticking to it. i wish and pray for you to have better days and for myself, i am alive and walking. God Bless all. kc
  • So are you any better? I am guessing you're worse? That just scares me.
  • I think I can relate to you very well, I have constant spasms in my back and am takeing valium 3X a day to help control it. I have had 3 back surgeries and a fourth to come in the next month. Third for my neck.
    Yes, it really sucks and I cry for the pain a lot and get sick of it. But this is life, my life and I have to get through some how.
    I will never give up trying to find a way get some relief. Not always surgery I hope but I have severe DDD, my neck is crumbling, and they have been all very nessesary.
    I know the healing and failed help, perm nerve damage also sucks to deal with, but please dont give up,,, or ask anyone else too, Believe me , I do feel your pain. I hate to hear anyone going through the same pain...or any for that matter Blessings to you O:) , God bless,
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  • Welcome to spine-health. I much like yourself have not been able to return to work after my first surgery. But neither of my doctors ever told me I would be able to do what I did. I was a Master Plumber and they told me that if I went back to that job, now it turns out any job, I would be risking my life doing so. If it had not been for surgeries, I would not be sitting here, alibit uncomfortably, replying to your post. I am sorry that you are having problems and hope that things get better in the future. There are some wonderful people here and am sure that their is much to be learned. Hope that your day is going well!
  • I'm so sorry to hear what your going thru. I've been going to a Chiropractor for a 3months now. The first symptoms were tingling down my right arm and pain between my scapula (shoulder blade). Now after a few weeks of treatment it's worse! Now my arm spasms, shakes, and feels like its on fire, it also locks up & gets really stiff. After the sudden episodes I told my Doctor that i wanted a MRI. The results show that I have a bulgded disk & pinched nerve in C5. Since then I've stopped going to the Chiropractor because I felt as if he made the problem worse:( My last resort is surgery or Medications, My grandmother had the same problem and ended up paralize after surgery! Have anybody here had Spinal Decompression therapy? How effective is it?
  • My doctor told me I could not return to my work as I was doing it. He told me I would have to stop running and doing contact sports. He said I had to make a big change.

    I'm sorry that your doctor was not honest with you. That would anger me as well. The surgery sounds like it did you well. You aren't dropping things anymore and are able to use both sides.

    If you would have run for the hills you would probably be in big trouble. I ran and ended up with a 3 level fusion instead of a one level. It took me about 17 years to finally give in. I had no other option. My cervical spine was starting to fuse itself in really bad alignment. Some times there is no other option. Thank God we have the option of surgery.

    Hopefully you'll be able to accept the changes you'll need to make. My brother who was very active ended up with Parkinson's at a young age. He's amazing. He got mad one day and then went on. He had to change his whole life. It happens. It happened to me too. I'll be grateful if I can return to some of the activities I did and to not have to do more surgeries.

    I know how you feel so I'm not judging you just letting you know you are not alone. I hope you can rethink this and find something you can do.
  • I'm two years post surgery myself. I posted my story under the cervical spine surgery heading. I haven't been pain free since surgery and certainly thought I would be by now. I get some relief through massage therapy. My therapist spends a lot of time on my neck shoulders and upper back and arms. It helps with the muscle spasms. I take Zanaflex at night as well.

    I hope you find some relief, I feel for you.

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