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ACDF post 3 months good news bad news

sinatrafan44ssinatrafan44 Posts: 64
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had an acdf level C5-7 in beginning of June..Immediately, the good news is the numbness in my arms went away..Unfortunately the nerve pain has remained, intensely in my shoulder, upper arm, and elbow..I also had a central cord injury from the initial accident..I see my NS in October...i am worried about the outcomes with the nerve pain..Am I being impatient as I know these surgeries take months for the nerves to "calm" down..I am still taking oxycodone 5mg at least 4 times a day and 1800 mg of gabapentin...I worry that they will say it is time for no more meds...i am working full time since beginning of August and it is a daily struggle...I could not go to work today as the pain was too bad..I feel that no one understands and that because I had the surgery, I should be up and running as usual..my family just doesn't understand and I feel so alone with my pain...I am on antidepressants but I just can't get out of this funk..I'm really tired...thanks for listening..Amy


  • I'm glad you're past surgery but sorry that you're still having nerve pain. I can't really comment on that because I don't have any experience with continuing nerve pain after my ACDF.

    Three months is still early in recovery of spine surgery and I also though I'd be a-okay after that amount of time. But it did't happen that way for me either as I still have pain in my neck and muscle spasms. My surgeon is still managing my pain with pain meds and muscle relaxants.

    I doubt that your doc will just suddenly stop your meds as you really have to be tapered off of narcotic pain medications. But if your surgeon understands your ongoing chronic pain, I'd think that at the very least, he/she would send you to pain managment.

    I understand how disheartening it can be to realize that you aren't going to be 100% after you've had surgery. It's been a tough realization for a lot of people and it's not easy. Many time our families just want it all to be over and have a hard time understanding that sometime it doesn't work that way.

    I hope Spine-Health can help you feel not so alone - so many of us know what you're going through and we're here for you. Venting here can be very therapeutic.

    Take care of yourself and please keep us posted.
  • I am so sorry to hear the lack of mental support. That is needed so much for such a long length of time that sometimes our families and friends forget that we are going thru hard times. Try not to get too far down and you can always turn to us here. I remember I awoke from my surgery with everyone calling to tell me the dumbest things and wanting me to do things for them. I had just awoke from surgery! All I could think was how alone I was. I picked up my blackberry in the hospital and got online to this site and everyone here was great!
    I sure hope you feel better soon and remember that YOU ARE NEVER ALONE here.
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  • I can't imagine that your job is helping matters at all - sitting typing - that's when even I start hurting - and most of my issues are lumbar, not cervical.

    Do you get up walk around every 1/2 hour or so? Do you have an ergonomic work station?

    It sucks when you don't get pain relief - you are still within the first year of recovery though, you are still healing.

    Definitely keep on the anti-depressents, get lots of rest and see what you can do about trying to get your family to be more understanding. Do you have any counseling options through work or ??

    No matter what - you've go us :)
  • thanks so much for all your support and kind words..It is nice to know that one is not alone..emotionally I am a bit better...I talked to my primary care doc today and he was really nice and reassuring..He increased my gabapentin and reassured me that I would never be left hanging in pain..He also said that it is still early and I should give things more time to heal..I felt like he truly understands me and will do what he can in conjunction with the neurosurgeon..As for work i did get a new chair and a full ergo lecture and consult..i do try to get up and walk every 20-30 minutes..thanks again for your support...Amy
  • Of all places I would get a severe burning pain to the outside of my right calf for months after my acdf surgery.

    Well to make a long story short once my surgeon told me (after a check-up complete with x-rays) I was ok to work out and exersize harder than ever the pain became less frequent and rarely returns.

    Three months isn't a long time after your surgery, but maybe your doc can recommend some light exersize or light weight lifting routines you can do? This might help.

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