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numbness in arm after surgery

CarpTCCarpT Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had surgery Jan. 21, 2010, to remove a herniated disk at c/6-c/7 (level 1). Wore a hard neck brace for six weeks. I woke up in extreme pain in August of 2009 and have been back and forth to the doctor since. Finally in January they decided since the shots didn't work and the nerve has been pinched with no relief since August that they better removed it so I wouldn't have perminate damage. Doctor says I may have gotten the herniated disk by the way I sit at my desk all day long.
About three or four weeks after surgery I have numbness in my arm and hand. I called the doctors office last week and told them that I have tingling feeling all up and down my arm and was told that is normal.
My index finger has always been numb before surgery and still is. I am guessing that that will be my forever reminder of my condition.

Does anyone else have numbness in their arm after surgery and does it ever go away.


  • Hi Carp,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. You might want to look at the video on cervical radiculopathy and see if the patterns match the numbness you have in your arm. The one thing I can tell you is while your physical scars are healing from the surgery, your nerves are still healing on the inside. I would think you doctor would be more concerned around the 3 month check-up if you have no improvement. Hopefully all is fusing well and it is just the nerves waking up from being compressed for so long. After my second surgery I did lose the use of one my arms, but it has slowly come back. During that surgery the nerves get a little angry at what is happening to them. Hopefully this is the case with you. If you feel it is really bad call your surgeon back. Sometimes it is hard for them to gauge over the phone on a one time call or you could make a appointment to go in and just double check. Anyway just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Take care.
  • I had a microD at T2 on Jan 11th. The sharp pains I was getting are gone but I have a tingling feeling on the inside of my arm from my wrist to my elbow. It has gotten much better as I became more active. I think it just takes time for all the nerves that had their space invaded to calm down.
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  • consider a nerve conduction test, NSAIDs, local epidural, short course of oral steroids, products like Lyrica/Neurontin, and lastly, in States that allow medical cannabis, it is very good for addressing peripheral neuropathic pain.
  • I'm pretty much in the same boat as you are, same operation, same problems with numbness, burning and tingling. I'm in my 12th week of post-op. I just keep telling myself, tomorrow will be a better day and occasionally I do have a good day. I wouldn't wish this onto anyone. I have a daughter in the hopital right now and I can't even sit in a car long enough to go visit her, much less, sit at the hospital very long, to be with her. It's nerve racking sometimes, but if you dwell on it, life will pass you by. Until 8 months ago, I could almost count on one hand how many times I missed work, because I was sick, in 35 years. I often fight my pain pills in hopes that I'm just imagining it all, but guess what, I'm not. Some days I can control it or should I say, it controls me. Either way it's what I am and I refuse quit or give up!!!! Doctor says it's normal, but there's nothing normal about it when you can't even wear clothes because they burn your skin so bad that you want to pull the hair out of your head.I truly hope your operation will be sucessful, give it time and I'm sorry we deal with the same afflictions.
  • I had a 2 level ACDF with Corpectomy on the 5th of Febuary on C/5 C6 and C7. In the rocovery room I was aware that my left arm was numb. I am 6 weeks out now and have gained feeling in my pinky finger at around the 2 week mark. Since then the rest of it has been numb. Nuero doc has done xrays and says its the nerves being compressed for so long and it takes sometimes a long time for nerves to heal. This numbness is far worse than the pre surgery symptoms. I have looked at a dermotone map and what I figures out was this: The pinky and ring finger is C6, Middle finger(or Birdie) and index finger is C7 and thumb is C8. I am on Neurontin, flexeril and percecets still. I feel your pain hun and hope for a full recovery for you.
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  • not sure if this is relative but I stopped my neurontin about a month ago and the tingling inside my arm is almost completely gone. I know that I feel so much better in general without that and the skelaxin.

    So it may be a coincidence but I figured I would share.
  • Thanks everyone for your comments, it has helped so much. My best to everyone. :-)
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