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Will the pain ever go away?

itzamemomiitzamemom Posts: 39
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had my 2nd ACDF on September 3rd of this year, almost exactly 1 year from my first one. My first one @ C4-C5 has fused and I have the beginnings of fusion at my C5-C6 as of my last appointment. Good news to have fusion already, however, the pain is just not going away and varies from day to day. Some days the pain is sharp and stabbing and other days its more a constant ache down either side of my neck. I realize that I'm only 8 weeks out from surgery, but don't remember it hurting this much after my first ACDF. I'm tired of taking medicine on a daily basis and tired of pain period. Is this just the way its going to be and am I dreaming of pain free days?


  • I'm sorry that you're still in pain, but at 8 weeks out, you're still early in the recovery process and from what you describe the pain you're experiencing doesn't sound unusual to me.

    I've only had one cervical surgery, but maybe the second one takes a little more time for the pain to subside. However, it could be that it just simply too early to hope for pain-free days. The placement of your pain is what I remember from my post ACDF days and it lasted for months, not weeks.

    You also need to ask yourself if you're doing too much on those better days - are you still adhering to your restrictions? No lifting? No housework like mopping or bending down to load and unload the dishwasher?

    As always, if you're concerned, never hesitate to call and talk to your surgeon. When I asked mine at the 3-month mark, he actually ran his hand along the area that he expected I would keep hurting for some time to come. That was aching in the sides and base of the neck and spasms in the mid to left side of my upper back.

    Hang in there - it really will get better. At this point, I'd be happy that unlike some others, you're still getting medications to help you on those bad days. Some get weaned off after two or three weeks, way too soon in my humble opinion.

    Take care,
  • Itzamemom,

    I'm a "two operation fusion" person like yourself. Now mine is a mess (different hardware - stressed into a cracked vertebra), but I can relate to where you are at. My first fusion (C5/6) went so good I was in heaven! Recovery seemed to go rapidly, and that god awful pain and burning were gone.

    A touch over a year later I lost C6/7 yawning of all things. Honestly, when my NS found I herniated at that level (surgery was offered), I went into it thinking it would turn out like the last one - WRONG! Now it wasn't the surgeons fault mind you. When I herniated during that yawn, the disk slapped pretty hard into the exit nerve. During surgery, he found that it was also now on the cord (not seen on the MRI).

    I was amazed in the differences in healing between one fusion and the other. My NS had me get another MRI at the 8 week mark, but there was still too much inflammation at the time so 'see' anything. The symptoms didn't resolve, and I was put on Lyrica and Darvocet. Not a fix, but a big help! Now I am on the 6 month waiting game to see if the vertebra heals on its own. Since it moves my hardware, and my voice keeps coming and going - I would venture that sucker isn't healing! (G) I hope you find out what if anything is going on. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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