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tingling in fingers after c6-c7 fusion surgery

edited 06/11/2012 - 7:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
two weeks after I had c6-c7 fusion surgery, I lifted a small radio. I think it was heavier than my allowed limit.

now i have tingling in two of the fingers of my left hand. what should i do?


  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I would call your surgeon and let them know what's happening. That's the only way to get the information you need - nobody here is qualified to tell you what might be going on.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Welcome to spine health.

    I would recommend you call your surgeon and let them know what's going on. You're very early in your recovery and these things happen. It doesn't necessarily mean it's serious but it's better to be safe than sorry. I hope you're feeling better soon.

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  • I called the office Monday. He thinks it may just be irritation/swelling. I am still concerned because it is not diminishing. I have to call back if i still have it on Friday.

    Has anybody ever had this happen after surgery? How long does it take for irritation to go away?
  • I called the office Monday. He thinks it may just be irritation/swelling. I am still concerned because it is not diminishing. I have to call back if i still have it on Friday.

    Has anybody ever had this happen after surgery? How long does it take for irritation to go away?
  • Hi -- Definitely follow up with your surgeon for instructions/peace of mind. I had C5-6-7 fusion in March 2009 and I still get tingly fingers sometimes. Not often, but because of nerve damage or a flare up because of the implants, I'll feel a little numbness or tingling. My surgeon told me not to worry about it so long as it goes away, which thus far it has.

    I remember feeling a lot of numbness and tingling after the surgery. Like you, I contacted my doctor, and he said the said thing about swelling, and that it may even be a good thing, i.e., a sign that nerves were healing.

    Again, that is/was just my experience. Keep in touch you with your doctor for a personal assessment.
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  • Thanks for the feedback, helps to make some sense.

    I have an appointment next week to see surgeon.

    question: did you also ever experience a tightning when you grip, almost like a carpel tunnel area of the wrist?

    i don't know if this is just normal things that pt will help eleviate.
  • I've never had carpel tunnel, so I'm not sure about the pain you're speaking of. I had all sorts of aches and pains after the surgery, and stressed about them, thinking they were forever. They weren't, but like I said, I still get weird pains/numbness/tingling as a result of the injury I suffered and implants, but nothing persistent and about 300% better than the pain I was experiencing pre-op.

    If you're only a matter of weeks (or even months) out from your surgery, I wouldn't worry too much about pain you are describing; if your surgery was like mine, your surgeon was rooting around nerves that will be impacted by swelling for a while, and if your injury was like mine, your nerves have been under stress for a while and need time to heal. Like everyone has said, no one on this board can tell you whether what you're feeling is "right" or "wrong" in terms of your healing process; you need to call your doctor with those questions, which you have, and I'm glad to hear you have an appointment. But until you get your medical assessment, try not to stress too much, understanding that you've had a big surgery that is going to cause your body to react in different ways, many of which may be a natural part of your healing.

    Just FYI - I had two spine surgeries in 6 mos, one cervical, one lumbar. I'm more than a year out from both, and I still call my surgeon all the time and pester his poor medical assistant with email questions. The stress of healing correctly and avoiding new injury can sometimes feel as bad as the physical injuries, so do not hesitate to contact your doctor whenever you start feeling it and have questions that need to be answered. If your surgeon isn't the most available of people, you may ask if he has a medical assistant and if you can have his/her email address. That can often facilitate the communication. I even took pictures of one of my incisions that I was concerned may be infected and emailed the photos to my surgeon's medical assistant to get instructions on what to do. Big help, and saved me a trip to the office.
  • Hi, Your feedback is very helpful! I am keeping a pain journal too, so i can access the pain as it changes or gets different.

    I did not know that the recovery process was going to be this in depth. The positive side is that my symptoms are not getting worse, either the same or better each day. This gives me some hope. I am looking forward to my appointment on Thursday, when I can ask all these questions directly to the surgeon.

    you are right, the not knowing is what is stressful...

    thanks again for your help, will keep posted.
  • The surgeon said he felt it was still swelling/irritation. he prescribed a steriod by mouth for five days. he also took xrays. i could see that nothing was moved or changed. this made me feel initially relieved.

    since then, the grip strength has improved on it's own. the tingling is still there, but he said it could take weeks to go away. he said the steroid should help

    i have to start on the steriod, upon pick up.

    i am glad i went to see the xray. i just want all these tingling type feelings to go away. maybe i am a doubting thomas, but i will believe it when it happens.!!! until then, i will do what the dr. said, and continue with being careful with my recovery.

    i appreciate the feedback of these posts! this recovery period is very long and tedious.... what a trial period we have to go through.
  • That sounds like really good news from the doctor. Recovering from a big surgery like this is a long process. It is a huge relief when the doctor tells you that what's happening is normal and that you're on the right track!
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