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Checking in after 3 level ACDF on Monday

sunshinebry2000ssunshinebry2000 Posts: 81
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This is going to be short but wanted to let you know. So I woke up to very little pain in my arms and I was elated he said that the herniated disc was really a really huge impingment on my spinal cord. I do need to tell you that my neck and shoulders hurt so bad I can hardly stand it. They sent me home with percocet, Dilaudid and flexeril and I cannot find relief. It is day 3 so I will be patient but I was not expecting this much pain. I can harley move and it fells like there is knives on fire coming out the back of my neck. Ill keep the faith, I just wanted to let you know. I just need to heal. Ill write more in a couple days when I should feel better. Im still really thrilled about my arm though!!
Kimberly Martin


  • So pleased to hear that the pain in your arms is almost gone, but sorry to hear how much pain your neck is feeling.

    My neurosurgeon (I haven't had cervical surgery yet) has warned me that I will have severe pain in my neck and shoulders after surgery.

    I do hope that you will feel better very soon and that your healing will get under way.

    Take good care.
  • Thanks for posting about your recovery!
    Hang tight, the severe pain will pass with further healing. Your tissue has been poked, cut, stretched and bent out of shape, and your body is probably thinking what the heck??? Each day it will heal a bit more, and close up and calm down.

    Your surgeon was wise to warn you about the pain. My ACDF 2 level is in 2 weeks and according to my surgeon, it will be a walk in the park and just minor discomfort. I wish, but know better than that.

    Wish you all the best with healing and progress, lovely that the arm is better!

    Best of luck,
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
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  • susabellssusabell Illinois Posts: 241
    Yes Hang Tight. I had a 3 level surgery and I also had very bad pain in my neck and shoulders. It takes time to settle down. We are all thinking of you! Rest and be patient (I know it's hard). ;)
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
    Sciatica 3/11/16 Left Leg prescribed Medrol Pack 6 days also Physical Therapy.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    Im glad the pain in your arm is almost gone and hopefully with time it will all go away. My Drs suggestions to me was to walk. Walk as much as possible. I know you do not feel like it but it will help with the pain in the shoulders and the neck. It will help keep those muscles from tightening up. If you were anything like me during my recovery you will find that each day gets a little easier. Welcome to the other side.
  • I just wanted to say congratulations on your surgery!

    I am sorry you are in pain and pray with each passing day things improve. I wish you a speedy recovery hon.

    Missy, 1 level ACDF 
    Degenerative Disc Disease.
    Chronic Pain.
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  • Welcome to the other side. I think the pain in your neck and shoulders is common after a 3-lvl ACDF - I had one and had the same problems. A good muscle relaxant and pain meds are crucial in the first month or two. If flexiril isn't working for you, see if you can temporarily get something stronger like valium or soma. Muscle spasms are all too common after this surgery.

    Hang in there and know it will get better with time. As I've said a gazillion times, measure your recovery in weeks, not days. This is a long recovery and you're still very early out from a major surgery and assault to your neck area.

    Take care and please continue to keep us posted.
  • The pain in the neck and shoulders is VERY common after ACDF, don't worry! Sitting in a recliner helped me a lot with that pain. Also make sure to take your meds regularly so the pain does not build as much.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • So glad you are in recovery stage. It takes the nerves especially a good while to settle down, remember they were being bent out of shape(literally) for a long time before surgery.

    Stand with the best posture you can and walk, it does help as others have mentioned. I used to hunch my shoulders because of the pain, but using good posture helps keep the rest of the spine in good alignment and will pay off as things heal.

    Give yourself time, take your meds before the pain is too bad, they will work better. It's hard to play catch up. Give yourself time to heal.

    Thinking of you,


  • Wow there was several hours I thought Im not going to make it, the pain was so severe I was sure madness would come before relief! Now at day 5 I am able to complete thoughts and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, I am still in pain but I can tell it is less and I am sure everyday will get better. I was so emotional after the surgery,I could barely hold it together but I am feeling so much better. I still have alot of weakness in my right arm, the doc said that the nerve was impinged for so long that it may take a while to come back I will start PT in 2 weeks. I am happy I made this decision even though I second guessed my self quite a bit. I can now say that I think it will be ok. I got a bone stimulator yesterday and she said to use it as much as i want, so I have been using it for several hours, i am also finding some relief from ice packs. The meds are helping me sleep. So I will keep you posted thanks for the well wishes. i am really glad you are here and I am glad I am now part of the positive outcome stories that I can help someone with.
    Kimberly Martin
  • Great news.
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