Greetings! I am now 6 weeks post op from the Posterior micro-discectomy at C7-T1. Prior to the surgery I had severe pain between my scapula and spine, that radiated down the back of my right arm. I had numbness in my ring and little finger as well as significant loss of strength in my tricep muscle -- all on the right side.
My neurosurgeon and his partner (with a combined 60 years surgical experience) both reported that they had never seen a herniated disc as large as mine. Even the anesthesiologist who frequently works with them reported to me after the surgery that she had never seen anything like it.
I am happy to report that the surgery completely eradicated all of the pre-op symptoms -- no radiating pain, muscle strength significantly improved and numbness in fingers is slowly diminishing.
However, I am now suffering mightily from an all new set of symptoms. I have intense pain between the vertebrae at C7-T1, the best way I can describe it is like a searing hot ice pick stabbing me in between the vertebrae. I also get very painful muscle spasms in my shoulders. On days that I do nothing but rest, I am nearly pain free, but with any normal activity such as looking down to prepare or eat a meal, and any activity that uses a lot of arm movement like scrubbing the sink or doing light yard work, the pain ramps up very quickly and intensely.
I am waiting to get an MRI (insurance hoops to jump through first) but I'm wondering why the pain is so intense. It was suggested that since the nerve root was so severely compressed that the nerve is still healing. It seems to me that if it were the nerve root, I'd still have radiating pain. Since the pain is so localized, and I know that a great deal of disc material was removed, I have to wonder if the pain is due to not having much disc left in the space.
I fear I'm heading for a second surgery for the ACDF, but maybe I'm just getting worked up over nothing. From everything that my surgeon and chiropractor said prior to surgery, I expected to be back to normal life by now, so obviously I'm an exception to the expected outcome. But then, the herniation was far larger than expected.
I thought I'd ask what other's experience is with this kind of post-op pain. Will time heal the pain? How much time should I spend on a "wait and see" approach? Right now my quality of life is very low. I was very athletic and now I'm a couch potato. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!