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Neck and shoulder pain after acdf



  • Hi CharliJ
    I very much agree with you.Our recovery process is different from person to person..My Neurologist checked my after surgery MRI and said,the surgery is successful and exceptional ,all you need is patience lots of patience and expect the recovery to take 6 to 18 months.So for the last two months I am doing daily exercises of my arms and body in the pool.Doing the best you can for your body and mind will greatly help the recovery .So my message to all those experiencing discomfort and pain is patience and exercise and appreciation to any improvement
  • Hang in there. The pain will subside, eventually.... Take care of your neck, shoulder, and back muscles. Yoga, pilates, whatever exercise you can get. Chriopractic, massage therapy, ANYTHING to get your body to working normally again. The key is to not give up. The docs don't tell you that this pain can be overbearing and that exercise is the key to retraining and regaining muscle strength and control. I had one doc say, "It's always the near misses that complain the most" instead of telling me that I would have to be responsible to help my body heal by stretching and re-building the muscles affected by the surgeries. I encourage you to find yoga videos on youtube for neck, rhomboid, trapezius, triceps, biceps and low back. Stay away from the pain meds unless absolutely necessary because they have a rebound effect that just makes the pain that much worse. Try over the counter pain relievers and treat yourself to a hot tub or shower when the pain gets too much. I've cried with severe pain, I've sworn at the Docs that want to treat me with pain meds and I've pleaded with Docs to just make it stop hurting. I still get the pain of an "ax" stuck in the middle of my back several times a week but the pain is getting less and less and I'm training the neck, shoulder and back muscles more each week. Just hang in there and start moving as soon as you can. I'm 18 months post op and I was terrified I would have to file for disability at one year out. My left arm still curls up from spasms once a week but I'm not giving up. One thing that's happened to me is that my T11-12, L3,4,5 discs have herniated. I'm certain its from the neck either being put back into alignment or something along those lines. Another month of pain and loss of work to heal. It's a long journey for some of us but it sure beats parapalegia. That alternative was much worse. My neck still hurts, I still get pain into my arms and hands and that ever resourceful "ax" in my back shows up often. Just keep moving. It will get better.
    I know God won't give me more than I can handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much. (Mother Theresa)
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  • This can happen up to a year after surgery. Especially if your nerves were pinched or compressed for a long time. They have a memory as do the muscles. So even though they are compressed any more, they remember being compressed and decide to randomly start hurting again. That is the explanation my NS gave me. I am 8 weeks post op and same thing happens to me. I go from completely pain free some days to other days hurting and having burning nerve pain, especially on days when I day way too much. It takes a full year to recover from this surgery. And spinal surgery is a beast of its own.
    Flare ups are very common until you are completely fused. Try to be patient and take it easy.
  • I know your surgery was years ago, how are you now ? I am 4 weeks out and having weird pains between my shoulders .
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    hello rhondanorris69

    this is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so i am closing it. most members haven't been on the forum for some time

    you can search for articles on this subject or i suggest you create a new discussion.

    please click on this link for useful information
    welcome to spine-health


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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