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Looking forward to finding some answers

greendoreenggreendoreen Posts: 3
edited 02/07/2015 - 9:50 PM in New Member Introductions
Hi, my name is Doreen. Tomorrow will be 4 months since my neck surgery. I had C4-5 ACDF, C6 corpectomy and C4-7 fusion. I am in so much pain daily. I've been to the Drs...repeatedly and finally I can call this Monday for Pain Management. I can not sleep at all. There is just no comfortable position that my neck can tolerate. I'm hoping to find some great advice on pain. I feel like I'm going insane. I'm more depressed than ever. I feel no one understands, Drs., family or friends. All I want to do is cry. I've been fighting with Drs. for year. First they said it was carpal tunnel and I had that surgery. Finally they determined it was my neck. They cut me off meds at 3 months. Since then its just pain, pain, pain. I'm praying I get some great advice from others.

Thanks, doreen


  • I had the same surgery but mine was C3 C4 C5 I was in the hospital cervical collar for 3 months. Then I switched to the soft cervical 50 % of the time because it took me a good year to heal completely. The soft collar reduced fatigue for me during the day. I also got deep tissue massages 2 times a week, I went to a heated therapy pool until I opened my pool, then I would be in my pool everyday to relieve pain. I would also soak in my hot tub. After my fusion was complete I was prescribed naproxen anti-inflammatories 3 times a day which helped a lot.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,430
    first at C4/C5 (1985)
    then at C6/C7 (2000)which they needed in addition to fusion is put in a plate with screws.

    With both of these surgeries, I had to wear a hard collar for 6 or 7 weeks 24x7. It was not comfortable, but by the time, I went of the hard collar, I was feeling better.. Though my neck from like a rubber sponge.

    Normally, after spinal surgeries, specifically cervical , its the 3 month post period that you start to feel better. It can then take a couple of months before you are really pain free ( but pain free is a subjective term, you still may have pain, but it should be tolerable)

    Have you been doing any Physical Therapy? I have found that after each of my spinal and joint surgeries, that physical therapy was so necessary to get back on track. That along with Aqua therapy made a world of difference.

    Sleeping can still be very hard even after 6 months. I found that using a wedge ( we purchased one from a fabric store, a foam pie!)
    I slept on that for about 6 months after surgery. After that, I did not need any help with cervical issues in terms of function and pain.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • Thanks to you both. My Dr. said he wouldn't even discuss physical therapy until 6 months...I'm at 4 months. I do have a hot tub and that give me the most relief I must admit...for like 1 hours or so. I am going to try the wedge thing. That really makes sense right now. I'm willing to try anything. I do find wearing my soft collar helps too. Sometime the incision in front is really aggravating being the nerves and muscle were cut and I find wearing the soft collar almost impossible too. Hopefully, I can get into pain management soon and they can give some more options.
  • Don't be so hard on your self you had major surgery. Your surgery fixed your neck problems from progressing. At 4 months your pain should be better then before surgery but to have zero pain maybe much later. I was only working part time from 3 months to five month post op because I had Aqua therapy and massage therapy twice a week. I had my family do most of the chores. When I was tired I took naps. You will learn to adjust to find other things that make you mentally happy. I use to bowl and loved it. Now I just watch my son bowl. I use to love to water ski, now I just swim because my arms are to weak. Life is a series of adjustments and so is spine surgery. Take it slow and adjust as it necessary. Know your limits and only do what you can and let others help you.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • I was told that to expect zero pain (after c5-c7 ACDF) was unrealistic. And, for me, it would have been.
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