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Day 3 post-op ACDF- first time here

Kallay7KKallay7 Posts: 1
edited 09/01/2015 - 10:06 PM in Surgery Buddies
This is my first time here, and I'm here because I really need my surgery peers right now. I'm struggling and trying not to freak out.

Brief background: I'm a 35 year old female. I was diagnosed with a herniated C5-C6 in June 2014 (likely from golf cart accident August 2013). I was nonsymptomatic until May 2015 when my arms, hands and fingers started going numb, then they started burning like they were on fire. I had consistent straining sensations anytime I lifted anything with any weight- like a glass of water, with the strain down the outside of my arms. Some pain into my fingers/joints, hard to open jars, turn things. Neuro exam showed positive Hoffman's reflexes, hyperactive reflexes etc, MRI scheduled immediately. MRI results were given on August 19th showing moderate spinal cord compression from the C5-C6 herniated disc. ACDF Surgery was immediately scheduled for August 27th, 2015. The procedure was completed at the [EDIT]. I stayed overnight and went home on August 28th. No brace or PT. Off work, driving for 4 week minimum.

Situation: Today is post-op Day 3. My pain is manageable, and it's honestly better than I would have thought. I have some burning/uncomfortable pain at the base of my neck today, but it's not horrible. My real issue, and what has really upset me, is that I have new symptoms in my arms. My hands are "clicking/popping" again, this is the best way to describe it. I went to move my pillow and my hand "popped", and my left thumb went numb and has loss of sensation. I am still having the strain down the outside of my arms when I pick things up (weakness). I feel a strain/tingle in my right shoulder that I didn't feel before. The pain I had in my right index finger has returned (or just isn't masked by pain meds at the moment). All in all, it doesn't seem any of my original issues have been resolved, but what is most concerning are the issues I didn't have before (left thumb, popping).

Is it normal to have new neuro symptoms after surgery? If the disc was removed from my spinal cord, why are there new symptoms? Could swelling be compressing something? I don't feel like this was mentioned as a possibility. I know the damage and original symptoms could be permanent, but it's a bit scary to think that on top of everything else I could have new issues. Has anyone else had new issues after surgery? Were they temporary?

I am on 10-15mg oxy every 4 hours, I have Diazepam as well, but haven't used it because I haven't had spasms (maybe I should take it?!). My throat is better every hour and I am eating foods that fight inflammation, rubbing frankincense on the posterior base of my neck (fights inflammation), and taking supplements good for it as well.

Any tips, trips, or advice is greatly appreciated.

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  • I just had ACDFP on Friday and was released 2 hours later to go home.

    I was referred to a pain specialist prior to the procedure and she told me it would take weeks to months for everything to settle down. I would highly recommend taking your Diazepam whether you need it or not. It was explained to me that when the disk was put in it changed everything and now there is readjustment.

    I noticed that I had some tingling too in my feet and hands. I think it all takes time due to inflammation.

    I am also using ice. The doctor didn't specifically tell me to but I use it every 4 hours or so. My NS told me to stay ahead of the pain. He also said not to sit with my neck unsupported for more than 15 minutes at a time. So that might be something else to look at. Are you laying or reclining with your neck resting most of your day?

    Don't hesitate to call your neurosurgeon. I called mine 4 hours after I returned home with a question.
    C4-C5 ACDF surgery with plating August 28.
    cord compression due to disc-osteophyte complex
  • Also, I found this journal invaluable as I was preparing for my surgery and recovery, which is also on this forum.


    C4-C5 ACDF surgery with plating August 28.
    cord compression due to disc-osteophyte complex
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  • I am six months post op and having quite a bit of pain. I barely work part time now. Although being a hairdresser makes it hard to function with neck abmoralities.... I called doctor today to find out what he suggest. At 3 months he suggested a monogram... but I thought I was doing better. Now things seem to be getting worse. I have had three migraines in the past four days and working on another one. I have had a abnormal slow recovery from what the doctor said. I injured my neck in a car accident in april of 2002. I went a long long time trying every path before considering surgery. I should mention I also suffered from migraines prior to surgery....
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