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Be careful in crowds! Slight setback for me

I posted this in another thread but I would like more people to see this as a "heads up."

I had an acdf with instrumentation C4-7 on Sept. 28. All went well the first 5 weeks post op. Got off pain mess before 3 weeks, x-rays were perfect, barely any pain, good ROM and strength and I started PT. Then a freak incident happened and I am in the worst pain I have every felt! I am hoping it will resolve itself with icing (feels better than heat), PT including massage by my PT, tramadol (I hate oxycodone) and flexeril. I am also planning on walking a lot.

My hubby and I were walking the dogs and joking about something and without thinking, my hubby playfully and lightly body checked me on my left side. I must have had my arm slightly bent and elevated and he bumped me at the elbow, sending a bolt of pain up my arm and into my shoulder and into the left side of my neck. It was a complete accident but perhaps avoidable had I been aware and educated. Laura posted about riding in a car and having to stop fast, which jolted her. Her experience encouraged me to always wear my soft collar when riding in a car. Two days after this jolt of mine I am in horrible pain. Sleeping is the worst unless I can stay in one position all night. Rolling to my side or back is agony.

My PT told me my muscles are spasming because it came to the defense of this jolt to my neck and was trying to protect it. She can feel the knot when she massages my neck. The holidays are upon us now. Malls and stores get crowded and there are lots of people around us who can bump into us in just the wrong way, accidentally. Since Laura's post I realize how fragile we may be until the real healing has taken place....months or years down the line!

Be careful out there, friends.


  • This is great advice! I went to an outdoor concert 6 weeks after a L4/5 microdiscectomy and had planned to hide in the back away from everyone to avoid getting bumped into. Things ended up getting crazy and I got hit by fireworks and got bumped by people running away from the fireworks. My leg and knee were so badly swollen I couldn't walk properly, and that combined with being bumped into caused a big setback in my recovery.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • I have not been to a concert in years but that is a great example of what I am talking about!! Especially with the holidays coming up....crowds everwhere, even at school concerts and church! Fortunately I can say that 3 days after the incident I seem to be back to normal almost. 3 days of heat and ice, rest, walks, doing my PT every hour as directed, and some pain relievers and muscle relaxers at night (the Flexeril knocks me out so only Tylenol during the day) seemed to do the trick. I also started sleeping with a pillow between my knees if on my side and under the knees if on my back. Hubby massaged a Biofreeze-like cream into my shoulders before bed. I have read of others having these minor "traumas" in the months after surgery. It is scary because the pain and swelling can be so intense!! I am going to be so careful now and keep my "treatments" always nearby and ready. I expect there will be more incidences like this in the year after surgery.
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