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8 Weeks after ACDF and having numbness in all 4 limbs. How concern should I be? :((((((((

After about 4 week post op, I started getting some light numbness in left arm and left leg.  By week 7, it's on my right side as well, all 4 limbs.  It is very light but noticeable.  Thanks God it's not pain.  However, I'm still dealing with shoulder blade pain, deep neck pain more to the right, and headaches almost every day.  The numbness is weird and moves around. For an example, it t be in the calf area for a while, and will move just below my calf area, and foot.  But for the most part it's from my elbows to my finger(s) and from my knees to my feet and toes(s).  Anyone experience this numbness stuff, all 4 limbs?  When I lay down, it seems to subside quite a bit and when I wake up in the morning, still laying down, I don't have any numbness.  When I start moving around, it starts all over again.  My 6 weeks follow up with the Doctor, (his PA) at them time was only affecting my left side.  He too suggested lumbar problem as well and didn't seem to overly concerned.  Now it has worsened.  I'm trying to get in and see the acutal Doctor , not the PA to formulate a game plan.  

Anyone experience this wide spread numbness?
Could the cage have moved and now pressing on spinal cord?  Of course the x-rays look normal but you wouldn't be able to see the cage(s) since they are plastic.
Any recommdations?

I have requested them to refer me to a Nero ASAP.

Thanks.... Greg
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Comments

  • Hello Skyjake
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • NotMeNNotMe Denmark, EuropePosts: 73
    Hi Skyjake 
    You sure should see a doc rights away - either your surgeon or a neurologist. You symptoms sound exactly like what I had except mine was only the legs. I had spinal stenosis. My symptoms would disappear when lying down and would come and go in different areas during the day. Yes, it could probably be the cage that has moved or some scar tissue in your spine canal. And yes, it could be both the cervical and the lumbar area. I would ask for an MRI. That gives them the best picture for spinal stenosis. 
    I have been told that pain nerves are on the outer side, the numbness is next and after that comes the nerves for the  muscles. If that's true, the next will be weakness ( experienced as easily fatigued). so please, go see a doc. Take care and don't let them wave you off. 
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  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    Greg

    Should you be concerned, sure.  Should you work with the PA, yes.  Should you try to see the doctor, sure - but that PA could be quicker and could help, as you said the symptoms changed since your last visit.  My surgeon has a NP, and it took me awhile to learn to trust her and know that she is a valuable resource to me.  Now I would rather see her than the doctor because she has more time to spend with me.

    BUT, it is fairly normal for some swelling to occur post surgery that could cause your moving symptoms.  So, don't panic yet.   That doesn't mean ignore the symptoms though because it is better to find out why the symptoms are showing up than guess.

    Good luck, please let us know how it turns out.

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • skyjakesskyjake Loganville Posts: 4
    I'm keeping a daily journal now just in regards to recovery.  I did go by Doctor's (Surgeon's) office today and spoke with a nurse mainly regarding LTD application they finally completed.  I gave her a copy of my today's journal that she said she would go over with the Doctor.  For about the 3rd time, I clearly communicated to her that numbness has worsened.  They did refer me to a Nero (non surgeon) for evaluation and that is set up for 10/28/16.  Again, I request to see Dr ASAP and was told they are extremely busy and he would like to get Nero evaluation first.  The following Tues 11/1, I am scheduled to see the Doctor. The PA is out of town this week and the Doctor will be out of town all next week.  Also, while I was there, I spoke with my PT (located same place) and brought him up to speed with the above info.  He is fully aware of what's going on with me.  He encouraged me to keep coming, twice a week, even though he would most likely only be doing soft tissue work. He also stated that he wants to keep up with me since he does communicate directly to the Doctor.  So, I agreed to keep going.

    NotMe and Bruce, I really appreciate you taking the time to write me back.  It's therapeutic for me, for sure :)

    Greg
  • skyjakesskyjake Loganville Posts: 4
    Thanks William :)
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  • skyjakesskyjake Loganville Posts: 4
    By the grace of God, I'm getting better. Yes, of course I will give credit both to my attitude and Physical Therapy. It appears that most, if not all, of my previously reported numbness is caused by a drug. When I take it, it exacerbates the symptoms. I'm not comfortable of disclosing what this drug is on an open forum. However, I will say this. It was prescribed for pain, it's not common, and would have been very expensive If I had to pay for it, like over $300. Thankfully, my insurance payed 100% and for me worked better than anything I have ever used. In my research on the drug, I read a study and I believe only 4% reported numbness and was not listed as a common side effect.

    It's been little over 2 months for me. Yes, everyone heals differently. I had a good PT visit this morning and I have probably already said this but I go twice a week and keeping up with exercising at home.

    Hopefully I will return to work in 6-8 weeks.

    Greg
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    Greg

    That is good news. Thanks for sharing!

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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