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I know it's early post-ACDF, but question about symptoms...

Thanks for reading and offering advice/experience.

I'm 1 week post-op from C6-7 ACDF. Prior to surgery, I had about 5-6 months of slight but noticeable weakness of my R triceps with some muscle loss. I also had pins/needles with certain neck/arm positions, especially in the top of the forearm and my thumb/index fingers. My recovery has been going ok so far-- only need vicodin at bedtime, and I'm getting by with only tylenol through the day. So far, no pin/needles in my arm, but I noticed immediately postop that my R index finger is quite a bit more numb and my R triceps is noticeably weaker. 

Other than the usual swallowing stuff, this is the only thing really bothering me-- more so because I have no idea if it will continue to improve. My surgeon says this is not unexpected and feels that I just need time for things to improve. I suspect/hope he is correct, but I'd love to hear from anyone else who has had post-op worsening of weakness-- did it indeed get better with time? Am I just being paranoid? I know these things can take many months, but I'm just worried. Thanks to anyone who answers!!



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

    At only 1 week post op, keep in mind that you probably have some swelling and that your nerves were probably stretched a bit during surgery, so having new symptoms is not all that unusual.

    With that said, anytime that you have serious concerns, don't hesitate to call your surgeon's office and ask questions.


    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.

  • Hi

    I am three months post op of two level acdf 5-7.  I have all the same symptoms as I had before surgery.  I have neck pain, shoulder pain, shoulder blade pain and arm pain.  If anything I am worse now than before surgery.  So much so I wish I had not had it done.  I have had to go on steroids because I could not turn my neck to the left at all.  Not trying to scare you but it can happen.  When I talked to surgeon he said well......?   He did not paint such a rosey picture as before surgery.  I still take pain and muscle relaxers three months post op.  I go back to dr next week but am not hopeful.  I do not want another surgery.  Not sure what to do. 

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