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3 months post op, 2 level ACDF and not happy

dmd09ddmd09 Posts: 14
edited 03/06/2017 - 5:33 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had ACDF on November 30th. Surgery went well. However, in the meantime I've been to urgent care a few times. I've had soft tissue swelling on both sides, and have sporadic muscle pain, and tightness as well. I can swallow fine, but I still feel like I have a lump in the front of my throat.
 I haven't even seen my DR. since my surgery, I have seen his assistant twice. He is only in the office ONCE a week now. I would like to get a DR. that can actually help me along with my recovery, but I heard most DR's wont take on someone else's "Neck". I was supposed to have an appointment at the end of this month, and they called and canceled and can't get me in until the end of April. 
The pain I had in my right shoulder down to my elbow into my wrist is pretty much gone. I feel it once in awhile. I'm having some of that type of pain on the left side now. I had the 4/5 5/6 done. I am now told that there is significant space around the C7, but he wants to keep an eye on it. I have been through therapy and I'm sure I'll be going again. I have tons of painful muscle spasms, and feel like some may be due to the fact that so much of the strength in my upper body is gone.
I don't know what the heck to think in the point of the game. 
Anyone else had anything similar with a double fusion? I'm wondering if it's alot tougher than a single fusion. 
Trying to stay positive


  • Hi Dmd09, I had double ACDF C5 to C7 on January the 4 th so I am now 9 weeks post op .I also have had C4C5 distectomy without fusion some years ago .following my surgery I was experiencing severe neck and shoulder pain and the medication was not working .I was taking oxynorm 10 mgs 3 x a day /Gabapentin 200 mgs 3 x a day and targin 2 a day .I returned to my surgeon after 3 weeks and had an MRI .He confirmed the surgery fine but my muscles in spasams so reduced the gabapentin and introduced Valium 2 mgs 3 x a day .This change made a big difference and gave me pain relief between doses.I am now trying to reduce my medications but I am finding the reduction leaving me in pain ,neck and shoulder .My right thumb and left thumb are numb and my chin around the op is numb .I returned to my surgeon yesterday week 9 for a follow up appointment .He reassured me that all will come good and has tweaked my meds again to reduce the oxynorm and introduce difene.Turns out also that I was walking too much and should limit this to 20 mins per day .Today I am actually feeling relatively ok .I am still out of work and haven't been given a return to work date .it was initially due to be after 12 weeks .Any questions feel free to ask .I wish you the best on your recovery journey .it has surprised me how difficult it is !
  • wow, seems like you've had your share of pain too! I'm glad your at least feeling ok today!
    I've heard walking is great for you, but how much, I don't know! Maybe if I could see my Dr. he could fill me in, but that's not until the end of next month which I am very upset over.
    I suppose as well as they keep saying 'everything is good' that's a good sign. 
    I have't taken the gabapentin yet , how does that work for you?
    Trying to stay positive
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  • I find the gabapentin good .The combo I am on now is working thank God .Seemingly I was walking too much and thereby putting myself in pain so the physio said to only do 20 mins and build up by 5 mins per week.Hopefully your doc will be able to steer you in the right path for recovery .Regards M 
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