I'm 10 days removed from an anterior C6-7 fusion. Prior I had virtually no symptoms in right arm/shoulder as pain was on left. Now, left pain is gone but RIGHT pain is very intense in esp. shoulder, and R index finger is numb. Also now have numbness in R foot.
Surgeon says nerve roots on both sides were compressed and are "agitated" after being freed, and that it's not possible to predict long-term outcome within the first three weeks. All the same, this simply doesn't feel like something that will go away on its own.
Comments appreciated, esp. as regards immediate behavior of nerve roots after surgery and the concept that pain could be worse before it gets better.
Hi Ted: I'm sorry your having such a hard time. I've never had a cervical fusion but have had many lumbar and the pain was always worse after the surgery. With me I never got immediate relief from the pre-op pain, and when you add the surgical pain to that it was usually double the intensity for that reason. I also had times when pre-op I had No left leg pain, just right leg, then after the surgery had pain in both.
Basically I was told the same thing as you that the nerves were moved around a lot, muscles and superficial nerves were cut so all that has to heal and will cause pain that you never had before. I know a lot of people who get immediate relief in pain, to a certain extent, but it didn't happen that way for me. Slowly I got better and the pain lessened but it took quite a bit of time.
I would stay on top of the pain, telling your dr what's going on, and figure he is right that it will subside in time. I don't know how much nerve damage you have, but if you have some that takes a while to feel better.
You are only 10 days out from surgery. I would expect the pain to be greater now than earlier. You know that everything was moved around and it needs time to adjust to the "new" insides and to settle down.
Also, they use a numbing agent inside of you during surgery that wears off at about two weeks. My surgeon said that I would HATE him for two weeks after the sugery. BOY he wasn't kidding...
take it easy, take your meds, follow your doctors orders, give it time.
I would keep track of the pain so that if it doesn't slow down or disapate you have a log to give to your doctor...
All, thanks for your uplifting comments. With three small kids and a wife who works only in the home, and with me starting a job with a new corporation on 3/26, I'm clearly quite worried. Somehow I have to be able to get through the day -- many days in a row, like the entire work week -- shortly. My doc new about this going in and wasn't concerned so we'll see.
The sentiments on other boards were more of a doom and despair nature. I guess as with many things it's just going to have to play out. I do appreciate the words of encouragement, however.
I am pre-op but have read many people's storys of recovery and I don't think its that uncommon to have more pain or days of more pain. Sometimes from overdoing it to..and everything is sore from surgery...it takes alot of energy to heal. All those muscles and nerves etc refiring, getting stronger etc. - Keep your chin up one day at a time, I have read many storys of people being in really bad pain one day and the next day boom feel like they turned a corner, and feel a zillion times better.
hi i had a c7 discectomy in may 2006 and it was absolutely brilliant for five days and then all the pain returned , i can not feel my right hand and left fingers. i had a repeat mri scan and i have been told that it went all ok and that my nerves have not fused together properly the pain is worse than before. i was wondering if anybody else has had the same problem.