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Old 05-16-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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Question Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

I had my C5 - C7 ACDF with plate (I'm a newbie and don't know all the correct terminology you all use) about five weeks ago. I consider the surgery absolutely a miracle! My severe pain, numbness and muscle spasms were all gone as soon as I woke up from surgery. However, within twenty-four hours I started having hot flashes even while I was still in the hospital. For about three weeks I had about 15 of these a night and I'd wake up drenched and so hot I couldn't stand it. Then I'd throw the cover or sheet off and within a few minutes I had goose bumps and was freezing cold and I'd put the sheet over me again. Needless to say I was exhausted because I couldn't get good sleep.

I had low blood pressure while in hospital and they wouldn't give me my blood pressure medication while there and I hadn't taken it since I had come home and I thought maybe I'd best go to my PCP and have my BP checked. It was still low but he didn't have an answer for my hot flashes. (I had a total hysterectomy about seven years ago and have been off HRT for about a year and a half and had not been having hot flashes.) I called the NS office and asked and they just said to ask my PCP. I called my OB/GYN and they ordered an estrogen and thyroid panel. (I have Hashimoto's) All tests came back normal. At this point they all had no answer and just wanted me to start using a HRT patch again. I had it on for about five days but it didn't help. I really didn't want to do that as it makes me gain weight and so I took it off and haven't used them.

They have gotten better now that I'm five weeks out. I still wake up with hot flashes but not nearly as many and I'm not usually drenched in sweat anymore either. Has anyone else encountered this after surgery? I spent hours searching the internet for information and that is how I stumbled upon this website. There are only about four or five mentions of people having hot flashes/night sweats anywhere that I could find. So, even though I'm getting better I was hoping to help anyone else in the near future that has this same problem.

My best guess is that the surgery itself was such a stressor on my body that the stress thru my body back into a sort of menopause again and that's why I started having the hot flashes again. I did read somewhere about hot flashes and night sweats being associated with the sympathetic nervous system, but I don't know anything about that.

Another thing thing that I noticed after surgery was that the pain that I had in my shoulders that had kept me from being able to sleep on my side with my arm above my head was completely gone. I had thought that it was due to a rotator cuff injury and had been treated for that, but it must have been due to my neck! I'm soooooo happy now. I have read others mentioning rotator cuff problems along with ACDF and I wonder if the pain that is often blamed on the rotator cuff isn't really due to a neck problem. Anybody else notice that?

Thanks ahead for any additional information that you may share. I hope that this will help others as well as myself. You all seem so knowledgable!

 
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Re: Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

I sometimes get minor hot flashes when on vicodin/percocet. If you are still taking any similar meds it may be causing some of your symptoms.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:19 AM   #3
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Re: Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

Hi, I have hashimotos and complete hysterectomy as well.My thyroid is practically all replaced with fibrous nodules. This is only a guess from experience but I usually have trouble after surgeries, I think it is from anesthesia-it puts everything to sleep! It will put me into low then when it wakes up a thyroid storm going high, after some weeks settling back into my range.I take synthroid and cytomel so they usually get normal in 4 weeks. The body hormones are all related so I think it just needs time to straighten out for you. Plus is it possible they injected steriods during your surgery? Feel better!

 
Old 05-17-2009, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re: Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

My first thought as well was the medication. Some times I get HORRIBLE night sweats from my opiate medication. That tends to be a side effect for some folks

 
Old 05-18-2009, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

I had hot flashes when I was on Percocet after my surgery. I haven't gotten it from occasional use of Percocet in the past, but since I was taking more of it and for a longer time, I started having the flashes and night sweats. It stopped when I got a bit further in my recovery and switched to Vicodin. They're both opiates, but for me, the Vicodin didn't cause that reaction.

I hope it lets up quickly for you.
Emily

 
Old 05-18-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
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Re: Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

That's what I wondered and so I stopped taking any medication the fifth day after surgery. Unless Vicodin and Soma stay in the blood for two or three weeks it can't be the cause of the hot flashes.

I suppose it is possible that it could have been my thyroid that was affected immediately after surgery, but when I had it checked about a week and a half after surgery all the thyroid levels (T4, FT4, T3, and T3Uptake and TSH) were normal.

I am now five weeks and three days post surgery and the hot flashes are essentially gone now. But I would have loved to know what was causing them. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

 
Old 05-18-2009, 11:49 AM   #7
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Re: Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

Some post-menopausal women start having periods again after major surgery. It can mess up your hormones. So I would think it could also cause hot flashes. If you know it's not the medication now, I suspect it's just your body's reaction to the trauma of surgery.

Or, gulp, maybe you're starting menopause?

Emily

 
Old 05-18-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Re: Three doctors and no answer for severe hot flashes/night sweats after C5-C7 ACDF.

Blue Atlas - thanks for responding. I had a complete hysterectomy about 7 or 8 years ago. I had used HRT until 2 yrs ago. I did have some hot flashes at first, but hadn't had them for over a year, maybe a little longer. Maybe I was just close enough in getting over them that the stress of major surgery did in someway mess up my hormones again and cause the hot flashes. I haven't been able to find any other reason that makes sense.

I had found so little about it on the internet that I was hoping this would trigger some responses that might help others in the future. Thanks for all the input!

 
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