Physical Therapy 11 Weeks After Acdf
Went to physical therapy for the first time yesterday since my 2 level c5,c6,c7 acdf on 11/30/06. The PT was great. I was prescribed range of motion, etc. to be done by the PT. She took a feel along my trapezius and up the sternomastoid muscles and said no way. I am in almost constant spasm on the trapezius on the left side above the surgical site. This has been the same problem I have had for years. I am right handed and she couldn't believe all of my problems are on the left. Even the doc felt like I should be having more symptoms on the right... Anyway she is starting me out on heat/cold therapy and massage (trigger point) initially.
The PT has put me onto a neat device that I am going to purchase. It is called a massage cane. There are several manufacturers, Theracane, Back Buddy, Back Knobber, etc. She said you can also use a regular cane if the hook is like a Shepard's hook. Anyway you hook it over your shoulder, find a trigger point and apply gentle pulling pressure. This helps to interupt the spasm. They are a little pricey for a metal rod ($25 - $40), but if it will stop these spasms I am willing to try anything.
The PT also had another patient who had surgery almost a month after me by the same doc. This lady's acdf was c4,c5,c6. Very interesting as she is already in physical therapy and was only put in a soft collar. I queried the PT why she thought doc put me in hard collar for 3 weeks and just now is starting PT. She said it probably has to do with the levels I had done as the C7 is the last of the C spine before the thoracic spine starts and the facet joints change position at that point. Hopefully this will maybe clarify a little why some of us are put in hard collars (I have a plate) and some are not or are put in soft collars. This lady was also prescribed a different bone stimulator than mine. Mine is the $5000 disposable collar that is worn 4 hours per day for at least 3 -6 months. Apparently our doc prescribed this lady a pad type bone stimulator that is only worn for 30 minutes a day. PT and I both can't understand why they can't refurbish the cervical bone stimulator collar. It does seem such a waste. I actually found one on the noted auction site. Very concerned that someone may purchase it without really knowing how long it had been used. They only have a life of about 9 months if used 4 hours per day.
Anyway just some thoughts for the day.. Hope everyone can see a little sunshine today. It is quite chilly in North Florida and this is the big festival weekend for this area. Sure feel sorry for all the crafters, etc. at their booths freezing.