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Old 08-28-2012, 05:30 AM   #1
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after ACDF surgery...

so, had ACDF (c5/6-c6/7) about a month ago.

When I woke up, my left side was weak. Couldn't walk, couldn't do much with the left arm. After a month of PT, it's coming along very slowly.

But day two after my surgery, my right side became numb. I'm talking EXACTLY my right side. You can draw a line down the middle of me (yes, including my private parts) and the right side of me is numb. I cannot feel hot or cold and my right leg is increasingly becoming weaker.

A post-op MRI shows another area on the backside of my first surgery where the spinal cord has narrowed. My surgeon sez he can fix what's wrong with me my doing a post fusion- going in from the back. He can't guarantee me this will fix my legs 100%.

I have talked with people who had the post surgery, and they tell me it's awful painful, and sometimes it causes even more problems.

I thought leg problems were caused with lower back problems (which I never have had) and not from the neck. To me, it sounds like a completely different problem which was rushed due to the surgery. Anyways, I have a second opinion consult scheduled with the Cleveland Clinic.

I was just wondering if anyone has had exactly half of their body numb?

 
Old 08-28-2012, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

Spinal cord damage in the neck can cause problems with anything below the level of the damage. I had cervical cord damage that affected my right leg and right arm.

Your situation sounds pretty serious. I hope you are getting that second opinion ASAP.

 
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

Hi there....I am a bit confused on when they started PT? You say your surgery was about a month ago but then say you have been doing PT for a month....This would be crazy for them to start you on PT immediately after a fusion....It is usually started a month AFTER recovery....

I'm also surprised they did a follow up MRI so soon after surgery...They usually do a post op X-ray to see the hardware and make sure it's in place...but to put someone through another MRI is not the norm.

Unfortunately with any type of fusion...there isn't any guarantee about recovery...

I would be seeking out a totally different Board Certified Neurosurgeon to get at least 2-3 more opinions...Being Board Certified makes all the difference...

You could just be having a major flare up of all the nerves because of doing PT too soon after the fusion....I would absolutely not be jumping into another fusion a month after this one unless they (2-3 more BC Neuro's opinions as I mentioned) thought it was a true emergency and something went terribly wrong with this fusion.

I have had 3, two-level, cervical fusions and the last one was done both Anterior AND Posterior in the same surgery...they just flipped me like a burger I needed this 3rd surgery since my 2nd surgery was not done very well at all by another Neuro.....but we tried many things for close to a year before we did the 3rd one as he did not want to rush into doing this.

Because you don't mention being in excruciating pain but it's more about the numbness....this is the reason that if it were me...I would trying to see if things calm down in the next months....It can take up to a year for a fusion to heal....but the first few months are crucial to nerve healing. This is why I am floored that they sent you directly to PT within days of your surgery.....

Obviously none of us are Drs. here and giving advice based on our own experiences...I just pray that you get the advice of more Neuros to find out what they think and hopefully it will be just a matter of time for your nerves to calm down and regain feeling and movement.

 
Old 08-28-2012, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

I went to PT, primarily for my weak left side 10 days after surgery. Nothing strenuous; just some range of motion stuff. They did the MRI because of the condition of the right side.

There's not a lot of pain involved; only when I am walking after PT or other semi-strenuous walking. And that's not too bad. I am scared because the right leg is getting weaker- even with the PT.

I had some problems with my right thigh prior to surgery. It would become so sensitive that while walking, my shorts would cause pain by rubbing against it. Then after a week, the sensitiveness would be replaced by numbness for another week. Then the symptoms to go away entirely for many months. I had been noticing some general leg weaknesses over the past year, but I thought that was because of a few extra pounds I was carrying. It's not lack of exercise as I walk approximately a mile a day at work.

My doc seems to think it's all because of the swelling and messing with the nerves from the first surgery. He says by relieving the pressure on the other side, it will fix what's wrong.

He's the best Neurologist in town. But he's just the best in THIS town. I should be hearing from the Cleveland Clinic in the next few days for my second opinion appointment.

 
Old 08-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

I went to PT, primarily for my weak left side 10 days after surgery. Nothing strenuous; just some range of motion stuff. They did the MRI because of the condition of the right side.

There's not a lot of pain involved; only when I am walking after PT or other semi-strenuous walking. And that's not too bad. I am scared because the right leg is getting weaker- even with the PT.

I had some problems with my right thigh prior to surgery. It would become so sensitive that while walking, my shorts would cause pain by rubbing against it. Then after a week, the sensitiveness would be replaced by numbness for another week. Then the symptoms to go away entirely for many months. I had been noticing some general leg weaknesses over the past year, but I thought that was because of a few extra pounds I was carrying. It's not lack of exercise as I walk approximately a mile a day at work.

My doc seems to think it's all because of the swelling and messing with the nerves from the first surgery. He says by relieving the pressure on the other side, it will fix what's wrong.

He's the best Neurologist in town. But he's just the best in THIS town. I should be hearing from the Cleveland Clinic in the next few days for my second opinion appointment.

 
Old 09-13-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

well, after a month of rehab, the PT was actually doing more harm than good to my legs. I went to the Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion and he saw what my current doc saw- something needed to be done from the posterior. But he also saw something in front of the cage that needed to be taken care of.

So I just got back from my local doc, and he sees the same. The problem in the front was probably caused by stress from the first one. He suggests taking care of the front, then flipping me over and taking care of the back all in one session. We could also do it one at a time; by doing the front we would know right away if that was the problem or not. If not, then he would do the posterior a few days later.

My thinking is to do both at once. That way it'll take everything out of the equation since there is nothing else wrong with me.

Of course, there is a chance that the problems I have now will remain permanent regardless of which way it's done. But there is a 100% chance it'll be permanent if I do nothing.

So, I was wondering if anyone out there has had the two procedures in the same day and how it came out for them.

Thanks

Last edited by tomyo10; 09-13-2012 at 09:04 AM.

 
Old 09-13-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

What operation are they proposing to do from the back?

If it's NOT minimally invasive, that would certainly be an argument in favor of wait-and-see...

 
Old 09-13-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
What operation are they proposing to do from the back?

If it's NOT minimally invasive, that would certainly be an argument in favor of wait-and-see...
It's a post cervical laminectomy. No, it's not minimally evasive. But he would do a c5-6/6-7 revision in the front. And if that's not the problem, then he'd do the back a few days later. My thinking is if the front fixes me for now, what's holding up the back from causing me problems in the future. I'm 53 now and really don't want to mess with the post surgery when I'm 70.

By doing them both, there's nothing else to think about. If it doesn't fix me then there's nothing else to do.

Hell, I don't know. I wasn't planning to have this done to me when I went in to see why my left arm goes numb when I bend my neck back.

 
Old 09-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #9
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

The fact that he wants to do a laminectomy tells me you need TWO more opinions. It's my OPINION that laminectomies are done by surgeons who don't know how to do laminoplasties.

Maybe a laminectomy really is the way to go, but if a doc told me it was, I would waste no time in seeing what someone else had to say...

 
Old 09-13-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

the Cleveland Clinic neurologist did agree with my local doctor about everything. The only thing is he'd re-do the front before doing the back, as would my local surgeon. He just offered to do both at the same time as an option.

 
Old 09-19-2012, 03:06 AM   #11
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

Finding the same at this stage. All went good for first few weeks but left side weakness for arm and right leg are taking my sanity. Haven't worsened- just not improved as I would have expected
Go back to surgeon tomorrow so hope to find out more. Will report what I get told.

 
Old 09-19-2012, 05:44 AM   #12
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

Gonna think something happened during your surgery. Something nicked something inside your body. That's what doctors think happened to me.

A week from today I'm going back for a anterior re-do and a posterior laminectomy. They start in the front then flip me over. If this doesn't fix me, then I'm stuck with what i have.

Good luck with yours- please let me know.

Tom

 
Old 09-19-2012, 10:38 PM   #13
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Unhappy Re: after ACDF surgery...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomyo10 View Post
Gonna think something happened during your surgery. Something nicked something inside your body. That's what doctors think happened to me.

A week from today I'm going back for a anterior re-do and a posterior laminectomy. They start in the front then flip me over. If this doesn't fix me, then I'm stuck with what i have.

Good luck with yours- please let me know.

Tom
Well here goes:
Went to see the stand-in surgeon (Mine is away on sebatical for 6 mths) and had a great chat to her (Yes a woman neurosurgeon).
She spent quite sometime explaining what was what- not really what I wanted to hear but at least I now know all about it.
The nerve damage was much worse than expected and may never recover. Most of the problem is inside the nerve sheath and, even if done earlier, a similiar result would have happened.
The muscles in my left shoulder and arm, have wasted away to a great degree possibly to never return. I now have to stop it getting worse.
The right is similiar-just not so bad.
I am to have another MRI concentrating higher up so to see if there is still something that can be done so that's a positive I guess.
Otherwise it's all done and dusted )-:. There is no magic potion available so I guess I have to adapt.

 
Old 09-20-2012, 03:41 AM   #14
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

have your problems been going on for awhile (before surgery)?

 
Old 09-29-2012, 12:57 AM   #15
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Re: after ACDF surgery...

Started showing up after fall in March 2011. Is worse now after surgery but awaiting MRI (still) to see what other problems there maybe.

 
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