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Old 10-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #1
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5 days post ACDF, trouble talking, weak hand

I'm five days post-op from ACDF C67 and am a little worried about my voice and my left hand.

I can't talk above a whisper. It isn't getting any better. Throat doesn't hurt. Just seems like I can't talk above a whisper.

also, I didn't have any arm, hand weakness going in, but the day after surgery my hand started feeling weak and arm, hand slightly numb and tingling. Is this normal? PA said don't worry about it, but I need assurance that perhaps there is some swelling causing these new symptoms and this is to be expected???

 
Old 10-08-2012, 04:59 AM   #2
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Re: 5 days post ACDF, trouble talking, weak hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteY View Post
I'm five days post-op from ACDF C67 and am a little worried about my voice and my left hand.

I can't talk above a whisper. It isn't getting any better. Throat doesn't hurt. Just seems like I can't talk above a whisper.

also, I didn't have any arm, hand weakness going in, but the day after surgery my hand started feeling weak and arm, hand slightly numb and tingling. Is this normal? PA said don't worry about it, but I need assurance that perhaps there is some swelling causing these new symptoms and this is to be expected???
Hi CharlotteY, I didn't have a ACDF but a laminectomy on C5,C6 partial C7. But I also experienced lots of pins and needles and some numbness in the palm of my hand after the surgery even when I didn't experience them before.

I can't give you insurance and I'm really not qualified to give an expert opinion, but I'm just saying what I experienced after surgery.

My surgeon told me the pins and needles where normal after surgery and they would go away again but that it could take up to a year.

If you are really worried you should call the hospital and make a list of your questions / symptoms so you can ask them.

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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Re: 5 days post ACDF, trouble talking, weak hand

Hi there...

I have had 3, two-level, cervical fusions...and what my last Neurosurgeon told me was it's all about how delicate the surgeon is. Some can be great surgeons...but are a little more "rough" when it comes to moving around your vocal cords when getting to the disc space.

So, this sounds like the reason why you are having problems in that area. Try to continue with warm liquids and actually not trying to talk much because the straining will make it last longer.

As far as the weakness goes...again, during this surgery there are millions of nerve endings and larger nerves that are moved and aggravated. With the inflammation inside from this type of surgery....it can take time for the nerves to calm back down.

Obviously it's good to be letting the Dr. know of all of these symptoms to make sure they are keeping track....but they should all get better in the next weeks or so.

Just keep following ALL the Drs. orders with both rest and walking around little by little throughout the day.

Keep us posted..

 
Old 10-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: 5 days post ACDF, trouble talking, weak hand

Just wanted to provide an update... I'm now post-op day 9 and am doing better. My voice is a little stronger, but it seems to go in and out. It's much worse in the evening.

Still having problems swallowing thin liquids (water) unless I really concentrate. I will choke and sputter several times a day. But, that has also improved day by day.

My left hand is also getting better. I can now type using it where I couldn't for the first week or so. Still have some vague numbness and other weird sensations, but definitely better.

I spoke with two different PAs in the surgeon's office. They both reassured me what I am experiencing is normal. He sounded a bit more concerned that I was still having swallowing issues and said they "would keep an eye on in."

Days 5 and 6 were the worst for me as far as how I felt overall. Today, I felt like I turned a corner.

I don't take any pain meds at all during the day, but will take half a hydrocodone (?sp) and a flexeril in the evening. I am noticing more pain in my shoulders and back the more active I am. I walk 1/2 mile two to three times a day. I am surprised at how tired I am near the end of my walks because I'm in pretty good shape. Goes to show you how taxing surgery is on the body.

I'm still sleeping in the recliner, even though it is past the five days my surgeon recommended. I couldn't even imagine trying to sleep lying down. It's so comfortable in the recliner. Still wearing the hard collar as advised by my surgeon (for the first month).

 
Old 10-30-2012, 06:44 AM   #5
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Re: 5 days post ACDF, trouble talking, weak hand

I am now four weeks post-op a one level 6/7 cervical fusion. I can now swallow water without choking, most of the time. My primary problem is still my voice. I have hardly noticed any improvement in the past few weeks. I can still only speak with a hoarse whisper and only with a high-pitched voice. I have no lower register tone at all.

My voice is a little better in the morning when I first wake up, but it "leaves" shortly thereafter.

I'm more than a little freaked out now. I have a follow-up with the PA in two days and am very interested in what he has to say. Is it normal to take this long for voice recovery???

 
Old 10-31-2012, 10:41 PM   #6
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Re: 5 days post ACDF, trouble talking, weak hand

I had a 2 level earlier this year and had no problems at all with my voice. I guess it's like someone else said-it depends on how gentle the surgeon was when he went in.


I did have a sore throat for a couple of days post op(that was because of the breathing tube they put in) and up until a little over 8 months I had a weird feeling in my throat. My problems now are mainly due to the fact I had progressive myelopathy-my nerve damage was just halted by the surgery and I still have some pain and numbness in my left arm and my neck hurts on occasion but it's nothing like the pain before the surgery. Plus under my chin is still numb from the incision to my jaw. My surgeon said to give it 6 months-if it doesn't get better by then it's never going to. Minor things I can live with though. The voice is another thing.

I guess what I am saying is that everyone is different regarding the post op issues. I've read where they can damage the laryngeal nerve from this surgery and that might be what's happened to you. It might get better and it might not. The only person who is going to give you an answer is your surgeon or the PA. Good luck and I hope it gets better.

 
Old 11-07-2012, 04:26 PM   #7
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Re: 5 days post ACDF, trouble talking, weak hand

Hi there!
I had an ACDF three levels done back in 2008. I do recall the voice and swallow taking time to get better. I felt liked I had a lump in my throat for about a month and then One day it just went away. Also I do recall my right arm and hand feeling very weak. But I also had a lot of cord compression, so after some time went by and I was cleared to drive my neuro surgeon sent me off to I started physical therapy and that improved as well. It takes time to get better. Just be patient. Slow and steady... You will get there.

 
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