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    Old 05-31-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
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    11 Days Post ACDF C5-6

    Hello to everyone

    I am 11 days post op for C5-6 ACDF (disk herniated causing pain in left shoulder and neck).

    When I lift my left elbow half way out to my side and rotate the arm towards my front I get a terrible knife feeling under my right back shoulder blade (left arm lift, right shoulder blade pain)ÖNever had any pain under that shoulder before surgery and it feels like it comes from the neck area and shoots down under that shoulder, also a burning feeling. The second I lower my arm the pain stops.

    Anyone else experience anything like this? Is this normal stuff post op? Pretty scared about this. Other then that I seem to be doing well but this new pain is 10 out of 10 when I lift my arm. Totally scared!
    Thank you,

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    Old 06-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #2
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    Re: 11 Days Post ACDF C5-6

    Hi. You are not even 2 weeks post-op and so you are in that period where all sorts of things will hurt mainly due to swelling in the area of the surgery and elsewhere. That area that hurts is controlled by the nerves just below the surgery area so as you are upright, the extra fluid can settle downward and aggravate the lower nerves.

    You need to give it time. this type of surgery takes a good year to heal and you will find that all sorts of weird things will happen during that time but you should slowly but surely feel better once the fusion has taken(3 months for that).

    Scroll on down to the Spinal Cord Disorders board and check out what others who have had this exact same surgery have to say. You'll find out what to expect and what has already gone well.

    But it does take time.

    good luck...............Jenny

    Old 06-02-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
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    Re: 11 Days Post ACDF C5-6

    just curious here if you actually had ANY other significant findings that were ON that right side and also more down towards that c 7-t 1 level?? any real solid findings the rad saw would simply be listed in the summary at the very back page and end of the rad report? do you actually even have a copy of that MRI report yourself? just what was the full extent of the c 5-6 problems?? what was really being impacted? anything directly impacting the cord level to any degree?

    while what jenny stated IS pretty much the way things go here with what you had done, any NEW pain like this should also be noted as well in some type of running 'journal" just like in a notebook type thing so you just DO know for certain and be able to mention this to the surgeon when you see him the exact day and time of onset and how what you did/do actually produced anything like pain or even numbness of tingling(esp if this should get even worse or not actually go away). its just a really good way to try and keep track of your healing course, and possibly tell if the surgeon may have missed something or something was inadvertantly hit during any given sugery. theres just a pretty wide margin between that c 5-6 level and what area would have to be really impacted in order for you to even 'feel" what you are feeling and esp where. the under the shoulder blade sensory innervation is actually more at the T 1 thru T 2. and that one i do KNOW from my own experience.

    in order to really find just what actual muscle innervation actually is, you need to simply look up 'myotomes images",and it should show you some type of a person with certain areas shaded in that show you the actual muscle innervation, just like the "dermatomes" would show sensory type of innervation too?

    for now, just take it easy and just make certain to really be doing that running journal even a few words about how this or that day is going and how pain levels are, with specific emphasis on ANYTHING strange/unexpected that should happen to simply pop in like this one did too. this really IS very very helpful in alot of ways, trust me, or i would not be telling you to do this at all. and your surgeon will have a really good idea of alot off different things just from this one thing you can do right now for yourself. hope this does eventually go away for you. but if you could actually answer the questions i asked up there, it really would be really helpful in trying to help you.

    while some nerves just simply run in some really strange ways inside our bodies,and esp in the inner abdominal and up thru thorasic, actually having a left sided movement create a right sided type of pain upon a particular ROM, just is a bit odd to me. but also just knowing how truely extensive that c 5-6 problem was/is would also tell alot too, esp like i mentioned, if there was ANY contact at all with that cord itself. good luck with this and please do keep us posted here.Marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 06-06-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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    Re: 11 Days Post ACDF C5-6

    Thanks Feelbad and Jennybyc

    Well, I am 17 days post op now and I am still getting that pain under the back side of the right shoulder blade. When I say back I mean the back of me, maybe 6 inches to the right from the back of my spine and under the shoulder blade area.

    My original pains were actually under the left almost in the same spot I would say, they would cause a dull pain that ran up through the neck area on the left. That has calmed down a lot after surgery, not 100% but definitively better. But now I have this sharp pain on the right side which concerns me. This new sharp pain started 3 days after surgery.

    A few days after my first posting the pain calmed down when moving my left arm(the new pain I get on my right side). I went a couple of days and then the pain just started happening on itís own, the worst being when I am asleep and wake with it. I normally donít have the pain all the time, only when I do random movements and then all of the sudden wham, it hits me for a few seconds and absolutely kills. It seems getting in and out of bed really irritates it the most. I am usually good for maybe 2 trips out of bed while sleeping, after that it starts to really bother it and then I pay the next day.

    My left should is also cranked way down in comparison to the right shoulder, maybe 1 inch lower. Sometimes that gets better, depends on the day. When it is really cranked down is when I get the most pains from random movements. Like I said the left arm movement setting off has stopped, now just today right arm movement is causing it. So strange and frustrating.

    So what I am wondering is am I just being silly worrying about any of this so early on? And has anyone else experienced stuff like this post op that resolved itself over time(how long)?

    I have read on the boards that most who do well with ACDF are 95% better when they wake up from surgery, I am 95% better on the left side but 100% worse on the right side(never had any pain ever on that side before).

    I go back to work in 4 weeks and right now I would not be able to work. I will paste my MRI results below. I had multiple MRIís over a two year period before pulling the trigger on this, and they all showed the same problems at C5-6.

    The surgeon said it was worse when he actually got inside, he said the herniation was sticking right into the spinal canal and I was missing some disk material which created a hole where disk should have been. I spoke with him a week ago and he said all this stuff is normal, but it sure does not feel normal. I am great other then this new sharp pain which never seems to be getting better.


    HISTORY: C5-6 spondylosis, neck and bilateral arm pain.

    TECHNIQUE: Multiplanar multi sequence MRI scan of the cervical spine was
    performed without gadolinium on a 1.5 Tesla magnet.

    COMPARISON: The study is compared with prior MRI scan of the thoracic
    spine dated 9/27/09.

    The craniovertebral junction is patent.

    At C2-3, there is mild disk desiccation. No neural foraminal or spinal
    stenosis noted at this level.

    At C3-4, there is mild disk desiccation and a very mild bulging annulus. No
    neural foraminal or spinal stenosis noted at C3-4.

    At C4-5, there is mild disk desiccation and disk narrowing. No neural
    foraminal or spinal stenosis noted at C4-5.

    At C5-6, there is mild disk desiccation and disk narrowing. There is a
    small left paracentral disk protrusion superimposed on a mild to moderate
    bulging annulus. There is slight narrowing of the AP dimension of the
    thecal sac at the C5-6 level with no significant spinal stenosis noted at
    this level. The appearance is unchanged since the prior thoracic spine MRI
    of 9/27/09.

    At C6-7, there is mild disk desiccation and a very mild bulging annulus. No
    neural foraminal or spinal stenosis noted at C6-7.

    1. Small left paracentral C5-6 disk protrusion superimposed on a mild to
    moderate bulging annulus.
    2. Mild diffuse degenerative changes noted in the cervical spine.
    3. No evidence of neural foraminal stenosis or significant spinal

    Old 06-06-2010, 03:55 PM   #5
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    Re: 11 Days Post ACDF C5-6

    I messed up, it is my right shoulder which is cranked down compared to my left. So the right should(side of the new sharp pain) is 1 inch lower then the left.

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