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  • Nagging symptoms after ACDF

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    Old 04-04-2019, 07:53 AM   #1
    TennisPlayer001
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    Question Nagging symptoms after ACDF

    I am 55 years old. I had a major C6-C7 disc herniation back in 2017. Started with bad left arm pain in Jan-March. Then worsened to numbness below the waist in May (numbness in both legs, numbness elsewhere). The MRI showed the disc had blown out and was pressing on my spinal cord. The symptoms waxed and waned for months after that - so for peace of mind/quality of life I decided to have the ACDF surgery in October of 2017.

    The 3 month Xray showed the fusion was as expected.

    It has been 1 year and 5 months now. I was always active before (exercising 5 to 6 times a week and playing tennis 1 or 2 times a week). I still have what I would describe as nagging symptoms. I don't run anymore - to avoid the constant up and down bouncing pressure on my neck. But, after exercising, or after playing tennis - my neck will get sore (I call it a "flare up"). Sometimes my legs feel wobbly, sometimes I have minor discomfort in my left arm. The symptoms ease up, then come back with the next flare up after exercising or playing tennis.

    Is this ongoing inflammation something I should expect with exercise and extra physical activity? Is it something I just have to accept and expect? I have searched the internet and these boards - and haven't really seen anything about ongoing nagging little symptoms.

    Maybe I should just be happy that I still can PLAY tennis?

     
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    Old 04-18-2019, 09:58 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Nagging symptoms after ACDF

    Welcome to the board. I usually post on the Back board but try to remember to check here on occasion. Sorry you didn’t get a response sooner.

    I do have lumbar issues...so my comments are more about spine surgery in general. Yes, you are right. You should consider yourself lucky to still be playing tennis!

    Given that you had leg pain and that the nerve was compressed for quite some time, it is possible you suffered some nerve damage.

    Nerves are the one part of the body that science is still struggling to understand. I would say, based on my own experience from 4 lumbar surgeries, that you still are in the window where nerves can show signs of recovery...so don’t lose hope! Exercise is so important so keep doing what you can...but learn to listen to your body and don’t push too hard or do things you know will cause pain!

    If your legs are involved, it still sounds like some nerve damage. You might want to try extra B vitamins or one of the “supplements” for nerves to see if it helps. Also exercises to strengthen all the muscles that go into supporting your neck and head are important to continue. Of course keeping your core strong and everything else balanced and structurally aligned is important as well.

    But I will say...and I am older than you...I was about your age when I had my first surgery which was a L4-5 PLIF for spondylolisthesis ....that there will be some changes after surgery...and, I do not know a single person who has had one spine surgery. So do what you can to maintain what you have!!

     
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    acdf, inflammation, numb



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