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  • symptoms back after 8 weeks

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    Old 05-09-2004, 05:16 PM   #1
    MCC
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    Unhappy symptoms back after 8 weeks

    Had ACDF Mar 11. Been doing great, my arm/shoulder pain and finger/thumb numbness was completely gone immediately after surgery. However, last night my arm started hurting and I had a slight feeling of tingling in my thumb. Again this evening, my arm is beginning to feel "that familiar" pain again.

    This is really beginning to be a little scary to me. I was hoping for a little more relief than 8 weeks. My 4 week xray was good. I go tomorrow for my final xray to check on the fusion progress (donor bone with plate ( c5/6)). I will see the NS then.

    Anyone else have this happen? This is kinda depressing. Could this mean the fusion didn't take and something has moved? Does the pain mean that the nerve is pinched again? I sort of thought that since my symptoms went away totally right after the surgery, that the pinched nerve that was causing all the problems was "freed". Wonder why no pain for 8 weeks and then "Bam!"

    Any input would be comforting, (I think???)

     
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    Old 05-09-2004, 09:19 PM   #2
    secondfiddle
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    Re: symptoms back after 8 weeks

    I will not read this post. I will not read this post. I will not read this post....

    Okay, I read it

    Actually, I think I posted something similar a few days ago, or maybe it was in an email I sent. I'm only 3-1/2 weeks out (acdf c5/6 with donor bone) and my main symptoms were severe mid-back/upper back pain with some neck pain and pain in my left arm - mostly the forearm - and numbness into my pinky and ring finger, not the thumb side. After surgery my BACK did not hurt, and I was thrilled. I had not believed the doctor when he said he thought the back pain was coming from my neck.

    Anyway, I guess it was last week, 2 weeks post-op, when the mid-back pain returned, along with the symptoms in my left arm. I was also very discouraged, but I called and talked to the doctor's nurse who said it is NORMAL and it could take MONTHS for the numbness to go away completely.

    I'm trying to be optimistic, and I am definitely feeling better the last few days - much less pain - but that faint numbness is still there.

    Is there a chance that you've been feeling so much better (after 8 weeks) that you are overdoing things, or doing things in the wrong way (posture-wise) that may be aggravating this? Maybe you need to cut back on your activity a bit. If I feel, at 8 weeks, as good as I expect to feel, I will probably be overdoing things myself.

    Let us know how things progress...

     
    Old 05-10-2004, 06:52 AM   #3
    X-man
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    Re: symptoms back after 8 weeks

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by secondfiddle
    I was also very discouraged, but I called and talked to the doctor's nurse who said it is NORMAL and it could take MONTHS for the numbness to go away completely.

    I'm trying to be optimistic, and I am definitely feeling better the last few days - much less pain - but that faint numbness is still there.

    Is there a chance that you've been feeling so much better (after 8 weeks) that you are overdoing things, or doing things in the wrong way (posture-wise) that may be aggravating this? Maybe you need to cut back on your activity a bit.
    Some good observations secondfiddle! I had my 4 wk check w/x-ray last Thurs. I had a list of questions to ask, among them: what were realistic expectations for on-going pain and recovery. They said that this will be a long slow climb, with ups and downs to be expected. Nerves recover very slowly and we should not expect to make a final call on how we'll feel permanently until UP TO A FULL YEAR AFTER SURGERY. While most healing from the operation will be complete in 3 months (allowing for a return to full activity), the damage to the spinal cord and nerves could take 6 mos to a year to heal fully. If we reach the 1 year point and still have some lingering pain issues, unfortunately they said it could likely be a permanent condition, due to irreversable nerve damage (which can happen if you wait to long to get this taken care of). So patience is the key.

    I'm guessing you overdid it too. I'm only a month plus out and I can tell when I've done more than I should. My Doc said I shouldn't be too concerned about the site getting out of alignment. (Obviously we still need to be careful.) But they said when I do more than I should, I'd definitely feel it...nature's way of telling you, "knock it off." But as always, if you are concerned, bug your Dr. for answers.

     
    Old 05-10-2004, 12:44 PM   #4
    MCC
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    Re: symptoms back after 8 weeks

    OK, just got back from my followup appt. The doc says that flare-ups are to be expected. I guess I just had high expectations due to having no pain at all after surgery. My fusion is progressing nicely and all looks good.

    I have to go back again in 6 weeks (that would be 14 weeks from surgery date) for one last xray. I would assume that the fusion should be just about done by then. He released me to regular life activities with 30 lb weight limit (like I could even lifft that much anyway !!

    I think you all are right.....I have been overdoing it. I've been running around like I never had surgery to begin with. I guess that's the downside to having to pain....you tend to go overboard. Learned my lesson, for sure.

     
    Old 05-31-2004, 05:23 PM   #5
    jacki56
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    Re: symptoms back after 8 weeks

    MCC,

    Your surgey sound like a success, any tips or comments. Did you use a N/S or a spine specialist?

     
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