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  • Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

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    Old 09-12-2004, 11:38 PM   #1
    desertrat25
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    Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    Hi,

    Thank you for reading this and giving me any info you can. In 1998 I had a severe dirtbike accident and fractured 11 parts of my back, mainly thoracic and cervical vertebrae. In the last two years the neck and upper back pain has become unbearable and I decided to see a neurosurgeon in February 2004 and had ACDF on C/5-C/6 on June 23, 2004. In February the N/S commented that my backed looked like the back of a much older man(I am only 27). I have many degenerated discs mainly in the cervical area. After surgery the N/S commented to my wife that C/6-C/7 needs to be watched closely. After almost 12 weeks since surgery I am still having the same if not worse pain in my upper back and neck. Is this normal? Should I insist on another MRI? I have had to go back to work because my pay was dropped to 66%. My N/S was not crazy about me going work but I had to. I am currently taking Celebrex, Vicodin, and Darvocet. Thank you again for any light you can shed on this situation.

     
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    Old 09-13-2004, 07:40 AM   #2
    dennisgb
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    Hi,

    I had ACDF C5-6 and C6-7 with plate on 6/30. I do not have a lot of pain. I do get muscle spasms if I over do it.

    What are your pain symptoms? Could it be spasms?

     
    Old 09-13-2004, 10:40 PM   #3
    desertrat25
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    It doesn't feel spasms, but maybe it is. It feels like the exact pain I was having before surgery, thank you for your reply, it appreciate it.

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 05:00 AM   #4
    solardust
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    I had c-6-7 done aug 13th, its symptoms were all right side terrible pain, shoulder down arm, woke from operation , right side pain was gone,and had slight left side shoulder pain,NS said that was c 5-6 which is also buldging,but he thought it was too much surgery for me,anyway,last night 1 month to the day I wake up at 3:30 in morn with that right side shoulder pain,"IKES"I took muscle relaxer,! pain pill, put heat on it and rubbed like ben gay stuff on it,talk about over kill, but all that would not have stopped it before, so far , toes crossed, its gone.If asked, I would not have said muscle, it seemed exact as before,hope I do not update with bad news,but but so far dennis has steered me right,it does not take musch to irrate the healing process.Solar

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 06:29 AM   #5
    zoey1
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    try to find pain managment that works for you even if you have to use a combination in order to make a dent in how you are feeling

    also by month 3 there was noticable improvment for me as long as i took my medications

    if one thing isn't working do not be afraid to ask for something else sometimes a combination is best
    muslce relaxer / + pain management and stay clear of nasaids most surgeons dont want u take nasids after surgery it can slow down the healing process

    oh month 2 there s a good chance your nervs are waking up and that is what you might be exiancing from sharpness in rising up off sofa or recliner or bending down....
    nerves take a bit longer to heal then rest of it
    oh and a big help for me was ice/ and or heat packs

    lots of luck in feeling better and take care of yourself

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 06:44 AM   #6
    dennisgb
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    I agree with Zoey.

    While I am only going into the 12th week post op, the doctors told me that it can take 6 months or more for the nerves to settle down.

    During the surgery, they end by putting steroids in there to settle things down. This wears off over time, and the neves can flare.

    In my case, the nerve pain is manageable, mostly though, I have muscle spasms that are in my shoulders and neck. I am still in a soft collar, which makes you "protect" yourself (holding muscles in not normal positions). I find myself holding my shoulders up, rather than relaxed down.

    Some of the muscle spasms can create similar symptoms, as the nerves in there can get pinched by the spasm.

    Many years ago when this all started for me, I went through physical therapy. They discussed how the pain starts at the nerves inside the neck, and as your body trys to protect the affected area, the muscles on the outside of the neck tighten and then the shoulders, and gradually down the arm. This occurs over time, and much of the symptoms are cause by the muscles, rather than the nerves. The point is that some of what you are feeling may be the nerves healing, and some may be from muscles.

    I go back next Monday, and am hoping to get collar off! I know the hard collar was causing some of the spasms and also was pressing on the base of the back of my neck. This was causing all kinds of weird stuff. When I layed on my back my head would "go to sleep". The soft collar is much better, but still a pain!

    If the pain you are having is strong, then for sure ask for something to take for it.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Last edited by dennisgb; 09-14-2004 at 06:56 AM.

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 06:14 PM   #7
    desertrat25
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    Thank you all for the encouraging comments, It sounds like the general consensus is that I need a little more time. You all have been a big help. It is so much better to communicate with people who know your situation. Thank you again. Desertrat

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 09:03 PM   #8
    kelly14
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    I had acdf on c5-6, c6-7 on June 18,2004. The pain was greater after surgery and I was prescribed Zanaflex and percocet. NS discontinued percocet and then prescribed tylenol with codeine to wean me off painkillers. I also started physical therapy last week and try to go twice a week. This has really helped to relieve the pain. Massage and stretching muscles feels so good and really relieves the tightness in my shoulders and neck. I truly felt like I would never have relief from pain and was starting to regret having the surgery. I have now noticed that each day is a little better and I have been able to handle more physical activity such as treadmill and household chores. I guess there is a light at the end of the tunnel. NS told me that healing time varies for every patient and that it is possible for pain to last maybe 6 months or longer. So long as it improves each day I'll be satisfied. Keep the faith and I hope you'll feel better soon!

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 09:41 PM   #9
    desertrat25
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    Re: Still In Pain 12 Weeks Post Op ACDF

    Thanks Kelly14, I appreciate the words of encouragement.

     
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