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  • ACDF post-op 9 weeks; still in pain

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    Old 11-30-2004, 04:36 AM   #1
    kellyv
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    Old 11-30-2004, 03:53 PM   #2
    rob_zzz
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    Re: ACDF post-op 9 weeks; still in pain

    kelly,

    Make sure your local doctor is verifying any medications he prescribes with your surgeon. If you've had fusion surgery I've heard for example that some anti-inflamatory's may interfere with the fusion process.

    Rob.

     
    Old 12-01-2004, 07:48 AM   #3
    kellyv
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    Old 12-01-2004, 08:52 PM   #4
    kelly14
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    Re: ACDF post-op 9 weeks; still in pain

    Kellyv,
    Sorry to read that you're still uncomfortable. How long did you have problems with your neck prior to surgery? My ns told me that in some cases where patients had severe nerve impingement it may take longer to heal. I had acdf last June and I have physical therapy twice a week. I understand how frustrating and slow the healing process seems but I guess we sometimes feel that after having the procedure we will experience a somewhat pain-free life and of course the sooner the better. I was surprised to read that you were prescribed neurontin by your physician and not the surgeon. How have your visits been with the surgeon? I usually visit for 5 minutes and am informed that I must be patient and hang tough and remember that it could take several more months or possibly another year. There's no definitive timeframe. ( I have to add that I had extensive damage and did put off surgery for 2 years) I think you'll notice some relief after your PT treatments as they will stretch your muscles and also give you deep tissue massage which really feels great. I hope that you feel better every day and remember that the worse part is behind you. Take care.

     
    Old 12-01-2004, 10:48 PM   #5
    IzzyFuzzy
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    Re: ACDF post-op 9 weeks; still in pain

    Kelly:
    I am very sorry to hear about your pain. I am 12 days post-op on a two-level cervical fusion, and have not had any change yet in the amount of pain meds I require. I have, however (I think) identified the portions of my pain that have been relieved by surgery.

    For me, I always had what I describe as a "base" level of pain in my left shoulder, which never responded to any kind of therapy, including shots directly into the places I perceived the pain. On top of this, I always had varying levels of pain that would sometimes exhibit itself in different places and was always the debilitating type of pain. This would sometimes respond to therapy or muscle relaxers but would never go away completely.

    I think that surgery may have removed my "base" pain, leaving me now with the muscle pain that turns up in different places around my shoulders and upper back. I wonder if I will have to be patient and work toward some strengthening in these muscles due to some of them being weak because of the nerve impingement.

    After many years, I have found a Physical Therapist that has helped me greatly. He is very well-informed and educated and is very "hands-on". I hope that PT will help you, and maybe help with any muscle imbalance or lack of endurance if that is what you have.

    Izzy

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 06:30 AM   #6
    kellyv
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    Old 12-12-2004, 06:40 PM   #7
    guyzag
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    Re: ACDF post-op 9 weeks; still in pain

    The MOST pain I ever felt was post surgery, for about the same amount of time. I felt it most between my shoulder blades.

    Ask your physical therapist about how to position yourself to relieve your specific discomfort. For instance, mine was invaluable. She had me putting pillows on the arms of my chairs, which relieved the stress on my shoulders.

    Try it, try propping up your forearms in your chair, try what works. Sorry to hear you have to pop pills for relief, hopefully you can get off them soon.
    __________________
    Guyzag

    ACDF C5-6/C6-7 in July 2003 fusion/plate

     
    Old 12-16-2004, 01:09 AM   #8
    mamadeamo
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    Re: ACDF post-op 9 weeks; still in pain

    I posted this in another thread, but am such a huge fan of it, that I wanted to post it here as well (it sounds like it could be helpful to some people!).

    I have a C5-7 fusion, done 2/7/02, and still have neck tension. The thing I have found that has helped the most is something called IMS. It stands for Intramuscular Stimulation. They basically take acupunture needles, and put them into the trigger point in the muscle. It sounds bad, but really isn't a big deal. But somehow, it releases the charge in the muscle and helps them to relax. Some physiatrists do this, and some Chiros. I definitely suggest trying it, and whatever you do, don't let the muscles get locked into a tight state. My herniation went undiagnosed for a year and a half, and I made that mistake. It is much, much harder to get things relaxed, once they get 'comfy' in that tight position!

    I do PT twice a week as well, (have for about 3 years), have been on Neurontin, Flexeril, Bextra, Vicodan, etc, etc, have tried massage, traditional acupuncture, and several other treatments. IMS has been the best by far. Different things work for different people, but this is major, major surgery and it takes time. If something isn't working for you, try something else, but don't give up! Good luck.

     
    Old 12-22-2004, 04:20 PM   #9
    CTmom
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    Re: ACDF post-op 9 weeks; still in pain

    Hi! I haven't posted in a long while but I hope you find this somewhat encouraging. I had ACDF almost a year ago. After surgery I had terrible pain and muscle spasms. Whereas before surgery I only had pain down one side of my neck into my arm, after surgery I had equally bad pain in the other arm as well. I was sure the doctors had done something wrong!

    Anyway, it took a good three months before I felt any relief. Then I started noticing I would have occasional pain free days. Eventually I settled into a pattern of painful flare-ups (3-4 days of pain a month). These became less and less frequent and now it has been a full two months since I have had any pain at all. It really can get better with time. I also found physical therapy a big help, although I did have to switch therapists because my first one wasn't really helping, so be sure to find someone you're really comfortable with who will listen to you.

    I do hope things get better for you with time!

    CTMom

     
    Old 12-23-2004, 08:25 AM   #10
    kellyv
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