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Your Improvement?

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Old 02-18-2007, 07:39 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: This side of OZ
Posts: 89
ShepherdLady HB User
Question Your Improvement?

Okay, for those of you having ACDF, how much improvement have you had?

Over the years I have had periods of extreme shoulder pain. At the time the docs said it was an impingement, rotator cuff, bursitis. Then later I was diagnosed with RA and assumed the periodic shoulder problems was from an RA flare. Then later told it could be from the severe stenosis in C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7.

After surgery I have read where some folks get instant relief of their shoulder problems and the weakness that goes with it. Also the pain radiating down the arm.

I am almost at the 5 week mark since my 3 level ACDF and my shoulders still bother me and my arms are very weak.

Now before surgery they told me the goal was to keep me from getting worse and not to expect improvement because of the spinal cord damage. I guess I am wondering how I compare with others. LOL

I still also get very tired. But that could be due to me not being able to take my Enbrel for my RA.

So those of you that had arm and shoulder symptoms, how are you doing after surgery??
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

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Old 02-18-2007, 10:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: KY
Posts: 13
Katie2005 HB User
Re: Your Improvement?

I had ACDF surgery 4 weeks this Tuesday. My pain that I had prior to surgery was instant relief for me. I did have a few days off and on where I felt discomfort from the nerves but I think they were waking up. I still have some discomfort from the surgery more when I sit for more than a half and hour. But everyone progresses at different rates. Some people it is instant and some may take months.

Old 02-19-2007, 08:36 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NY
Posts: 91
bdancer HB User
Re: Your Improvement?


I am also four weeks this tues.. I had instant relief of pains that were pre-surgery but other wierd sensaitons occassionally since surgery... I don't think it is possible to really tell the end result until the fusion is complete and the surgery pain is totally healed..It is probably more difficult for you since you have other pre-existing conditions... hope you feel better the hardest part is being patient to let things heal..jean

Old 02-19-2007, 10:02 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: tx
Posts: 233
ember919 HB User
Re: Your Improvement?

Don't get too discouraged yet. While I understand that five weeks may seem like a looooooong time to you right now, it is only the tiniest beginning in terms of the nerve healing process. Your nerves will continue to heal/regrow for up to 18 months.

I, like many others, had immediate relief of the pain in my hand and arm after surgery. (I think one of the first things I said to my husband was, "My hand doesn't hurt.") However, some of that pain returned as I was recovering. It wasn't constant, came and went with a truckload of other symptoms, but over time (months) it pretty much resolved.

You read about such a wide variety of symptoms and healing times here because recovery depends on the degree of nerve damage and/or the length of time over which it occurred. Some people are diagnosed and go right into surgery. I put mine off - because I was scared - for almost three years.
I was warned before surgery that some of my damage might be permanent, and after 10 months I do continue to have some problems, but I'm worlds better than I was before surgery and also hopeful that some things will still improve more.

I also have rotator cuff problems and occasional bursitis. It's on the same side as my neck stuff, so it is sometimes difficult to distinguish, and it definitely seems unfair on days when both bother me. I'm currently considering having the rotator cuff "cleaned out", but to be honest, I just don't want to go through ANY kind of surgery again at this time.

RA runs in my family and I was tested before I had my surgery. My understanding is that it can make recovery a little more difficult and painful. Not being able to take your medication must really stink and you certainly have my sympathy.

The muscle weakness should get better as you are more and more able to do normal, everyday things. And PT, if your surgeon has ordered it, will help, too.

The fatigue may just be a side effect of the healing process. Your body went through a tremendous trauma during the surgery, plus you are dealing with daily pain, stress, etc., and all those things take their toll. A little walking every day definitely helps.

Hope your recovery continues to progress well and that you are feeling better soon.

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