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    Old 05-25-2007, 09:47 AM   #1
    Backinthesaddle
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    Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Hey all long time no chat.....Seems a lot of us old heads have moved off, however I did see some old friends here the other day when I came back for a visit.

    As for me wish I could say things were great. They are better, I really thought that once I could return to work, exercise and do most things I would be home free. NOT. Pain Pain Pain. I am so sick of it. I still have lots of pain in my triceps, forearms, both sides of the hands, fingers and my arm and hands going to sleep during the night. My right foot hurts as does my ankle and my lower back is acting up like it hasn't is 7 years. My front, side and back of leg hurts. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM what can one do?

    I had another MRI on Monday to see if they can see anything else going on. My doctor said it should not be so bad. But he is not exactly Mr. Warm and compassionate so he just blows me off. We shall see when I get the results back.

    I have posed this question before and I got no bites, it is about my lungs or esophogus. whatever it is. I still feel like I am breathing in dirt and my throad is scratchy. I cannot stand it and no doctor will give me a clue. What I know is it is not right.

    Anyon else with this much going on after a year????????? Would love to hear how others are handling it. What meds do you take? What does your doctor say?

    My meds are Lyrica 75mg 2x a day, 100mg Ultram 2x a day ( slow release) and I take another 50mg in the morning and sometimes the evening to add some relief. I also take 20mg 2x of baclafen. I find that this helps since I do try occasionally to go solo and end up taking it all and some to get the ouch off.

    Kelly
    Post. decompression C6/7 2003
    ACDF C4/5 02/06

     
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    Old 05-25-2007, 06:05 PM   #2
    julyg
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Hi
    I am 7 months post op with 2 level acdf, hardwear, donor bone.

    Please tell me about lyrica. One DR. told me it was to prevent nerve damage, the other says it helps the pain but does not prevent nerve damage What is your understanding odf the drug?


    Have you been to an ENT to look at your throat? Surgery can affect your vocal cords which controls breathing and swallowing as well as voice. I understand the breathing dirt comment. My vocal cord was damage during surgery.

    Tnx
    July

     
    Old 05-26-2007, 11:03 AM   #3
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    I was prescribed Lyrica for nerve damage. I had a real icy hot feeling in my left tricep and forearm area. When I do not take it I get it and later in the day I get it anyway. It doesn't do much for pain since it isn't a pain killer, I am going to try an experiment on using Lyrica and no pain meds and then adding pain meds no muscle relaxer and so forth. I want to know what does what. I was freaked out when I started to take Lyrica because I read a website dedicated to Lyrica and it told of how much weight gain people had. I am here to tell you that is not true. I think it is a choice. Weight gain happens with depression and pain can cause depression. I have not had weight gain at all.

    As far as my throat it isn't a issue with my voice, I did not have any problems with that. It was before and now with a feeling I get. I had it when I had strep throat a few times too and I am well over that and still get it so I am inclined to believe it is more related to the nerve pain. I cannot find anything online and have not had any help from my doctors about it. Not sure what it is. Just imagine being in a dark dirty musty warehouse and breathing in deeply and that is how it feels.

    I just want to understand what is going on, then I can deal with it. In the meantime ones mind can go wild with WHAT IFs.

    Kelly

     
    Old 05-26-2007, 12:46 PM   #4
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Hi Backinthesaddle. I have been around here since 2004. I try to offer support of share info to the new people and I know there are lots of people from years before lurking around here.

    Two surgeries later and 3 fused levels, I still have chronic pain issues. I guess I could say I am functioning better than before my first surgery, but a year out from surgery #2 it looks like my situation is permanent. I have changed my lifestyle in order to stay physically stable and not have to be so dopped up that I can't enjoy life.

    Looking back, I think the biggest mistake I made was when I first had onset of significantly bad symptoms, I should have had surgery immediately. FEAR kept me from proceeding. On pain charts I was a 11+ for sure for a long time and I just covered it up with pain and nerve meds and kept working 12 hour days, coming home and crashing and eventually got to where I wasn't functioning and had to do the surgery. I think the pain was severe enough that I should have done something. If I had moderate or lighter symptoms, waiting might have been the correct answer for me. When I had complete resolution of my symptoms after surgery #1, I thought I had it made. Then about 8 months later, I started getting progressively worse again (back in the 12 hour workday cycle and being stupid), and by then my body had enough.

    THis is a classic case of "if I had only known then what I know now", and if I could have only gotten educated faster about DDD and these problems, I think I would have made some different choices for myself.

    The muscle relaxers alone haven't worked for me, I have tried to keep off the Lyrica and Neurontin and only do them in spurts, and mostly use nsaids and vicodins and percosettes and some spine injections that give temp, but welcome relief. I keep a activity limit on myself that says if I take more than 50-75mg a day of pain killers, I hit the couch. Otherwise I can count on a sleepless night, pain level 10 and needing to take alot more meds. On good days when I am lucky I can get by on less, and now that summer is almost here I am having a few more good days than winter. I have finally given in to the fact that I can't stop all and have found a lowest dosing possible that works for me.

    As far as your breathing, have you been checked for asthma or other lung diseases like copd or a reaction to one of the meds you are taking?

     
    Old 05-27-2007, 12:02 PM   #5
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Hi NP...as for COPD and all that stuff, I got scared to pieces a few years ago before my first neck surgeru. My NS had me do a chest xray and it showed a spot on my lungs. I felt doomed....Well I had a CT scan with dye and all it was was scar tissue from having Pneumonia. I had another chest xray last Sept when I had a mammogram and all was well. I only have it when I feel real bad. I guess maybe it has something to do with pain and nerves.

    It is so wierd that some days I feel good. At least good with pain. Like today. I worked out and ran/walked stairs on my breaks and feel pretty good although sweaty and hot.... I have taken two doses of meds but usually with that I still hurt. When I feel like this I forget the bad days. What is up with that????

    Im waiting for MRI results and if nothing that can be done then I will have to find another way to deal with it. Maybe try the Xanex I hear about. Anything to feel good.

    I am also dealing with horrible back pain. I have had back issues for years but will not have surgery..........That I can live with easier for some reason.

    K

     
    Old 05-31-2007, 12:59 PM   #6
    ember919
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Hi, BITS. Glad to hear you're, uh.......BITS.

    Your pain situation doesn't sound so good, but hopefully there will yet be progress on that front. I still have pain down my right side and do still need pain meds fairly frequently. I was taking hydrocodone but had to stop because my liver was getting trashed. So recently changed to Tramadol, which I think is Ultram without acetaminophen(?), and that is not working so well. I also take Neurontin every day (Lyrica made me really, really stupid).

    But I am better than before surgery and if I can manage to find a physically and mentally healthy balance between the pills and pain, I will be a happy camper. I was actually doing well and was satisfied with things until my liver decided it would no longer tolerate acetaminophen. Darn.

    I still find that rest is the best cure when I am having pain issues. Which doesn't always help, because I can't always just go off and sit still whenever I want to!

    Like many others, I have issues at other cervical levels that I know may cause me problems down the line, but I'm still resisting membership in the two-timer club. Had an MRI earlier this year and have had another injection since the surgery, too. But glad to be better than before!

    I remember that you were very physically active and assume that you continue to be so. Did you ever work with PT or anyone who gave you definitive structure about what things, exercise-wise, were and weren't good for you with the neck problems?

    Hope you find answers and that things improve for you soon.

     
    Old 06-02-2007, 10:26 AM   #7
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Hi I got my results from the last MRI and seems that all the arm and hand pain along with shoulder and neck pain I have been complaining about for 3 years is justified.....I have moderate narrowing of some nerve at c6/7 and edema and some other stuff I forgot the big words, basically doc said I could do a ADCF now or wait until fall and have a disk replacement. He wants me to have the disk replacement said it would make the disks about and below more stable. So now the workman's comp fight. That was where my fist injury and posterior laminectomy was done in 2003. NS should have fused it then knowing how active I am.

    I still work out when I can. This past week I didn't get to much because I hurt way to much. My lower back was really bad and I just had to much pain and could barely work my 8hrs a day. I can feel it. I feel I gain 5lbs every time I do not get to work out. Now at least I know why my arms are not where I think they should be after lifting weights 8 months. The nerve that is pinched can cause muscle atrophy and weakness. I noticed the weakness and that my arms should be better. The time I had the pinched nerve in 2002-2003 I couldn't even lift my arm and the tricep area was completely atrophied. So I am doing great since I work out and haven't lost all that.

    I take the tramadol 100mg slow release. I take 2 of those and add another 50mg of reg tramadol usually with them. I take 75mg Lyrica 2x a day. I am not sure what works or what doesn't. I still get the sharp pains, and burning feeling in my right upper arm (feels like Icy Hot). I always have a deep pain. If I do not take the meds it is more intense. My fingers especially the middle ones have been worse lately.

    PT I did about 4 months after the surgery and nothing helped. I did get stronger but could have done that at home. No noone told me how to work out and what I couldn't do so I just do whatever I did before. Workman's comp turned down what my pain doctor recommended which was a form of pt that would assist me with how to stay in shape as well as another form of mental retraining. All WC wants to do is keep me with medicine.

     
    Old 09-07-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
    WASHNOW
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    Wink Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    old timer, I am a new timer.

    wondering how three other old timers are progressing since surgery has been recommended on C5-C7 for me?

    old timers are:
    faubs110 07-26-2005, 06:09 PM
    Mary.T 07-13-2005, 05:40 PM
    notpain 07-30-2005, 08:26 PM laser & vapor?

    hope they can shed light on their progress.

     
    Old 09-07-2007, 03:09 PM   #9
    SKZ
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    WASHNOW:
    I had the same surgery (C5-C7) last Jan. The fusion worked very well. I had a bad level also at C4-C5. Now I sort of wish they did that one too because it is making me miserable. I know the pain is coming from that because I have all the C-4-C5 symptoms. I am glad I had it done.

     
    Old 10-05-2007, 08:50 PM   #10
    WASHNOW
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Let us know how you progress.

    No response from others who had procedures years back. This concerns me.

    old timers are:
    faubs110 07-26-2005, 06:09 PM
    Mary.T 07-13-2005, 05:40 PM
    notpain 07-30-2005, 08:26 PM laser & vapor?

    Hopefully they are well and about.

     
    Old 10-07-2007, 07:02 PM   #11
    sunshine221
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    BITS:

    I'm an old timer I guess - 2 years post decompressive laminectomy C4-C7 - the docs at the time presented it as a better alternative to fusion, plates, etc. I'm better but far from perfect and sometimes I question if I would have been better off with fusion but given the same facts that I was given then, I'd make the same decision again.

    In general I've been doing well but a week ago I think I was lifting too much and my neck really scared me the way it was aching, but its been a few days and I'm improving.

    Keep us posted about the possible disk replacement - that was our thinking two years ago that perhaps if I needed a second surgery in the future, artificial disks would be feasible.

    -Gloria

     
    Old 10-08-2007, 07:25 AM   #12
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    I am now 20 mo post acdf and no changes in me. I am fighting the WC board for the fusion of C6/7 and we are on the final leg of that fight. I have been denied 3x so far not out of need but now they claim I do not complain of right side pain just left. Sorta true, the left overshadows all. I am going to see neck doc in the morning and will discuss right side pain and then we have the board with WC the 23rd. My left side hurts all the time and forever will I am told. Chronic Pain Syndrome.....I am also going to seek a medical retirement which will only be a bit over a year shy of my 20 yrs and get some of my active life and spunk back.

     
    Old 10-18-2007, 04:11 PM   #13
    gia1
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Just checking in, I am 5 months post C5-C6 and will have to say doing very well, no nerve pain and getting much stronger, only problem being that my arthritis is really acting up in shoulder and hip joints , my family doctor took me off naprosyn as it was causing my blood pressure to rise and some days I could just spend in bed sleeping. Any thoughts on what I could take besides tylenol, which just doesn't work.

    Gloria

     
    Old 10-18-2007, 08:09 PM   #14
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Kelly:

    Yep, and that's why I'm still here. I had a great deal of success after the fusion in 5/2006 but recently have developed pain again (down the arm, same side as pre-fusion, etc). I am trying ESI again but am wondering if there may be spurring or scar tissue causing nerve pain.
    __________________
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 10-19-2007, 07:27 AM   #15
    WASHNOW
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    Re: Checking in 15 mo post acdf c4/5

    Has anyone tried any of the non invasive procedures? Has anyone had an MRI in the sitting position?

    Looking for experience with newer procedures, knowing that many doctors are relying on training and the referral base reflects same.

    Thanks and the best to all.

     
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