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    Old 05-13-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
    Fiona_Jo
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    Question STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    I have a follow-up scheduled on Thursday with my surgeon and at this point I just hope to get some answers. I really looking to all of you for help in communicating my issues most effectively.

    Sometimes I feel like during the appointment I don't communicate my issues as effectively as I should. And I have to admit I feel like my Doctor's PA acts strange about my symptoms. I'm not saying she doesn't believe me, but her attitude is always such "shock" about what I'm experiencing.

    My symptoms are:

    - neck pain that radiates down my left arm.

    - pain in my elbow and my pointer finger and pinkie

    - Lots of issues of neck spasms and limited mobility. I will turn it a certain way (not thinking) and the momentary pain is unbelievable.

    - Headaches that seem to stem from the neck spasms and become full fledged migraines

    The issue I have to get over is the fact that I feel like I have let the Doctor down somehow (he usually gets excellent results). Here I am still struggling, still taking pain medication and feeling frustrated. In a previous visit my surgeon suggested that I may need another surgery (only this time it would posterior), but I don't want another surgery.

    Any recommendations in handling my appointment would be appreciated.

    ~ Fiona
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    Last edited by Fiona_Jo; 05-13-2008 at 05:19 PM.

     
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    Old 05-13-2008, 07:43 PM   #2
    SpineAZ
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    Re: STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    First, don't feel bad. Any doctor who gets good results also has patients who struggle.

    Are the symptoms the same as before your surgery or different?

    My surgeon was surprised I had identical symptoms nearly 2 years later. He did an MRI, CT Myelogram, EMG and xrays. I think he was stunned that I had a recurrance. Now I'm having a posterior cervical foraminotomy next week to alleviate pressure on the nerve (again causing me pain down the left arm into my fingers with numbness and tingling).

    But, I told him, if anyone can have these kind of problems it's me - I seem to be able to defy the odds in the worst way.
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    Old 05-13-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
    Fiona_Jo
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    Re: STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
    First, don't feel bad. Any doctor who gets good results also has patients who struggle.

    Are the symptoms the same as before your surgery or different?
    Thank you. I appreciate the response and your supportive words. I would say the pain is about the same. Except prior to surgery I had more weakness in my left hand than I'm now experiencing and I don't recall having such intense elbow pain. The pain really gets unbearable and it's very disheartening.

    One thing I didn't mention in my OP, was I took a really bad fall last Thursday evening. I was leaving a baby shower (no drinking involved) , I just didn't notice not a very small step and fell before I could catch myself - and I sure felt like a clumsy idiot. I actually took the brunt of the fall on my right side (my right knee all skinned up and I'm still feeling muscle pain in my right shoulder). But, it does all seem related to fall and like THAT pain will subside. However, the reason I mention the fall is I've noticed more intense neck pain and the pain to my left elbow and pinkie are more intense (which makes no sense since the impact of the fall was on my right side).

    I have had a recent MRI (which my surgeon will review with me on Thursday), but of course the MRI was prior to the fall. Not that the fall caused any real damage. It's just weird that I'm noticing increased pain in my neck, elbow and pinkie.

    I really feel a bit disappointed in myself.
    I've had a career in communications and pride myself on communicating effectively and yet when I get in that Doctor's office I just don't feel like I communicate as effectively as I could. I would love to know what the answer is - how to communicate my issues in a effective manner.

    Good luck with your upcoming surgery! I will be thinking about you for a positive upcome and relief from the pain and symptoms you have been experiencing.

    Thanks again for your kind words!

    ~ Fiona
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    Last edited by Fiona_Jo; 05-13-2008 at 10:00 PM.

     
    Old 05-13-2008, 10:36 PM   #4
    erin72
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    Re: STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    Fiona,
    Did you ask the docs if you are fusing well? I had the same symptoms post op and same funky reactions from my doctor (makes you fell kinda like your crazy!). My doctor didn't tell me i wasn't fusing after surgery, I had to go find a neurosurgeon on my own, ask him the same questions. He asked me questions about my current (at the time) care from my doc and was concerned! (I wasn't crazy after all!!!) He did a CT scan and found the device they used on me was too big, not placed "ideally" and that I wasn't fusing at all. Xrays will show, MRI's will be a distorted picture(screws and plates are metal) but a CT scan will show if your fusing. I just had my surgery revised last week and I feel 100% better (being a bit positive) but I really feel a difference already!! DON"T let them make you feel like your crazy or you've somehow let them down, your the patient, they work for YOU!!! Tell them you WANT a CT scan to show definitively that there is fusion!! Good luck!

     
    Old 05-14-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
    Fiona_Jo
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    Re: STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by erin72 View Post
    Fiona,
    Did you ask the docs if you are fusing well? I had the same symptoms post op and same funky reactions from my doctor (makes you fell kinda like your crazy!). !
    Erin, Interesting that you should mention that. Because prior to my last appointment I wasn't fusing properly, so I haven't even been released to PT yet. Well, my previous appointment the X-Rays did show signs of fusing. But, my Doctor also ordered an MRI (before releasing me to PT), which he'll review with me on Thursday. I will ask about a CT Scan during my appointment on Thursday.

    Thanks for the information and I'm so happy to hear you're feeling better!

    ~ Fiona
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    Old 08-22-2008, 04:29 PM   #6
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    Re: STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    Erin:
    I would like to ask you a few questions. I had a ACDF C5-6 in 5/08 and I have not had a complete week without pain in fact the last month I have gotten worse I feel the same as I did before my surgery if not worse. I have had the nerve conduction test and it didn't show anything . I was put on cortisone not even 2 wks. after surgery and then again a month later I was also rx'd ibueprofen 800 mg. They tried Lyrica but I couldn't take it. After 2 follow up visits and several phone calls I was told that he thinks he may be using to large of a bone graft. He didn't seem concerned he seemed to think that it would just take longer to heal. I am to the point now where I am missing work and just getting depressed. Not only am I frustrated but my family is to. I recently saw another doctor who ran a CT, MRI and X-Rays. I have not met with him for the results yet but I did see the results and it caught my eye that they did not identify bony fusion. Which I am not a doctor but that tells me that the fusion is not healing. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do next?

     
    Old 08-23-2008, 05:41 AM   #7
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    Re: STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    Hey There Fiona,

    I recently felt the same exact way with the NS who did my first neck surgery. My Mom was coming to visits with me and we recently found out the NS did not even know I was almost 39 he actullay though I was in my 20's.
    When I would expliain to him all the pain I was having he would judt discont it and not really wnat to listen or seem to even care about it.

    It was very disheartening. He did not explain any of my testing to me either.

    We have knon I needed the ACDF from the start so we are now movng forwad with that, but Fiona I went to a nother doctor and got their opinion because if the doc your woking with now is giving you a sour feeling in the pit of your gut, you may wnat to reconsider having them treating you any more.
    I just think that sometimes doc/surgeons get tired of seeing us. They don't understand that when they go in and fix something that it may still hur or not give enough relief. At that point they wold rather we went away nicely.

    Now I am not saying that your doc is like this but I felt this way about the NS so I decided to get another apinin and my ns even said"oh well if you like him better just have him do it."
    I dont want anyone operating on me with that type of attitude.

    Fiona I know you have been through so much and you deserve only the best chance to get as better as you possibly can.

    I hope this will all be sorted out soon and you and your doc will have come up with a pln of how to address everything.

    I know we see eachother here, but we have not chatted in a while so it is nice to see your still her! ((((Fiona Jo))))

    Chrissy

     
    Old 09-04-2008, 02:46 PM   #8
    grama13
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    Wink Re: STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7

    Hi Fiona and everyone You know its been 9 months since my 3 level ACDF and I still experience alot of pain to also the same numbness and pain in arms and shoulders.I also explained this to my NS but he said "I didnt do the operation to releive the pain I did it for the neorological reasons."Then he sent me away with a referral to a PM.I guess Im supposed to live on meds forever.Im lucky though I got a good PM hes willing to find out what the problem is but first I got to go through all the diagnostic stuff first injections and things.Boy it seems like I went backwards. I guess everyone has different results we just happen to be the lucky ones or should I say unlucky ones.

     
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