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  • Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

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    Old 05-23-2008, 09:42 AM   #1
    SpineAZ
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    Exclamation Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

    2 years ago I had an ACDF C5-C7. I had it done to relieve extensive pain, numbness and tingling from my neck all the way down my left arm. It worked very well and I was symptom free for 18 months. 6 months ago the symptoms came back. I tried a series of 3 Epidural Steroid Injections. This worked for me once before (around 3 years ago) but this time I had no luck.

    Tuesday I had a posterior cervical foraminotomy at C5-C6 and C6-C7. The interesting part is in the last few months I had a CT, MRI, EMG, and CT Myelogram and all showed possible slight stenosis (narrowing). But, the physician said after the surgery Tuesday that there was extensive narrowing and he could see how ESI and meds would never have alleviated the problem.

    Waking up in the recovery room was bad. When I had the ACDF done 2 years ago they go through the front of the neck and believe it or not that minimizes the surgical pain Ė they donít have to go through muscle, etc. Well for this surgery it was through the back of the neck and I woke up with muscle spasms that I would say were a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale. So the first 24 hours were awful and Iím thankful the nurse recommended keeping the catheter in my bladder for 24 hours Ė that way I could hydrate all I needed to and didnít have to get in an out of bed to use the bathroom.

    Wednesday morning I saw the doctor and asked if I could stay another night, he said if I got up and moving soon I would feel much better and suggested I leave Wednesday. My fear was that I had not yet been up and around, still had the catheter, etc. But, in the end he was right. Once I was mobile on my own, with no IV and no catheter, I just kept getting up to walk around the halls. They asked that I stay until 5 pm so I could get two further doses of IV antibiotics Ė and they would just disconnect me from the IV pump in between the two doses so I had a few hours to walk around, etc.

    My husband came to get me at 5 pm. The doctors and Physical Therapist asked that I wear my Aspen hard neck brace from 2 years ago home in the car, when I travel in the next few weeks, etc. The BEST part is I donít need it other than that (last time I had a hard brace for 6 weeks).

    The first night at home I slept about 30 minutes at a time but that is normal for me after surgery - I just wont sleep well until about 4 weeks after the surgery. Thank goodness my Short Term Disability claim has been approved for 6 weeks. I canít shower above chest level for a week (so I don't get the dressing wet) so DH went out and bought me this spray stuff called Pssssst Ė itís a spray powder shampoo type product and I have to admit it works. Not as well as real shampooing but gets rid of the oil, makes the hair nearly normal and all I do is put it up in a ponytail anyway.

    Last night was a bit better with times where I slept 2 hours at a time. My husband just sleeps in the guest room whenever I have surgery so I have the freedom to get up and down as needed, turn on the radio, tv, etc.

    Today seems to be pain day so Iím keeping up on the Percocet and valium Ė taking them on schedule (and overlapping just a wee bit since I know the dosages I have are reasonable and can be slightly increased as needed). Sunday a friend is having a small get together and Iím determined to go. She is so sweet and said that theyíll have the guest room set up so if during the afternoon so I can rest as needed.
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    Old 05-23-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
    Fiona_Jo
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    Smile Re: Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

    Thanks for the UPDATE!! Sounds like you have a wonderful attitude and I honestly believe that's a BIG part of the healing process.

    I'm so happy to hear that everything went well with your procedure, that your sleeping a little longer each night and functioning at such a high level.

    I will keep you in my thoughts!

    ~ Fiona
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    Old 05-24-2008, 09:49 AM   #3
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    Re: Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

    Hey Your Back!!!

    Wow I am glad to hear that things went so well.
    They did tell me that the posterior approach is more painful than anterior.

    I have not yet had the anterior, but I am going to post my current situation.

    It is hard for me to get to sleep after anesthesia too. I swear it makes me wired once I come out of it. After the Foraminotomy I was in the hospital for 2 nights 3 days or 3 nights cant remember. Anyway they did keep me well covered with the pain.

    I am glad that your hubby is there to help. I had my Mom there for a few days during the hospital stay and the about 3-4 after I came home but she needed to return home and I was left to take care of my self. I did have a friend thatcame and checked on me and made me meals.

    Spinaz I am so glad that it all went well.

    I was waiting for you safe return to the boards. I will continue to pray for you as you are recovering!!

    Chrissy

     
    Old 05-24-2008, 01:54 PM   #4
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    Re: Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

    Yesterday was what I call "pain" day. Everything hurt from my shoulders to my calves. I think it's the way I'm sleeping, the lack of sleep, using other muscles to avoid using my neck area, etc.

    Today turned out to be "sleep" day. I got 3 hours of sleep from 2:30 am to 5:30 am, woke up and had some toast to take some medications, could barely stay awake and fell back asleep at 6:00 through 10:30 (my longest sleep stretch yet) and am just about to head back to bed. Luckily my hubby understands that I'll just be asleep when I need to and awake when I need to - regardless of the time of day or night.

    And, today I took a shower. I had been doing a "sponge bath" at the sink and using some dry hair shampoo aerosol that hubby found at the store - but I was so eager to shower. The doctor said day 4 woudl be find so I figured Wed was day 1 (Tues was surgery) and thus today would make day 4. I feel so much more human and less "yucky". The shower took the wind out of me and was a bit painful but it was the highlight of my day.

    Back to bed for more zzzzzzzzz's

    Karin
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    Old 05-25-2008, 10:49 AM   #5
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    Re: Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

    Hey there!!

    I know this is a tough surgery! I have heard that it hurts more when they go in posteriorly. I think you could verify or discount because you have had both anterior.

    I know that after this surgery, my energy level was really zapped. I slept alot for most days after getting out of the hospital. I think I was also prescribed valium for the first week at home.

    They did want me walking a bit every day. Not like exercise or anything, just say walking for 2 min at a time a few times a day.

    I hope that your feeling better by the time you read this. It is a holiday weekend and I hope that your able to enjoy it in some way.

    Please let us know how your doing when your up to it....
    Chrissy

     
    Old 05-25-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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    Re: Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

    Good to hear you are doing well, take care of yourself.

     
    Old 05-25-2008, 04:52 PM   #7
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    Re: Had the Post. Cerv. Foraminotomy on Tuesday....update

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post

    Today turned out to be "sleep" day. I got 3 hours of sleep from 2:30 am to 5:30 am, woke up and had some toast to take some medications, could barely stay awake and fell back asleep at 6:00 through 10:30 (my longest sleep stretch yet) and am just about to head back to bed. Luckily my hubby understands that I'll just be asleep when I need to and awake when I need to - regardless of the time of day or night.

    And, today I took a shower. I had been doing a "sponge bath" at the sink and using some dry hair shampoo aerosol that hubby found at the store - but I was so eager to shower. The doctor said day 4 woudl be find so I figured Wed was day 1 (Tues was surgery) and thus today would make day 4. I feel so much more human and less "yucky". The shower took the wind out of me and was a bit painful but it was the highlight of my day.

    Back to bed for more zzzzzzzzz's

    Karin
    I'm happy to hear that you're getting some sleep. I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY, it's important for your body to SLEEP when you can. Just keep getting the rest your body needs.

    How wonderful that you got to take a "real" shower. It's funny those little things we take for granted in everyday life, but POST surgery are SO valued.

    Keep getting your rest. You are in my thoughts.


    ~ Fiona
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    Old 06-27-2008, 06:20 AM   #8
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    How do you feel Spine AZ and any others post cervical foraminotomy

    I am wondering how you are feeling? I am i and half weeks post op posterior cervical foraminotomy and still have a lot of pain. My worst day was exactly 1 week post op. The mornings are my worst and I still have numbness in my left thumb. It is worse than pre operative. I do not go back to Neurosurgeon for 5 more days.

    Last edited by allicat2000; 06-27-2008 at 06:31 AM. Reason: accidently changed the post

     
    Old 06-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #9
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    Re: How do you feel Spine AZ and any others post cervical foraminotomy

    I am just at the 6 week point post C5-C6 and C6-C7 cervical foraminotomy. The first 4 weeks seemed to be easier than the last 2 weeks. I have some muscle spasms and some deeper pain (what I find to be "bone" pain - I'm guessing from the actual foraminotomy). Some days I feel very well and sometimes it's the opposite. I was supposed to go back to work 06/30 but now the plan is 07/10. I am taking far less percocet - actually now just down to low dose vicodin and some advil. The big thing I need EVERY day is a couple of muscle relaxants.
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    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

     
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