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  • ACDF C4-5 & C5-6 for myelopathy

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    Old 04-20-2003, 05:01 PM   #1
    Memer
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    Post ACDF C4-5 & C5-6 for myelopathy

    I had surgery and am worse off than before the procedure. I have more pain, burning, and numbness. NS says the pain and numbness in my left leg are because of positioning during the 5-hour surgery; he says a lumbar disk may have herniated. As far as the neck and arm pain, it's way worse now (I never took narcotics before the surgery; now, I take Vicodin all day, every day). Is there anyone in a similar boat? Has anyone had their pain get worse after surgery? I should mention that I have had arm pain for many, many years and neck pain for only 5 or 6. I was just diagnosed with the two herniated disks and cord compression with myelopathy at the end of January 2003, when I had an MRI. Previously, I had been told that I had tendinitis and bursitis in my arm and strained ligaments in my neck. Any insight would be appreciated.

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    [This message has been edited by Memer (edited 08-04-2003).]

     
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    Old 04-20-2003, 10:31 PM   #2
    Niki47
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    Hi!

    Myelopathy is a brutal pain in the everything. At 7 weeks out I still felt like crap. (Heck, i am 5 MONTHS out and still fell alot like crap...)

    Are you on any kind of a muscle relaxer for the spasming? Is Vicodin the only thing you take?

    Are you in a hard collar? Did you have plating?

    There are as couple of us on here with severe myelopathy, so we can probably answer some of your questions. Did you use your own hip bone for the fusion? If so, you may well have some nerve damage causing the severe burning. Does it make your pubic bone sore or numb? If so... bring this to the attention of your doctor.

    Well, can't think of anything else... but if you have questions... fire away. Melanie Dawn is in a similar boat. And there may be some archived posts you could read.

    niki47

    [This message has been edited by Niki47 (edited 04-21-2003).]

     
    Old 04-21-2003, 04:43 AM   #3
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    Niki,

    I take Skelaxin 800 mg with the Vicodin ES and also Ativan 1 mg for sleep at night. I couldn't sleep more than a few minutes at a time before the Ativan. I don't wear a collar. I wore a soft one for only 11 days. I do have a titanium plate and 6 screws.

    I have to say that my myelopathy is not that bad (considering that I'm not paralyzed and certainly could have been). I basically just have weakness and pain in the arm and also pain in the neck and across the shoulder.

    The leg problems started right after the surgery, and that's why the NS thinks a disk ruptured in the L-spine during the procedure. It was horrible pain in the beginning, where I couldn't stand straight to walk. Now, I just have mild pain and areas of numbness in the thigh and calf. I haven't heard of this happening before. Have you?

    I have donor bone for the grafts and am glad about that. I have heard about the problems with hip grafts.

    I have been reading all of the posts on this board since right after I was diagnosed. It has been helpful. Mostly, though, I read that people have immediate relief after the surgery, but I didn't. The neck incision has never been a big deal, but the original pain has never gotten better. I have more bad hours than good hours. I will sometimes feel pretty good but will then go down hill for no apparent reason. I guess I'm just hoping to read that this is a normal part of some people's recovery. I worry that something is wrong in there.

    I'm glad this board is here. Reading the posts has helped me throughout this whole thing. The people in my life don't really understand what I have been going through. How often do we actually meet face to face someone with a problem like ours?

    Did I understand correctly, that you still have severe myelopathy 5 months after your surgery?

     
    Old 04-21-2003, 06:58 AM   #4
    Cherylha
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    HI.
    I can understand totally. I had a ACDF on C4-C5 in Oct. 2002 with plating. They used my left hip bone for grafting. Now both of hips bother me all the time and I still have numbness in all of my fingers, the left more then the right. I did not have amy problems with my neck before the surgery. Just the numbness in both hands and muscle spasms in the left arm. I also have numbness in my right thigh that cannot be expained.

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    Cheryl

    [This message has been edited by Cherylha (edited 04-21-2003).]
    __________________
    Cheryl
    ACDF C5/C6 in 10/02 w/plating & screws Used my hip bone. Severe cord compresssion w/hand numbness & myelopathy. Removed plate & screws in 2nd surgery.
    ACDF C4/C5 for ruptured disc on 5/23/03 w/plating & screws. Used my hip bone again.

     
    Old 04-21-2003, 10:02 AM   #5
    bdb
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    I have myelopathy and have had ACDF C5-6 done over a year ago. I started having very bad pain in the same spot in both hips right after my surgery. It can be so severe that it wakes me up at night. Nobody can understand why this happens. I have found that with the pool exercises I am doing it does not bother me as often. I do have ongoing problems with walking and weakness and pain in my arms and legs and my right back goes into spasm regularly. I am stuck with this now. There will be no recovery for me.
    bdb

     
    Old 04-21-2003, 05:10 PM   #6
    Cherylha
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    Dear bdb,
    I have the very same problem. After my ACDF in Oct 2002. Both of hips started bothering me. They used my left hip for the bone graft. My Dr. has tried the Cox 2 inhibitors(they did not work). Gave me a cortisone injection in the left hip 3 weeks ago. IT helped some. He also xrayed my back. I am now going to have a MRI of the lumber spine. He saw on the xray that my L3 and L4 discs have some narrowing and that there are some bone spurs there also. I don't now what will come of this, but I don't think I will have any back surgery soon. My stepmother said that as long as all the discs are doing is narrowing that this can be controlled by medicine. I'll try to keep you informed.

    ------------------
    Cheryl
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    Cheryl
    ACDF C5/C6 in 10/02 w/plating & screws Used my hip bone. Severe cord compresssion w/hand numbness & myelopathy. Removed plate & screws in 2nd surgery.
    ACDF C4/C5 for ruptured disc on 5/23/03 w/plating & screws. Used my hip bone again.

     
    Old 04-21-2003, 08:18 PM   #7
    Renee016
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    Hi Memer and welcome to the boards. I recently had an ACDF done the end of February. I also had spinal cord compression and was diagnosed with mild myleopathy. First two weeks after surgery were okay but then again I was on massive meds. Then the weakness in my legs came back and now pain in lower back. Sometimes I have stabbing and burning sensations in right thigh and pain in pelvis on the right side. I think I may have lower back problems and that it was not my neck at all (although MRI did show compression).

    It's interesting that you did not have leg problems before surgery. I wonder how they think you could have herniated disc in lower back during that procedure???

    If it helps any, I was told that sometimes it can take several months or even a year or more for pain to go away, depending on how much damage there was before surgery, especially with myleopathy. Nerve cells take time to heal. Hopefully time is all you need.

    Feel better,
    Reneee

    ------------------
    1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
    1999 Neck problems began
    2001 Cervical Kyphosis
    2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
    2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
    __________________
    1982 Fusion surgery for scoliosis with stainless steel Harrington Rod (T5 - L3) using pelvic bone for grafting
    1999 Neck problems began
    2001 Cervical Kyphosis
    2002 Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr (level was 7+) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    2003 3 Herniated Cervical Discs - C4 thru C7. One disc (C5-6) pressing on the spinal cord (no nerve root compression) causing leg weakness, tingling, burning and numbness - diagnosed with myelopathy and ACDF recommended.
    2/24/03 One-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with donor bone and titanium plate (C5-6)
    Post 2/03 - Symptoms returned and worsening. Weakness in my legs is like walking against a 50 mph wind - pain in lower back and all the way down my right leg to the ankle - vertigo, muscle spasms in trunk and legs
    7/03 EEG, BAERS and MRI of brain all normal
    7/03 MRI of lumbar spine showed mild herniated disc (L4/5) with moderate to severe DDD and edema in the endplates. HOLDING OUT FOR ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT!

     
    Old 04-22-2003, 09:05 AM   #8
    bdb
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    Cherylha, the water exercises are helping my hips a lot. Maybe you could try that.
    bdb

     
    Old 04-25-2003, 10:55 PM   #9
    NYFUSED
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    HI,
    YOU HAD THESE PAINS FOR SO MANY YEARS YOU MIGHT HAVE PERMANENT NERVE DAMAGE THAT CANNOT BE REPAIRED. ALSO, POST -OP PAIN CAN TAKE A GOOD 3 MONTHS UNTIL YOU ARE FEELING BETTER. I HAD A LAMINECTOMY L4-5 DONE IN 2001 AND IT TOOK A GOOD SIX MONTHS BUT THAN I WAS PAIN FREE. I HAD ACDF C5-6-7 IN OCTOBER 2002 AND I HAVE BEEN IN MORE PAIN NOW THAN PRIOR TO SURGERY. THE REASON BEING IS A BONE SPUR CAUSING SPINAL STENOSIS IN WHICH I NEVER HAD PRIOR TO SURGERY. IF YOUR PAIN PERSITS I WOULD CALL YOUR NS AND GET HIS ADVICE. IF HE TEELS YOU ITS HEALING PAIN (MY NS TOLD ME THIS) GO TO ANOTHER DR. AND GET A SECOND OPINION. IF I DIDNT SEEK ANOTHER OPINION I WOULD HAVE NEVER FOUND OUT THE REAL REASON FOR MY PAIN. I AM NOW HAVING A POSTERIOR FORAMINOTOMY IN JUNE.
    GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND I HOPE YOU ARE FEELING BETTER

    LAMINECTOMY L4-5 2/2001
    ACDF C5-6-7 10/2002
    POST. FORAMINOTOMY C6-7 JUNE 2003
    __________________
    lami L4-5, ACDF C5-6-7, post. lami-foraminotomy c6-7, staph infect. revision acdf c4-5-6-7 new c4-5 2004. STILL IN PAIN 24/7

     
    Old 04-26-2003, 07:37 PM   #10
    Niki47
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    Hi again...

    You have to have been told by your doctor that your procedure was NOT a cure, right? When you have that kind of problem with myelopathy, the procedure is to HALT the progression. Sometimes you do not regain all the function you lost. Sometimes you do. It is a crap shoot.

    All you can do is work hard, do your exercises, keep a positive attitude and believe that you WILL improve.

    It sucks... totally... but what was your alternative??

    So, hang tough, take the meds to be comfortable enough to work on all your mobility and balance issues, work on those small motor skills and just try, try, try.

    And yes... I am 5 months out and still have serious issues. My doctor told me that he ABSOLUTEY knew it would take me this long to recover... IF I DID!!!

    So, good luck, keep working, and keep the faith!

    Your friend, Niki

     
    Old 05-02-2003, 04:26 PM   #11
    Cherylha
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    Hi everyone,
    Will since the last time I replied to anyone, I've been having extreme pain in the back of my neck and down into the left and right are. This is nothing like what I've had before. Just had an MRI done on neck today and was told that the disc above my ACDF (10/02) has cord compression. So I'm guessing that means another ACDF. I was told to take it very easy this weekend until I can see my neuro on MOnday.

    ------------------
    Cheryl
    __________________
    Cheryl
    ACDF C5/C6 in 10/02 w/plating & screws Used my hip bone. Severe cord compresssion w/hand numbness & myelopathy. Removed plate & screws in 2nd surgery.
    ACDF C4/C5 for ruptured disc on 5/23/03 w/plating & screws. Used my hip bone again.

     
    Old 05-02-2003, 05:43 PM   #12
    Memer
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    Cheryl,

    I'm so sorry about your new disk herniation. I'm still having a lot of neck/arm pain nearly 9 weeks out, and NS told me today that I have increased weakness. He thinks I may have a herniation a level below. This really sucks.

    [This message has been edited by Memer (edited 08-04-2003).]

     
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