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  • Long Term Pain after ACDF?

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    Old 05-12-2003, 02:41 PM   #1
    jdog
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    Post Long Term Pain after ACDF?

    I had an ACDF in August 2002, C5/6/7, and to this day, I have aches in my shoulder blades and some of my arm muscles on the tops of my shoulders are sore at times.

    I found it interesting that about 2 months after my surgery, my surgeon's nurse and his PA both left to take jobs in other places. I think this surgeon is pretty good, but his bedside manner bites. After my 2 month checkup, I asked for more pain meds and his new nurse came in with the prescription and said something along the lines of: "What is wrong with you? You shouldn't be in pain any more. Taking these pain killers is addictive. Are you sure you really need them?" Let's say this is the first time that I ever really considered hitting a woman (I won't dignify her with the term 'lady.')

    Has anyone else who has had ACDF's experiences long term aches and pains, or should I just go check myself into the Betty Ford Clinic?

    jdog
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    Old 05-12-2003, 03:39 PM   #2
    Memer
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    Hi Jdog,

    I'm only 10 weeks postop now and still have a lot of PAIN. I'm better than a week ago but not back to preop yet. At first, my NS accused me of doing too much. I told him that wasn't true, and then he said I might have a new herniation. I don't know if I do or not. All I know is that I still have a lot of pain, particularly down my spine today. Sometimes my arm hurts worse--in the same place as before surgery. I'm in PT now and am hoping that will help. I've only gone a few times so I can't say yet.

    It makes me blue to hear that you're still having problems 8 months out. I'm not sure what you mean by "sore." From your post, I'm guessing it's not the good kind of sore one gets from working out but rather a painful type.

    As for me, I'm doing what I'm told by the NS and PT and trying my best to get better. NS told me that the pain should be all gone by now. That makes me worry a lot that there's still something wrong in there. I guess you know what I mean by that. I sometimes think that maybe it just takes time to heal; but, as I said, the NS doesn't think that's true.

    As for the meds, I don't think I could function without them. I don't want to find out. Too bad that nurse had to be such a jerk about your meds. Not everyone is a drug seeker, but I think medical professionals get hard-hearted because they see so much of that.

    Are you better or worse than preop or just about the same?



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

     
    Old 05-12-2003, 03:42 PM   #3
    KeithEugeneW
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    Hi Jdog,

    Don't let anybody BS you into thinking you're imagining the pain or that something is wrong with you because you shouldn't be in pain but say you are. Let's face it, when you hurt, you hurt. It's too bad you can't let the doc or nurse feel the pain you're in, so they'd know how you feel. I'd be asking for another MRI to see what's going on in there. Who knows, maybe something changed since surgery. Remember, doctors don't always have all the answers or know everything about our bodies. Keep pushing until you get the results you need. You're likely paying good money, either out of hide or in insurance premiums, to get high cost results. If you hired a contractor to fix a leaky roof and it still leaked, you wouldn't let him try to tell you not to worry about it, so don't let them do that with your body. Good luck to you, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all of you good folks pain free.
    Keith

     
    Old 05-12-2003, 03:48 PM   #4
    jdog
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    Memer -

    I hate to tell you this, but I had no pain in my arms or anything when they found the herniations. I was having problems getting up out of chairs and climbing steps.

    Keith -

    I had thought about grabbing the doctor by the gonads so he could feel my pain. And it would have been nice to see that nurse pass a coconut without a stool softener. Ain't I a stinker?

    jdog
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    Old 05-12-2003, 03:56 PM   #5
    KeithEugeneW
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    Now that's what I call a fighting spirit. You gotta like that! Give 'em hell Jdog!

     
    Old 05-12-2003, 04:55 PM   #6
    Nanner
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    Jdog, you aren't alone. I had my surgery June 6 and by the start of September I was still on 7.5 mg of Lortab, cut in half, twice daily. Then I got off of it, but...the stupid PT pushed me too far too fast and out came the Lortab again, back at two full tablets a day PLUS amitriptylene so I could sleep at night.

    Now I'm not taking any painkillers, but just finished with a series of three epidurals and they aren't cutting the pain. So I can relate.

    I'm glad so many of us are fortunate enough that they feel the surgery moved them forward, and their pain is either gone or diminished. At least my doc and his nurse never hit me with the addiction stuff-it was always just take what you need. I'm sure if you kept saying you ran out too fast, there would have been an issue, but otherwise, no.

    Have you done any PT or massage? The latter might help with the pain and muscle spasm you may still be experiencing. PT, if done correctly, can also be beneficial.

    If the pain is severe enough, or in new areas, ask for some new testing to be done. When I had the pain return, they did an MRI again to check the fusion and it was sound. I just developed some new problems

    That's about it for suggestions from this quarter. May you feel better soon!

    ------------------
    Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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    Old 05-12-2003, 07:49 PM   #7
    NYFUSED
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    Hello,
    I can relate to all you ahve been through. I had acdf c6-7-8 in October 2002. After surgery I was in more pain and kept telling my NS. His reply was to have another MRI done. It came back c4-5 still bulging in which I told him it was bulging in 2/2002!!! NS told me he would have to look at old mri ( he just forgot to fix it during my surgery) Anyway, I went for a second and third opinion becaUSE i AM IN SO MUCH PAIN EVERYDAY. Both NS's ordered a myelogram and guess what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he wasn't in my head. I have spinal stenosis at c4-5, c 6-7 and now I am having a posterior foraminotomy June 4. I also asked original NS for meds and he wouldn't give them to me. He told me it was all 'HEALING PAIN" . Listen to your body. You know what pain is!!!! I wish you luck and pray that you are feeling better soon.

    Lori
    laminectomy l4-5 2001
    acdf c5-6-7 2002
    posterior foraminotomy 6/4/2003
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    Old 05-12-2003, 09:24 PM   #8
    winged phantom
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    Hey jdog!
    I'll try to answer quick, and it's getting late, and I'm pooped! Need my beauty sleep, ya know.

    I have been pain from the time I first was injured in 1989. I had a C5-6 microdiskectomy (natural fusion), but I have always felt very stiff and achy (check out my earlier posts, or the one I just wrote to falcoop for the short story). Now, almost 5 weeks post-op for a "biggie" three level ACDF, I really still want about 1 to 1 1/2 percocet a day. Some day I don't have any, or I take one ultracet.... but this is an old injury, and it's not going to go away immediately.

    Yet I keep feeling guilty for wanting and taking these meds, because in the literature the NS's office sent out prior to surgery said that refills for pain meds would probably be in smaller amounts, because the aim was to get the patients off pain meds. That's all well and good, but I'm so retentive! They actually gave me a huge Rx for percocet when I had my 2 week visit! So I don't think I should make myself suffer unnecessarily.

    I have found that in general, the more intelligent these docs are, the worse their bed-side manners. Some of these guys are just so brilliant! But they can be miserable human beings to us peons. Choose wisely!
    wr

    ------------------
    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone
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    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

     
    Old 05-13-2003, 08:39 AM   #9
    Cherylha
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    Hi jdog.
    i know how you feel. I had on ACDF in Oct. 2002 and woke up one morning 3 weeks ago with pain in the back of my neck going into both shoulders and down both arms. I had an MRI done 1 week ago and it showed that the level above was blown out. I had a myelgram done yesterday and am waiting for the results. I know that I will have to have more surgery and will tell my NS that if there is anything else wrong that he needs to get it taken of now. I'll keep you informed as to what happens when I know more.

    ------------------
    Cheryl
    ACDF in Oct.2002 titanuim plating on C5/C6. Used own hip bone. Severe cord compresssion w/mylopathy
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    Cheryl
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    ACDF C4/C5 for ruptured disc on 5/23/03 w/plating & screws. Used my hip bone again.

     
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