It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

  • ACDF for neck pain and migraines?

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 06-03-2003, 09:23 AM   #1
    KeithEugeneW
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Carthage, NY, US
    Posts: 340
    KeithEugeneW HB User
    Cool ACDF for neck pain and migraines?

    The advice I've gotten from surgeons so far is that surgery only to alleviate headaches and neck pain can be disappointing as far as results, whereas surgery to relieve the numbness and tingling symptoms in the shoulders, arms, fingers, etc (i.e. myelopathy and/or radiculopathy) seems to be more successful. I don't know whether that is just the opinion of a couple of surgeons or the general consensus. I would be intersted in hearing from anyone who has had ACDF surgery primarily to relieve neck pain and migraines and to hear how successful they were in their results.
    Keith

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 06-03-2003, 10:35 AM   #2
    Memer
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: Apr 2003
    Posts: 215
    Memer HB User
    Post

    Hi Keith,

    I had surgery to get rid of the cord compression and pain. I did have headaches (not migraines) before the surgery and also neck pain, arm pain, and tingling. No numbness before surgery. At three months postop, I still have a lot of neck pain and arm pain. The only things gone are the tingling and shooting pains down my arms. I now have numbness in a few spots. My neck and arm a lot of times hurt worse than before surgery. I have only had one sleep headache since surgery.



    [This message has been edited by Memer (edited 08-05-2003).]

     
    Old 06-05-2003, 09:59 AM   #3
    KeithEugeneW
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Carthage, NY, US
    Posts: 340
    KeithEugeneW HB User
    Post

    That's kind of what I'm afraid of, that if I ever do end up having the surgery, the pain that I feel in my neck and shoulder may not be helped, and I would really be disappointed. I don't seem to have a whole lot of the tingling in my hand and arm that much any more. It's more like the right arm feels like it's been filled up with lead. I still have quite a bit of strength in the bicep, but the tricep is weaker. When I try to push something sideways, it really shows (and hurts!). My left arm used to be about 20% weaker than my right because I'm right handed. Now I can push things sideways with my left arm pretty well, but trying it with the right arm I can barely move the same object. I can pick it up and carry it, as long as I don't have to pick it up past my chest. I got frustrated the other night because I need to put a limestone sidewalk in for our house. I have an old foundation full of limestone where an old farm house was half a century ago, and I figured if I did just a couple stones at a time, maybe I coul pull this thing off. I took my tractor with the bucket over as close as I could get it, and got down into the foundation and grabbed one stone at a time, and brought 3 of them out, one at a time and put them into the bucket. They each weighted about 80-100 lbs. That went pretty well (relatively speaking), so I did it twice more. Nobody ever accused me of being too bright, and so here I am 2 days later, still paying for it. I woke up the last 2 nights with jolts going through my shoulders and down my arms (both of them this time). Looks like time to bite the bullet and check my ego for a while, and hire some help. Never thought I'd see the day I couldn't handle a simple job like this! It's just a bit frustrating and a whole lot humbling!
    Keith

     
    Old 06-05-2003, 10:16 AM   #4
    melanie dawn
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Dec 2002
    Location: welland, canada
    Posts: 446
    melanie dawn HB User
    Post

    Keith,
    ah that superman ability, I can do anything has to go. I am sorry to hear about the flare up in symptoms, and also is this flare up different ? If it has any change in symptoms or increase of same, notify your DR. You have to remember that you can increase the amount of injury, not just the symptoms.
    I too suffer from the I can do it, and sometimes I know I cant , but I get sick and tired of the limitations and do it anyway. Of course the outcome of this is always paid for, in triplicate sometimes.
    Please take it easy on youself, and I hope your flare up abates ASAP.
    Did you ever go and get a second opinion?Or third? It sounds like you have more symptoms than just headaches, loss of strength and increasing pain can certainly be corrected in many cases.
    Take care, look forward to hearing from you soon
    Mel
    __________________
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    loss of lordotic curve
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

     
    Old 06-05-2003, 03:57 PM   #5
    KeithEugeneW
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Carthage, NY, US
    Posts: 340
    KeithEugeneW HB User
    Post

    Hi Mel,

    Yeah, it really stinks having to admit to myself that I can't do some of the things my mind still says I should be able to do. I can visualize myself doing these things, and then when I get the urge to go for it the body just says, "Whoa there, hold up bozo, before you hurt me again!" I see the new pain mgmt doc tomorrow and then my regular doc next week to get a referral for the 2nd opinion. I get another MRI again in September at my surgeon's regularly scheduled 6-month checkup to monitor what's going on in there. I think he was right in that C5-6 & 6-7 have degenerated to the point where they can't protrude any further into the canal and cause any increase in horizontal movement toward the back of the spinal canal. That's my biggest concern, watching for any spinal cord compression. Right now it is pushing the cord to the back of the canal, but not compressing it. I see the surgeon again next Thursday, though, to discuss my shoulder problems, and to get his opinion on whether there might be something wrong with it other than it being nerve related due to my neck problem. Maybe they have a cortisone shot for that too, who knows. It's always good to hear from you! Take care!
    Keith

     
    Old 06-05-2003, 05:12 PM   #6
    janie francine
    Senior Member
     
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Manchester, NH, US
    Posts: 154
    janie francine HB User
    Post

    Hi Keith,

    Boy, can I relate to this! I haven't had surgery yet either. I've lived with the neck pain for so long (18 years) that it's kind of second nature at this point. However, over the past 10 years I began to notice what were small issues at first, but have become quite serious in the last two years. Worsening numbness and tingling in my arm and hand, loss of strength and coordination, lots of dizziness and a few other things I can't think of at the moment (senior moments, ya know). There are so many things I can no longer do. From day one I had to give up knitting and needlepoint, skiing (snow and water), tennis, and gardening is becoming much more difficult, too. I'm also afraid to horseback ride (but I do on occasion). At 49 I'm a fulltime student and poet, and the computer just beats me to death. I'm to the point that I'm willing to live with the neck pain just because I have for so long. But what I really want is to stop this ugly progression. That's why I'm pursuing surgery. If they can relieve the nerve pressure in my arm and hand, and MAYBE give me a little mobility back in my neck, I think I'd be in seventh heaven. I remarried last year to the love of my life and I'd like to have some good years before I'm retired out to pasture. The only thing I can say for sure about my situation is that it started out as a slow decline and then picked up speed. "I've had all I can stands and I can't stands no more!" (Are you old enough to remember Popeye cartoons?)

    It's so hard to give up normal activities, but do take care of yourself. I don't know if this helps you at all. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. I just wanted to let you know my experience over the years.

    Keep smiling, honey
    Jeanine

    PS - I haven't had an MRI yet, but there are two huge bone spurs on C6,7 and one growing on 5, the same area you're talking about

    [This message has been edited by janie francine (edited 06-05-2003).]

     
    Old 06-05-2003, 06:03 PM   #7
    KeithEugeneW
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Carthage, NY, US
    Posts: 340
    KeithEugeneW HB User
    Smile

    Janie,

    I certainly am old enough on that Popeye quote, as a matter of fact when I read the first part the second part came right out of my mouth before I read it! That's scary isn't it! Sounds like you and I have a lot in common. I started having neck pain and stiffness about 17 or 18 years ago myself, around 1986 when I first remember constantly having to adjust my neck due to the stiffness, especially when driving. Like you it was a long slow decline, then a sharp decline the past 2 to 3 years. I'm glad you shared that with me, it's always interesting to hear of how other people have experienced something that you can relate to, and how they are dealing with it. I very highly recommend the MRI, though. I had seen x-rays for quite a few years and could see the bones and issues with disc space narrowing, but when I finally convinced my doc to send me to a specialist, the very first thing the surgeon did was send me in for a MRI. Holy cow, I couldn't believe the detail it showed. Kind of scary at first, I had no idea what my discs were doing and how much my spinal cord was being distorted out of it's natural flow. It sure helped me to finally understand that the reason I felt like crap and hurt all the time wasn't just in my head (no pun intended!). Please get that MRI. Without it, I'd compare it to driving a car on the highway with only your parking lights on. The MRI illuminates the whole highway and everything around it. Good luck in your pursuit of pain reduction!
    Keith

     
    Old 06-06-2003, 08:02 AM   #8
    mel333
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: australia
    Posts: 616
    mel333 HB User
    Post

    Hi Keith,

    I am having surgery for this reason! I feel the headaches which make me nauseaous are disc related from my protruding c5/6 and so does my NS. I also get shocking neck, arm, shoulder ets pain which sounds very similar to yours.
    I thought for years the head stuff was just migranes untill NS said he has many patients and I spoke with one, whose headaches were alleviated by surgery.
    So definetly get a second opinion. My surgery is in July with the artifical disc so I will let you know if it helps. I think it may help because it's all interelated and the muscle spasms are likely to effect that whole area. Do you get nausea with the headache? are they in the front over your eyes? I would be interested to know and compare. Take care and keep looking into this one.
    Mel
    __________________
    23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
    Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

     
    Old 06-06-2003, 05:42 PM   #9
    KeithEugeneW
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Carthage, NY, US
    Posts: 340
    KeithEugeneW HB User
    Smile

    Hi Mel,

    I get very nauseous with the migraines and in the real severe ones I feel like I would sell my soul to escape the pain. Knock on wood, they've dissipated again for a while. They flared up again in April, and although I've had a few in the last couple of weeks, they have not been the real crippling ones I was getting in April. Mine seem to start at the base of my skull, where the spinal cord enters, and go up the back of my head, and eventually sometimes come all the way through to my temples and behind my eyes. It helps to shut my eyes and lie in a dark room and curl up in a ball. Standing under a hot shower really helps, but as soon as I get out of the shower, it's right there again.
    I saw a new pain mgmt doc today. I discussed all I've done so far with the pills and epidurals, and also told him about my shoulder problem, asking if it was or wasn't related to my neck problem. He did a few simple tests by moving and pressing specific places and was able to quickly determine it was definetely a rotator cuff injury, and definetely not just pain generated by the nerve. He examined my neck as well, and pressed carefully on specific points and the first thing he asked was if I was a weight lifter. When I told him I'm an office manager he was surprised, because my neck muscles he said are like steel. When he pressed lightly on some specific muscles they started twitching and hurt like hell. He believes a very large part of my pain is due to the muscle spasms because I'm tightened up like a drum because of all the disc problems and arthritis. He gave me 3 cortisone shots into the muscles of my neck and shoulder and has me scheduled for PT starting next week. I figure I have nothing to lose, so I'll go with the program and see how it works out. He said I should be able to dump the pills very shortly, and recommended only taking them now if absolutely needed. He also seems to think the muscle spasms trigger the migraines as well. Looks like a new chapter in the book! I'll be seeing my other doc next week to get the second opinion scheduled for a NS as well.
    Good luck on your surgery Mel. July will be here before you know it. I'm really excited for you getting (hopefully) the Bryan artificial disc. I wish you the best, you know that of course. Have a great weekend down under!
    Keith

    [This message has been edited by KeithEugeneW (edited 06-06-2003).]

     
    Old 06-08-2003, 09:55 AM   #10
    mel333
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: australia
    Posts: 616
    mel333 HB User
    Post

    Hi Keith,
    I'm glad the dr agreed the disc may be contributing to the migranes as it very well could be. I hope the cortosone shots helped, they helped me with the spasms and eased some of the headaches. They seem to take a few days to work and get more effective after a week but I guess it's different for everyone. Your headaches are very similar to mine, the base of neck and wrapping over the temples to behind the eye, horrid things! I can relate to the rock neck muscles also despite being a tad tall and frail. Hope your feeling better and I am excited about the artificial disc. They are doing lots of studies with good outcomes so far. Take care,
    Mel
    __________________
    23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
    Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

     
    Old 06-08-2003, 10:50 AM   #11
    melanie dawn
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Dec 2002
    Location: welland, canada
    Posts: 446
    melanie dawn HB User
    Post

    Hi Keith,
    I too get the killer headaches. And the rock hard neck spasms can certainly be a big contributing factor. I know they are for me. And when those headaches hit the max. I find them crippling. Starts in the neck and back of the head and comes out of the eye and the temple. I had quite a few trigger point cortisones into the neck muscles to break up the spasm, and it certainly did help with the headaches. I still got them, but not as severely. However once the cortisone wore off, they start up again. The NS told me until I get the surgery to relieve the neck issues the spasm and headaches will return , because the nerve is still irritated, compressed.
    I am glad you are finding some help with this, those headaches are frightening. For me I go thru the cortisone series every 6 months, and the effects seem to last approx. 3-4 months. ANd 3-4 months without as many of those headaches is enough for me, I would also do anything to avoid those headaches.
    Take care, talk soon, Mel

    ------------------
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity
    __________________
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    loss of lordotic curve
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

     
    Old 06-09-2003, 03:35 PM   #12
    KeithEugeneW
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Carthage, NY, US
    Posts: 340
    KeithEugeneW HB User
    Cool

    Hi Mel and Mel,

    Today was one of the best I've had in recent memory. The cortisone shots made me a bit stiff an sore for a couple days, but today I was able to move my arm around like there was nothing wrong with it. It was awesome. It still feels like it weights a ton, but at least it didn't hurt at all. I can turn my head to the right all the way around and behind me, can't remember the last time I could turn it more than about 20 degrees short of being on the front side of my shoulder! The left side is still pretty stiff, but maybe I can talk him into a couple of injections there to loosen that side up as well and I'll be golden! The neck is still sore, but not as bad as before, plus I'm not on any pills, which I really like. I keep them handy in case I have a tough day, but so far I'm doing well, knock on wood! I'm cautious about getting my hopes up too high, because I know how depressing it can be to take a step forward just to take another back again in a few days, but I'll enjoy this little victory now for what it is or isn't. I start PT tomorrow afternoon, so who knows what that may bring as far as more relief (or less!).
    I think I'm as excited about your artificial disc as you are, Mel! Best wishes to both of you, regardless of which end of the globe you are on!
    Keith

     
    Old 06-09-2003, 06:28 PM   #13
    Renee016
    Senior Member
     
    Join Date: Dec 2002
    Location: USA
    Posts: 165
    Renee016 HB User
    Post

    Hi, Keith I'm sorry to hear about your headaches and neck pain, the latter of which I can totally relate!

    I know the decision of whether or not you should have surgery is a tough one and I think a person should be as well informed as possible so I just wanted to give you something to think about. From reading your posts, it sounds like you're really losing a lot of strength in your right arm - I was advised that the longer you let something like that go, the more damage is caused to nerves. I'm not advocating surgery - I think it should be avoided if at all possible, but it's something else to consider and maybe discuss with your doctor.

    Wishing you pain-free, headache-free days.
    Renee

    ------------------
    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)
    __________________
    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 06-10-2003, 06:23 PM   #14
    KeithEugeneW
    Veteran
     
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Carthage, NY, US
    Posts: 340
    KeithEugeneW HB User
    Post

    Hi Renee,

    I'm cautiously optimistic that I may be on to something good here. I went to my PT today, after having the cortisone shots in the neck and shoulder last Friday. I haven't felt this good in years, and I haven't touched a pill in a couple of days now. I think a lot of my arm pain was the rotator cuff problem, and I'm pretty impressed so far with the results of my new treatment. My neck is still painful, but not like it was. He's going to treat the left side of my neck soon as well, to loosen that up. I think that taking all that stress off those muscles and stopping those spasms has made a significant difference. I may be able to get this thing under control to where I have a level of pain I can live with (unmedicated!) and continue my regular 6 month spine doc visit with the MRI to monitor the internal carnage. I haven't been in this good of spirits in some time, part of it because of this ray of hope because I'm in less pain now, and partly because I'm drug free for a change. The PT was interesting, they hooked me up to a bunch of wires for about 15 minutes first that were stuck to me in 4 places on my neck and shoulder. They turned on the machine and it tingled and vibrated me around pretty good for a while and then wound down towards the end. It felt weird but good. Then some stretching exercises and the sonic thing with the ointment. I go twice a week for a while then once a week for a while after that. I have a feeling a lot of the loss of strength in my right arm might have been because I had to favor it due to the pain from the rotator cuff injury. Too bad the first pain doc didn't take the time to identify the shoulder problem as separate and distinct from my neck problem, could have saved myself some downtime here. I had an appointment to see my surgeon this week scheduled from a little while ago so that I could ask him about my shoulder and if it was related to my neck or not, but now I have my answer, so cancelled that appt. Keep your fingers crossed that this thing pans out, I'm cautiously optimistic that my quality of life may be changing for the better for the first time in a few years now.
    Keith

     
    Old 06-11-2003, 09:02 AM   #15
    mel333
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: australia
    Posts: 616
    mel333 HB User
    Post

    Hi Keith,

    I'm so happy for you that the shots helped. I still have benefits in one arm 5 months later and the initial lightness is the best! How great to not be on meds also. I have a friend with arm pain who had one shot and a year later is still pain free so here's hoping for you. I'm glad your excited about the ADR. I think it's going to be great and especially for keeping some pressure off the lower and higher levels. Keep feeling better,
    Mel
    Renae,
    Good point about the possible nerve damage.I am having surgery as I have had arm weakness over the last few months and I found this reason helped make my decision.
    __________________
    23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
    Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Advice on new treatments other than ACDF for cervical stenosis with myelopathy frustratedlor Spinal Cord Disorders 19 07-11-2010 10:32 AM
    acdf of C4-C5 in '00, C5-C6-C-7 in '06... still in pain. now facet injections? helenoftroy Spinal Cord Disorders 2 11-13-2008 06:05 PM
    STILL having PAIN five months post ACDF C5-C7 Fiona_Jo Spinal Cord Disorders 7 09-04-2008 02:46 PM
    ACDF- Recovery with children thj2u Spinal Cord Disorders 4 07-08-2008 03:39 PM
    Migraines & neck, can't take it sammyo1 Spinal Cord Disorders 28 09-11-2007 06:07 PM
    ACDF Surgery vruiz Spinal Cord Disorders 15 02-04-2006 02:50 PM
    Just had ACDF w/ plating at C4-C5 new to board hal3146 Spinal Cord Disorders 4 03-12-2004 06:14 PM
    to ACDF or not to ACDF - plz help go*big*red Spinal Cord Disorders 14 09-25-2003 03:37 PM
    Cervogenic dizziness, dizzy after ACDF need2fuse Spinal Cord Disorders 1 09-14-2003 05:39 AM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:58 PM.





    2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!