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  • Muscle Twitching 6 Months After After ACDF

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    Old 07-09-2014, 06:18 PM   #1
    Join Date: Jul 2014
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    Menemsha HB User
    Question Muscle Twitching 6 Months After ACDF

    Hi All,

    Getting nervous ! Tried to give all the info you'd need below, but feel free to ask questions:

    I am 6 months and 2 days out from C4-5, C6-7 ACDF and within the past few weeks I've been experiencing muscle twitching on right side in: eyebrow, shoulder, tricep, forearm, space between thumb and index finger, right side of back, right calf and some left calf and left trip. Also started getting pain in my right under arm and right forearm.

    My 2 level ACDF was performed to arrest cervical spinal cord stenosis (impingement w indentation), as well as foraminal stenosis (impinged roots), coupled with what the neorosurgeon termed a large osteophyte complex that was fusing toghther on the lower right side of my neck.

    After surgey I was off my pain meds in less than 2 weeks and walking 2 miles a day in the brutal winter we had here. I started twice weekly accupunture plus weekly massage therapy and chiropractor I think about 4 weeks after surgery. At my three month follow up I thought I was doing okay but had a HUGE, sore, rock hard knot in my right trapesius/ thoracic area and was cleared to begin twice a week Aquatic PT.

    I did all the above for 2 months then began light weights 1 of the 2 days a week in PT and added gentile yoga 1 day each week end of 4th month. The HUGE knot in the back was FINALLY broken up one day by what the massage therapist called Sliding Cupping (it really helped).

    Started swimming (freestyle/crawl) at the 4.5 month mark and was up to about 30 mins nonstop and doing that swim about 4-5 times a week (sometimes every day) for about 3 weeks until laying off ALL exercise 3 days ago. Because of all the symptoms in paragraph 1 above.

    I was quite active (swim, bike, jog, weights) before my symptoms (pain between fingers, pain under right arm, muscle twitch right arm, leg spasms, ankle pain ...) began last May. Tried the non-surgical route (PT, acupuncture) from June to December and met w/ several different Surgeons (Neuro/Ortho), neurologists, chiropractors before having to face surgery largely because of my CatScan results.

    Up until a week, or so, ago I thought I was making progress although I was impatient with the one remaining symptom at the time: a frequent twitching in my right tricep. Had only one real set back of pain etc. around week 3 mark after dump my 80 pound doff a floor cushion he was laying on.

    So my question to those who have come before me, and were kind enough to read this far is : Are those symptoms in the first paragraph normal at the 6 month mark? Or have I been overdoing it and are they normal at the 6 month mark if I've overdone it? If yes on either of the first 2 questions how long before I can get back to the activities I described above ? Or is something else going on ?

    The Twitching is maddening . And worrying plus shoulder pain has had me up most of the last few nights.

    Thank you very much for reading this post.

    Last edited by Menemsha; 07-10-2014 at 04:38 AM.

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    Old 07-11-2014, 05:32 PM   #2
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    Re: Muscle Twitching 6 Months After ACDF

    Hi menemsha, Thats a really active recovery compared to my lazy self after lumbar surgery! Lol Im really sorry that you are having symptoms again. There are several things that can cause muscle twitching some medications may cause it, after having compressed nerves before surgery after surgery the nerves may twitch some when they are healing again & some conditions, i have arachnoiditis can cause muscle twitching but with it being associated with pain again & increased activity i would consult with my dr. Has it stopped or lessened since you stopped the exercise? I hope that you continue to have a great recovery & that the dr finds the cause & its easily remedied!

    Old 07-13-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
    Join Date: Jul 2014
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    Menemsha HB User
    Re: Muscle Twitching 6 Months After ACDF

    Thank you for the kind reply gmak. I've stopped all physical activity except walking and got an appointment w the Physician's Assistant to the Surgeon this Tuesday. I still have twitching from my right triceps thru forearm and space between thumb and index finger as well as some pain in shoulder and under armpit and around my scapula.

    Best case scenario is they take some images to see what's going on in there and then tell me there's no more impingment, that I was over doing it and taking easy will clear this up.

    I just wish I knew if those symptoms 6 post op is not unusual during a recovery and that that will fade away.

    Old 09-14-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
    Pain n the neck
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    Re: Muscle Twitching 6 Months After After ACDF

    I did not have any twitching after having a fusion on 6/7 over five years ago but I have them now. My neck has several issues and I will likely have another surgery soon. This time 4/5 & 5/6. Three in a row.
    The twitching isn't necessarily painful, but it is disturbing for sure. The numbness, tingling and weakness are causing me serious trouble. The right arm seems to get the shakes, almost like its vibrating while performing small tasks. Be mindful of these symptoms. The pain speaks for itself. Some Doctors were concerned about a possible movement disorder on top of the cervical problems, but at this time it seems as though the spinal cord issues are causing the tremors and shakes. My Neurosurgeon seemed certain of that. As for whether or not they improve after the operation, we'll let's hope so.
    I hope your situation improves. Good luck and take care.
    If you have other questions just let me know. I have both resting tremors and shakes that happen while doing things. I really understand.

    Old 09-14-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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    Re: Muscle Twitching 6 Months After After ACDF

    Yeah the differential for twitching is pretty large. It can be due to nerve or spinal impingement, but there are many other causes as well. Sometimes exercising muscles that haven't been exercised for a while can cause twitching. Various vitamin deficiencies, caffeine and anxiety can also cause them.

    The idea if having a movement disorder coupled with cervical stenosis seems farfetched to me but its the second time I've heard someone on the forum mention it in the Las few days. Go figure.

    Your best bet is a followup with your surgeon to see what, if anything, is going on.

    Good luck and let us know what you find out...

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