Neurology Expert Forum
Continued pain after anterior cervical fusion
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Continued pain after anterior cervical fusion

I was involved in a car accident and later had to have anterior cervical fusion at C3-4 & C4-5 with a titanium plate. I am 5 wks post op and have terrible pain in my neck and shoulders. I wsent for my 2 wk post op appt, got my neck brace off and that was it. No return appoinments needed. I went to my family physician and he is sending me to physical therapy now. I hurt all the time, therapy doesnt seem to be helping. My family physician continues to have me take percocet and soma for my discomfort. There has to be an alternative to the pain. I am at the point where I wish I would not have had the surgery. Should I go back to my neurosurgeon or just keep going the way I am now and hope it gets better. I am open for anything at this point.

Thanks,
            Cheryl
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
Its difficult for me to give you specific information on your case, as I do not even know what the injury sustained was

The surgery may have been perfomed to stabilze the spine and this aims to prevent any compromise to the spinal cord, which could for instance lead to permanent paralysis. On the other hand the surgery does not gaurantee no pain. There may also be a degree of soft tissue, ligament etc injury sustained in the accident which could contribute to the pain. Your bodys response to the pain such as an abnormal neck posture, muscle spasm etc may also be contributing. Any neurological symptoms such as arm or leg numbness or weakness, bladder dysfunction should be evaluated with a repeat clinical exam and/or MRI in case there is any cord or nerve root problem. Otherwise a multimodal appraoch may work best for you with a PT specializing in neck rehab, maybe massotherapy, analgesics (but not too much, because addiction to percoce/soma will make your life much worse), and msucle relaxants. Ask your neurologist or pain managment specialist if Botox is indicated for muscle spasm pain. With time, tissue healing, correct neck posture, and methods to relax muscles it should bet better or cease

Good luck
41 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had the exact same experience after a posterior fusion from C5-C7.  My surgeon did not order any physical therapy and I learned the hard way how tremendously important it is.

The surgeon has only given you a start on your road to recovery.  It is now imcumbent upon you to aggressively pursue the physical therapy and rehab work. And let me impress upon you here, it's probably going to be the hardest work you've ever done in your life.  Take the pain pills and do the exercises religiously.  They actually do work!

In my own experience, I was to the point of being almost completely disabled.  The docs threw up their hands and gave up.  If figured, "OK, I'm either going to break this thing once and for all, or I'm going to have to fix it myself."  I joined a gym, hired a trainer, and lo and behold, within one month the pain was gone and hasn't come back in 8 years.

You are still pretty early post-op, so give it some time.  You can't expect your body to be back to normal just yet.  Also, sometimes those pain receptors just don't want to stitch to the "off" position for several weeks.

Hang in there kiddo - it CAN get better!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the input. I am doing the PT 3 days a week for a month as of right now. My therapist said I should feel much better in the coming weeks(crossing my fingers)
                Cheryl
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had discectomy with fusion (w/instrumentation) at the C6-7 level.  This was done last Febuary '05.  It's been almost 8 months since the procedure, and I still experience some range of motion difficulty and soreness.  However, it's light years from where I was at about the 3-4 month mark.  I didn't think that I would recover as well as I have so far.  So hang in there if you're still experiencing a lot of pain. I found that walking outside for 1/2 - 1 hour a day helped relieve stress and pain in the joint....moist heat also relaxes muscles well (hot showers and wet towels heated in the microwave).  I too despise taking pain killers (they gave me Oxycodone) unless I absolutely need them (they make me nauseous).

My question is about the PT.  My nuerosurgeon also did not recommend any PT for my neck....I was wondering what type of exercises they have you doing and if something like that would benefit my recovery.  I am considering tracking down someone who can do this type of PT in my area.  

My hope is that I will be able to resume running and biking sometime in the future without being sore or uncomfortable for days after exercising.  I am realistic...I realize that things take time and I must go slow...and I have.  It is very frustrating for me to slow myself down....I was an avid runner before my surgery.  Not a marathoner or anything like that. I just enjoyed going for 3-4 miles a few days a week for the exercise.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had a fusion of 3 discs in my neck with hip bone used along with a titanium plate. I have had NO relief. Why? I was told that I could possible be a quadraplegic if I didn't get this surgery. I am NOT happy. What do I do now that my MD had released me from care? I don't know what to do.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I just an anterior c-5/6 fusion
2 weeks tomorrow. NO pt. And was never told if I should wear neck brace which they gave me in hospital if needed. Nr surgeon attempted to take me off pain killers, but reg md put me back on. Had MRI today, due to tingling in left arm (used to be in right) and severe neck pain.
Not sure what I should or shouldnt be doing. See md tomorrow re MRI
Isnt 2 weeks to soon to be doing much of anything???
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had an anterior disectomy with plating and fusion at the c-6 to c-7 area along with a posterior surgery to remove a bone chip with hardware installed. This was done because of the pains in my upper arms and tingling and numbness in my right thumb and index finger along with weakness in the right arm. My surgery was 4 weeks ago, I still have all the symptons along with the new pains of surgery. My arms do feel like they may be stronger but I can't lift anything heavy yet as per doc's orders. I was told the swelling of soft tissue and muscles is causing the pains and time will be the healer. How long could that be? They say your nerves heal at a rate of 1 inch per month. I hope this helps, don't give up! Please reply.         steevo
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hi,
     thank's so much to everone who writes in.  this is my first entry.  I have had four sinus surgeries to remove tumors.  (Two of the surgeries were major maxofacial-they cut open my entire face.  But on to the neurology.  My neck was injured during one of the sinus surgeries( the c5-c6 disc was ruptured and pressing on my spine.)  After two years of fighting to get the hmo "barbie doll air head receptionists"  to let me have the tumors removed, not only did the doctors screw up, they kept telling me I had allergies on one side,  then the pathology was continuously misdiagnosed.  I diagnosed my tumors at the local university library and brought copies to the ent.  He tole me I couldn't possibly understand this stuff, but maybe my husband could (I have a bachelors in exercise physiology, my husband is an attorney.  So I had 4 sinus surgeries instead of 1 or 2 and lot's of extra nerve damage around the trigeminal/cranial and optic nerves.  The sinus tumors took about 3 years to get rid of, and then it was onto the spin.
     My cervical fusion resolved the arm pain, but increased the neck pain and started me down the path of cluster migrain headaches!  They lasted every day for a year and I couldn't  get any help for a while because I wasn't released from my neurosurgeon's care.  So I would pace the floor night and day, taking cat naps because the pain was so bad.  I still suffer every day some 13 years later.  I could swear I feel that hardware in my neck.  The scans have all been done and the doctors say I am better than perfect!  Hardly!  I used to be a triathlete and h.s. record holder for 1&2miles (track and cross country).
     Now, if it were not for my husband and 3 terrific children I'd try to go see Jesus and end this nightmare.  Until then, I will never lose hope,  and I thank God for the bearable minutes and for the doctors and nurses who really care.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hey broken neck don't give up, 13 years is an awful long time beleive me, I know. You may suffer a lot but your family will suffer more if you were gone. I broke my back in 1980, crushed a vertabrae and cracked 4 others, I was in pain every day for 20 years until I found an honest chiro who took away the burning pains after 12 visit's. He was also able to relieve some neck and headache pains by pressing into the muscle's of my neck. Not all chiro's are the same, some can help but others may do more harm than good. Be extra cautious with your condition if they want to "pop" your neck. I also just came from my 6 week check following fusion of the c-6 to c-7. I still have numbness of my thumb and index finger along with pain's in my shoulders and upper arms. My doc recommended pt for rotor cup tendinitis. I'll try it and we'll see. Hope this helps.      steevo
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
I had anterior cervical fusion on c5/6 c 6/7 with a titanium plate and 5 screws, about 3 1/2 years ago.  I also did the iliac hip grafting of my own bone because i was told by my surgeon that your own bone fusing is much higher than a doners.After all of the recovery and such and i was fully released with zero restrictions a zero limitations forever to do whatever i wanted  physically 100% and all activity 100% .soon after i ended up back into my usrgeons office with pain, stiffness so much aching, losing sleep, taking pain meds again etc. He put me into PT. It was for like 2 1/2 straight mnths 3 times a week. It was painful, hard, and seem to never end. But it did help, and in the end i would say i got to the best of 75% better than when i walked in the first time, but...That was the start of the next three years of a process that has been filled all in the same place in the right side of my neck,shoulder down my spine,in my shoulder blade, up my head etc,.With never being able to hold a phone without my hand and using your ear and shoulder , no recliner anything, no looking down like while crafting cuz i cant hold my head there or hold it up for 2 min. I could go on with alot more but i want to get to the worst of all, is in june of this year i was in a minor rearending. I was hit. I had pretty bad whiplash, and went right to the er,so, . after all that and muscle relaxers, well you know
an xray reveiled that i had two broken screws, wich led to an mri wich is useless to anyone when you have metal in you neck,
then it led to a ct.scan wich reveiled the total truth. I have 100% zero fusion in neither disc and two broken screws.So what i have now recenty been told from a 2nd opinion is that my surgury 3 years ago was a total failure.On 12/29 it will all be done again in an extremely complicated surgey.Im so scared and think my original surgeon should be liable.? All ive been through and a lawyer wants a nuerosurgeon to tell him that the surgeon Yes did do mal practice during my surgery,. To thats rediculous and there is so very much to be known about my case.I had no idea to find a lawyer was this hard.thanks for hearing me, im a mom with 4 girls and they've suffered so with me too and are scared. Please any thoughts lete me know, thanks again.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had anterior cervical surgery 6 months ago c/5-c/7.I had it to correct pain and weakness in left arm.Since the surgery I have had continuous swelling and pain in neck muscles and have trouble turning my head which I did not have before.I have had a mri since surgery and barium esophogram since surgery and they can not figure out why the swelling will not subside.Also the pain and weakness in arm is still there.Has anyone else had this problem?It is a decision to have this surgery I wish I had not made.It was and still is pure hell and would not recommend to anyone to have it done.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Steevo for the feedback! I'm wondering if anyone out there who has had a cervical fusion and is running for exercise.  No doctor seems to think that it is a bad thing to do.  Most of them talk as though the surgery makes me better than I was  at birth.  I'm wondering if the running will make me more miserable than I already am (constant pain and migrain headaches) when I get older.  I used to be a triathlete, but have cut back to running only 2-3 days a week due to my continued neck pain.  I also try to bike a little or do step aerobics or walk a few other days each week.  I am miserable when I don't run (depressed and gaining weight which never used to be a problem before my surgeries).  
    
I'm also wondering if there could be some problem in my neck (which several g.p's and neurosurgeons have said is perfect) that does not show up on plain films or mri's.  could there be broken screws or plates, failed fusion, or an allergic reaction to the titanium.  I've never had a cat scan of my neck or anything else.  A friend (also a pt) suggested I may have had a slow spinal fluid leak from the neck surgery, because 24 -48 hours after the surgery I began having migraines, which occured every day for about a year.  The migraines were so bad I would pace the floor day and night and could not lie down or speak when they were really bad.  I still have them ll years later, only not as often.  They cause the kind of pain that makes a sane person think of suicide, like a reflex, without intention.  I held on until a surprise pregnancy brought back the dailly migraines.  That's when the depression began.  Now I have to fight depression a lot.  I get mad at the doctors. I get mad at God even.  But then I look at my little blessings (two teens and a young-un) and see them healthy, and my husband healthy always sticking by me, and I know I am blessed, no matter how bad the pain.  I can't understand the purpose of all this, but I will never quit.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello people u would just like to say that i have not gottin the fusion done and my doctor hasnt said anything to me about it i learned about it on my own.In the summer of 2003 i was riding a 4 wheeler up a little hill it fplipped over and right on my back crushing T,9,10,11,12,L,1,2,,Fracturing them as well.
I also got 5 broken ribs 1 lung caved inn and they just took xrays and left me in the hospital for 5 days a then sent me home!!!!!!!!! i had to get my own theapy. I used to play hockey,skiing,biking,baseball,golfing,lolololol and even sitting around is all discomforting still. I was wondering if i should get the fusion or im asking you what would be good  for me i am now only 19 years old and i live with discomfort when nobody should go through what i did  I AM VERY MAD AT THE DOCTORS NOT DOING THIER JOB I NEVER WENT BACK SINCE..THANKS FOR READY GET BACK TO ME ....
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello Folks, I have read all the above messages and most of you seem to be from the U.S. I'm from Hollywood in the UK and I know our health services are vastly different but thought I'd tell you of my experiences. I had a fusion at c4/c5/c6 and a plate inserted in Feb 05 which was to stop my poor balance and dragging right leg problems from getting any worse.  The pain after the op was pretty severe including the problems with swallowing which led to a lot of choking and spluttering!  The neck pain now is still pretty  bad, but not constant, the worst part is the headaches which can be really blinding, and the pain increases with the more physical exercise I do. I saw my surgeon yesterday and he says the pain may still improve over the next six months, but if not the next option will to be too try injections in my neck. So it seems its a slow process but personally I think I will keep getting better and I'd encourage everyone to stay positive.  Good Luck Everyone!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had 4 levels of cervical fusion done Sept 13 2005. I wore a collar for 6 weeks and didn't use my arms above my head or pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk the entire time. I was in extreme pain for 3 weeks due to nerve irritation in my right arm.I didn't sleep for more than an hour at the most for 2 weeks . I lost 20 pounds.I went though 120 Oxycontin and vicidin the first week and a half. The pain eased up after 3 weeks and has been fine since. I walked every day after surgery even if it was only to the mailbox at first. Don't sit around and vegatate. Get up and start moving . Walking is physical therapy . Work on your posture it will help. I had very weak arms after the first six weeks, then I went 2 times a week to physical therapy and worked at home . I had to stretch out my nevrves in my arms because when the Dr put the bend back into my neck which had been gone for 20 yrs, it took up the slack in my nerves and caused extreme pain in both my arms if I suddenly extended them . After 4 weeks of therapy my arms are much stronger and I have little pain in my neck,  some limited motion, but that is to be expected with fusion at four levels.Do the pt it will make a great difference. I cannot understand why a Dr would not prescribe it. It is part of the healing process. Now I will go back to work in a week or two and get ready for a lumbar disk replacement with the same Dr in about 6 months.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hello! i have had a cervical fusion it will be 5 months post op jan 2nd 2005. I just had my 3rd post op visit and the doc told me that the fusin wasnt happening very fast.  I am very upset because i do not ever want to go thru that again. I was to the point where all i did was cry afterward about anything and thoughts of overdosing on my pain meds and muscle relaxers even ran thru my mind because i was so depressed. I think from not being able to talk and from not being able to go about my daily routine that i was used to.  anyhoo, to make a long story short , i was wondering why he said im not fusing as fast as i should be and so what? I thought it could take up to a year. I stopped taking motrin and anti inflamitories. Now do you think it will start healing? Also mine was done for pain relief. Why do some doc take the hardware out and others let it in. Mine is staying in. also my finger is a little tingly. the right index. not as bad as before but noticable at times. Also I have stiffness sometimes and lately i have been feeling this fluttering in my neck , like a muscle twitching. Is this ok? It doesnt hurt. Please respond to my questions as soon as possible as i am so afraid of something being wrong. thank you tracey
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi to everyone and I was amazed of how many people like myself are still in pain after ANTERIOR CERVICAL FUSION C5,6&7.  Nov. 17,2005.  I just went to see my Neuro Dr. and he sent me to Pt right away, cause of depression I have had and pain that I am still in.  He said that I would make his operation go bad if i don't get out of this depression and start moving around more.  I have been in much pain to start using my neck muscles, etc.. He went thru the left side of my neck , when I had the pain on the right and now my left side feels like the right side before I even had surgery.  He said all is normal and I should be able to get back to normal.  I have been on hydrocodone and try to only take it when in pain .  I don't want to get addicted to these pain killers.  I start PT the begining of the New Year 2006  and hope this will HELP !  I have never gone thru any type of surgery and this has been very tramatizing for me.  Hard to deal with the pain and now knowing I am going to the PT to hopefully better myself.
* I feel for anyone having to go thru this pain everyone hang in there you are not alone.  Take each day at a time. :-)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, I feel for you and yes have gone thru the same things and feelings or depression.  I was very active and then after surgery everything slowed down for me.  My Neuro Dr. said that I should recover 95 % but I don't feel like it maybe it is to soon to tell,  Have you ad any PT yet or ever ?  I will be going nex week and was sent right away from My Neuro Dr.  He didn't want me to get depressed because when you are it slows everything down with healing.  Try and get out and be your normal self again.  I am going to need the push myself but hope that going to PT will help me with pain management and the depression of feeling better about myself.  Let me know how you are feeling Hope all goes well for you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had a cervical fusion, artifical disc replacement at the  foC6 level, also bone spurs removed from c5-c3. It is only 3 weeks since my surgery. I am experiencing throbbing headaches at my temples and abov1 my eyes for over a week now. I do still have some neck and shoulder pain, which the doctor states is normal for po-op. He states the my headache is not due to the surgery, I never had headaches before surgery. He told me to just take tylenol for the headaches, it does not help. The thobbing is really bad at night, wakes me up in the middle of the night. Did anyone else experience this after surgery? I am trying to start walking, it's tough to do, since it is winter. My husband thinks that excerise will help with pain. Not sure what to do. I am tired of the constant throbbing in my head.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello all,

Had anterior cervical fusion C5-6 with interbody cage Dec 5th 2005. Woke up with numbness in right thumb and first 2 fingers after surgery.....and tingling in shoulder still....was told it could take up to 2 months for nerve to heal.
Had really bad headaches about 3 days after surgery which have disapated slightly since but still come on at times. Was taking decadron a corti-steroid before surgery for pain and inflamation (inflammation) control...made my face really swell up.....something call cushoid syndrome or full moon face. Pressure in head from this I  believe brought on my headaches after researching on the internet but saw neurologist who  didn't agree with me....said I  was suffering from previous migrane (migraine) problems and yes had a few early in life but not near the frequency after this surgery. Still find if I  am bent over and then straighten up lots of pressure in head and headache will come on.

Notice alot of people on hear have commented about intense headaches after surgery.....could it also be due to the instumentation used..ie plates or cages?

After about 2 and half weeks have noticed tingling in shoulder and thumb and finger has really subsided..at first would come and go and seems to be getting better all the time...hoping for the best! I am not on any medication presently..just advil and extra strnght tylenol for about 5 days after surgery...then I  decided at 2 weeks to try a product called Celadrin available at health food stores...it is a product for pain and anti-inflammation..that is when my pain and numbness started to subside...so I am sticking with this product!

Find my neck still is stiff and sore at times and have been told only to due strengthening-isometric excercies- for time being with no stretching excercises till 8 weeks from surgery date to let the fusion better take place.No heavy lifting also for time being.

I know it is very difficult to be optomistic when you still have pain and numbness but we have to let the nerve heal and maybe try alternative measures such as this Celadrin which seems to have helped me. And yes even getting out for a walk helps!

Glad I found this forum and hope everyone who has posted here finds better relief and begins the journey to a very suceesful recovery! Keep on working at it and believing!
Jeff
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am just 5 weeks and one day after anterior cervical fusion C5, 6 & 7.  My Neuro is already requesting me to go to therapy next week and wants to see me in a month,  he wanted me to go back to work already.  I could not deal with the pain that I am have nor a less deal with work.  I am following thru with his request and hope that therapy will help.  2 weeks after surgery I had an office visit they said dont lift more than 10 lbs no house hold work, yard work , etc.... Just walk a mile everyday, Oh you can drive too and go out as much as your body can deal with the pain.  So on the 21st of Dec I saw the Neuro Dr and he asked how everthing was I told him I am still in pain now on my left side and he said everything is normal that I am feeling,  swollen throat, still hard to swallow, Migraines , numbeness and pain in my mid shoulder blades. He also looked at an Xray that I had done prior to seeing him.  you can see the plate and bone graft that was done and swollen thoraot.  So I am hoping that therapy will heal.  I will let you all know how it goes.  I am still taking pain meds at night can't sleep get numbness and tingling head feels heavy and neck is tight.  Good luck and hope all is well.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to hear all the pain and discomfort you are going through.
Hopefully every day will show some improvement.
With the headaches do you find your temples are sore to the touch? Does it feel like alot of pressure in your head?
How did your cervical problems begin?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My temples are not sore to the touch, they throb. I have been trying to walk for 20 minutes a day. It has helped a little. My neck and shoulder ache, which is to be expected, It will only be 3 weeks today. If my head pain would stop, I would feel so much better. Have you experienced the same thing?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the suggestion on the Celadrin, I will try it. Do you take it 3 times a day? How long before you noticed a difference?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I take 2- 350 mg softgel capsules of Celadrin 3 times a day and noticed my thumb and finger numbness really disipated after two days.The literature I  read said softgel capsules are the better choice and do not recommend if pregnant or lactating.

Sorry to hear about you bad headaches. I had some really bad ones about 3 days after surgery and would come and go for about 10 days. Now I still get them but not as severe but just like you tylenol did absolutley nothing for them. I know the dr's say the surgery didn't bring these on..but I am finding that hard to believe.

Today my neck is very sore and have had a pretty good headache all day and sure they are related.I think my neck is sore because I have been bending my head forward to much and not always in good posture. So have been icing my neck quite a few times.

How did you neck problems come about in thew first place?

I know the road to recovery isn't going to be easy but we will get there!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My neck problem started in April 2005, I had numbness in my index fingers and thumbs for around 2yrs. In April, I started to get lightheaded, nauseated, numbness down my arm. I thought it was a stoke, went to emergency room, doctor stated it was a panic attack. I then went to my medical doc, who tried to give me antidepressants, I tried them, made me spacey. I went to another medical doc for a 2nd opinion, he agreed with the 1st doc and tried to put me on another antidepressant for anxiety. I knew something was wrong, I was not depressed. I then went to a neuro doc, he did MRI of my brain, nothing was wrong. He sent me to PT for stress reduction, never got any better. I then tried a Chiropractor, who did the x-rays and MRI on my neck, I had bone spurs on c3-c6, and bone degeneration, stayed with him for 6 weeks of treatment, did not get any better. He then sent me to an orthopedic doc for epidural cortizone injections in my neck, had 2 of them, did nothing. That doc, sent me to another orthopedic doc, who specializes in cervical surgery. He is my surgeon. Had the surgery on Dec 6th.                           I am starting a walking program, which seems to be helping with the headaches. My neck and shoulders are very sore though. I did take a pain pill last night, which did help. I thing the ticket is to stay postive and keep moving. My surgeon never mentioned pt. I haven't seen him since the hospital, I go back for a 6 week checkup. I hope I will be able to return to work them.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Currently scheduled for this type of surgery on Jan 11 06.  Having second thoughts????  I'm a Gulf Vet with a lot of medical problems and I'm just not sure about this surgery any longer?  Have 5 young kids and I try to be active with them and I worry if this surgery will really help and I wonder if I will be any different than I am now?  So tell me would you have this surgery done knowing what you know now?  Good luck to all in pain and for those that are recovering.

Mike
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Greetings from the UK. I had my operation on the 6th December too. I had a c4/5 fusion, using artifical bone. I am surprised that many of you from the States have had this type of operation from an orthopedic surgeon and not a neurosurgeon as I had.
My problems are weak right leg, with pain in the thigh and a weakness in my right arm and hand. I had this problem 3 months prior to the operation. I am told that this could take 6 months to fix. I am walking on crutches. Have any of you had this problem.
I also have lost the ability to talk in a high pitched voice. This may not seem important, but I use my voice professionally. Anyone else with this problem?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi I'm a 42yr Old Policeman recently injured playing NBA Street Ball breaking my C5 and C7 discs resulting in anterior cervical disectomy, fusion and plating of c5-6 and c6-7.
Surgery was Dec 8 2005 and was successfull. My question to anyone here is my left shoulder blade bares the brunt of the pain now, right index finger still cold and a little numb and I'm feeling a little loss of neck mobility ie. side to side and up and down. I stayed active right after surgery and do a little more every day. (sleeping is always a project) But I am shooting BBalls again. Unfortunately, I'm a little worried of the 100% full recovery I'm going to need to return to work as this did not happen on duty. My Doctor is a super man but isn't committing to that 100% phrase. Is it the reality That after fusion and plating it can't be 100%? Any comments would be greatly appreciated and I send a prayer to you all...TIA

John Welch
***@****
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hi sufferers,

had several level cervical neck surgery this summer
(05).  everything good until i got one of those
new-fangled pillows.  hurts like hell.  good doc
looked at x-rays after 2 months, and seemed surprised
at how quickly the titanium plate and 4 screws fused
with the bones!    PT is a must.  still have numbness
in my hands, but my legs no longer fell like "jello".

heck, i went back to work about a week after.  got
tired of sitting 'round the house.  i even attemted,
but did not succeed, a summersalt the other day.

those of us who have had this need to stick together -
it's going to be with us for rest of our natural days.

keep on keepin' on...

regards,

Daniel in Texas
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
On June 23, 2005 I had a major auto accident.  Among other things, my neck was broken (due to 60 mph impact) which led to a involuntary neck fusion at C5&6.  I'm really getting frustrated with the whole recovery process.  It's now been over since months since my fusion.  I will find out later this month if the fusion is complete or not.  My last visit with my neuro. showed I lacked about a millimeter.  My problem is that I'm still experiencing so much discomfort, loss of range, continued arm and finger numbness and shooting pains throughout my neck shoulders and back.  I went to PT for a couple of months and found improvement.  My Dr. said I no longer need PT, but I'm so aggrivated with my continued problems.  Does anyone know if my continued issues could be due to the overall accident or if I need to be concerned my neck isn't healing properly.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm finding my Dr. to be of little help with the recovery end of this.  Thanks for your help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a 47 year old registered nurse with years of critical care experience.  I had C6-7 fusion with plates and screws July 25 05. I just want to tell you (since I read your surgery is Jan 11th) that I would NOT do this again if I could go back.  This surgery has made all my symptoms WORSE.  I did have periods of no pain but ONLY because of MAJOR PHYSICAL THERAPY.  I am now 6 months post op and last Tuesday, once again, I have pain in my neck and arm along with numbness and tingling down in my arm and shooting into my chest at time, just like I did pre op.  If I knew then what I know now I would tell you without a hesitation....DO NOT HAVE SURGERY...........go to Physical Therapy until you think you cannot stand it anymore.  It is the ONLY thing that takes the pain away.................
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Same thing I told coach_mike............go back to PHYSICAL THERAPY.........and stay in it.  Learn how to do ALL of the exercises at home and do them RELIGIOUSLY.........they are the only thing that will give you relief from your symptoms.
U have now recognized that I will be doing these exercises for the rest of my life to control these symptoms and keep the pain at bay.
Good luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Wondering if any of you tried facet joint injections for your cervical pain. If so, any relief?

Thank you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
On october 1, 2004 I was in a car accident (hit by a drunk driver) I've been in pain since then. I am curious as to how long everyone has/had been in treatment before surgery. I've had you name it done to me...at this point I am begging for surgery...I just can't take the pain anymore...I just want to be like I was before the accident...don't you think a year and four months is a long time to wait...if I had the surgery before...geez...maybe I'd be close to healing....at this point nothing but surgery is going to work for me...I've done all non surgery option...I'm putting all my hope into this...the last thing I had done was a discography on Jan 4...
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I was injured in Iraq and sended up having a C5-C6 Cervical Fusion in April 2003.  I am currently having headaches every day and get very sever ones about 4-5 times a month.  I do still run, and in fact it seems the more I run the less sever my headaches are.  I also get Botox injections in the head and neck every 3 months and we are still working on ways to reduce the daily pain withour narcotics..  I am currently still in the Army but not sure for how long - looks like retirement is in my near term future..  

My Neurologist just perscribed Neurontin for the daily headaches, anyone else taking this?

NeckBone
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Well surgery date is tomorrow 1/18/06. Having c-5 though c-7 cleaned up, fused with a titanium plate which should cover all disk numbered.  2 yrs ago c-5 shot craps on me and i blew off the operation then, it got better in time, but the little nagging pain was bearable so I past on the surgery. Now c-7 shot craps and the pain was far worse than c-5. The doc says now I need medical assistance to correct these problems. I have an aunt who went through this yrs ago. they went through the front of the neck as they will do on me. They also used her own hip bone to do the fusing, her only complaint is that her hip still hurts, some days worse than others. They will use cadaber bone tissue on me as the doctor thats doing the surgery says the advancement in someone elses tissue taking has increased dramatically over the yrs. Im a non smoker and very light drinker so as to say I was told I have the better chances of healing quickly. Im so close to cancelling this operation after reading of so many patients having more or different problems afterwards. The pain in my neck and arm have dropped of dramatically over the last 6 weeks. Im basically taking pain pills when needed and muscle relaxers, but I havent really been using them this last week. The doctor told me this is one of those things that the body cant fix without the assistance of surgery. My wife says I shouldnt read all this negative m,aterial on this procedure, but I told her I want to be well informed about what could be if theres problems. I want to thank all that have written in with their comments as they have helped me in what could be expected if things dont turn out as good as expected.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear cjhoss...
Good luck on your surgery tomorrow...
I hope everything goes well for you...everyone heals differently...
After spending the last year and three months suffering daily in pain...I am looking forward to the day I am scheduled...I know it's soon...I'm counting the days down...here's to a speedy recovery...let us know how things go...
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had an anterior cervical disectomy and fusion in April 2004 to relieve severe aching and tingling on the LEFT side of my body (neck, arm and torso). The surgeon said I had a combination of bone spurs, a herniated or bulging disc and arthritis. He fused C6 and C7 with a titanium plate. I wore a neck brace 24/7 for five weeks, and followed up with eight weeks of physical therapy three times each week. I also was instructed to walk one to two miles per day which I did. The surgery and recovery were successful as far as my surgeon, physical therapist and I were concerned. I was pain free and 100% back to normal. The scar on my neck, after about eight months, became practically invisible.

About two days after Christmas 2005, I noticed pre-surgery-type pain and tingling on the RIGHT side of my body. It is almost as aggravating as that which I experienced on my left side prior to the surgery of almost two years ago.

I will see my doctor this week.

While I don't want to experience surgery and recovery again, I DEFINITELY will if my surgeon suggests it. The past two years without pain and tingling were well worth all that I went through, and I will gladly do it again.

Good luck to all of you!
- The Writer
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had cervical fusion, plate and cage c5-6 and c6-7 Aug 2004. I was in a car accident and right away had pains, I did pt and drug therapy and my pcp sent me to a neurosurgeon and I had surgery 3 weeks later. I am telling you that this was the worst thing ever and 17 months later I am worse off than before. I have started pt again and my surgeon said I would just have to live with the pains. I am sorry I am 32 not 92 and I have constant head aches all day no relief. I have worse weakness in the right are and it is always tingly. I am gonna get 2nd opinion but findin some one you can trust is very hard. I just do not know what to do. I hate living like this and no one should have to regardless of their age.
What to do????????????????????????? any suggestions is appreciated.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Have just found this website, and I am so relieved to find that others have the same post-op problems that I have.  I had an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (titanium cage) in December 2004.  Did not expect to have the amount of problems and excruciating pain for such a long time (my surgeon said I would be fine after approximately 4-6 months).  It was 18 months before I managed to get more than 5 hours sleep a night.  Had persistent neck pain until 18 months also, and then it finally started to subside.  Neurosurgeon could not understand why the pain was not settling as everything appeared to be O.K.

After my 2 year check he finally said that it could have been due to the implanted cage having been too big.  I would have appreciated his honesty a litle earlier and then I would not have thought it was just me.  Has anyone else had this problem?
I still have dreadful headaches and feel as if my head is going to explode with the pressure, they last for about 3 days at a time and analgesia seems to have very little effect.  Having a  desk job seems to be the problem with having your head down for prolonged periods of time.  I don't know why this should be, does anyone out there have any explanation?

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Mayo Clinic worth a try? was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Cervical Fusion was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, post op pain was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, post op pain after c6-7 discectomy with fusion was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Cervical fusion recovery was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Neck Surgery was started.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, C-5, C-6 Recovery was started.
Blank
1446517_tn?1304550175
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank