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Will physical therapy impair nerve healing
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Will physical therapy impair nerve healing


16 months ago I was involved in an automobile accident which herniated the C5-6 disk.  I had numbness in my thumb and palm and underwent an ACDF with plating 7 months after the accident.  After the first surgery I had worse symptoms than before the surgery and 5 months later was diagnosed with pseudoarthrosis. I also suffered from muscle atrophy all down my arm. 12 weeks ago I underwent a posterior fusion and last week my x-rays show a full fusion though the surgeon mentioned there was some scarring on the C6 nerve root.  Although the numbness is somewhat better than before the second surgery it is no where near gone and I still have a pulling sensation in the nerve down my arm but no weakness.  Is it still possible the nerve will get better and the numbness improve after 12 weeks given that it is fused?  I am considering physical therapy to get some muscle mass back but don
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Such surgery prevents nerve damage from getting worse but it does not gaurantee that any damage already sustained will get better. Over time the nerve can heal but that can take up to 12 months, after this, the nerve will probably not get much better. There is no apparant contraindication to physical therapy - check with your surgeon to confirm this.
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