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cervical disc surgery
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cervical disc surgery

I have just undergone surgery (42 yrs old) for a c5 c6 disc herniation one week ago. This included disc removal,bone graft&putty,along with titanium hardware. Pre-op my symptoms included deep shouder pain between the scapula and spine, arm weakness, numbness and loss of strength, all on the dominant right side. I had undergone conservative treatment for these symptoms for 6 months, but symptoms continued to increase and severe enough for me to take a medical leave of absence from work. The pain was treated with hydrocodone. As I am aware that a positive attitude can go a long way towards recovery, I am disturbed to be experiencing the same pain level and additional pain on the left side now. In my best interest (I think) I am currently not taking any perscription pain reliever and take only acetominiphen. In addition, post op I began having restless leg syndrome. The disc below the one that was removed also was herniated, but not removed. I am confident in my neurosurgeons abilities but find the onset of new symptoms rather disheartening and am very concerned about my recovery. Too early to tell?  My otherwise active lifestyle has been on hold for so long already and this is getting depressing! Thanks.
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Pain during the post-operative phase is not uncommon, and also it is well known that pre-operative pain does not always respond to surgery. You should follow you rehab plan very closely, and inform your surgeon about the new symptoms. If there is a significant change from your immediate post-operative state then this may need to be reinvestigated. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I understand what you are going through, but be patient.  I went through the same thing a year ago. The pain does decrease in time.  Maybe the symptoms you now feel on the left, is due to the fact you possibly were using your left arm more prior to surgery, because of the pain in the right. Hopefully, it will all balance out for you.  But just one week post op, is not enough time to judge the outcome.  Hope you will be feeling better soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am having a similar problem... I underwent c 5/6 discectomy with plating and fusion... I am now  having numbing, burning tingling on my left arm and hand/fingers.. The right side occasionally has the same symptoms.. I have tried therapy, pain meds, neurontin, and just went for a myelogram...- awaiting those results... Is there anything short of another surgery that can be done to relieve the pain?  I have al the confidence in my surgeon.. Its just that I am getting somewhat tired of the extreme weakness in my left arm.. I have also completely stopped any exercise and activities I used to enjoy... I fear This is getting worse.  Help!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,  I too have had a cervical fusion done.  Mine was done at the C6/C7 level.  One year after that I had a shoulder surgery done to correct a torn labrum.  At this time I am still having trouble.  Numbness in the hands.  Burning at the left bicep muscle.  EMG states active abnormalties on the C5/C6 nerve root and chronic abnormal signals on C6/C7.  My surgeon wants me to also have a myleogram and I am scared to death.   Could you please tell me about the myleogram you had done.   I have been putting it off, however, the doctor suspects problems with the disc above and below.  I have dealt with this problem for so long.  It has been really bad since 2000, but have had symptoms earlier than that.  I would love to be problem and pain free but do not want any more or new problems.  Any comments you might have would be welcomed.  Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I was just told I need surgery for this.  My surgeon does not like the fact that I have been on oxycontin since April. He will remove the 6th disc.  On my mri it says I have to discs and impingements.  One on the left where the pain originated and one on the right, where the pain is now.  The emg showed chronic problems on the left and active on the right.  He will be taking care of the one that involves the left side because that is where the strength testing shows problems.
I hope he will do the one involving the right side if he goes in and sees that is a concern.
I am wondering if that was your problem and that is why now you are experiencing symptoms on the other side.

Wish me luck!  I was told the success rate is 96%.
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Avatar_n_tn
Prior to surgery I had shoulder pain and muscle weakness on my right side. I began dropping things regularily and at times just turning a key became difficult. My Neurosurgeon reviewed my MRI with me on my first visit. She pointed out the abnormalities in the c5 c6 area and brought to my attention that the c6 c7 disc was buldged, but not nearly like the one above. I had never experienced any pain on my left side prior to surgery but had been asked over and over again if I did. It has been 2 weeks post op for me with little improvement. I spend approx. 20 hours a day lying flat on my back (this can't be good) to relieve the pain I am in. My new symptoms are on my left side. I have been told that when a patient recieves narcotic pain relievers for chronic pain, they become hyper-sensitive to the post op pain. It's really taking a toll on my well being and I am hoping that in the coming weeks I could share some good news.
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Avatar_n_tn
"I have been told that when a patient recieves narcotic pain relievers for chronic pain, they become hyper-sensitive to the post op pain."  Well, that isn't good news.  I wonder if weaning a little before surg. will help.  What are you taking for pain now?

It is my ortho surg who was going to do this surgery.  Now, I am thinking of going elsewhere, something at 1st I didn't want to do.  He is dropping my ins carrier as of Dec. 15th and then he is too busy to return my call.  Any dr. that is too busy to return my call, isn't a dr. that I will keep.  I like him and he has a good reputation, but...  I don't think I am being unreasonable, either.  I could go on, but enough of that.

Now that I am at this place I was wondering, I see cvan had a neurosurg, did the rest have a neurosurg or an ortho surg?  Did any of you have spurs removed during surgery, too?

How many days in the hospital for this?  How was everybody else's pain mgt. after surg?  What about recovery, hard collar, soft collar, length of time with both?

Thanks for the info.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my surgery at 1:00 p.m., and was released from the hospital the next morning at 8:00 a.m. I am wearing a hard cervical collar until my post op exam Nov.12th. I was provided with a muscle relaxant (20 Flexerol) and pain reliever (30-5 mg/500mg hydrocodone/apap) for after surgery and have had no prescription meds since. I've reported my new symptoms but they are unwilling to prescribe anything for the pain. As I can see by others, surgery doesn't necessarily treat the pain. So, are they telling me now that they have removed the organic origin of my pain, I no longer can have the pain I am experiencing treated?If this is the case, then I was better off before. I do not regret having surgery, as it was worth a try. My 63 yr old Mother had the same surgery 2 days before me, she is already wearing a soft cervical collar, needs nothing at night and is pain free. I do hope I am just slow to improve. I may have held off if I had found this forum before trying surgery. Then again my back was against the wall with my health insurance and employer.
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Avatar_n_tn
We have to remember that the people here are posting because of problems.  The ones who have had no problems don't need such a forum.

Have you asked for pain mgt and been refused?  I know my ortho won't prescribe the meds I am on, he told me as much, but I go to pain mgt and this is where I get my oxycontin.

I hope you are just healing slower, also, and that you make a full recovery!
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to post my e-mail address for additional info if you are interested. ***@****. It is nice to connect to someone who is experiencing the same difficulties/hopes that I am. Thanks Jan for your input!
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Avatar_n_tn
After a motor vehicle accident in 1997, I had a discectomy at c-5 c-6 that compressed the motor & sensory nerves in my right arm. I later had a fusion to correct the problem, but in the process an 18 inch thorasic syrinx was detected , ending near the base of c-7 t-1, (2000). Now , while falling off to sleep, my feet become very warm and I begin to have muscle contractions, sometimes in the legs, arms, and entire body. Topamax helped at first but now it seems to worsen the condition. I also have a burning pain at the base of my neck, c-7 t-1, the first interosseous muscles in both hands have atrophied, and under 65 degrees both hands get cold and numb. For the spinal pain, tramadol and acetomenophen seem to help.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a discectomy and titanium cage/fusion surgery on C5-C6 almost three years ago. For the last 1 and 1/2 years I have had progressive weakness in my left arm numbness,tingling and increasing pain in both arms all the way to my hands.I also get headaches if lifting alot or heavy objects or sleep with my arms over my head. Most recently both shoulder blades ache and burn. The newest symptoms are that the aching spreads to my ribcage and I have trouble getting a deep breath. Have been treated for asthma but still have to force myself to get a deep breath several times during the day. Am wondering if the phrenic nerve is inhibited as I also have bulging discs at C3-4, C4-5 and C6-7.Meds are neurontin 900mg.daily, hydrocodone 40mg. daily, nabumetone 500mg daily for arthritis. Does anyone else have problems getting a deep breath or catching their breath. Any suggestions?
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Avatar_n_tn
I too find myself at times having difficulty catching my breath or trying to get a deep breath.  I have also wondered about that.   Have you experienced snapping sounds in the front clavicle area?  I tell you, this problem is something that many family and friends just can't relate to and at times it totally dictates your life.  I would just love to wake up and feel good. Or have the energy level that I used to have.
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Avatar_n_tn
I do not hear a snap or click or any sound in my clavicle but do have a very pins/needles itchy feeling from my clavicle area over to my shoulders and my upper arms to the point where I have woken up in the morning with black and blue marks from scratching so much. I can't get a doctor to listen to me not even the doctor who did the surgery! Yes, I agree, I would like to wake up in the morning and feeling good also. I have always been active, gardening, horses (we have two) and I can't do any of that anymore. Good Luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I had fusion on both sides on C5 C6 and C7 back in June 2003.  Prior to this I had pain and numbness in my neck, shouders,left arm and hand and to a lesser extent in my right arm and hand as well. My nuerosurg. said that I had compression at each of these spaces.  I was fitted with titanium structures containing bone grafts. Prior to surgery I also had constant muscle twitching in my calves but my surgeon told my that this was not relevant to the problems that he was dealing with. Following surgery I had swelling of my spinal cord and lost most of the use of my left leg.  After physiotherapy this has slowly returned.
Since the surgery I have experienced increased pain and numbness together with crawling sensations in neck, shouders and both arms with increased problems on my right side.  I take a mixture of opiate and amytriptyline to relieve the pain and I am waiting to attend the pain clinic.
I have now got symptoms in my legs that still include muscle twitching. I also experience numbness in my left foot when walking on hard surfaces.  I have crawling sensations and pins and needles down both legs.
Although I can walk short distances I become tired very eaisly.  Climbing the stairs is difficult and I usually have to rest before I get to the top. I have problems with my bowels and have difficulty sleeping even with medication.
I worked before the op but now feel disabled by my condition. I would find it impossible to attend work on a regular basis.  My surgeon now feels that it may be likely that there are more compression either below or above the op site.  He also told me that they were aware of a malformation above the op site.
He has refered me for another MRI and nerve conduction tests and also to a neurologist to discuss the possibility of "other things"
I wonder if anyone else had had similar experiences that they would like to share
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to add that I now esperience body tremor which at first was quite strong but infrequent but now is less strong but there almost all the time
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Avatar_n_tn
The use of injectable steroids such as Depo-Medrol before, during or after back surgery have been associated with many unexplainable pain syndromes.

The chemical composition of Depo Medrol contains powerful steroids that are suspended in a depot ingredient, usually Polyethylene Glycol. (DOT-3 Brake Fluid) Depo Medrol also contains preservatives that are known to be neurotoxic (damaging to nerve tissue) such as Benzyl Alcohol, used in multidose vials and Myristyl Gamma Picolinium Chloride, used in single dose vials.  Therefore, there's no such thing as a preservative free formuation of Depo Medrol.  Doctors are simply mistaken on this fact.

Depo Medrol has been wrongfully given to people with spine related nerve root inflammation (such as disc herniations) for many years, and has also been used"off-label" during back surgeries as well.

However, you should be made aware that Depo Medrol is NOT approved by the FDA for that use around the spine, at any time even though many doctors do!  Don't believe me? Please, be my guest and give them a call...1-888-463-6332.

As a matter of fact Depo-Medrol (the drug used most often) is strongly "not recommended" for such use even by the manufacturer, Pharmacia & Upjohn, in an internal document because they along with the FDA have received too many reports of "severe medical events" directly linked to it's use! Doctors are either not aware of these new Warnings are have decided to ignore them entirely. (Which they can legally do!)

My campaign is currently drafting a petition to have Depo-Medrol contraindicated by the FDA for epidural and spinal administration. Many people have been severely harmed by ESI's of Depo-Medrol and a few other injectables. A huge class action case was just filed this past March in Australia aginst 300 doctors, 24 surgical centers and Pharmacia. There have been 356 deaths reported to the FDA in the last 4 years and over 14,356 reports of serious medical complications, such as Arachnoiditis, an insidious disease of the spinal cord caused by the drug when epidurally injected by ignorant doctors. How do I know? It happened to me and approximately 7000 others worldwide!

Any doctor reading this post, consider yourself warned!  Check with Pharmacia.

I just felt it was important for you all to know that there are higher risks than what is spoken here by doctors. Did you know that if plain water, or even the blood of a patient is mistakenly allowed to enter the spinal cord, that it can be potentially fatal, or that a serious life altering medical condition can occur? Now just think what would happen when a physician who performs ESI's or back surgery misses the epidural region, (it's only a few mm's in width) and injects the compound of steroids or anesthetics along with their other toxic ingredients directly into the spinal cord by error? (We have seen and read Medical Journals at NIH's National Library of Medicine that says that this same harm can occur in patients even without a spinal cord puncture!)

Also, Depo-Medrol is associated with "Severe Sensory Nerve Disruption"!  This simple fact can be read directly off the drug's package insert or from the PDR! (It's also posted on our Group Page .. link below)

Be smart, stay informed

Kindest regards
Dennis
The End-Depo-Now Campaign / http://groups.msn.com/DepoMedrolDidItHarmYou/_whatsnew.msnw
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Avatar_n_tn
The use of injectable steroids such as Depo-Medrol before, during or after back surgery have been associated with many unexplainable pain syndromes.

The chemical composition of Depo Medrol contains powerful steroids that are suspended in a depot ingredient, usually Polyethylene Glycol. (DOT-3 Brake Fluid) Depo Medrol also contains preservatives that are known to be neurotoxic (damaging to nerve tissue) such as Benzyl Alcohol, used in multidose vials and Myristyl Gamma Picolinium Chloride, used in single dose vials.  Therefore, there's no such thing as a preservative free formuation of Depo Medrol.  Doctors are simply mistaken on this fact.

Depo Medrol has been wrongfully given to people with spine related nerve root inflammation (such as disc herniations) for many years, and has also been used"off-label" during back surgeries as well.

However, you should be made aware that Depo Medrol is NOT approved by the FDA for that use around the spine, at any time even though many doctors do!  Don't believe me? Please, be my guest and give them a call...1-888-463-6332.

As a matter of fact Depo-Medrol (the drug used most often) is strongly "not recommended" for such use even by the manufacturer, Pharmacia & Upjohn, in an internal document because they along with the FDA have received too many reports of "severe medical events" directly linked to it's use! Doctors are either not aware of these new Warnings are have decided to ignore them entirely. (Which they can legally do!)

My campaign is currently drafting a petition to have Depo-Medrol contraindicated by the FDA for epidural and spinal administration. Many people have been severely harmed by ESI's of Depo-Medrol and a few other injectables. A huge class action case was just filed this past March in Australia aginst 300 doctors, 24 surgical centers and Pharmacia. There have been 356 deaths reported to the FDA in the last 4 years and over 14,356 reports of serious medical complications, such as Arachnoiditis, an insidious disease of the spinal cord caused by the drug when epidurally injected by ignorant doctors. How do I know? It happened to me and approximately 7000 others worldwide!

Any doctor reading this post, consider yourself warned!  Check with Pharmacia.

I just felt it was important for you all to know that there are higher risks than what is spoken here by doctors. Did you know that if plain water, or even the blood of a patient is mistakenly allowed to enter the spinal cord, that it can be potentially fatal, or that a serious life altering medical condition can occur? Now just think what would happen when a physician who performs ESI's or back surgery misses the epidural region, (it's only a few mm's in width) and injects the compound of steroids or anesthetics along with their other toxic ingredients directly into the spinal cord by error? (We have seen and read Medical Journals at NIH's National Library of Medicine that says that this same harm can occur in patients even without a spinal cord puncture!)

Also, Depo-Medrol is associated with "Severe Sensory Nerve Disruption"!  This simple fact can be read directly off the drug's package insert or from the PDR! (It's also posted on our Group Page .. link below)

Be smart, stay informed

Kindest regards
Dennis
The End-Depo-Now Campaign / http://groups.msn.com/DepoMedrolDidItHarmYou/_whatsnew.msnw
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry I didn't mean to spam this post!  I do not know why it appears twice!  Sorry!
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, C-5 and C-6 surgery was started.
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