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Hi all. I had cervical spine surgery last week. The whole procedure went just fine and I’m feeling good (at least as much as I can be). My doc gave me some instructions on how to behave and what to do during first 6 – 7 weeks after the surgery. He says that it usually takes at least that long to recover from the procedure. I’m just wondering if anybody here experienced anything similar, and what you did during first 7 weeks after the surgery? Thanks for your comments.

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You’re not alone. I had exactly the same one 4 years ago. I know how you must be feeling now…. Anyway, your doctor is right – it took 8 weeks for me to recover from the procedure… For some it takes less, but it is usually 6 to 8 weeks. As you already said, your doc gave you instructions you should follow. But, I can tell you what were mine so you can compare the two.
I was advised to change the dressing the day after I return home due to a small amount of reddish-brown drainage that is very common in those few days. Also, I was not allowed to take shower until the two days after the drainage stopped. Then, I was advised to apply vitamin E oil to neck wounds. I also remember that during firs 2 weeks I couldn’t live without painkillers – fortunately, pain gradually reduced afterwards, and I did not have to take those anymore. What else?? Ah, yes.. It was recommended to walk around my hope at least 4 times a day but not to do any heavy housework. Also, I was not allowed to use stairs – not without help. IT was same with sitting – I was advised not to sit in chair during this period. Well, that is all I can remember… I hope it helped at least a bit. Good luck!
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I've read lots of comments and I think I'm pretty lucky. I had C45-56 fusion 6 wks ago, and have lots of neck/shoulder muscle spasms. Sometimes pretty nasty. I still take Vicodan about 5/day, and I'm wondering if that's too much. But I don't have the terrible headaches that you are talking about. Mostly pain over my spine in the back of my neck and muscle pain.

A common thread I'm reading here is lack of communication from our surgeon. We don't seem to know what to expect post op, and wonder if what we are feeling is normal, or if we're going nuts! We need to insist on knowing what to expect at EVERY point of our post op course.

To those of you pending surgery ask questions! ASK ASK ASK
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Hi, I had posterior cervical spine surgery (C-5, C-6) on 7/12/06. The only thing that had to be done was a piece of bone taken off that was putting pressure on my spinal cord causeing spinal stenosis and compromised blood flow. After the surgery I had weakness (which is much better) and numbness (a little better) on my entire right side. My NS says this was due to increased blood flow which has caused swelling and inflammation. Has anyone had these symptoms and how long did they last? My NS says he is confident I will be back 100% but can't really say how long. maybe another month. Any info would be appreciated. Thank You, Diane :-D
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I had back surgery last Tues (8/22). They did a posterior approach and removed fragments between C6 and C7. Prior to surgery I was having tremendous pain on the left side behind my scapula, in my shoulder, upper tricep, elbow and the top of my forearm. I also had numbness in my middle and index finger in my left hand.

The surgery has taken away alot of the pain, but following surgery I have pain (like a pulled muscle) in my back near the incision. I expected this. My question is as follows. Over the past few days my triceps have been aching on both sides. The pain medication seems to help, but as the day goes on the pain increases. I get the point in the day where I just hit a wall. When this happens both arms just ache (not like the nerve pain I was having but more like a deep muscle ache). The pain extends down both arms and makes both my hands feel stiff. Is this a normal part of recovery or is it reflective of another problem? I actually feel like the pain has been getting worse in the last two days. If it is normal can someone explain why this is happening and what should expect going forward. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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I had my cervical discectomy and fusion on 08/17 so I am almost 2 weeks post op. I also still have some of my original pain along with new pains in the center of my back and shoulders and still having difficulty swallowing. My physician's office assures me that this is all perfectly normal because of swelling resulting from the surgery itsself. I hope they are right. I would hate to think that I went through all of this without getting substantial relief. I am getting my strength back now. I would say I am about 80 percent. I still get tired easily. So I am trying to stay positive and wait a few more weeks. Good luck to everyone who is going through this. My best advice is to ask around and make sure you are getting a good surgeon who knows what he is doing.
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what kind of cervical fusion did you have
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my husband had cervical neck surgery 6-days ago (he broke c6-7 on the right iin a motor vehicle accident) he wants to know what positions and when sex is safe. He feels good except for some lingering muscle spasms right shoulder.
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Hi all. I have just been reading everyone’s messages and I have a few words of wisdom. I had cervical spine fusion 2yrs and 2mons ago now. I pretty much had pain from the surgery for the whole first 2yrs. I mean the pain decreases with each month or so but it takes a while for you to recover. You have to remember a lot of nerves and muscles have been cut in order for you to have surgery. Also to the person with the bad throat pain, I had that too and it was very hard to talk for about 2 weeks and then for about 4mons I would have trouble speaking every so often. About 2-3 times a day. Mine lessoned but never fully went away. I still get very bad sore throat’s for no reason and sometimes I get a feeling like a dry patch is in my throat and I can get it to go away. This is because they have to pull part of your larynx out through the hole they cut in your neck to get to your spine. For some people it never goes away. In case you are wondering I am 23yrs old. I had surgery when I was 20, weeks before my 21st birthday...yeah that was a bad birthday!!! Also I still have shoulder and neck pain. Recently I had anti-inflammatory steroid injections done in the nerve in my neck that was inflamed from surgery and I am feeling 95%...I still have very mild pain and stiffness. But I would say the combo of the surgery and injections worked better then I thought it would!!!
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Just had fusion c5-c6 done September 14,2006 and everyday gets better. Stopped the Vicodin the second day after surgery(makes me sick) and just taking plain Tylenol for the pain.The muscle pain and spasms everyones talking about I believe is due to the "Braced"position the body is not used to.I have the pain too but I also haven't sat or stood this straight up in my entire life.The worst part for me is the waiting...........
I was a full time employee,wife and mother of three . Now I feel like a mushroom so I keep myself going by walking as much as possible. The sunshine is good for "Those Post-Op Blues" and helps with healing body and mind.Good luck to all of you
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this past july i had a cervical osteotomey for what is called chin on chest syndrome caused by anklosing spondylitis. a wedge shaped piece of my verterbrae was removed and my head repositioned to be straight up. i am still in a halo but the difference is remarkable. HOWEVER,a few days after surgery i started to have deficits in my arms; numbness, tingling, weakness ;soon followed by pain which reached the top of my tolerance causing me to scream and cry . i was heavily medicated in order to help me, but the only way out of this was to have yet another surgery of the same magnitude. it did improve my condition for a few weeks but gradually the painand weakness has come back with even more involvement. i am taking many different meds to supress the pain but, they do not have much effect. my spine has been pictured to the n'th degree and is being studied for a third surgery. i will gladly jump up on the operating table as my arms are useless, excruciatingly painful, and losing tone and muscle. all this surgery done at a world renown hospital, by a world renown experienced surgon. what to do? go figure. i sympathize with you but i guess there are no pat answers to your questions. just do whatever it takes to restore yourself including getting more opinions. do not give up ever, you may have to adapt and seek legal advice if things do not get better. adaption costs money you know, but it should be a background concern to your good health. good luck,excuse the long carthartic post.
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I'm am 3 weeks post -op from cervical c-spine c-6-7 I had a laminectemy and the pain for me was very intense last week (2nd week) This week is much better but I still have the burning sensation down the middle of my back and the muscle pain that affect both shoulders and arms. I take Advil and Vividon for pain along with ice and heat. I do pretty good sitting up for short periods some days and on others forget it. Short car rides aren't as bad as I thought they would be. My doctor put me back in a soft collar for the times I'm up and about. Sleeping is my worse time. I'm told recovery can be any where between 12-18 weeks. I read alot and watch video's anyone else have the same issues.? Walking seems to help but short ones around the house for right now and maybe half a block. :'(
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Hi,

I am due to go in for ACDF next month, I have a herniated disc between left c6-c7 sitting on the spinal cord, my symptoms have gradually decreased and i now have very little irritation. I had lots of pins and needles/numbness in the tip of my left hand, i get slight twitches in muscles, my left hand sometimes shakes, not uncontrollably but if you looked at it u might think i hade been on a heavy drinking session the night before, i also had pain in between my shoulder blades again this is decreasing, what i have really noticed is how much more I am sleeping, i used to wake up maybe twice a night for no reason with numbness in my left hand, this is all but gone now. What I really want to know is would surgery be the right option considering everything is improving and also can the disc sit back in to position, I am 27 years of age and the injury i suffered was due to high impact in sport, i.e not degenerative, would another MRI be an advisable?? I never recieved any manipulation or traction, over the past six months i felt i was being pushed towards the surgery option instead of being firstly offered non invasive options, i have being told that surgery will remove any risk of future problems, any comments would be very helpful.

Thanks, KR
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Hi KR,
I am also due to have an ACDF next month, but I have a different history. I have been going through this for about 9 months, and it is getting progressively worse. My experience with surgeons is the opposite of yours, I have tried EVERYTHING before even considering surgery. I think that if your doctor does not suggest EVERY conservative method then you should find a new surgeon. Even after I had PT, traction, acupuncture, 3 epidural injections and facet injections, I was told to weigh what my quality of life was with the pain-which is very poor. I am young as well, 29, and would not even consider the surgery except for that I have tried everything and the pain is getting worse and I cannot lead a normal life(I can't drive, lift anything, write or type for prolonged period, trouble sleeping). Five months ago I was in pain but hadn't yet tried PT or traction and had only 2 injections and my surgeon said it was too early to consider surgery. Even though my symptoms are worse now, I am very glad to know that I did everything that I could to avoid the procedure and that it is now my only option. Please do consider seeing another doctor and trying some other remedies. Worse case scenario is that you delay surgery for a bit if you need it, best case you won't need it at all-good luck

I am due to go in for ACDF next month, I have a herniated disc between left c6-c7 sitting on the spinal cord, my symptoms have gradually decreased and i now have very little irritation. I had lots of pins and needles/numbness in the tip of my left hand, i get slight twitches in muscles, my left hand sometimes shakes, not uncontrollably but if you looked at it u might think i hade been on a heavy drinking session the night before, i also had pain in between my shoulder blades again this is decreasing, what i have really noticed is how much more I am sleeping, i used to wake up maybe twice a night for no reason with numbness in my left hand, this is all but gone now. What I really want to know is would surgery be the right option considering everything is improving and also can the disc sit back in to position, I am 27 years of age and the injury i suffered was due to high impact in sport, i.e not degenerative, would another MRI be an advisable?? I never recieved any manipulation or traction, over the past six months i felt i was being pushed towards the surgery option instead of being firstly offered non invasive options, i have being told that surgery will remove any risk of future problems, any comments would be very helpful.

Thanks, KR

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