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My Fiance' had ACD surgery, with fusion of C4-5, 5-6. They replaced the discs with bone from a bone bank instead of having to go through the actual hip/bone transplant procedure. Her surgery was 40 days ago, on March 3rd, 2010. With her Neurosurgeons recommendation, she chose to have the surgery because of the amount of pain and numbness associated with Degenerative Disc Disease had become unbearable to her on a day to day basis.
Due to the severe compression of her vertebrae, the needed fluid that normally surrounds the spinal cord was not present in the areas of C4-5, 5-6. She had also begin to lose her balance a lot. And had begun to lose some of the strength in her legs, and experienced numbness in her left leg, both arms and hands almost at all times. We still don't know if this was due to the DDD or not, but had some hopes that this surgery may take care of some of these symptoms as well.
The Doctor was confident that all went well during surgery. They experienced some bone spurs, that they removed in addition to the scheduled procedure.
Judging from the Doctors description of my Fiance's probable post op pain, I would say that she experienced greater pain and discomfort, than what is generally associated with this procedure, the nurses and doctors seemed puzzled that her pain was in the range that it was in. Of course, we all know that pain thresholds of one person, can be, and usually are, different from another. So the hospital staff, and I weren't immediately concerned.
Her Neurosurgeon explained her recovery, as having a lot of discomfort in her throat and incision area, but led us to believe that most of the pain she would encounter, would be from the trauma induced by invading her internal throat area and that the greatest pain would be over in about a week to two weeks. That she would continue to be sore for a while, but in no need of narcotic pain relievers.
Well, I'm writing this because she is unable to sit here and do this, and to tell you the truth, I'm at my wits end. We have since been to the local hospital emergency room three times because the pain in her shoulder and left arm is so severe that she cannot stand it. She can only lie there and cry. She can barely raise her left forearm parallel with the floor, and that's it for mobility in her left arm. She cannot raise it at all. She is on her 4th prescription of #10 Vicoden. Also Flexeril. She says that they barely scratch the surface of her pain. She is in there right now writhing in pain. She can't sleep, in return I can't sleep and we feel helpless.
They have already done a new CT scan and the Doctors say it all looks fine that she should not be in this much pain. Well she is, and I don't know what to do next. It kills me to see her in this state.
Sincerely,
At the end of my rope

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I know that post was somewhat lengthy, but if anyone will, please post your thoughts. We could use some input. Thanks in advance.
Sincerely,
At the end of our rope
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My Fiance' went to her third post surgery consultation. The doctors are still saying "You shouldn't be in so much pain, the MRIs all look good". "We don't know what your problem is". Is anyone else having this problem? It's like they are treating her as she just wants pain medication. There are so many horror stories connected with this type of procedure, aren't doctors and/or certain procedures regulated, or moniterd? I have a cd-rom of her MRI can we have another neurologist take a look at it? If anyone has any answers for us please reply. Thanks in advance,
Still at the end of our rope! ?
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Does this post show up or not? I dont know if I have all my settings correct. Havent gotten any replies, just wondering.

Ran out of rope!
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Well, we haven't gotten any answers anywhere else either. I don't know why I thought this site would be any different. LMFAO!
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Just got on to this site and noticed the post by "m203dude" re his fiance's continued pain following a cervical fusion and that he has not received a reply at all. I feel for you and your fiance, this sort of pain is very hard to deal with and I felt I could share something of what I went through with you. My first Op was a C4/C5 fusion using a 'foreign' bone implant. It was a total nightmare regards post-op pain and I too went through hell back and forth to my doctor and eventually felt like a neurotic woman for continuing to 'moan' about the pain. My pain was originally in the shoulders and arm but post-op I experienced severe muscle spasms of the neck and shoulder muscles and general bone pain at the op site.
I would suggest a second opinion if you haven't already gone this route (note your post is relatively old now) but I would be keen to know how your fiance is doing now and if and how you got sorted...if only to share with you because I know how terribly alone and awful this can be for the patient and her family. My first Op was in 1999 and I have had 5 more neck Ops since, the last 2 in May and August 2010. My neck is now fused from C4 through to T1. But thats another story!
Best of luck.
Sistersledge.
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Thanks sistersledge for your reply. It was the one and only reply we received. Jeanie has since been "ditched" by her doctors and referred to pain management, against all hopes and wishes on my part. I am seriously considering looking into medical malpractice. Jeanie is in worst shape now than when I originally wrote the first post. She has had 24 prescriptions of #10 Loretabs since her surgery and we were told she would go home with tylenol #3 from the hospital. Well maybe if they had done the surgery correctly.. Let us know how you are progressing. TTUL
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Sorry to hear Jeanie is still struggling. I too was referred to pain management and have been on morphine (Oxycontin & Oxynorm) for the last two years. These have their side effects which have proved difficult to manage,but they do help with the pain although nothing takes it away! I hope Jeanie can find some pain relief but more than that I hope she can find an answer to her particular source of pain. Its so complicated when it comes to the neck, what with all the nerves etc in such a confined space. Are you going to go for a second opinion where another MRI may help
find out whats up? A last resort if nothing shows up is the pain block injections - I read about them on the Net. Look them up, who knows. I was seriously considering them before my last fusions in May but have to now see how (if) my neck now heals. They did another Op in August - had to drill out the C8 nerve root as that nerve was compressed - this is after the double fusion of C6/7 & C7/T1 in May where they were supposed to have checked & freed up C8 nerve root??? One puts one's life in these guys hands and came only hope things go OK. Don't be too against pain management for Jeanie - anything that helps is better than nothing, until further investigation into her neck can be done. Good luck, I hope you and her find some answers soon. Write to me anytime - my name is Debbie Owen and I live in New Zealand.
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The intensity of your pain and desperation came across so vividly. I also had cervical surgery 18 months and have endured many setbacks and continue to lose sensation and control of my arms. My wife {disabled} and I, have spent our retirement funds on paying for someone to care for me. Just want you to know that we understand the frustration, disappointment and fear of unforeseen consequences. Some days are harder than others, but then I hear about people such as you and your fianc
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The intensity of your pain and desperation came across so vividly. I also had cervical surgery 18 months and have endured many setbacks and continue to lose sensation and control of my arms. My wife {disabled} and I, have spent our retirement funds on paying for someone to care for me. Just want you to know that we understand the frustration, disappointment and fear of unforeseen consequences. Some days are harder than others, but then I hear about people such as you and your fianc
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I feel for everyone here as I do understand what you're going through and I'm very thankful that you at least have doctors listening *somewhat*.

I had a 2-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion September 24, 2008, C-4/5, 5/6. The 5/6 level fused and the 4/5 did not. I also had movement of the screws at both levels. My neck popped in October of 2008 and I immediately went into excruciating pain. I had a second surgery January 29, 2010 where they went in the anterior, removed old hardware and replaced everything (5 hours) and then they flipped me over and went in posterior and put in plates and screws from there (1.5 hours). When I "came to" from the surgery I automatically went into shock from the pain I was experiencing. I still have excruciating pain, daily headaches, inability to grasp things well with my left hand, left arm weakness, cervical bone pain, and the list goes on. I am no longer believed about the pain and basically dropped like a bad habit by my neurosurgeon and his pain management doctor. I've recently moved away from where I had all this done and will be looking for another doctor out here as soon as I have a job and insurance. This is unbearable. I'm suffering, my 2 little boys are suffering. This has far-reaching ramifications and we should all be believed about our problems. Technology is superb but if you cannot climb inside my body and feel what I feel, please do not tell me that I am not in pain.

Sorry for the bit of a rant there. I hope to hear how everyone is doing, hopefully posting improvements along the way. Best of luck to you all.

Your Companion Through Pain and Hope,
~Laura
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Four years ago I had an ACDF of the C5-6. All went well until last Sept. I started to notice pain in my left shoulder, arm and hand. Also down the left shoulder blade area. I ended up having an ACDF of the C4-5 and C6-7. I had the surgery on Dec. 10/2010. I am still off of work and am waiting for my 3 month x-ray folloow up. But during the past week or so I started to get all the pain and symptoms again that I had pre-op! I am in quite a bit of pain and am taking percocet. The pain is now shooting down my spine! The meds help to a point. I was just refered by my Dr. to get an MRI in a few days to see if there is any problem with the two plates that were scewded in and if there is any infection, etc. I am getting so stressed out from the pain and not being able to do just the nomal daily things that I have taken for granted. I sure can lelate to you that are having pain and problems and my heart gopes uot to you! I guess I just have to have a possitive attitude and hope for the best!

Larry
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Message for M203dude.
Hi just wanted to touch base with you and find out how Jeanie is doing since your last post here. Hope she has found some answers and has
pain relief now.
Regards Sistersledge.
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Reading all this just scares me to death. I'm sitting here with a bone spur the size of a volkswagon pressing on my spinal cord at C4C5. The MRI looks like something out of a horror movie. I can hardly move my head at all and have ear, throat, arm and leg issues. Also dizziness and tinnitis. The doctor at Vanderbilt says the spur cannot be removed but that the vertebrae in the back need to be opened and kept open with screws to take the pressure off the spinal cord. I'm in FLorida and will be making an appointment with the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville.  Doctors have already told me they can't take it out, but it can't stay in either. I believe I'm leaking spinal fluid with the headaches and dizziness. So what do I do? Run the chance of being worse off afterwards?? This is a terrible dilemma and I am really worried about all of it. These posts sound horrible but are there any people that had this done successfully?? Is there any hope for someone like me? It breaks my heart to read these posts and I pray to God that these people find some relief. God help us all.

 

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i just came across ur post . I have had a similar surgery .have u thought about accupucture, its great for nerve pain . Also i take a combo of pain meds & mucsle relaxers. which work well . once ur wife can get around better u should find a good physical therapist , they can help her manage the pain & work towards a healthly recovery. God Bless

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