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I had this surgery performed on 7/23/12. I must say that I was terrified after reading some of the posts on here. I cancelled twice before I finally decided I could not deal with the intense pain any longer. I was the most concerned about the swallowing difficulties and complications from anesthesia. I usually vomit after any surgery from the anesthesia. And also have had breathing difficulties from anesthesia. I wasn't really worried about post-op pain.. I thought that nothing could be worse than what I was feeling at the time. Anyway.. Day of surgery.. I woke up.. No nausea from anesthesia.. They pumped me full of antiemetics before surgery and put an antiemetic transdermal patch behind my ear. This was a life saver! However.. Apparently I did have some trouble breathing over the next 12 hours.. They even asked me if I was on home oxygen.. As my O2 level was at 87. This subsided after about 12 hours. I stayed pain free while in the hospital.. They were giving me dilaudid through an IV and 2 percocets orally every 4 hours. I was released to go home the next day. I was prescribed 2 Percocet 5 Mgs every 4 to 6 hours. These kept the post op pain minimal for about 2 weeks. I started having major pain around day 12.. I aggravated the nurse by telephone every 2 or 3 days.. I was told this was normal for only being a few weeks post op. They slowly started decreasing the pain medication.. Loritab 10 mg every 4 to 6 hours for a month.. Then Loritab 7.5. Mgs every 4 to 6 hours.. And now Lotitab 5 Mgs every 4 to 6 hours. I am now almost 3 months post op and having the worst pain in my neck, right arm, wrist, hand, thumb and index finger than I've ever had during this whole ordeal. I forgot to mention that I had right hand carpal tunnel release at the same time as the c5/c6 ACDF. So.. both issues cause nearly the same symptoms in the arm, wrist, hand and fingers. I am wondering how can they tell which surgery failed? If, in fact, either one of them did. I had appt with my NS yesterday and he is ordering another MRI. If the MRI is negative, what test will show that I am having pain from the carpal tunnel and that it was possibly unsuccessful? Another EMG? I think it is wonderful that people have had this surgery with success and are now pain free. And I also agree with the others that post about being judged for being on pain meds. I went to school for 2 years studying to be a pharmacy technician.. And was 1/2 way thru my clinical rotations when this happened to me. I knew about the medications.. But had never been prescribed to any of them until now. And honestly.. This pain is sooo severe.. I am not sure how I could make it through the day without them. I feel for each and everyone of you that has to endure this and I wish that someday you may find some relief.

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i know exactly what your saying. i am a veteran and in early 2010 they sent me to their pain managment clinic,in the 11 months i was being seen there they only preformed a physicial exam and used a pre-2010 x-ray and informed me i only had minor lipping at c6-c7 and muscle spasms? my pl's were constantly at 6-9. they refused to do any other tests and only preribed muscle relaxants and tramadol. in december of 2011 i went outside the va and had an mri preformed. it showed damage to my entire cervical spine including an annular tear at c4-c5,a herniated disk at c6-c7,nerve root compression at c5-c6 &c6-c7,& 3 other disks which were bulging, i went to a non-va pain managment clinic and on the first visit the doctors immiditally placed me on morphine sulfate 15mg. extended release tabs& oxycodone 2times daily. i had acdf with plate on 10/11/12 this was a nightmare for 2 years and now im waiting to see if the fusion works. any doctor who does not treat someone with strong pain medications for this kind of condition should not be allowed to practice medicine period! of course i filed suit against the va for malpractice and endangering the physicial and mental well being of a patient. no one is going to tell me that suffering for 2 years like that is not substandcare no body!!!

 

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I agree with you both 100%. I suffered for a year before getting to a point where they would even do a MRI....they have you chasing your tail. Xrays dont show the problem....once mri was taken OMG your are totally spinal cord compressed with largest herinations I have seen in 20 yrs no wonder your in so much pain. Im not a DR but seriously once you have all the classic symtoms ....please so MRI dont make patients suffer so long. If these DOCS even were to spend 24 hrs in a neck patients body they wouldnt even ??? what kind of pain this really is most horrific pain a person can suffer.
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thats for da.. sure. doctors are so afraid of people misusing narcotics that they let people suffer horrable pain. then they wonder after a year or two of living with this kind of pain the patient gets upset wiht doctors and nurses. i know all about the diffucality of treating people with cronic pain but to just leave someone in severe pain is completly un-ethical.
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mg neck wrote:

johnwaltz wrote:

i know exactly what your saying. i am a veteran and in early 2010 they sent me to their pain managment clinic,in the 11 months i was being seen there they only preformed a physicial exam and used a pre-2010 x-ray and informed me i only had minor lipping at c6-c7 and muscle spasms? my pl's were constantly at 6-9. they refused to do any other tests and only preribed muscle relaxants and tramadol. in december of 2011 i went outside the va and had an mri preformed. it showed damage to my entire cervical spine including an annular tear at c4-c5,a herniated disk at c6-c7,nerve root compression at c5-c6 &c6-c7,& 3 other disks which were bulging, i went to a non-va pain managment clinic and on the first visit the doctors immiditally placed me on morphine sulfate 15mg. extended release tabs& oxycodone 2times daily. i had acdf with plate on 10/11/12 this was a nightmare for 2 years and now im waiting to see if the fusion works. any doctor who does not treat someone with strong pain medications for this kind of condition should not be allowed to practice medicine period! of course i filed suit against the va for malpractice and endangering the physicial and mental well being of a patient. no one is going to tell me that suffering for 2 years like that is not substandcare no body!!!

 


I agree with you both 100%. I suffered for a year before getting to a point where they would even do a MRI....they have you chasing your tail. Xrays dont show the problem....once mri was taken OMG your are totally spinal cord compressed with largest herinations I have seen in 20 yrs no wonder your in so much pain. Im not a DR but seriously once you have all the classic symtoms ....please so MRI dont make patients suffer so long. If these DOCS even were to spend 24 hrs in a neck patients body they wouldnt even ??? what kind of pain this really is most horrific pain a person can suffer.


sorry i hit the thumbs down button instead of the thumbs up.
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I did have the acdf procedure 2010 ---now I suffer from chronic shoulder from c5 even though im fused 100% that area still shows nerve is compressed. Not enough to redo surgery. I work but im in pain. My pain started back 18 months after surgery and now they say sorry but sometimes there is no guarntee on pain relief. I understood that going in surgery was to keep me from going paralyzed on right side. Now my answer from all docs in there really is no fix. Its so frustrating !!!
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what are they using to help control your pain? i have been on morphine sulfate 15mg. twice daily and oxycodone 5/325 2 times a day then increased after my surgery to 2 every 4-6 hrs prn. i have obviously built a tolerance to the ms extended release tablets since i have been on those for almost 10 months. they intend to keep me on these because i still need surgery at l5-s1 which will half to be compleatly removed. (i'm not looking forward to that surgery).
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Hi John--thanks for the reply!! At thispoint nothing talked to surgeon twice. Predisone---only thing they put me on several times post surgery. The surgeon says....narcotics will not help you much with nerve pain and could lead to problems. I never asked for narcotics. Prior to surgery had alot oxy,vicodin,sexalin,valium ....all that was pre-surgery. The G.P refers me back to surgeon and he doesnt like to give out drugs. He claims very few help with long term nerve pain...ughh!!!
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mg neck wrote:

johnwaltz wrote:

mg neck wrote:

I did have the acdf procedure 2010 ---now I suffer from chronic shoulder from c5 even though im fused 100% that area still shows nerve is compressed. Not enough to redo surgery. I work but im in pain. My pain started back 18 months after surgery and now they say sorry but sometimes there is no guarntee on pain relief. I understood that going in surgery was to keep me from going paralyzed on right side. Now my answer from all docs in there really is no fix. Its so frustrating !!!


what are they using to help control your pain? i have been on morphine sulfate 15mg. twice daily and oxycodone 5/325 2 times a day then increased after my surgery to 2 every 4-6 hrs prn. i have obviously built a tolerance to the ms extended release tablets since i have been on those for almost 10 months. they intend to keep me on these because i still need surgery at l5-s1 which will half to be compleatly removed. (i'm not looking forward to that surgery).


Hi John--thanks for the reply!! At thispoint nothing talked to surgeon twice. Predisone---only thing they put me on several times post surgery. The surgeon says....narcotics will not help you much with nerve pain and could lead to problems. I never asked for narcotics. Prior to surgery had alot oxy,vicodin,sexalin,valium ....all that was pre-surgery. The G.P refers me back to surgeon and he doesnt like to give out drugs. He claims very few help with long term nerve pain...ughh!!!


for gods sake! if your pain levels stay above 4-5 you will end up in a mental hospital. if i were you i would find another doctor. and if that doctor says the same go find another. besides you can only take predisone for a very short period then they half to stop it for quite a while or it will screw your body up big time.
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its a 5 on best day....mostly 7 ....sleep very little almost ..up every hr ...do anything manual ...it goes up to 9 or 10....been dealing with this pain since feb.....at a point i feel my care is not there ....going to request to go to pain mangement. problem i tried to deal without meds I have a high pressure job...long hrs etc....now i feel like a zombie. getting harder & harder everyday to deal . John for real thanks very much for taking the time !!
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it will only get worse every day. get your doctor to have you refured to a pain managment clinic my friend. they litterally saved me from going off the deep end.
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johnwaltz wrote:

mg neck wrote:

its a 5 on best day....mostly 7 ....sleep very little almost ..up every hr ...do anything manual ...it goes up to 9 or 10....been dealing with this pain since feb.....at a point i feel my care is not there ....going to request to go to pain mangement. problem i tried to deal without meds I have a high pressure job...long hrs etc....now i feel like a zombie. getting harder & harder everyday to deal . John for real thanks very much for taking the time !!


it will only get worse every day. get your doctor to have you refured to a pain managment clinic my friend. they litterally saved me from going off the deep end.


John just checking in see how are you feeling now since surgery?
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mg neck wrote:

johnwaltz wrote:

mg neck wrote:

its a 5 on best day....mostly 7 ....sleep very little almost ..up every hr ...do anything manual ...it goes up to 9 or 10....been dealing with this pain since feb.....at a point i feel my care is not there ....going to request to go to pain mangement. problem i tried to deal without meds I have a high pressure job...long hrs etc....now i feel like a zombie. getting harder & harder everyday to deal . John for real thanks very much for taking the time !!


it will only get worse every day. get your doctor to have you refured to a pain managment clinic my friend. they litterally saved me from going off the deep end.


John just checking in see how are you feeling now since surgery?


well, number 1- wearing the miami j collar when you go to bed is extreamly hard to sleep. but with this kind of surgery you must wear it or your probally going to wake up and half to call 911 to go back and have surgery done. the pain levels are pretty high 6-9 but that is to be expected for about a month or so because of the surgery ,decompressing the nerve roots and the inflimation, but my neurosurgeon has increased the oxycodone from 1 two times during waking hours to; 1-2 every 4-6 hrs prn. and they are needed about every 4-5 hrs. like i said earlier, the paon managment clinic i have been going to has had me on 15 mg. of morphine sulfate extended release tablets since feburary of 2012 and oxycodone 1, two times during waking hours, i have built a tolorance to the morphine thats for sure, in my case i have more then one problem. i also have a hernaited disk at l5-s1 which is compressing a conjoined nerve root but my neurosurgeon does not want to do surgery for that right now, neither do i . i am regaining some feeling in my fingers in my left hand (thats a good sign) i am lucky i found some doctors who understand what these kinds of hernaited disks feel like thank god!!! the pain meds do lower the pain levels to about 3-4 and thats tolorable considering that i was having pain levels as described above for two years.( thats because the va doctors were unwilling to use narcotics plus they never did any tests ie; mri to find out what was actually causing my neck and left shoulder and arm to hurt) you half to be realistic with this kind of problem, you cannot expect the pain levels to go to zero. thats just not going to happen. and you must accept that you will live with a tolorable amount of pain probally the rest of your life. different people have different pain thresholds. i will contact you when any thing else happens but fell free to ask a question, i will try to help anyone who is going through spinal problems. hope this helped. god be with you.

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