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Hi, I recently had a cervical fusion on C6-7 on January 2, 2007. I am still in alot of pain. I am also experiencing shoulder and arm pain. My doctor told me that it was normal because the nreves are trying to heal. He prescribed a steroid pack for me and it seems to be helping a litlle. I find it very difficult to sleep at all. I was beat up teaching at a local special education school on October 2005 and I have had numerous surgies. I had shoulder surgury for an impingement and I also have three herniated discs in my back from the accident. I have been in pain since June of 2004 becasue I was beat up again at another school beofre the 2005 accident. I don't think I will be returning to teaching anytime soon.
I recently had a withdrawl episode last week from all of the pain medicine at the hospital and it was horrible. Night sweats, fever. diahrea,chills, dry heaves. I am trying to wean off of my pain medicine becasue it makes me nothing but a crab and I yell at my family. I am having constant mood swings. I only take one vicodin a day now. Half in the morning and the other half in the evening. I still have alot of pain. I finally convinced my doctor to send me for PT but only manipulation, massage to help relieve some of the pain and to help restor my voice. My throat is still sore and it feels like there is a rock in ther everytime I swallow. I am always choking an anything I drink, it feels like it is going down the wrong pipe. I start pt (massage therapy) Thursday of this week so I hope it helps. I was wondering how long does it take to get your voice back. I use to sign in weddings but I don't think that is going to ever happen again. My headaches are not as bad and as frequent which is a plus. Walking and moving around does help but try not to over do it. Well if anyone wants to respond, please do.
Thanks MM

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please find my previous posting 2/5/07 hope to share experiences if I can figure out how to navigate here
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I was very surprised at how long it took to regain my voice. My surgery was in June 2006 - 3-level ACDF (C4-7). Following surgery, it was very painful to swallow and speak. It took a couple weeks to just carry on a conversation. The only good part was it was difficult to eat, so I shed a few pounds!! I had to eat very carefully for about 2 months. Now, I have to remind myself not to eat too fast.

From what I've read, talking with other ACDF "victims" and my experience, voice recovery varies greatly. One woman said after 4 years she recovered 90% of her voice. I would say it took 2+ months to get my voice back to where I could carry on a decent conversation. However, it took close to 4 months before I felt any strength when speaking. Before that, it was more of a strained speaking voice. Now, at about 7 months, I'm probably at about 90% of my previous voice. At times, it just seems to disappear, or get weak, and I have to clear my throat. But to me, that's just a minor inconvenience.

Unless there was nerve damage, I'm sure you can recover your singing voice. It might take a while and you'll probably need to re-strengthen the vocal chords. Have you had professional training? A good voice coach will help. But you're still in the early stages, so have patience and take your time. Good luck.

Sorry to hear about your school problems. I'd stay away, too.
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i too just had surgery on my neck for an acute herniation of c5 & 6. I was in a wrestling accident and decided a week after the accident when i had no pain pills left to go to the hospital where i found out just how seriuos it was. Now a week out of surgery Im finding it extremely hard to sleep and im starting to get gnarly headaches is this norm? it seems as tho it is by readin your bit. I didnt have any issues with my voice i guess im lucky...? but i do have that rock feeling in my throat it hurts to swallow sometimes and eating is getting interesting now that the numbing stuff they used is worn off. It feels like the muscles are only workin on the side they didnt cut thru which makes sense....so my main concern is that im a 23 yr old female that is EXTREMELY active and this layin in bed stayin in the house sh*t is KILLIN me!!!!!!!! i hae 3 other discs that are bulging already so doc told me that ill have at least 2 more surgeries if not more in about 10 yrs. How long did yall wait before doin normal stuff again and am i ever gonna be pain free and be able to go back to my extreme sports an stuff or is all tht shot? i havent been using the pain meds they gave me cause i dont want to use them an get addicted plus they dont really do anything...? my mom says its cause the pain meds they gave me are for muscle pain and what im havin is nerve pain i guess percs an morphine dont work on that jus make me feel drunk. drunk an in pain....UGH THIS SUCKS!!!!!!!
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Wow...I am actually scheduled for a C6-7 anterior discectomy with fusion next month. Besides the throat pain, lumps, loss of voice.....are there any improvements to your neck pain?? Did you have numbness/tingling in your arms? I am praying THAT goes away...the first time I felt that...I thought I was having a stroke. I have 5 minor children and I am wondering how long my recovery period will be. Ill be glad when it is OVER!!!! :-(
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Guest wrote:

Wow...I am actually scheduled for a C6-7 anterior discectomy with fusion next month. Besides the throat pain, lumps, loss of voice.....are there any improvements to your neck pain?? Did you have numbness/tingling in your arms? I am praying THAT goes away...the first time I felt that...I thought I was having a stroke. I have 5 minor children and I am wondering how long my recovery period will be. Ill be glad when it is OVER!!!! :(


In reply to your upcoming surgery. I had a C6C7 fusion and it has been 4 months since the surgery, unfortunetly things have NOT gotten better. The nerve pain is gone in my left arm but the numbness and tinglng has increased, along with the muscle spasms to my upper back and arm, a strange burning sensation from elbow to thumb and an odd pain to my left foot that is almost constint but I am unable to specify where the pain is originating from. Sleep is VERY difficult and I feel like I have been hit by a Mac truck on a daily basis. I am post Physical Therapy, 4 weeks with them going 3 times a week and with no real results. I also have had 3 post surgical MRI's and it states still noting a problem with the c6 nerve root. I also had follow up testing with a physologist for an EMG and NVC and was found to still have damage or compression to the c6 nerve which was part of my original problem. Now they are telling me I may have to endure another surgery. I too have had problems of being ignored by my NS. I felt ignored and brushed off, that I was whinning about my problems and that I was being a baby. My NS told me to "buck up". I am currently awaiting a visit with her once she returns from vacation. My visit was supposed to be an emergent visit, but I guess they didnt consider me urgent enough, soon I will be requesting a second opinion. In the meantime I have lost my job as a nurse due to the extenuating problems and I have only 2 more months of STD. I am unable to perform daily tasks and can only lift approx 2 lbs at this time. I have a 1 year old child and my life has become very difficult with no relief in sight. My suggestion for everyone is to research your Doctors and your procedure, this is a life altering surgery and may not be your only answer. Knowledge is powerful use it and educate yourselves before you put all your faith into something you know nothing about.
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My husband still has a considerable amount of pain following a C6-7 fusion in Sept. 2005. He cannot tolerate anti inflammatories. Two things that have assisted with the reduction of inflammation and pain: a cream that has an ingredient called capsaicin, applied 3-4 times per day: the other is LLLT which is laser light therapy. When you first begin laser therapy you have to have frequent treatments, as I recall 3 per week for 3 weeks. He is now down to 2 per month. These two supplement his pain medication but are the only things we have found to maintain any quality of life. Hope this helps someone!
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I had acdf 4-9-07. The first week was rough sleeping and swallowing but I have to say I had no pain from the surgery site. Swallowing was an obstacle but I found cold soft things and liquids best. I bought a wedge for the bed because sleeping upright got old quick. Any medical supply store has them. Its worth a good nights sleep. Energy wise, I could shower and redress, thats about it for the day. 2nd week I was able to swallow comfortably without pain which this helped give me more energy because I could basically eat normally. No more pain in the arm but have aches still at base of neck posterior. I was terrified prior to surgery, but I'm glad I did it! Only thing I was not prepared for was the constipation! This was the worst part of the whole deal.(from not eating good, inactivity and pain meds) Make sure you do all you can because the meds they gave me for this did nothing! Start way before with fiber, prune juice etc., and continue through and after!
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1 month after neck fusion and getting many headaches
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I to had acdf c6c7 on 6/7 and am experiencing problems. I have pain in the base of my neck and across the shoulder and down my left arm with numbness in my last three fingers. The dr of course says that this is normal that the nerves are coming alive. I had to go back to the drs yesterday because the pain was so bad so now they put me on an antibiotic because I had a mild fever and also predisone, a muscle relaxer and xanax. I hate being drugged. Today I will have another MRI to see if there is something else going on. I have been in tears for days. I was told not to worry about it because some people take longer than others to heal. Also that some people experience more symptoms with the nerves afterwards than others. I'm not sure. I'm scared to death. I work physical work and am concerned that I may not be able to return to work and don't know how I will survive as I am single and have no one else to turn to. Is there anyone out there that has had a positive experience with any of this and it just took a little longer than usual to heal. I do not wan to live on drugs forever. I can not function like that. I would appreciate any replies. pdbuote="PStarr"]Guest wrote:

Wow...I am actually scheduled for a C6-7 anterior discectomy with fusion next month. Besides the throat pain, lumps, loss of voice.....are there any improvements to your neck pain?? Did you have numbness/tingling in your arms? I am praying THAT goes away...the first time I felt that...I thought I was having a stroke. I have 5 minor children and I am wondering how long my recovery period will be. Ill be glad when it is OVER!!!! :(


In reply to your upcoming surgery. I had a C6C7 fusion and it has been 4 months since the surgery, unfortunetly things have NOT gotten better. The nerve pain is gone in my left arm but the numbness and tinglng has increased, along with the muscle spasms to my upper back and arm, a strange burning sensation from elbow to thumb and an odd pain to my left foot that is almost constint but I am unable to specify where the pain is originating from. Sleep is VERY difficult and I feel like I have been hit by a Mac truck on a daily basis. I am post Physical Therapy, 4 weeks with them going 3 times a week and with no real results. I also have had 3 post surgical MRI's and it states still noting a problem with the c6 nerve root. I also had follow up testing with a physologist for an EMG and NVC and was found to still have damage or compression to the c6 nerve which was part of my original problem. Now they are telling me I may have to endure another surgery. I too have had problems of being ignored by my NS. I felt ignored and brushed off, that I was whinning about my problems and that I was being a baby. My NS told me to "buck up". I am currently awaiting a visit with her once she returns from vacation. My visit was supposed to be an emergent visit, but I guess they didnt consider me urgent enough, soon I will be requesting a second opinion. In the meantime I have lost my job as a nurse due to the extenuating problems and I have only 2 more months of STD. I am unable to perform daily tasks and can only lift approx 2 lbs at this time. I have a 1 year old child and my life has become very difficult with no relief in sight. My suggestion for everyone is to research your Doctors and your procedure, this is a life altering surgery and may not be your only answer. Knowledge is powerful use it and educate yourselves before you put all your faith into something you know nothing about.

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ON May 12,2006, I have a C6-7 fusion. This was caused by a work related accident. The company I was working for has closed it's doors and I left out in the cold. If I was informed that the arthritis would become so bad and I can not turn my head to the left properly, I may have re-thought the surgery. I can not drive, my balance is very bad and I still have all the same pre-surgery pain plus more. I applied for disability and I'm still waiting. I have lost everything I own! I have judgements against the company I worked for but BIG deal. I have no health-insurance but I do have herbas to help cope with the pain.
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I had surgery end Aug. 2007. I feel that the recovery process is long! I felt that I was getting better but within the past 3 weeks, I have been getting horrible headaches. I still wear my collar but when I wake up the morning my neck is so stiff! I started physical therapy 1 week ago. There's really nothing that they can do but message my shoulder area and put the moist/warm pads. I am still needing to take pain meds. and muscle relaxers. I too have a hard time swallowing. I feel as if things are going to get stuck! There are so many little things that the N.S. don't tell you. My numbness going down my R arm has lightened up but still happens occassionaly. Am I expecting things to get better too soon? After hearing some of your stories, I am wondering if the surgery was worth it.
I would like to know if any of you take your collar off for periods at a time and if so, how do you feel. Maybe I don't wear it enough.
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I read these testimonies and it makes me hurt more than i already do. I have have 5 spinal surgergies and in need of another. I did make it through 20 years of the military though. I am fused at L4-5 and C4-6. I have stenosis and arthritis as well. Now my spinal cord is compressed at the C2-3 level so he wants to go in and removed the rods in there and fuse me from C2-6. I think this one was caused by an accident I was in last year but just assumed the pain was all related to everything else ya know. I'm not scared I just didn't want to be on the meds again and laid up bored like crazy. I pray everyone finds relief some kind of way. I do massages weekly and lots of baths.
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Thank you for all the previous posts. It helps to know how others felt after surgery. I just had surgery on April 24, 2008. Surgery apparently went well. Worst part was extreme sore throat, difficulty urinating, and nausea. Site of the incision hardly bothered me. It's been 8 days since surgery. My previous symtoms of pain in the right shoulder extending down the outside of my arm and numbness and tingling extending all the way down to my hand and first two fingers have nearly susbsided. Slight numbness still remains in the tips of my fingers. I do have nagging muscle discomfort between my shoulder blades. My first followup with the doctor is scheduled in 5 days--this will be 14 days after surgery. I'll mention the slight numbness and nagging back issues. All-in-all I feel pretty good. Doc prescribed Lortab and Valium to manage pain and anxiety, but I've used very little of both. My hope is that I can return to golfing as it is my greatest sports passion and stress reliever.
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I had fusion on C5,C6 and C7 (with a plate and screws) on Jan 29, 2008. I am a 52 year old male in average physical condition. The first week of recovery involved a sore throat and difficulty swallowing, but my overall pain level was so much less than prior to the surgery that I felt so relieved. I was really stiff for a week but I went back to my office job in about ten days. I began PT about that same time and have been going for three days a week until this week, when the Physical Therapist cleared me to work out on my own. I joined a health club and work out three days a week with a trainer. I am really satisfied with the results of my surgery. My PT was sometimes painful and left me sore, but I did not give up. Now I am back to riding my motorcycle and am looking forward to playing golf again. I don't think my neck is strong yet, but I believe if I keep up my exercise and activity, that after a full year from surgery, the bone grafts will be solid. Good luck to those of you that are still suffering from your neck pain, and try to keep going.
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