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I am getting ready to have an Anterior Cercical Fusion. I have read a lot of the posted entries and I am getting a little, well a lot, worried about post-op long term pain. I have been dealing with pain for several years now and am hopping to be ,for the most part, pain free after the long road of recovery. Is anyone out there at that point yet?

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I had ACF in Jan. 2006. I have constant muscle spasms, burning and itching and pain radiating into my R shoulder. I have tried accupuncture, deep muscle massage, PT, injections of lidocaine into the muscles, muscle relaxants, chiropractic, cervical epidural and two nerve blocks without any change at all. The doctors have no answers for me and my whole life is on hold. I lost my job after 26 years and now the pain docs want to try Botox in the muscles. I want to go to someone who specializes in this type of post-op pain. I live in central coast Calif., so can go up as far as San Francisco or down to Southern Calif. Any suggestions anyone? Thank you!
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javascript:emoticon(':cry:') Goodness woman your a mess, I had mine done last Monday and seem to be fine. I will keep you in my thoughts. GBY!!!
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I had an anterior neck fusion, one level C5-C6, with instrumentation in Feb 07. Recovery was alot longer than I expected; not the six weeks that I was told. I felt pretty good the first two weeks with pain pills prn but then the pain became much worse in neck and rhomboid area (burning, aching) and also had severe muscle spasms. Started PT at four weeks post-op and continued for eight weeks. I started taking Motrin just because I didn't want to go back to pain pills. I then switched to Celebrex and that also helped and only had to take one pill a day. Also Flexiril helped alot at night to relieve muscle spasms and to sleep. ( It's really hard to find the right sleeping position). The surgery helped my arm and shoulder pain/numbness but I still have neck pain especially in the evenings. I can't do alot of the exercising that I was doing prior to the surgery; however, I am walking and doing Pilates which is better than nothing at all. I'm looking forward to the day when I will be hopefully pain free. It takes alot longer for the soft tissue to heal (ligaments,etc.) than it does the bone. So I'm trying to be a patient patient!! I'm thinking 6 months to a year. I take one day at a time. I recommend alot of careful research and 2 or 3 different opinions. Try to find the best surgeon possible. Also, try Pilates first to see if it relieves your symptoms before resorting to surgery. God bless!
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