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Hi Everyone, 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. I'm also stiff in my muscles at times on my right side. 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 :-)

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I posted this a few minutes ago. Let me know if you are having similar symptoms.



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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Hello. I'm a newbie too and am experiencing similar symptoms down both arms (in addition to others) that you describe. At times during the day, and depending on activity, which still isn't too much (surgery was 8/11/06), my arms (bicepts, deltoids and forearms) ache as if I have worked them out with weights for hours. I can bearly get them to move and then start to experience trembling/twitching in one or both hands. I am anxious to hear a response from one of the 'listening' medical professionals on this one.... o.O
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I also have had this complaint but only right side and spasam like a palsey in the hand arm and shoulder, getting more involved every day I had muilty level c-2 thru t-1. started 2 months ago and no explanation. Doc says it not a result of the surgery. So what do I do now? had the surgery 3 months ago and was great for the first 5 weeks.
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Hey guys,
Im glad I found this site. I had a total disk replacement of c-5 and c-6 on June 2 2006. I can relate to all of your pain. My pain is so bad that I cry myself to sleep at night. The pain in my arms and neck is very intense. I have severe spasms in my right arm that just wont quit. I returned to work a month ago and I pay dearly for it every day. I participated in an FDA study and recieved a cervicore disk, which did help the mobility in my neck, but not the pain. Now I feel like Ive been put out on a limb to fend for myself.
Ive been in close contact with my NS and He doesnt seem to care about the problems Im having. When I wake up in the mornings, I cannot move my arms or hands. The joints in my elbows, shoulders and hands are extremely stiff and painful to move. The day of my surgery, my right arm swelled and turned ashen grey/black. The swelling was extremely severe and every since, the pain has been terrible. My left arm is very painful as well, but not to the extreme as my right arm and hand.
I feel that these doctors should listen to us a little more than they do. No body should have to live like this. Its very debilitating.
This pain is very unbearable. Theres no way to really describe the intensity of it, nor the way it feels. My muscles and joints feel like they are fighting against each other. I know that sounds strange, but thats how I sum it up.
Oh and the head aches.. They are bad too. Do you guys have a problem with that?

I just dont know what to do now. I dont know where to turn. Ive been to my regular doctor and he doesnt want to treat me or investigate the problem due to the fact that Im an FDA guinea pig. Now, Im stuck with this terrible pain and my job really aggrivates it. Im a machinist, which involves alot of heavy lifting and walking on a concrete floor for 8 hours.
Some of you guys mentioned the fact that it feels like you just got done with a work out and your muscles aches/hurt. Is there anything that you do that helps that? If so, please share. What about your shoulders, elbows and wrists .. any problems there?

Hopefully, someone one will come along and read our posts, who can shed some light on this for all of us.
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EC4474,

When did your spasms start?
I was having the spasms before the surgery, They told me that the spasms were caused from Radial Nerve Damage and that they woud deminish after the surgery, but instead, they have gotten terribly worse. Now, Have new spasms starting.. in the back of my upper arm. Originally, the spasms were localized in my forearm. My hand would draw up and pull inward (like the palsy). Now, the new thing has started. When I move my fingers, it caused the back of my upper arm to spasm and jump. Its strange,, I called my dr about it 2 days ago and still havent heard nothing back from him. Anyways, just wanted to ask about yours.
Thanks Donna
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well thanks for your reply, and yes this continues to get worse. I have finally gone to Cleveland Clinic. They have done an EMG abd NCV testing. But are now waiting for an MRI. They feel this is coming from spinal cord involment and have put me on total bed rest. No cars or chance of slip and fall.
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Hey,
I hope your tests come out good, but hopefully they will find the problem.
My regular doctor is sending me for another nerve conduction test and an MRI as soon as my insurance will allow me to go. So now its just the wait and see thing. The pain is so bad that im losing alot of sleep and it does hender my job performance. I was having the spasms before the surgery, but I never thought that they would get worse.
Anyway, If you dont mind, will you please let us know what the tests showed? And GOOD LUCK to you.
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Hi All,
Just wanted to share something that I think that everyone will be interested in.

The topic of our discussion has been the pain and numbness in our arms and so forth after surgery RIGHT?

Well Please take it from me,,,,, DEMAND your doctor to order another MRI. Dont play around with it.. Something may have gone wrong, as it has with me..

For the past 6 months, Ive complained constantly to my surgeon about this awful radiating pain in my neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, back, and legs. Well my dr. just keeps ordering more pain killers instead of more tests to see whats wrong. I finally went back to my regular MD and I was in tears.. I could hardly move my arms at all. The pain is that intense, well my physician felt that I should go for a second opinon, because he feels that I may have gotten a bum deal with my disk replacement. In order to go get a second opinion, you have to have an up to date MRI. So I went friday , I waited for the film , ( have to take it with me for the second opinion), . Well Heres the shocker,, this MRI showed extensive spinal cord compression, at c-3 /c-4 and c-5/c-6. The compression is 90 percent worse than it was before the surgery. Before surgery, I had a 25 -35 percent spinal cord compression. Now, My spinal cord is almost complety compressed. It only lacks 10 percent, before im totally paralyzed, or disfunctional. I have to wait for another week to pass before I go for the second opinion and im terrorfied to do anything. I have a very strenous job, that requires alot of heavy lifting, walking on cement floors, the use of an air wrench and so forth and Im so scared to even go to work. It wouldnt take much for this compressing of the spinal cord to progress further into the spinal canal.

So if any or all of you are having any weakenss of the muscles (arms or legs), pain "like you just got done with a work out", shooting stabbing, burning or dull pain (thats kind of like a tooth ache), in your neck, arms, back, or legs, strange head aches, arm spasms or trouble swollowing, Dont hesitate to go back and talk to your doctor and dont take no for an answer. Its your body and its your life and your quality of life thats priority. DEMAND more tests or you may end up like me,, . I had a doctor friend of mine to look at the mri film and he was speachless. Told me that they would have to do surgery again because the compression was too bad to ignore. Ive been so upset for the last few days. REally upset with my surgeon because he would not listen to me or wouldnt do another mri that ive requested everytime ive been back for a check up.. It looks like he left a clamp or a retractor in one of my disk spaces. That is something that is not supposed to be there.
Any way I will keep posting as i find out more. I just hope that no one else has to go thru this. Good luck to all.
Donna
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Hi, I know you're pain. I've been bounced around from doctor to doctor for almost 2 years. Until, an Orth. Doc agreed to do surgery after a discogram. The surgery was 8/02/06. It was a fusion. The surgeon operated from the disocgram report. I recently got a copy of that report and there was a MAJOR typo on the report. It said C4-5 was fine. C5-6 was hernieated and C6-7 was hernieated. Then at the bottom it said,
"Concordant pain at C4-5 and C5-6. I then got my surgery report he operated on C4-5 and C5-6....covered it with a plate and 6 screws. During my return visits I've told him I still have the pre-op pain...he says...hmmmm...see me in 6 month. To me he should of left C4-5 alone and done C5-6 and C6-7. If I can read this why couldn't he? I haven't said anything...I never want to go thru that surgery AGAIN. Does anyone know what I should do?
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Did anyone read my posting from yesterday? Any ideas of where to go from here? Since the surgery hasn't helped the pain and my doctors keep saying give it more time...when I pretty much know he operated on a good disc and not a a bad disc.
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I complained of left tricep weakness from the gym in early may. for example, I could shoulder pre4ss a 75 dumbell with myright arm and all of a sudden I could only do 35 lbls with my left arm. Saw 4 neurosurgeons and decided to have a laminectomy. I had cervical spondylosis with myelopathy. had surgery in last day of august. My neck feels better however, I couldn't lift my arms over my head for a while. I still have weakness in the left arm and wonder if the nerve that was compressed will heal so I can exercise like I used to. Did anyone have this procedure. I can curl 25lbs now with pulling movements are recovering faster. I had severe muscle atrophy after surgery. Bottom line is do nerves heal and when?
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HI ,my name is kathy,i had a car accident on 12/09/2005,major neck pain and numbness in hand-had anterior cervical fusion on 06/01/2006,numbness in hand went away immed after surgery,i am now 6 months out from surgery-oh i had 2 levels done-i am still in severe pain in my neck, shoulders-to the point that when i go to phy therapy and they hook me up to elec stim and put a hot pack on my neck i have to take off the hot pack because it feels like i have a ton of bricks on my shoulders and the numbness and burning is back in my hand.oh and i now have possible scarring on my vocal cords or trachea from the surgery.the vocal cords are closing up and preventing the flow of air,so im gasping for air constantly.the neurosurgeon orders an xray at every visit and says it all looks good and he doesnt want to deal with my pain issues,he wants me to get my breathing issues taken care of first.i thought i was the exception when it came to having pain still after surgery.and to top it all off,im still sleeping on the recliner because i cant sleep flat without severe pain after about 20 min. any advice would be greatly appreciated,thanks kathy
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I had C-5, C-6 disc replacement/fusion in September 2005. I'm here to tell you things are not getting better 1 1/2 years later.
The new resorbable graft was used on me. I struggled everyday for 8 months trying to work. Finally I could not take the pain anymore. I have not worked since and honestly do not think there is a job I could get through for 8 hrs a day.
My pain has always been on my right side (ie: jaw, shoulder, arm, wrist, thumb).
Since surgery I have limited use of my neck (cannot turn fully to the left, and can not tilt head up). The pain in my arm, etc seem to be worse along with excruciating pain in the back of my neck. I cannot bend and lift, stand or sit for any legnth of time.
They now tell me I have myofacial syndrome, fibromyalgia. I have went for physical therapy (for the 3rd time) nothing is helping me. I try to keep going, struggling all the way by taking a very mild pain killer.
My hope is that everyone that has not recovered from this surgery turn it in on FDA form 3500 or respond on this blog.
I'm starting to feel like this surgery is "all for the money". There are too many people that are not recovering from this surgery and something needs to be done about it.
I for one am in much worse shape than I was before the surgery.
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I had anterior cervical discectomy of c6-7 Nov 2, 2006. I too was in an auto wreck. The first two weeks after surgery were pretty encouraging and then all of a sudden the pain in my arm and shoulder blade came back with a vengence. My NS prescribed Lyrica and this did help tremendously until I started having side effects such as difficulty concentrating, drousiness and dizzines. I nearly killed my husband and myself a few weeks ago when I suddenly fell asleep/blacked out while driving on the interstate. My family doctor cut my Lyrica dose in half and after one week my side effects had nearly all gone away but the pain is coming back at the lower dose. It has brought me to tears at time (the pain). I am getting so frustrated. On top of it all I am having to try and settle with the other individuals insurance. They claim I am fixed and are giving me somewhat of a hard time. "They" don't have to live with this pain everyday, though. The one things that gives me some relief is my "backnobber" which I purchased over the internet. Since I can't reach the pain in my shoulder blade without it, the backnobber allows me to dig in there and try to break up some of the spasms. I did not have any complications from being intubated or from the surgery itself pertaining to swallowing/breathing problems. Kathy, have you tried a neck pillow or memory foam pillow? I am interested in hearing how you are doing now.
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