Couldn't find what you looking for?

TRY OUR SEARCH!

June 5, 2006, I had anterior cervical surgery because I fell down 15 cement steps at work on may 25, 2005 and began experiencing increasing numbness in my right arm and hand, and shooting pain from the shoulder to the elbow. An MRI indicated that I had herniated the C5/6 & C6/7 discs. So, my neurosurgeon replaced the discs between the C5/6 & C6/7 with cadaver bones and screwed on a titanium strap to help fusion take place and keep all in place while healing.

I am experiencing post surgical pain and it was suggested that I maybe try a chat/support group to see if what I am experiencing is normal or something I should really be worried about. I am on some heavy drugs but I will try to get all the facts in so that someone out there can maybe respond with some helpful suggestions and encouragement for me.

I am a healthy 54 year old female who could run circles around my family members, until the fall. I was a light-weight smoker before the surgery, but I a proud to say that I quit cold turkey 1 month before the surgery and have not smoked since. Anyways, I was doing fine hours after surgery until the morphine that was given to me intervineously was switched to NorCo 10/325s apporoximately 7 hours after surgery, which made me begin to vomit every 1 to 2 hours. Needless to say, I had to stay another night in the hospital. I was vomiting stomach bile for the most part, which went on for the next 12 hours, and then I was sent home with instructions that I could shower the next day and clean my incision with alchohol. The incision looks goods - it does not hurt and there is no oozing or dicoloration. I was told to walk around the house often and avoid lifting over 5 pounds until my next post-op appointment, which is scheduled for June 23, 2006.

I find that I can't lay down or sit up without experiencing neck discomfort and extreme muscle pain between my shoulders. I feel like the muscles between my shoulder blades are on fire. They cramp to the point of experiencing charlie horses - which are just out of my reach - of course.
I rely heavily on the NorCo (yes, they prescribed the same med that made me sick in the hospital) for pain management, but it does not take care of all the pain. It could be because I cut the pills in half so I do not get sick on them again. I can swallow okay now, but for the first 2 days my throat was raw feeling and it hurt to swallow, and then for 3 days after that it felt like the food and pills would get stuck in the sternum area when I would swallow. But that is getting better now. I attributed that to the vomiting - but of course could be very wrong about that assumption.

To explain the muscle pain - imagine the Hulk repeatedly beating you between your shoulder blades causing your muscles to become totally tensed up and inflamed to the point that you experience extreme muscle spasms between the shoulder blades, just below the C5/6 & C6/7 area.

Now you know why I am freaking!! Is all this pain and the muscle spasms normal? Are they induced from all the complications I experiencd after surgery? I find that heat from a hot shower or a towel put in the dryer for a while and wrapped around my shoulders and neck really helps. Is this okay?
I was given two foam neck braces when I left the hospital. I began wearing one when I am in the shower and the other when I am up and about. I was told that i did not have to wear it when laying down, but I find that I can lay for at least 30 to 45 minutes to rest when it is on - without it I can lay for about 20 to 30 minutes and experience more discomfort so I have to use my hands to lift and roll my head around to get comfortable in a prone position. I get only about an 1 hour max of rest at any given time - I am up and prowling the house with muscle pain the rest of the time. My kids say that I remind them of a raptor looking for prey to release my pain on. Like I said, the drugs help a little, but don't take all the pain away - just enough to let me rest well.

I hope someone out there in Internet land can respond and let me know if what I am experienceing is normal, particularly after the complications I experienced, or if I should be freaking and demanding to see my neurosurgeon (I did callhim and his nurse said that I should not worry, but if it gets worse to call back. I think she thinks I am a wimp too). So, tell me - am I a wimp or is this some thing I should worry about?

Loading...

I had an anterior cervical fusion on May 10, 2006. I had all of the symptoms and pain you are talking about (except for throwing up). Most of them have now gone away. I still experience pain in my shoulders but my doctor told me that it would be bad unless I continue to take 2 or 3 Advils after every meal and for a while I had to eat something and take them before going to bed. You have to take them even though you are taking pain meds too. I stopped taking them for a while - dumb move on my part. The pain is horrible without them. They really do make a huge difference. Take the Advil and hang in there. It really does get better.

I have 2 problems now. I had horrible numbness, tingling and pain in my feet and it seems to have gotten worse just in the last week or so. I also have an area about the size of the palm of your hand, located on my left collar bone that is full of fluid. No bruising, no pain there, just squishy fluid. Anyone ever experience either of these things?
Reply

Loading...

I had surgery on 4/29 cervical discectomy w/fusion c5/6. I went home the next day and went back to the hospital after a couple of days with excessive swelling in my neck and had trouble breathing. I stayed a few days and returned home. I had severe pain and was so uncomfortable for a few weeks. After about 5 weeks, I started feeling much better and there was energy and pain was much less-taking 3 doses of tylenol or advil a day instead of prescription now. I am doing more and more each week; however, all of a sudden, I am experiencing a piercing pain right below the c5/6 area in my spine and my shoulders hurt pretty bad. I have energy but feel pain and discomfort when I move around .I also have a swelling or lump on my back in neck area of spine(the lump is pretty big about the size of my hand in a fist). It may have been there but I just noticed it. I am wearing a Miami J Collar and have since surgery. I remove it only to shower in which I am to wear a sponge collar. My doctor says I have to wear the Miami J Collar 24 hours a day. Has anyone else experienced this swelling or lump on the back where the plates and screws are? and have anyone experienced increasing pain as you've increased your activities? This isn't just muscle pain, it's piercing to the spine.
Reply

Loading...

Hi I had surgery on 5/15/06 cervial discectomy w/fusion at c5-6 and c6-7 and had the same situation as you with the vomiting every 1-2 hours for 2 days after surgery.. this week is my 5 th week out from surgery. Had my follow up appointment today,had x rays taken. The doctor said the fusion looks good . but my bone is not yet growing into the cadava bone. He wants to see me again in 3 weeks and take more xrays. since the surgery i have had constant pain in my neck and shoulder .. it got worse last friday i can barely move my neck I start physical therapy next monday and he gave me zanaflex to help with the pain. I also experience swelling where the plate and screws are and the pain is serve in that area. my doctor told me not to ware the collar any more.
Reply

Loading...

Hi there msboop - I am on day 4 post surgical fusion of c4-7 and I feel every one of the pains you are talking about. I too reacted to the pain meds in the hospital and ended up vomiting all of them up.

When I mentioned to the nurses that I was concerned about how sore my shoulders and back were feeling, they told me that sometimes the position we are put in during surgery causes that. Frankly, I think it's the cervical collar and the muscle strain from the vomiting.

I am having a great deal of difficulty with this rigid collar. I cannot find a comfortable position and I am so tired that I am afraid of falling. I do find that a warm shower does help. My husband has been rubbing Aspercreme into my shoulders and I have felt some relief.

I hope this message finds you feeling better and on your way back to your old self. Sadly I am still at the point that if I could go back in time, I would! I feel like I was run over by an 18-wheeler. Junebug
Reply

Loading...

Folks
I read with great interest all of your postings. They all sound pretty familiar.
I'm a 51-year-old guy in relatively good health. I had my surgery Tuesday, June 20 at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. The surgery went extremely well and I was up and walking around June 21 and discharged later that day.
I've got 5 mg of Oxycodone for pain and I don't think it helps all that much. I'm a pretty big guy, so that might be one reason. A few weeks ago we bought a very nice recliner for our living room, a move which was a smart one considering the fact that it's about the only place I can get any sleep. Being in bed is way, way too uncomfortable. Overall, I take my Oxy, doze/sleep for an hour or two, then wake up, watch TV and take another dose when the time is right.
As far as the shoulder pain is concerned, YES!! I feel like I've run a gaunlet of Atilla's Huns. There isn't much I can do yet that seems to help.
This may sound gross, but I haven't had a shower yet (yes, I'm getting a bit rank) so I think I'll try the hot water treatment.
I've not taken the bandages off yet, but need to do so so I can look at the wound and also shave the area around it.
Sorry but this is a little incoherent. I'm usually a little clearer. But then again my head's not too clear right now!
Reply

Loading...

Hi folks
Since I posted yesterday, I have been able to increase my Oxy dose from one/two up to three/four 5 mg at a time. Three seems to help immensely, so I haven't tried using four yet. I also was given a sleeping aid prescription. In conjunction with both, I have managed one very good night's sleep. I'm still sleeping in my recliner, but all told I spent 3 hours before waking up, and after visiting the little boys room, was able to go right back to sleep again.
I've still got a lot of pain between my shoulders, but the Oxy certainly seems to help.
My wife has been watching me like a hawk to make sure I don't over-exert myself. She's been doing a pretty good job, but she really doesn't need to keep that close an eye on me. I get tired quickly and can only go with about 15 minutes of physical activity before needing to sit down for a while.
I'm still waiting for my digestive system to get back on track. I'm told general anesthetic stops peristalsys (sp?) which is why they don't want you to eat too soon after surgery. I've taken my first few bites of real food, but nothing seems to be getting processed. It's all still in there. I hope that's not a problem.
Overall, though my biggest problem seems to be boredom. There isn't much great on TV (even though we have satellite) and it's hard to hold a book or newspaper for any length of time. Thank goodness I've got a lot of prerecorded movies!
Thats all for now.
Jeff
Reply

Loading...

Hello all - Hope this finds all of us on the mend. My surgery was Monday June 19 so I am on day six if you count the surgery date. I must say I am feeling much better. I still haven't found a way to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time but I know one of these days I am going to drop and sleep for days and days! The pain in the shoulders is almost a bad memory now. I take Tylenol PM at night and that is about it. Pain has not been a huge issue. I find the daily warm showers followed by a rubbing of Aspercreme really helps to relax my muscles. I am lucky that I haven't had much digestion trouble. I had such a horrible sore throat the first few days that the only thing that felt good was sherbert. I would try to tilt my head to hold it on the painful spot and it was a little slice of wonderful! Today is much better as far as the throat pain goes. Probably down to a 3 from an 8. I called my neurosurgeons office yesterday to ask them exactly what the surgery had entailed and was told I had three levels, C4/5 5/6 6/7 replaced with cages. The cages are held in place with screws and a plate is covering the entire area. I wanted to know because when I have researched the surgery and recovery recommendations, I find such differing opinions and advice. Some docs say they don't require their patients wear a brace at all since the plate does the stabalizing. Others use just a soft collar. Mine wants me in this rigid sucker for six weeks and I can tell you right now, that is not gonna happen! He will let me take it off to sleep at the 4-week mark. I wanted to return to work after three weeks but I don't want to have to wear this thing. I would wear a soft collar if he would allow that. I am wondering about others out there and what their requirements are/were for how long this rigid brace had to be in place.
Reply

Loading...

I was just wondering if there is anyone further out post op (then '06) that has any info about their recovery. My husbands DR told him it would take 4 yrs for the fusion to be complete and that he should no longer be in pain..... but he is in pain every day. He stopped taking Oxycodone and was put on Tramadol (sp) but now his neurosurgeon is saying you are fine have a nice life..... I was wondering how many that are more then 1 yr post op are still in pain and does it ever get better... also what are you doing to manage your pain issues.

Thank you

~*Dylett*~
Reply

Loading...

I was just wondering if there is anyone further out post op (longer then '06) that has any info about their recovery. My husband's DR told him it would take 4 yrs for the fusion to be complete and that he should no longer be in pain..... but he is in pain every day. He stopped taking Oxycodone and was put on Tramadol (sp) but now his neurosurgeon is saying you are fine have a nice life..... I was wondering how many that are more then 1 yr post op are still in pain and does it ever get better... also what are you doing to manage your pain issues.

Thank you

~*Dylett*~
Reply

Loading...

Dylette - How long ago was your husband's fusion? My husband had it done three years ago and has done very well. I have never heard of someone being told it would take four years! That is nuts. I had it done six days ago and am virtually pain free. I would seek a second opinion if I were you as four years of non-stop pain is not something anyone should have to endure.
Reply

Loading...

Junebug wrote:

Dylette - How long ago was your husband's fusion? My husband had it done three years ago and has done very well. I have never heard of someone being told it would take four years! That is nuts. I had it done six days ago and am virtually pain free. I would seek a second opinion if I were you as four years of non-stop pain is not something anyone should have to endure.



No his Dr said he should be pain free now... but he is not... he is 1 yr post op. His neuro said it would take 4 yrs for the fusion to be complete. As for the pain. His Dr is not willing to hear about it or treat him for it.... because he "has many patients who are totally pain free" I was just wondering if there were many others a year or so out who are still in pain. Its a worker comp case so Jeremy is getting the run around.

~*Dylett*~
Reply

Loading...

I had a cervical fusion of the C 6/7 three years ago. I also experienced quite a bit of pain during the first month-sore throat, pain in shoulder, etc. After the first 6 weeeks it did begin to improve. I now have no pain at all on the left side--that is the side that I had pain in prior to surgery. It did not seem to affect my neck movement to any great extent. So---it does get better with time. However, I just had to have another operation for a C5/6 herniated disc. I am 6 weeks post-op--the disc herniated & was pressing on the spinal cord. My surgeon said that the ligament in the neck had to be stretched quite a bit & to expect some neck & shoulder pain for a period of time. I am still having quite a bit of pain--but hope this surgery will be as successful as the first.
Reply

Loading...

hi- just had a 3 level fusion 5,6,7 in the neck onJune 27th- five days ago. I was supposed to stay just one night in the hospital but stayed two- the pain was pretty bad. They gave me something for nausea from the medication and if you eat well before taking it it helps to not make you sick. They can prescribe stuff to take at home too. By the 4th day- yesterday - was feeling pretty good while pain pills are working but the shoulder pain starts getting pretty intense before it is time to take the next pill. They also told me in the hospital this pain is normal from the procedure and that the pain can come and go over the next few weeks or longer. I am wearing a collar day and night for 6 weeks but I put a big rubber band around the middle of it where my chin is to pull it away from rubbing on my chin. The actual incision doesnt hurt- only the back of my shoulder blade area. Im glad I found this info from others experiencing the same- it must be a normal part of the process. Hang in there everyone. !
Reply

Loading...

Good evening. I am post surgery, 6/28/06. I elected to use my own hip bone rather than cadaver. I am having a reaction to the bandages, rash, blisters, burns. etc. I had to remove them and use gauze over the steri strips. Did anyone else have this problem?

I am having the pain in the shoulders which my doctor presribed Soma (muscle relaxant) for. This, combined with the percocet, makes my neck pain managable. To sleep, I use several large fluffy pillows in my bed to support my upper body etc.

The main problem I am still having a problem urinating. I have to push on my bladder to relieve to accumulation. I am also having pain across my abdomen. Is this common with the autograft incision from the hip bone gradt?
Reply

Loading...