I am having such a hard time with recovery from posterior cervical spinal surgery.

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Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 5/29/2011 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I am going on 9 weeks and 3 days from my posterior cervical spinal surgery and I am still having the hardest time!

At 8 weeks in the Miami J collar I was feeling really good and thought I had turned the corner but then I transitioned to my soft collar and I immediately felt as if I was in the hospital the day after surgery all over again... I guess my ligaments, tendons and muscles were not working to hold up my head for the last two months in the Miami J collar.

I still have a lot of swelling and can only stand/walk around for about 1/2 and then my whole upper back/shoulders seize up.

I recently got the actual surgery report from what was done on 3/31... it states:

C3 through C7 right open-door laminoplasty, C2 through C10 hemilaminectomies, C2 throught C7 right foraminotomy, and left C5 through C7 forminotomies as well as the two rib allografts and Vertex instrumentation.

Is this normal to be feeling so much pain and discomfort 9 weeks out?
I am still needing help as I just cannot do basic daily things.

Thanks

Posterior cervical spine surgery... from the report:
C2 to T1 decompression and instrumented fusion. Specifically, laminectomy at C2 to T1 with right foraminotomy C2 to C7 and left C5 to C7 with arthrodeisis C3 to C5 with structural rib allograft and local vertebral autograph, and at C7 with the same structural rib allograft and local vertebral autograft, and Vertex instrumentation C3 to C5

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 5/29/2011 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Draka...

Sorry to hear about your pain...but yes...it's a very tough surgery and they obviously did a lot of work on you...

You definitely got it right that when you switched from the hard to the soft collar...it feels like heck for awhile...as you said...all the muscles, nerves, tendons, etc.. are having to now work harder for support and waking up after the surgery...

Keep in mind that having surgery like this...is not to take away all the neck pain...it is to surgically stabalize the vertebrae....so it may help with the nerve pain...that will take some months to figure out..
 
And the Posterior surgery is always harder and longer recovery since they cut through all the muscle...

After my first surgery I actually was pretty much pain free for a few years....very blessed....but after my 2nd and 3rd...I live with daily pain...

Not trying to discourage...just hoping your Dr. was giving your realistic information...

Just make sure it's not getting worse...keep a journal...and obviously watch out for any type of infection...

Otherwise...it's doing everything that the Dr. has for you from PT to stretching when the time is right...and just keep taking it easy..

Just listen to your body...that is always best..

Again..sorry to hear it's a rough recovery for you:(

Post Edited (Snowbunny21) : 5/29/2011 11:49:08 AM (GMT-6)


White Beard
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3254
   Posted 5/29/2011 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Draka
 
Yes Draka  if you are a normal person, and I assume you are! wink You should still be feeling allot of pain and discomfort and then some! You  have had a massive amount of surgery done on you in a very limited area! I am absolutely amazed at all they have done to you! I thought that my posterior fusion was bad and it took along time for me to heal and feel better, and even now when the weather gets bad I feel it in my neck! My surgery was nothing compared to what they did to you! So please rest assured the you are going to take awhile before you get to feeling normal, or anywhere close to normal, so be patient and be gentle with youself, you will get better but it will take time! With your brace you probably lost allot of muscle tone and now they are having to be used to  support your head and they are not used to that. But do not be in a hurry to do exercises and get them back into shape, not untill your Doctor tells you to anyway! You need to let the grafts, and the surgery heal,  and you do not want to do anything that will damage or slow down that process.
 
Take it easy and take it slow you still have allot of mending to do! I wish you well!
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 5/29/2011 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I thank you both Snowbunny and White Beard... again, I really do appreciate you both taking the time to respond to me.

I do know I have to be patient.... I just never imagined so much pain for so long and kinda stuck with.... do I try to push and function as some what normal or sit in bed and watch movies.

I am going to call the surgeons office on Tuesday and see what they say... I don't see him for another three weeks.

Hope everyone has a great pain-free Memorial Day.
Posterior cervical spine surgery... from the report:
C2 to T1 decompression and instrumented fusion. Specifically, laminectomy at C2 to T1 with right foraminotomy C2 to C7 and left C5 to C7 with arthrodeisis C3 to C5 with structural rib allograft and local vertebral autograph, and at C7 with the same structural rib allograft and local vertebral autograft, and Vertex instrumentation C3 to C5

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1749
   Posted 5/29/2011 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Draka,
 
I'm sorry that you are still having so much pain from your surgery.  I do not have experience with surgery that high up, but my fusion (one level) gave post surgical pain that I could have never imagined.  I still hurt (over 2 years later), but I have to admit that it is improving some.  Of course, that may be due to to all the RFA procedures and the increase/change of meds.  Either way, I think you are correct about the collar.  I used a brace on my back for a long time and my muscles and everything did not want to work on its own when I tried to go without it.  I had to wear it off and on for parts of the day for while and then get away from it completely.  It was almost like getting off of a med that takes a long time to leave your system.  Strangely enough, I tried it on the other day to see if it would help stabalize when we were going to ride the Polaris, but found that I couldn't wear the brace at all now without extreme pain....just the opposite of before.
 
I hope your body will adjust soon and you will feel better quickly!
 
All my best.
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Pre-glaucomic, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet & much more.....

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 5/29/2011 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Retired...just out of curiousity...what is the Polaris? Maybe I'm the only one that doesn't know...dorky me...LOL
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

oldiebutgoodie63
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/4/2011 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I am scheduled for cervical spinal surgery in about 10 days and I am scared to death. I want to chicken out. I had a benign tumor removed from the nerve root between C5 and C6 in 1992. In 1994 I had spinal fusion of C5-C6 and C7-T1 with a bone graft from my hip due to instability. Now, a new doctor from a very reputable hospital is going to do a laminectomy on C3-C5 with hardware instrumentation C3-T1. The original fusion vertebra have slipped forward and I look like a turtle. The pain for the last 19 years has continued. Should I do it? Please respond. I need your input. Thanks


Hello oldiebutgoodie! Please follow the link below and it will take you to the home page of our forum, where Mr White Beard has started a new introduction for you.
You may join us and continue your conversation there. Thanks!
SE wink

www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=16

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 10/4/2011 5:05:59 PM (GMT-6)


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3254
   Posted 10/4/2011 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Oldiebutgoodie63
 
I want to welcome you to the Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum, to avoid confusion, instead of posting on an older thread. I am transferring your post to a new thread, to introduce your self and explain your situation as you did here. I am sure that you will get allot more responses, and plenty of input and support.
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 10/6/2011 5:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Draka, what actually caused all of your problems?  Do you have degenerative disc disease or was it an accident, I don't remember if you ever mentioned it.  Asking because after my fusions I thought everything would be fixed and I would be able to get on with my life.  Problem was that the facet joints had rubbed together (from the disc area being narrowed) for so long that the cartlidge between them had worn away and caused bone spurs.  This is now what causes my chronic pain and there isn't much that can be done other than RFA like Retired Mom is referring to.
 
It could still be that your muscles are just freaking out from being used after being held in place for so long with the collar.  You did have some major surgery which is going to take a long time to recover from.  Let us know what your doctor has to say. 

Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 10/6/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Yup, this is an older topic but I am happy to respond to Bsjaguar and OldiebutGoodie...

As of today I am just at my 6 month mark... I did two months of physical therapy (3X a week) I am back to playing competitive tennis and working out almost daily....

I still have pain... my primary Dr. just put me back on Oxycodone 15 mg once or twice daily... and also another drug I never tried before.... Elavil

To answer your question Bsjaguar.... my surgeon said that because of all the extra bone growth on my entire left side of my neck that my injury most likely happened when I was 2 or 3 years old... kinda crazy right!?!?!shocked Someone must have dropped me as a baby..

I've had the pain really bad for the last 13 or so years... I was only taken seriously after switching Dr's about 3 years ago...

I am told also, I have a severely advanced form of DDD.... I also have two collapsed discs in my back....

My surgeon said everything looks as it should and at 6 months cleared me to do everything.... except run... he said I should stay away from that.

Oldiebutgoodie.... I can't tell you if you should do the surgery or not.... you should have some idea of what to expect as you went through two neck surgeries before..... all I can say... from my experience... is... it was awfully, horribly painful.... that's the truth... I really struggled.... but my pinched nerve pain is gone!

What part of the country are you in?? Any chance you are in s FL?


C3 through C7 right open door laminoplasty, C2 through C10 hemilaminectomies, C2 through C7 right forminotomy, and left C5 through C7 foraminotomies, C3-C5 structural rib allograft and local vertebral autograft & C7 with the same allograft & local verterbral autograft & Vertex instrumentation C3-C5

Dante&sterling
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/3/2014 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ,I also had a cervical laminoplasty and prior to the surgery I was really frightened. My doctor was great ucsf San Francisco neurosurgeon.it turned out that my spinal canal was so calcified it narrowed the space for the canal , which doc said could lead to para or quadriplegia if an accident were to happen. Unfortunately I was rear ended on the freeway and now have permanent tremors . It could be worse. This happened prior to the surgery. Doctor opened up c3-c7 with hinges so I do have some mobility but nowhere near normal. I went to my 1 year follow up and doc said I am the one in three that will not make a complete recovery. One in three sounds just terrible. I believe I heard him right maybe he said one in 30? Odds still aren't great. Anyway just trying to live with my new normal it can be frustrating ,but I do know I will probably decline any other spine surgeries in the future.

Dante&sterling
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/3/2014 12:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I meant it narrowed the canal for the cord not the canal

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11157
   Posted 3/3/2014 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Dante&Sterling please note this is a very old thread that has not had any activity since October 2011. The person that started this thread has not been around in a very long time. If you would like to continue discussing this matter please feel free to start a new thread. I will lock this thread so no others will post any further here. Thanks.
Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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