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Post OP of ACDF 3 levels I want to know is this normal

tamterttamter Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had ACDF 10 days I have a knot or lump to the left of my incision it is not on or under the incision but to the left of it. I am having alot of problems swallowing. I almost feels like that side of my throat the nerves or muscles are not allowing me to swallow. It is the same side that the lump is on also. And if I am not trying to swallow it does feel like there is somehting in my throat on the left side. So I don't know if my problem is coming from the lump or not. Has anyone ever had a lump like this after this type of surgery? I know it is not like scar tissue because it is not under my incision and it feels more like a knot. Any suggestions on what this could be. I am getting pretty tire of eating soup. Thanks


  • ...where the drainage tube was and it left a lump after removal. I have one also.

    Don't know about the swallowing, though.
  • Cath
    Could be from the drainage tube I wonder if this will go away because you can see it, it is rather large. You said you have one did your's go away and what did your Dr say.
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  • Hi Tamter. I'm sure it will get smaller with time. You're only 10 days out, that's very soon. My incision was very lumpy, hard and numb, and that has gotten a lot better. I never asked my doc specifically about that lump, but it's gotten smaller since the surgery.

    I think the major thing to look for with the incision is leakage, major redness, or anything like that out of the ordinary. However, I'm not a doctor, so if you have concerns, be sure to call your Surgeon!
  • Thanks Cath, another thing I am still having to take pain meds, plus muscle relaxers every 4 hours. I do not have pain at a bone graft site because they used donor bone. I always heard that the donor site is more painful than the neck so i am glad they used donor bone. But I am having intense burning pain all accross the top part of my back and into each shoulder if I didn't have that I think I would be fine. My neck doesn't really hurt. Does everyone experience this burning pain as I described and should I still be needing to take pain meds every 4 hours??? Thanks
  • I had the same thing. You're going to experience all kinds of different things after the operation. I'm almost 6 months post op and still have a little numbness and tingling, which is normal. Swallowing was a bit of a problem for me as well at the point where you are.

    Hopefully your doctor or doctor's nurse can answer any questions. I must have called my doctor's office twice a week for the first month. The nurse didn't mind calling me back and telling me most of the things I called about were normal.

    I really panicked when the sutures from inside poked out of the incision. I thought they left something inside...LOL.

    I still get some burning in my shoulders and neck, but the heating pad usually calms it down and I try to sit up straight and roll my shoulders a little to relieve the tension.
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  • Tam, it's still very early in your recovery. I'm still taking pain medication and muscle relaxants and I'm 8 weeks out! How long to take pain medication after surgery is an individual decision, based on the timing and level of your pain. After the first two weeks, I decided to take the pain medication when I felt I needed it. I still do that now. But this is something you should talk with your surgeon about.

    The type of pain you're experiencing is very normal. I rarely feel pain in my neck, it's mostly the muscles on the left back of my neck, into the shoulders and down the middle of my back. My surgeon said last week that it's completely normal and not to expect it to go away very soon. I anticipate I'll be going on this way until after PT.

    My pain has increased a bit this week because I'm back at work part time working at a computer and, boy, let me tell you that that's a very difficult thing to do. It's very hard on your cervical spine.

    Anyway, hang in there Tam and feel free to PM me if you have any questions or if you just need to vent.

    Take care and don't rush the recovery. It'll bite you where you sit!

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