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Should Pain be better by now?

RICKRRICK Posts: 136
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This week will be 11 weeks since my last neck surgery, I had posterior surgery Dec. 2nd 09, C4-7 with rods and my hip bone graft. I had anterior surgery 12-8-08 with plate, 8 screws and cage. I found out Oct. 09 the plate was loose and I did not fuse. The doctor said I would have a 50% chance that my pain level would not improve even with this surgery.
My question is it too soon to expect my pain level to be better? It is worse than before the surgery, They still have me wearing the hard collar (expect when I sleep)the pain pills help some but I hate the not knowing. Next week I take another x-ray and the doctor will call me on the 26th, they said I may have to wear the collar another 6 weeks after that. It seems like the past 20 months has been a nightmare, I can't believe how quick one's life can change and be unable to do anything about it.
The neck pain is what kills me, the shoulder and mid back pain I get relief with massage twice a week.


  • for your whole life to change. I often wonder if I had not been going to the cell phone store this all wouldn't have happened.

    I wish I had an answer for your pain. Thankfully for me I haven't been down the fusion route...yet.

    The best you can do is think positive and follow the doctors instructions. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you next week when you go to the doc.
  • I am almost at the year mark for my fusion and still do not have relief, other than no more arm pain and numbness. It really probably is too soon to tell but if it is bad you should call the doc just to be on the safe side. They may say your apin level is normal but better to be safe than sorry.
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  • Rick,

    I know it is hard to patient but keep in mind you are still recovering. You had a large surgery and it will definitely take more time. Just being in a neck brace is going to slow your progress down as the muscle gets weaker, but they can be brought back up with therapy. So while it is hard to still feel this way keep in mind for the surgery you had you are still new out of. I do hope you get some relief soon. Take care.
  • Hi Rick, I wish I had the answers for you, but can only say to you what I keep saying to myself. Everyone is different, and hopefully things will get better soon. My surgery was 6 months ago, and I am still in pain. My neck hurts a lot, my arm pain is better, but my foot weakness and tingling is still there. Most mornings when I wake up I am unable to walk heal toe, but as the moring progresses and I move around I am able to walk normal, but am awear of weakness in both my feet, left is worse since surgery, but prior to surgery rt was worse. I often wonder if the rt is better then before surgery, or if the left just got worse. My surgeon tells me how both were weak before surgery, and that there was only a 50-50 chance this would get better. No doctor seems to give me the answers I want to hear, so I am in a waiting game, at a year I guess I will know if they are going to get better. I was in fear of falling prior to surgery because of a foot that could give out on me, and still have that same fear. Rick, we both have to be patient, and try to wait it out, I do know how hard it is to "wait", and you have gone thru so much, 2 surgeries, and to still be in pain, and worse pain is just horrible, I hope it changes for you, but from what I have been told we won't know for a full year. My thoughts and prays for a full recovery are with you.

  • I agree with Tamtam. In the grand scheme of things it is still early and the fact you are still wearing a collar will certainly mess with your muscles. Posterior cervical surgery is no cake walk and recovery from it is tough.

    Hang in there,

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  • had neck sugery 2 years ago still in pain getting epidural shots pain meds and cortizone worried about all the epidurals
  • tired of hurting all the time and not being able to injoy myself
  • My doctors say it can take up to 36mos for a full recovery. I'm taking injections as of 2 mos ago & have had all along the flexeril, meloxicam, vicodin! Just when spasms get out of control. I am tired of all this CRAP too. Everyone is now saying "be patient" - are you exercising?
    >:D< julie
    04/09 Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy C5-6,C6-7
  • Hi Julie,

    I am under "do nothing but walk", I do get a soft massage twice a week on my shoulders and mid back which has help with the spasms in my back and shoulders, we have a heated pool in get in with a noddle and just let my body hang, then get into the spa. I am to take a x-ray Monday and later next week will talk to the doctor again, he will decide if I will wear the neck brace another six weeks yesterday was the 11 week mark. I had this surgery in San Jose, Ca which is 160 miles away I think he may have me come to his office next month. 36 months is something I don't want to even think about.
    Take care,
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,519
    Spinal Surgeries take a long time to completely heal. During this recovery period, you may and can experience discomfort and pain.

    With my ACDF's surgeries I had to wear a Philadelphia Hard Collar for almost 3 months.
    After that I started formal Physical Therapy. That continued for about 2 months.

    Remember, that the pain medication is NOT going to eliminate the pain, it only tries to manage your pain levels.

    Also, I would not do any exercises or massages unless your doctor is aware of them and approves.

    Give it some time....

    But if you feel that you can not handle the pain and neck problem right, call your doctor to discuss all of this
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