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6 months ACDF post op C6-C7...symptoms return

I am currently 6 months ACDF post op C6-C7. I was diagnosed with a slight herniation at C5-C6, but not in need of surgery on that level.I have just returned to work the beginning of June and almost all of my symptoms have returned. I am a flight attendant and during my first trip, there was constant turbulence and at one point it got a little bad.  I had a long layover in Cali and had to take my leftover muscle relaxers to get to sleep because I was in so much pain.  The next day I couldn't move without pain. Thank God I didn't have to fly at all that day. The following day was awful. 4 flights, I had to take 600mg of Ibuprofen by the 2nd flight. Now, I have constant tingling in my fingers and pain in between my shoulder blades. Closing the overhead compartments can cause some pain and just riding in my brother-in-law's truck 2 weeks ago caused so much pain that I was drugged up and asleep by 8:30pm. I called my neurosurgeon and have gotten no response.
My questions.....has anyone else experienced constant pain after surgery? What, in your opinion, is my best next step? Others have said try acupuncture. Some have said it's just normal to live with the pain. I think that's unacceptable but may be reality, I hope not. Thanks for any and all feedback. Peace
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Avatar universal
Thanks for the recommendations. I have an appointment on Monday with my neurosurgeon. Things are just getting worse. I had complete improvement after surgery. Coming back to flying, with much turbulence, has seemingly brought back all the symptoms. While typing this, I'm experiencing a pinched nerve feeling in my shoulder area and numbness and tingling in my hand and fingers. If it is nerve damage, I will just have to live with it even though I absolutely HATE taking meds every single day.
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503893 tn?1292099833
yes - this happened to me also - I had an ACDF C4 - C6.  For the first few months I did have minimal pain relief but no regaining of strength in my right shoulder and arm and at month 5 I was back to where I started (minus the grinding on the left side).  All of my right-sided symptoms came back full force and then some - now I also get occipital (sp) neuralgia (migraine-like headaches) if I don't sleep in an exact position but with new lumbar spine and hip issues I cannot sleep in that "one" position so I'm up and about most of the night. Good Luck.
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Avatar universal
Hi there. You are post op ACDF at c6 c7 level and the prolapsed disc at c5/c6 level could have become worse and causing these compressive symptoms. How was the postoperative relief after C6/C7 ACDF? Did you get relief or were the symptoms persistent? There could be a permanent nerve injury prior to the decompressive surgery, which cannot be improved despite the surgery. You need to consult a neurosurgeon for neurological examination and a fresh MRI scan spine to compare any fresh developments. Hope this helps. Take care.

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