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c5/c6 recovery am I alone


I just had c5/c6 disc fusion with plate and screws about 6 days ago.  April 2010 I had herniated disc at c5/c6 with bone spurs and stenosis on the left side pinching the c6 root nerve.  My c4 and c7 discs are mildly bulging.

after the surgery the pain in my left arm and shoulder blade is all but gone.  I still get sharp pain down to my hand to my ring finger with any use of the arm.  that arm is still heavy and sluggish but everything seams to work.

Now I have:

1. The front of my neck from my insision site on the right to about half way to the left ear from the jaw line to my collar bone is numb.  No feeling just above the insision and a little feeling as you go out from there.

2. I have a horrible pain in my right shoulder joint anytime I sit up or stand.  I would put it worse that anything I have eveer felt Pain level 10+ It goes away after I lay back down with my head supported.  I can't lay flat I half sit/lay about a 45 degree angle on my left side. Pain meds don't touch this pain at all

3. The pain I had before in the upper back at the base of the neck is worse than before.  If I sit up or stand for more than about 5 minutes the pain is crippling.  It goes gack to a PL 3 when I rest again.  Pain meds don't tough this pain at all.

4. I am not running a fever but feel so hot that I sweat to the point I soak my cloths.  I feel like I'm going to get sick.

5. My neck is swollen, not the insision site the entire neck.  In the mornings it is hard to make out my chin.  It goes down a bit during the day but not by much.  I can talk, swollow and breath with little problems.  (just the normal discomfort following surgery)

I'm sure there is more but that's the worse. Is this normal has anyone else felt this way post surgery.  Just knowing I'm not alone would help.

I would love to hear from anone
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Avatar universal
I had the same surgery five years ago only at C6-7. The recovery is really rough. The first 2 or 3 weeks after surgery were horrible, I had to take a lot of medication and I lived in a recliner, it hurt to move. It took me 3 or 4 weeks before I could ride in a car because the motion and the bumps made me hurt so bad. So at 6 days, I don't envy you.

A lot of what you mentioned I experienced as well, your shoulder pain is kind of concerning, have you talked to your surgeon about it? When's your 1st post-op appointment? If your meds aren't working, get them to script you something stronger. You got a lot going on right now, they need to make you as comfortable as possible. Do you have any trouble sleeping? Come over and post in the back and neck forum, that's where I usually post and we can talk some more.

Take Care
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1093617 tn?1279302002
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine you I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that you need, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about your health concern.

I think your symptoms may be due to nerve irritation in the cervical (neck) spine because of cervical disc bulge. This pain may be referred and perceived as occurring in the back of head & shoulders (as electric sensation)- LHERMITTES SIGN, arms or chest, rather than just the neck. Other symptoms may include vertigo, nausea (dizziness) and stiffness. It will be best that you consult a neurologist who would like to prescribe Pain killers, steroid and muscle relaxants. Other treatments could be cervical orthosis such as a soft cervical collar or stiffer neck brace to restrict neck movement till you get complete recovery. In addition, cervical traction may also be suggested by the doctor, if condition is severe. Hope this helps.
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