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  • AvatarPaula Gior
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Dear DR. Corenman, I had a ACDF surgery on May 31st 2019 I was told that i was bone on bone and the surgery would help me with the pain and numbness in my right and left arm as well as the pain in my neck. I still have all the same symptoms that I had before the surgery, I can not sit in a chair or even drive my car without getting sharp pains in my neck and that goes up into my head and even on the right side of my temple area that are so debilitating. My surgeon stated that I will get better and that I have fibromyalgia, my medical doctor states that I don’t have fibromyalgia. I went to a neurologist and he stated that there is no nerve damage on the outside of the nerves but he can’t see the inside of the nerves. He stated if I get an epidural injection the pain and weakness in my arms will go away. I also get a burning feeling in my right wrist and shoulder. I never get a actual answer on why I still am in pain. I am not sure if I want to get the epidural in my neck because I had one for my lumbar area and I lost control of my bladder the day I received the injection as well as burning in my right foot and ankle, which I still have. I left 2 messages with the surgeons coordinator and she has not gotten back to me, I was never given a follow up appt. So now I have pain in the upper and lower part of my body along with weakness in both legs if I go up stairs or a slight hill I have to stop and rest before I can continue .I had 3 MRI without contrast 2 of the cervical and one of the lumbar. The lumbar MRI showed that my L4/L5 and L5 and S1 disc bulge and stenosis. How long does it take to feel better after having a ACDF? And could this be from the nerves?

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7639

    You are noting symptoms from two different areas, cervical and lumbar. Your lumbar complaints “weakness in both legs if I go up stairs or a slight hill I have to stop and rest before I can continue” associated with your interpretation of your MRI report “showed that my L4/L5 and L5 and S1 disc bulge and stenosis” could indicate central lumbar stenosis. See if this fits with your lower back complaints. https://www.neckandback.com/conditions/lumbar-spinal-stenosis-central-stenosis/

    In regards to your neck, what workup did you have to indicate that this level was causing your symptoms? Did your physical examination match your neck and arm pain? Did you have diagnostic blocks (SNRB, ESI, Facet) See “https://www.neckandback.com/treatments/diagnostic-therapeutic-neck/.

    What level was your ACDF? Your current complaints ” I can not sit in a chair or even drive my car without getting sharp pains in my neck and that goes up into my head and even on the right side of my temple area that are so debilitating” tend to indicate upper cervical problems (C2-4).

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7639

    Sorry as your level of surgery was not in the body but in your title (C5-6). What were your symptoms before the surgery and how did they change?

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    AvatarPaula Gior
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    My symptoms before the surgery was pain in my neck and arm. I also had the burning in my wrist and weakness. I drop things all the time. Sitting and driving was before the surgery and my arm would have numbness and tinkling. I still have the same symptoms and pain after having surgery, what I didn’t have before the surgery is the sharp pain that goes up into my head and temple area. I also have a constant ringing in my ears that never goes away this I did not have before the surgery. My Post MRI states that c5c6 has new surgical changes from ACDF without evidence of recurrent stenosis. No cord or nerve root abutment. C1/c2 states no significant arthritic change or stenosis c2/3 normal disc space and facet joints without stenosis. C3/4 no posterior disc abnormality. No significant foraminal stenosis. C/5 normal c6/7 and c7/t1 normal. I was told that after having the surgery I would be a 100 percent better . This is not the case for me. I used to have biceps I have none and if I try to use 5 pond weights I can only do 5 at a time before my arm goes weak. When I ask what is going on and what is causing this I am told it is the nerves.
    I started with these symptoms about 3 years before the surgery. I was being treated for shoulder pain and tennis elbow pain. It was the physical therapist who stated ( I think you should get a MRI of your cervical). She stated she felt there was something else going on besides the tennis elbow . She was right. I had physical therapy after surgery but my insurance wouldn’t pay anymore.I did go to a chiropractor and a nuerologist. The nuerologist stared to have injections and my strength in my are will come back and the pain in my neck , arm and head will go away. My primary doctor Said he doesn’t think that is a good idea because of the symptoms I had with the injections in my lower back. Which I didn’t get any relief from. I still can’t stand for long or walk for long. Stairs and goin up hills still bother me.
    So frustrating.

    AvatarPaula Gior
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    The symptoms that is in the article regarding the lower lumbar of the L4/L5 and L5/S1. I do have to lean over to get relief when walking or standing to long. When I come up my driveway I stop and lean forward before I can go any further. At times I stop three times before I get to the garage. The MRI stated moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis at L5-S1 secondary to disc bulge and facet arthropathy. My orthopedic said it’s not so bad. But I am in pain.

    AvatarSm2019
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    Hi Dr Corenman,

    What does it mean after ACDF fusion C5-6. when they take X-rays . they say “There appears to be step off welding at the C5-6 disc level” ?

    What is a Step off welding ?
    Will that cause pain now and in the future?

    Thank you,

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