Next Tuesday will be one week post surgery from a multi-level cervical with fusion. I am happy to say arm pain and numbness are gone, I am in Aspine neck brace. I have what seems like a knot about 1/2 inch below brace on left side back next to shoulder blade, it seems like muscle pain and moist heat appears to help, do you think this could be stress related and once out of brace will subside? I just thought it was strange it’s only on left side. The area was in the c3/4 and c 5/6 (I believe), Thanks in advance for your response.
The symptoms after an ACDF- either single or multiple levels vary depending upon the technique. Any surgeons that surgically distracts the disc level back to its original non-degenerative height will cause a stretch of the posterior ligaments that have for many years been shortened and contracted. This will cause posterior neck discomfort for anywhere from 2 days to three weeks. Also, the collar rests the weight of the head on the shoulders. The point of contact with the collar can cause irritation.
Ask your surgeon if you can come out of the collar for an hour twice a day. Also- ask if you can do the exercises found on neckandback.com under “pre and post op” then”post-operative rehabilitation” then “neck exercises” and finally “around the worlds” and “yes nos”. Some surgeons are reluctant to start exercises so soon so don’t be disappointed if he or she keeps you in the collar. Finally, a muscle relaxant works well to relieve some of the ache and spasm.