backtolifeParticipantFebruary 13, 2013 at 8:31 amPost count: 10
I had ACDF 12/17/12, C4-C5, C5-C6 (C5-C6 was taken out), allograft with titanium plate and 6 screws. Did wonderfully, upper arm weakness resolved practically immediately, no post op complications. Flexion extension x-rays at 2 wks and 6 wks post op did not reveal any problems with hardware not being in place/other issues. Played 20-30 minutes of volleyball this past Saturday with neighbors. Served the volleyball 3 times (not on 3 different rotations–3 times in a row) and jumped up in air 3 to 4 times to hit (return) ball back to other side of play. I made no contact with any players (physical contact, colliding, etc) at any point during the time I played. Did not have/feel any problems during or after limited playing time, however, Sunday, my left pinkie went intermittently numb/tingly. Monday & today continuous numb/tingly pinky,ring finger tingly on same hand, headaches, pressure low mid cervical spine (guess around c6-T1 area), some burning. I think I need to call my surgeon. Could I have messed up the fine work he did and caused the plate to shift, crack or something else.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorFebruary 13, 2013 at 9:24 pmPost count: 8455
Your results from surgery were very good and actually should be expected. The ACDF surgery is a very good surgery under the correct circumstances.
The use of an allograft in my opinion takes about three months to incorporate fully (and sometimes longer). It might have been somewhat premature to play volleyball at the six to seven week mark post surgery.
“Pinky” numbness however does not typically result from either of the nerve roots that were surgically decompressed (C5 or C6 roots) as the little finger is innervated from the C8 root which exits at the C7-T1 level. It is possible that you might have developed thoracic outlet syndrome after surgery which is not unheard of or very unlikely, a disc hernation at C7-T1.
Certainly, visit your surgeon and allow him to review new X-rays of your neck and perform a physical examination.
Dr. CorenmanbacktolifeParticipantFebruary 14, 2013 at 12:43 amPost count: 10
Thank you kindly for your response to my inquiry. I will not play any volleyball again and I am going to call his office. My surgeon, his staff, everyone was wonderful and I am almost afraid to call and ask for an appointment in light of it being my own stupidity that may have caused a problem but my pinky on my left (whole pinky) extending all the way down the outer aspect of my left hand and my left ring finger (more prominent in top of finger) remain numb/tingly. No headache, still pressure. In thinking about things, my ACDF was necessitated by a retrolisthesed C5-C6 with severe chronic endplate trauma and bulging C4-C5 with kyphotic angulation. I had had 2 EMG’s/NCS’s thru diagnosis process & the impression of the most recent one (6/18/12) showed “there is electrophysiologic evidence of left median mononeuropathy at the wrist consistent carpal tunnel syndrome. This finding is mild. My surgeon’s practice is huge (he is an ortho surgeone w/ spinal fellowship) & they do have board certified hand specialist. Could it be that left median nerve? I will tell him everything. I feel foolish & embarassed that I felt so well & may have hurt my own recovery. Thank you immensely.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorFebruary 14, 2013 at 5:18 amPost count: 8455
Don’t throw out volleyball as an activity as you will be able to play again once your neck heals. Median neuropathy (carpel tunnel syndrome) will radiate numbness into the thumb, index and long finger but not into the pinky finger.
Dr. CorenmanbacktolifeParticipantFebruary 14, 2013 at 6:45 amPost count: 10
Thank you again for your time and response. I look forward to volleyball in future. I will wait for volleyball, ask my surgeon about when I can do activities such as that and stick to my walking until then. The numbness/tingling remains constant and is my whole left pinky down the outer side of left hand (very prominent), the outer palm side of the left hand (very prominent) and the whole digit of my left ring finger (the part with the fingertip very prominent) and a little less prominent in the middle and bottom parts of my ring finger (gauging this by rubbing the areas). I will call his office tomorrow as there has been no improvement in my symptoms and I did not have any of this until my volleyball play. I hope and pray I did not do anything to harm my outcome or his wonderful work. My life had been so negatively impacted before surgery for so long, I was doing well & thought I would try my hand at something I once did but could not for so long. Thank you again for your time and information. I greatly appreciate all insight and information.
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