You note after the C5-6 ACDF; “After surgery, my feet were worse. They were tingling and numbness constantly for several weeks. Now it’s on and off throughout the day but all my pain and symptoms are worse since surgery. Some of the pain is very sharp. I also had zapping down my spine but that has subsided”. All of your symptoms are non-specific so further description could be helpful. I’ll include a hyperlink noting how to give a good history at the bottom. Normally, myelopathy (problems due to compression of the spinal cord) causes incoordination and paresthesias in the feet but not pain.
The radiologist notes; “appears to be some residual endplate hypertrophy indenting the thecal sac and abutting the cord. This is not as pronounced as the disc protrusion noted previously, is accentuated by the blooming artifact caused by metallic hardware. There is no cord edema or myelomalacia”. This means there is some smaller residual abutment of the cord, but not as bad as before surgery. However, you could have developed a pseudoarthrosis (non-fusion) of the C5-6 level which could leave you with greater neck pain than before. A fine-cut CT scan would be quite helpful to evaluate the fusion, residual compression and will get rid of the “blooming artifact” noted to obscure the image.
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.