Post ACDF

Information about how to manage or reduce the severity of BFS symptoms

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Post ACDF

Postby andman on June 4th, 2013, 4:34 am

Hi,
Almost 4 weeks ago I underwent 2 level c5-c7 ACDF. 2 cages, no plate, no screws...
Prior to surgery my symptoms were the following :

- neck pain and cracking
-Numbness in fingers in both hands
-Headache
-Body wide twitching, but 90% in calves

After surgery symptoms:

-I woke up with numb left c6 dermatome - from shoulder to fingers (prior to surgery I did not have issues in those fingers iof my left hand)
-I woke up with weak left arm - I would say about 10% of normal strength
- 90% of my twitching is now in my left arm

So the long story short, I know that my left arm issues are post surgery side effects, despite my surgeon was very gentle and I didn't have any swallowing issues or voice hoarseness. I was told that it should pass in several weeks or months. Actually my arm is already stronger, but still no more than 40% and quite numb. My neck nerves were stretched and irritated by the surgery.
I know that this weakness with all the sensory stuff happened during the surgery and is not ALS related. This disease is not that fast.
But I wanted to relate that I really know now what is clinical weakness - it's when you can't lift a cup of tea. I wanted but I couldn't. It seemed so heavy.
Now in 4 weeks I can lift a bottle of water, but I can't lift my 2 yrs old boy. Actually I'm not even allowed until next month.
Am I worried about my left arm twitches?-actually no. I know that if it was ALS they wouldn't appear out of the blue in 4 hours. The surgeon operated my spinal cord and I should expect some issues.
My strength is coming back so definitely no ALS.
Am I experiencing twitching in the places I had before acdf? - yes, but compared to my left arm it's nothing to worry about...
Ok, I would like all the twitching to disappear one day and I'm still worried, but not to the extent I was 1/2 year ago...
Hope to come here in several months and be able to say that I'm not worried at all...

--
Take care,
Andy
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby aztwitchy on June 5th, 2013, 12:54 pm

Hey andman,

Glad to hear your surgery went without a significant hitch....its going to be a tough road but I'm sure you'll get there.
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." ~World Health Organization, 1948
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby andman on June 19th, 2013, 10:02 am

Thank you aztwitchy,
I'm really regaining my left arm. Its strength is almost back to 80% and the numbness started to improve...
I've noticed one strange thing when posting on this forum. The minute I post my symptoms, they change. It was exactly the same when I posted here for the first time. My twitching jumped to my left calf after being settled in my right one.
Now from a left hand twitcher I became a right calf (90%) twitcher with random ones everywhere- left calf, left thenar, left thigh/leg, right biceps, lips, ...

Has anyone noticed such a strange change of symptoms after venting here?

Take care,
Andy
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby aztwitchy on June 19th, 2013, 11:33 am

good news! glad to hear your on the mend.

yeah my twitching is migratory at times as well. for some reason when i post on this site it calms it all down. maybe something with the brain being engaged in different lobes. who knows :)
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." ~World Health Organization, 1948
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby andman on July 10th, 2013, 9:06 am

Hi everyone,
Symptoms update: left arm strength and numbness are almost back to normal.
Maybe 90% normal...
As for the twitching it has settled in the left part of my body.
90 % of my twitching is now in my right calf and my left arm - triceps, biceps, thenar, shoulder, deltoid. My left thigh twitches scare me. It's a diagonal twitch from above the knee to my inner thigh about 10-15 cm long.
Mornings are worst, I dont know why...
Can it be that the surgery made my twitching worse?

Take care,
Andy
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby aztwitchy on July 10th, 2013, 10:59 am

andman wrote:Hi everyone,
Symptoms update: left arm strength and numbness are almost back to normal.
Maybe 90% normal...
As for the twitching it has settled in the left part of my body.
90 % of my twitching is now in my right calf and my left arm - triceps, biceps, thenar, shoulder, deltoid. My left thigh twitches scare me. It's a diagonal twitch from above the knee to my inner thigh about 10-15 cm long.
Mornings are worst, I dont know why...
Can it be that the surgery made my twitching worse?

Take care,
Andy


is the twitching worse than before?
are you taking opiates following surgery?
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." ~World Health Organization, 1948
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby andman on July 10th, 2013, 11:25 am

Hi
Yes I think it is more frequent. 100% worse.
I was given morphine for 2 days after surgery an since then I havent taken any drugs.
The left arm and leg twitches came right after the surgery.
I remember the second night post op my left triceps/shoulder? was twitching like crazy for several hours. I felt and saw the left thigh machine gun twitch maybe the third day post op.
I remember I was very anxious when I got those twitches because I was hoping that when I have my spine fixed this cr#p will instantly disappear.
But I also know that it takes about an year for the fusion to fully fuse...

Hope it's still the healing and nerves rewiring side effect.
Or that it is just how BFS works.
Take care.
Andy
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby aztwitchy on July 10th, 2013, 11:40 am

andman wrote:Hi
Yes I think it is more frequent. 100% worse.
I was given morphine for 2 days after surgery an since then I havent taken any drugs.
The left arm and leg twitches came right after the surgery.
I remember the second night post op my left triceps/shoulder? was twitching like crazy for several hours. I felt and saw the left thigh machine gun twitch maybe the third day post op.
I remember I was very anxious when I got those twitches because I was hoping that when I have my spine fixed this cr#p will instantly disappear.
But I also know that it takes about an year for the fusion to fully fuse...

Hope it's still the healing and nerves rewiring side effect.
Or that it is just how BFS works.
Take care.
Andy


wish i had an answer for you Andy. Are you able to find out what type of anesthsia they gave you?
how is your diet?
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." ~World Health Organization, 1948
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Re: Post ACDF

Postby andman on July 11th, 2013, 1:15 am

Hi and thanks for your support.
No way to find what kind of anesthesia I had.
As for the diet I really eat very well. No fast food, no alcohol, no coffee. From the bad things just coke.
I lost few kg in hospital but I'm back to my normal weight.
I was told that my nerves and the spinal cord were stretched because of the cages they inserted. I'm now about 1cm taller :). As for the twitches, I told the doctor that my arm is going crazy post op and he didn't even look at them just said "Oh, fascics, not a big deal..."
Anyway, I almost regained my left arm and if not the exaggerated twitching I wouldn't be concerned at all. I know, I know - if not the twitching nobody would be posting here or be concerned :)

Take care,
Andy
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