Post Surgery Neck Pain

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Post Surgery Neck Pain

Postby gunflint » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:28 am

I had my decompression about 5 weeks ago. Over the last couple of days I'm having some discomfort in my neck. It feels like a stiffness and swelling at the base of the skull. The swelling is a feeling, nothing that is visible or noticeable to the touch. I'm having slight headaches but nothing that would indicate a leak. Is this common or should I do something? Thanks
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Re: Post Surgery Neck Pain

Postby kiminfla » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:22 am

I think it's common. I started PT about 6 weeks post op, i think, which improved the stiffness and range of motion in my neck. I couldn't drive at first but was able to after a few weeks of PT. Be blessed, Kim
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Re: Post Surgery Neck Pain

Postby Beverley » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:20 pm

I think it is normal. I know I would ask my husband if there was swelling because it felt different.. He would say no he didn't see anything and I would say NOooo REAlly look this time... LOL... The next day if would feel different again. Just take it easy. But if you do notice any real build of of fluid or any leaking of fluid or if the headache gets worse then be concerned. They say that the headaches is really bad with an ice pick feeling.

I think it is just the brain healing it probably has ups an downs in the healing processes. The nerves are coming back to life too as the healing goes on. This is the time that I felt more of the roller coaster of feeling OK and then feeling like maybe there is was somthing wrong then feeling OK... I remember I talked to my NS and he said that he didn't think it was anything but if I really felt concerned to come in to the ER to get checked out. I never went into the ER becasue it was and hour and a half away and because of exactly what you said... There wasn't anything visiable to anyone else it was more of a feeling to me.

Hope you feel better soon!!
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Re: Post Surgery Neck Pain

Postby *Hope* » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:56 pm

I think it's probably normal at this point in your recovery. Please be sure to do some Physical Therapy soon, and DO NOT strain your neck or lift too much early in your recovery. Just because it may feel OK doesn't mean that your neck can handle it in the long run. I recommend 6+ months of extreme caution when using your neck. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't exercise it, but be careful, and if you have to question something, then you probably shouldn't be doing it yet.

Good luck and God Bless! I hope your recovery is smooth sailing from here on out! :)
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Re: Post Surgery Neck Pain

Postby gunflint » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:40 pm

Thank you to all for your responses. I'm still having the neck pain and most of my other pre-surgery symptoms have returned. I was expecting that so I'm not disappointed. My syrinx had not shrunk a week after surgery (again not all that unusual.) I have some follow up MRI's and a follow up visit with Dr Heiss in January. If it hasn't shrunk by then I will be somewhat disheartened but lets wait and see.

I think that one of the most difficult things about after care is the desire to get back to normal and the tendency to rush into physical activity. Sitting around hour after hour, day after day, week after week is more difficult than most people think. Unless of course you are hurting. Then it becomes rather easy.
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Re: Post Surgery Neck Pain

Postby razzle » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:54 am

your syrinx may not shrink . some do and some dont , some get bigger some smaller . Mine has been the same size since my surgery in 1999. Hopefully Dr. H will have some news for oyu.. take care . R
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Re: Post Surgery Neck Pain

Postby fidget » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:11 pm

I highly recommend physical therapy. My neurosurgeon mentioned it briefly, but basically said he didn't think it was necessary, so I didn't go at first. But then 6 months post surgery I started getting headaches. They weren't exactly the same as a CM headache, but still quite painful. My pcp recommended I try physical therapy, and I found out that I was being so protective of my neck and head area that I was throwing off my posture and giving myself the headaches. It took a little while to loosen up and strengthen all the right muscles again, but after about 4 months of PT, the headaches were gone and I was standing straight again (I hadn't even realized I wasn't until PT).

One of the most influential things my PT said to me was to touch my head. The surgery site was tender and it hurt to really touch it, and my PT explained that because I was not letting anything touch it, when it healed, the nerves became hypersensitive because nothing was touching them, getting them to really work. At that point I couldn't lie on my back because it hurt too much. But once my PT told me that, I started touching my head throughout the day, getting it desensitized. What a difference! I could actually lie on my back again, and it helped decrease some of the headaches I was getting.
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