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Sun, Jan 12 2:01pm · Trust your gut instinct Pillow advice for sleep after shoulder surgery in Bones, Joints & Muscles

@msstoppainnagginme I had surgery to put a spacer at my C4-C5 and C5-C6 and then a titanium plate was used as part of the fusion. Over time the spacers will fill in with bone and be fused, so to speak.They went in through the front of the neck versus the back, which is safer in terms of the spinal cord being avoided. I had bone on bone at the C5-C6 and two herniations C4-C5/C5-C6. Also had two bone spurs removed and a little stenosis causing narrowing of the foramen. My symptoms were primarily on the left side with left shoulder issues, a painful spot in the upper left shoulder blade, left hand and fingers would sometimes tingle. Occasionally the right hand would do so as well. This developed about four years ago and I had several opinions on it. An orthopedic doc wanted to operate on it and my lower lumbar, as it had issues too. I then went to a neurosurgeon and he said no way to the lower lumbar but that he might entertain the idea of the cervical spine if my arm started to have issues functioning. I did some PT which only minimally helped. Eventually, symptoms went away. For whatever reason, they returned this past summer and were worse. Went to another neurosurgeon and he recommended the ACDF. I had already tried two months of prescription anti-inflammatories, an oral steroid pack, two epidural injections and three sessions of traction. He felt surgery was the only option. Oh and my neck did not have it's natural curve. It was more straight with one vertebra shifting almost the other way. He fixed that during surgery and said the way it had been was setting myself up for more herniations. I don't know if you are on Facebook or not but there is a great group of people with cervical spine issues that are very helpful. The Mayo Clinic Connect is also great but if you want additional insight, request to join this group.

Sun, Jan 12 10:20am · Trust your gut instinct Pillow advice for sleep after shoulder surgery in Bones, Joints & Muscles

@ssbionicknee I am sorry you were not listened to but happy you have found a good doctor that will. In terms of sleeping, I know many recommend getting a wedge pillow so they can still sleep in their bed. I had cervical spine surgery on Dec 19th and have been sleeping in a recliner ever since (and even before). My right shoulder has a torn rotator cuff that needs surgery but I needed to address the neck first, as it has caused issues with my left shoulder/arm and I will need it when my right shoulder is in the sling. I am praying my cervical spine related issues resolve soon and that it truly was causing my left shoulder issues. I have several tears in that shoulder but they are partial and two physical therapists, the shoulder doc and the spine surgeon all said it the shoulder was not the source of my issues and that nothing needs to be done about them. I trusted these specialists and went ahead with an ACDF C4-C6, yet I still have issues. Having said that, I'm still very early in recovery process so I am praying as time goes by the issues go away. I really need right shoulder surgery so the sooner I recover the better. I am getting another MR Arthrogram on the left shoulder though for peace of mind. My shoulder doc wouldn't authorize it and is making me come back in the middle of next month first. I have a great relationship with my primary care doc and was able to get him to authorize it and I am having it done in a few weeks. 😁 Hoping it shows what the one in the summer did. It's being done at a different facility with a different machine. If it shows a full tear I will be crushed, as that will mean both shoulders will need surgery. Anyway, I ordered a wedge pillow online after it was recommended in a Facebook group for rotator cuff issues. I haven't used it yet and just sleep in the recliner, as I need to figure out how I want to adjust it with my pillows. You'll still need one for your head and some put one under their post-op shoulder as well. It keeps you elevated but not as much as the recliner and you are in your own bed. I am so tired of the recliner. Oh and some put a pillow under their knees when using the wedge pillow to help support the lower back. This is the one that I have. There is a smaller piece that can be removed to lower it slightly if the angle is too high. Hope this helps some!

Dec 23, 2019 · Recent L5-S1 fusion in Spine Health

@fine137 I can't speak too much on the type of surgery you had but I did have a cervical spine surgery on Thursday. In terms of why it hurts more at night, I have always been told with my other orthopedic issues that inflammation is higher at night due to what we have done during the day, which causes the increase in pain. I know I can't take an anti-inflammatory, as it hinders bone growth and it's needed for my fusion. I would think you are the same unless your surgeon feels differently about it. Regarding the 90 minute walk, did they tell you to do that much and is it done all at one time? I am to walk 3-4 times a day but not for that length of time. I think they were looking at 10-15 minutes each time depending on how I feel. Movement is good since it promoted blood flow and thus healing. Just don't want to over-do it.

Nov 29, 2019 · Curcumin after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in Spine Health

@colleenyoung I will absolutely ask the surgeon. I certainly don't want to take anything post surgery to effect the outcome. Thanks!

Nov 29, 2019 · C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder? in Spine Health

@ken82 it was never mentioned. I am guessing it's because of what he saw in the MRI and because I sometimes get tingles in both hands/fingers (mostly in the left though). Without researching it, I am not sure if I would have symptoms in both hands if it were cubital tunnel syndrome.

Nov 29, 2019 · Curcumin after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in Spine Health

I am having an ACDF on my C4-C6. I believe anti-inflammatories are not to be taken after surgery due to how they can affect the fusion. Does anyone know if it’s still OK to take things like Curcumin/Tumeric? They serve as a natural anti-inflammatory so I wasn’t sure. I order mine online and because of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, there is a great sale on it right now. I was going to stock up but wasn’t sure if I will even be allowed to take it post surgery (surgery is Dec 19th). I am sure the day of surgery I will be given a list of what I can and cannot take. Anyway, just curious if anyone here happens to know.

Nov 28, 2019 · C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder? in Spine Health

@hopeful33250 I will definitely keep you posted! I do see my shoulder doc next week about the left shoulder one more time. That is not the one that will be getting surgery. I had a MRI on it months ago and although he reviewed it (quickly) and didn't seem to think anything needed to be done, I want him to look at it again. Obviously, a radiologist here read it. I also sent it to Mayo and had a radiologist there read it. This was when I was still in the confused phase of is it a shoulder issue or a neck issue. The radiologist at Mayo noted two things the local radiologists didn't. These things are minimal but I still want to discuss with the shoulder doc. 🙂