Patients may return to light work duties as early as 2-4 weeks after surgery, depending on when the surgical pain has subsided. Patients may return to moderate level work and light recreational sports as early as 3 months after surgery, if the surgical pain has subsided and the neck strength and mobility has returned appropriately with physical therapy. Patients who have undergone cervical fusion at only one level may return to heavy lifting and sports activities if the surgical pain has subsided and the neck strength and mobility has returned appropriately with physical therapy. Patients who have undergone cervical fusion at two or more levels are generally recommended to avoid heavy lifting, laborious work, and impact sports.
If spinal nerves are being strongly pinched, a radiculopathy may occur and the patient can experience constant arm pain, as well as numbness and weakness. When the intervertebral foraminae (‘neuroforaminae’) are reduced in size due to surrounding build up of tissue, the nerves react to the pressure by swelling. This causes further pressure on and irritation of the nerves. Compression of the nerves is generally worse when the patient extends the neck (but is sometimes worse when the chin is placed forwards on the chest), and this usually increases the amount of arm pain.
NOTICE OF FINANCIAL INTEREST: This is to serve as legal notice that the physicians at this location providing my care have a financial interest in The Pain Relief SurgiCenter, Ambulatory Surgery Center of Killeen, Pain Specialists of Austin Pharmacy and Hunter’s Creek Pharmacy. All patients are free to choose any facility for obtaining services or prescriptions that are ordered for them during the course of their care. Physicians include the following: Hans Bengtson, Scott Campbell, Teddrick Dunson, Daniel Frederick, Douglas Freiberger, Genero Gutierrez, Gary Heath, Matthew Hellman, Vivek Mahendru, Pankaj Mehta, Eric Miller, Rahul Sarna, Samuel Stevens, Derrick Wansom, Stuart Zweikoft.