Thread: C5 Palsy
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:16 AM
graybeard graybeard is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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graybeard graybeard is offline
Newly Joined
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Default C-5 Cause?

Hi. 3.5 weeks out from ACDF surgery. C-4-C-6 fusion. 66 year-old male. Second day out of surgery I began to experience excruciating pain from my neck, running along my collar bone and down my right arm to my elbow. I was taking Tylenol 3 for the pain. I spoke with my doctor and after 3 more days I paid him a visit to get a stronger pain med.
He seemed puzzled that my condition had deteriorated so much as everything seemed normal immediately following surgery. He gave me a steroid injection in my neck, which offered some temporary minor relief. He scheduled an MRI and x-ray of my neck and refereed me to an Orthopedic doctor. The Orthopedic doctor x-rayed my shoulder and saw no abnormalities. He gave me a steroid injection in my shoulder and the relief was almost immediate. About a week ago I had gone to the grocery store. I noticed I could not lift a gallon of milk and put it on the top shelf. I had been suffering a loss of appetite and had lost 8lbs since surgery. I was in great shape prior to surgery. A year before, I had dropped 40lbs and was feeling fit. I attributed my weakness to atrophy. It soon became obvious, after attempting to flex my right bicep, that this was not due to atrophy. I recalled my doctor mentioning C-5 palsy when I visited him after surgery. I believe that is the cause of my weakness so I began researching online. Like many of you I found very little info regarding the cause of C-5 palsy and wound up here.
I have a theory and perhaps a reason why my palsy is not as severe as other here. As I was sitting in pre-op, 2 guys in scrubs came in and wanted to evaluate my range of motion. I'm pretty flexible and they were impressed with the range of motion in my neck and arms. I had no idea what it was about, and frankly too stoned, at that point, to care.
I later deduced that they were assisting my doctor and they were the ones that prepped my for surgery. Not knowing what went on in the OR, this is all speculation. I suspect they put me in a position to allow the surgeon the best access to my neck. stretching and manipulating my neck and right arm. They probably secured me in that position and I remained like that through the 2 hour procedure. I say this because the pain I felt, I liken to being beat up.
Well it's been a week since I discovered the C-5 palsy possibility. In that week, I quit taking the Vicodin for pain and my appetite returned so I loaded up on high protein diet and have regained much of my weight. I also began doing curls with a 1.5 lbs can of Campbell's Chunky Savory pot roast soup. I do as many as possible at a time. I've probably done hundreds in that time and I have noticed a marked improvement in my bicep. I can now flex it and see results. Not like pre surgery but definitely an improvement. With some effort, I can lift a gallon of milk and put it on the top shelf of the fridge.
So, my theory is; the C-5 palsy was not a result of the actual procedure, but a result of the pre op preparation. And while the pain was unbearable, I did get some relief from the steroid shot in my neck. I got almost immediate relief from the steroid shot in my shoulder. Telling me that the nerve damage was in my shoulder, not my neck.
I am going to continue to curl my can of soup. Every day seems a little better.
I don't know if this will be useful to any of you, but I am interested in your thoughts on my theory, at least in my case, of the cause of my C-5 palsy.
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