T Nation

Cervical Disc Replacement & Nerve Damage


Several years ago I herniated two discs in my neck, and opted for cervical disc replacement of the two bottom cervical discs. I did not do fusion so I do have normal mobility in my neck including chin to chest and side to side.

Unfortunately I had delayed the surgery and suffered nerve damage in my right arm. Specifically the Right triceps. The second surgery alleviated issues with my left arm but conduction tests showed that most likely due to scar tissue build up... I do not get stimulation (I believe) the lateral head of my right triceps. Due to the lack of muscle simulation my upper chest is also lagging in development.

Recently I started working out again as I am tired of not training. I have the ability to do about 5 pushups before my right arm fails. I have been benching for a few weeks and am working with 135 lbs for ten reps. I am wondering if anyone has any rehab type work that may increase nerve issues...I had someone tell me that if I do high rep sets (in excess of 40-50) it would help regenerate nerve conduction to the affected area. I also had someone suggest massage to break up scar tissue.

I can still overhead press and bench but when the arm fails....that results in immediate collapse so I have to have a spotter once I start getting fatigued.


I feel your pain. I have nerve damage from a L5/S1 herniation. Loss of strength in my foot which caused my to limp and be unable to push off on my foot. I had the herniation for 6.5 months before I had surgery. The surgery helped about 70%. My walking became better but I still limped and if I tried to run I ran with a significant hitch. About 4 months went by and I was getting frustrated. The Neurosurgeon told me to start running as long as it did not effect me orthopedically. That actually seems to help. I am about 90% recovered and its been 8 months. I am not sure if I will ever be 100% but 90% is a lot better than 50%.

Talk to your DR. but I bet if you continue to work the triceps you will see improvement.

How long has it been since your surgery?


I had the surgeries about three years ago … I have started working out regardless as I think like you at this point…anything is better than where I have been. I have a friend that is going to do deep tissue massage in an effort to break up the scar tissue and hopefully improve nerve conduction.