T Nation

Cervical Spine Surgery


Greetings......... guys please forgive me i have been on this web site for years and have never posted any thing. I like to inquire a bit with any folks who have within the last year or two had surgery at the cervical spine.

I just had cervical spine surgery for a C6-7 herniation.Surgery was fine probably the best doctor in the field,however for the last 5 months my voice is virtually worthless due to damage to the recurrentlaryngealnerve that inervates the vocal chords,additionally i simply have way to much weakness on my left arm and pecs.

Currently can only push about 20 pounds with my left arm and can only perform single arm tricep push downs with 10 pounds. My skin within the left pectoral region is very sagging almost like an old ladies tits.I wonder if there is anyone here that has encountered the same symptoms and conditions i have.Any suggestions would be very appreciative. Dr.S


I’m sorry man, but your results sound like the worst case scenario, as if the surgeon F’d something up.

I have had two operations to fuse cervical vertebra due to herniations. One in 1999 and another in 2004.

When exactly did you have it? How long were you symptomatic before surgery?

Mine were done by two different docs, the first one caused a bit of nerve damage (which is minor compared to what you describe) and the 2nd one was flawless.

My first procedure was done 3 months after symptoms began, and the second was about a month after. The longer motor nerve compression goes untreated, the worse the chance for a full recovery.

My only symptoms today are from the first incident. My right triceps twitches like mad if I am away from the gym for long, and it atrophies fast when it is not getting worked out. That one was my fault for not getting to the doctor sooner. Also, the left side of my face does not sweat because the first doc damaged the sympathetic nerve.


Eric thanks for your reply to my qurstion,here let me provide you a bit more info regarding my situation. For over 5-6 years i have been experiencing a “stiff neck” usually the stiff neck and soreness lasted typically for about 3-4 four days.Normally i would take a few days rest and some over the counter pain medication and ride out the pain until i was feeling good enough to return to the gym.

Unfortunately one day i woke up with a worse than ever pain on my neck and along the left side of my pecs, i also notice that i had numbness on my entire left arm.When i finally rule out the heart attack scenario i went to see to high profile spine surgeons in Miami, the two surgeons where in 100% agreement that i had a C6-7 disc herniation and surgery wasmy only option.

Since I did no have medical insurance i had to wait approximately 5 months before having the surgery.I finally had the surgery and now i am 4 months post operative. I am 45 years old and of course been a lifeter for over 30 years. My question to you is did you take as long as i have after surgery to get the strenght back ? also how about the numbness on your fingers does it still exist?

thanks a million chief