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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


I just had ACDF on C5/C6 and C6/C7 (June 30th). For many years I had a stabbing pain in my chest from the front through the back on my left side about mid ribs. Felt like a knife from the front, but just a dull ache from the back. This was one of the first symptoms I had 20 years ago that caused me to call an ambulance, as I thought I was having a heart attack.

It was diagnosed originally as an ulcer.

It's gone now!

Hi Mary T., I too had dagger-like pain in the rib cage on the left side along with ringing/snapping/clicking in the left ear x 2 years, and also frequent headaches which I never considered neck-related. Just like dennisgb, I had surgery ACDF on 6/30/04 at C5-6 and C6-7. No specific cause or accident for the bulging disks--just years of computer use. My NS used donor bone and no plating. Before addressing the neck, he did left carpal tunnel release 7/11/03 to rule out carpal tunnel causing the symptoms. I felt great immediately after the ACDF surgery--so good to be free of all the symptoms above that no doctor wanted to relate to my neck problem because according to them my MRI "didn't look that bad." My NS had nothing further to add after the surgery about the diagnosis. Immediately after surgery, my postop surgical pain was about 10% of what I had been dealing with for 2 years. I took the Percocet as instructed for only two weeks and never awakened at night so never took any at night for the 8 or so glorious hours of great sleep that I was enjoying. Now after surgery with all the variety of symptoms resolved, I feel great and am focusing on following NS's orders for recovery and know in my own mind now that my pain was very real to me. For a while there, I had lots of self-doubts that maybe I couldn't deal with pain as well as I should and my mental state was deteriorating before the surgery. Good Luck! Malia

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