Head and neck cancer

A place for people affected by head and neck cancers, including oral, throat , larynx (voice box), salivary glands, middle ear, and sinus and nasopharyngeal cancer. Support one another, ask questions, and share experiences.

Neck dissection recovery

Saturnal
Posted by

Hi Everyone. 

I have had a neck dissection and tongue reconstruction and am seeing a physiotherapist and working on the exetcises. The pain 7 weeks post op is really trying and I can only exercise after taking codiene. Can anyone tell me how long it takes to recover the muscle in the neck and be able to raise the arm painfree.

I was very fit pre op and finding this somewhat depressing.

Saturnal

Janet since May 1st cancer free hoping the demon will never return
chris2012
Posted by

Hi Saturnal , I had the pain in the same area and was also given exercises to do at home , I would say it took a good four months before the pain had died down, my arm has not give me any trouble since then and that was back in 2008 . I must admit I was on stronger painkillers oxy-norm (oxy-codone ) although it has just changed name to Sure Tec .so maybe you could ask for something stronger as well , as it does help . These problems are sent to try us but one by one you will beat them and have a full recovery . Good luck , take care .

                                                       Chris x

Its sometimes not easy but its worth it !                Click here to find out more

LindaWT
Posted by

Hi Janet

I'm pleased you've made a decision regarding the radiotherapy.  I would have come to the same conclusion given the same circumstances.

With regard the pain in your arm, is this due to the operation to your forearm or is it more in the shoulder area from the neck dissection? 

Congratulations on your piece for BBC South Today.

Linda

Saturnal
Posted by

Hi Linda,

thanks for your reply. I am referring to the neck as a muscle and nerve were removed when they had to take out 44 lymph nodes. It hurts in the ball of the shoulder and the new muscle near my neck which is trying to learn how to lift my own as the other one is missing.

Glad you liked the BBC piece I have had a lot of feedback and hopefully it will encourage folk to get checked out. When my friend can figure out how to change the file to MP 4 I will post it on Youtube.

I will be at the Reading  heads2gether this week if you live in the area

regards

Janet

Janet since May 1st cancer free hoping the demon will never return
LindaWT
Posted by

Hi Janet

I'm not really going to be able to offer any advice regarding the shoulder pain etc as although I had a neck dissection the surgeon preserved all my nerves and muscles.  I have had problems with moving my arm and with severe numbness in my face, neck and shoulder but that is fairly normal as they get damaged with being manouvred about to get to the lymph nodes.  I also see Chris has been able to reply.

Unfortunately I doubt whether I shall be able to get to Reading as it's quite a distance from where I live.

All the best with your continued recovery.

Linda