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A pain in the neck
June 7, 2012 12:06 PM   Subscribe

I just had surgery on my foot. Why does my neck hurt?

I just got out of the hospital after an overnight surgery on my shin/ankle. Since I left, I've noticed some tenderness in my lymph node area. Why would that be happening?
posted by to sir with millipedes to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
 
My neck and throat were tender from the tube they had in my mouth during surgery.
Could that be it? Perhaps a related or non-related (a cold coming on) infection?
posted by KogeLiz at 12:09 PM on June 7, 2012


NAD

A. Healing in general can keep your lymph system working at high capacity IIRC
B. Were you sedated/to what degree? Your head may have been jossled, or fallen to rest at an odd angle, for the duration of the sedation - your body doesn't adjust as automatically when you're under as when you're sleeping
C. Movement naturally aids lymph migration - no lymph heart to pump it around. Possible buildup due to sedation
D. Open surgery, even with plenty of sanitation, may introduce organisms into your body that your lymph system will be taxed during removal
posted by MangyCarface at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you were given pain medication, is it possible you just slept funny?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2012


Were you under general anesthesia? If so, were you positioned on your stomach or side? Sometimes inattention to proper positioning during surgery can result in odd aches and pains, which generally get better on their own in a day or so. The other possibilities mentioned are also good.
posted by TedW at 12:21 PM on June 7, 2012


Call your anesthesiologist (whose name you can get from the hospital). (This is not random advice; my husband is an anesthesiologist.)
posted by Capri at 12:40 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if they stuffed something down your throat, which is not uncommon, that's gonna hurt for a while.

Really though, just call your surgeon. They're receptive to followup questions.
posted by valkyryn at 12:40 PM on June 7, 2012


Thanks for the quick replies. As far as I know, they did the surgery while I was on my back, and there was nothing stuffed down my throat. I've left a message with the hospital concierge to ask them why this might happen. She says she'll get back to me.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 2:19 PM on June 7, 2012


I would have guessed one of the causes already suggested (I thought even in twilight anesthesia they stuff something down your throat?), but another possibility is because your walking gait is probably thrown off from the surgery (i.e., limp of some sort), that can affect how your body decelerates on each step and can given you a sort of mini-whiplash effect.

(I experience this when wearing boots with too stiff a sole--my head gets thrust forward very quickly on each step and leads to symptoms similar to what you're describing.)
posted by Jon44 at 3:44 PM on June 7, 2012


Even if you just had gas you would still have had a short tube in your airway. Post-new thesis fevers are common too so perhaps that's affecting your lymph nodes? Not a dr, but I do work for a surgeon.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 8:12 PM on June 7, 2012


Wow that would be post-anesthesia. Thanks autocorrect.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 8:13 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anecdotal, but after I had ladygarden surgery with a general anesthetic, I had neck and shoulder soreness for a day or two. At first I thought they had just shifted me into a weird position while I was under, but my surgeon told me that I had been flat on my back the whole time, and what I was experiencing was actually a reaction to the anesthetic. It's apparently a pretty rare reaction, but causes muscle soreness/stiffness. He gave me muscle relaxers to take for a couple of days and it went away.
posted by bedhead at 8:03 AM on June 8, 2012


I thought even in twilight anesthesia they stuff something down your throat?

I thought even in twilight anesthesia they stuff something down your throat?

You don't always have an artificial airway, even under general anesthesia; it is common, however.

Anecdotal, but after I had ladygarden surgery with a general anesthetic, I had neck and shoulder soreness for a day or two. At first I thought they had just shifted me into a weird position while I was under, but my surgeon told me that I had been flat on my back the whole time, and what I was experiencing was actually a reaction to the anesthetic.

Unfortunately, it is not unheard-of for a surgeon to blame any problem he doesn't know the cause of on the anesthetic. The neck and shoulder pain you describe may have been due to succinylcholine induced fasciculations, but that is not at all rare.
posted by TedW at 1:18 AM on June 9, 2012


The second quote above was supposed to be this:

Even if you just had gas you would still have had a short tube in your airway.
posted by TedW at 1:20 AM on June 9, 2012


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