Neck Surgery

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jbailey, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. jbailey

    jbailey New Friend

    Sep 11, 2005
    Hello All,
    I'm a candidate for a discectomy (specifically C5-6 and C6-7) and was wondering if anyone out there has gone through this already. I'm curious as to how long it will take to get back to the trumpet. My surgeon has performed this operation on several violinists, but no brass players. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


    Jeff Bailey
  2. amuk

    amuk New Friend

    May 22, 2007
    I assume you have had neck, shoulder, and arm pain (at least) and that playing your horn increased the pain while you were playing.
    I also assume that the incision will be on the front of your neck rather than the back since that generally has fewer complications.
    You'll have scar tissue based on the skill of the surgeon and any complications that might arise. But you should be all healed up in 5-6 weeks. Get post-surgical physical therapy to help strengthen your muscles in your neck and upper back.
    There might be pain in starting playing but that should go away soon---use a light horn not one of those 4 pound monsters.
    Basically, it will probably be at least two to three months before you're back to where you were and most of that will just be from the lay-off. But don't rush it.
    I haven't had that surgery but I've seen enough disk surgery to make a reasonable guess. I'm a physician by trade.
  3. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    In highschool I was involved in a serious car wreck. I broke my neck (among other things) and had to wear a HALO vest for quite some time. Just get back into it slowly and don't push too much when you are first starting out. The neck muscles and throat will not be as strong as you expect it. You can do a lot of excercises off the horn that will help in the recoup such as lip buzzing, pencil holding, etc. Good luck.
  4. Walter

    Walter Piano User

    Sep 11, 2006
    Jeff .....I hope your surgery goes well for you and that when you recovery you are free of pain.

    I have no idea where you play your music or your this might not be relevent....I have heard that being very relaxed and light on the mouthpiece is a good thing......if you rigged a stand to hold the trumpet for you then perhaps you could at least blow long tones and turn this difficult time into something posiive. I hope my idea is not a load of rubbish.....?

  5. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    I have a good friend (his resume too large to list here) that has had neck AND back surgery. His back surgery was fairly recent (w/in 6 months ago) and I've already played a few gigs with him. Other than the fact of having to "stand" throughout the jobs (which certainly was painful), he "played" just great. If you'd like to contact him to discuss, you may pm me for his e-mail address.

    Regardless...I wish you the best and hope you have a speedy recovery.
  6. OdieLopez3

    OdieLopez3 New Friend

    Jan 21, 2007
    I wish you the best man I have never been in that situation, I hope everything works out fine. Dont worry man I know you'll figure something out and get you going back on the horn.
  7. The BuZZ

    The BuZZ Pianissimo User

    Apr 3, 2007
    Chester, NY
    My best friend, a fellow TrumpetHead had neck surgery similar to what you described. His condition deteriorated to the point where he could not walk a straight line (and that was w/o the booze;-)). Pain was severe, so hitting the Horn was not in the cards. Long story short, he had the surgery, it was successful and the problem is an afterthought. He was back with the Horn in 3- 4 months, (if memory serves me well), he plays better than ever actually!
    So Mr. Jeff Bailey, keep the faith, be positive and stay focused and Karma will be on your side!
    I wish you well man!:cool:
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
  8. jbailey

    jbailey New Friend

    Sep 11, 2005
    Many thanks to all those that responded to my question. The information you provided has been very helpful and your support is greatly appreciated.

    Best, Jeff
  9. J. Landress Brass

    J. Landress Brass Pianissimo User

    Feb 3, 2007
    New York City
    When I was in the Marine Corps, I injured my left shoulder quite badly. I could no longer hold my horn (french horn player) without severe pain and my hand going numb. I then went through several years of PT and 1 surgery while in the Marines. When I was eventualy retired for medical reasons I had a complete recionstruction surgery where the doctors reattached my biceps tendon, removed part of my 1st rib, filed down part of my colar bone and moved some mussel. This surgery was in January of 2002. By May I was back to workign in the shop and practicing. It took some time to gain the strength in my shoulder to hold the horn. I was quite suprised by how quickly I stopped feeling pain from the physical stress in playing the horn.

    For you I woudl say depending on your PT schedule and threshhold for pain it willt ake at least a few months to recover.


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