Peripheral neuropathy after surgery

Has anyone experienced peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, and balance issues post-surgery? This might be unrelated, but I started having significant tingling/numbness in my hands and feet along with muscle twitching and fatigue a couple months post. I had been extremely fatigued following the surgery, and then the neurological items started. I also still have nerve pain and numbness around the incision. Surgery was Jan 6, 2020.

Likely unrelated, but thought I’d check to see if this happened with anyone else. Thanks!

I have not had surgery yet, but have extreme fatigue and have lots of tingling in hands and numbness. I. Going to. Levels d clinic for surgery. Docs here say this stuff is unrelated to Eagle. Not sure I believe them. Who did surgery?

These symptoms are all too familiar to me. I am 5 months post op for left side. Consultation scheduled soon for second side.
tingling and numbness and extreme fatigue

Is the tingling and numbness in your hands and feet or just around the surgical site?

hands, arms, legs and feet. It kind of feels like they are not circulating right. Not exactly asleep, but just not right. The feeling makes me very anxious and weak feeling.

Sorry that you’re not feeling great- things seemed to be going well after surgery?
Did you have bilateral ES, or just one side? It could be that the 2nd side is causing problems…
Have you had blood tests to rule out an autoimmune condition? Peripheral neuropathy & fatigue are symptoms of AI diseases.

It might not be related, I’m just trying to compare notes. Dr Samji did mine, and I think he did a great job. I likely have something unrelated going on, but wanted to see if there were others with this experience.

I had one side and was supposed to have the 2nd in April, but they closed down surgeries and I was advised not to proceed. I have had a bunch of blood tests, EMG, nerve induction, brain and cervical spine MRI. Everything comes back normal…

My wife had also suggested the asymmetry might be causing issues (my Adam’s apple is crooked). I had some slight peripheral neuropathy in my hands in Feb, but then started to feel generally bad in Mid-April (Jan 6th surgery) and it’s been up and down since then.

It’s tough because when you’re feeling really bad like this, you tend to look everywhere for answers - and most things aren’t actually the cause.

sfbear -

I agree w/ your wife & Jules that your remaining styloid might be causing your current neuropathy symptoms. No one knows exactly how our bodies will react to the sort of imbalance bilateral ES can cause once one styloid is removed. Each of us seem to have a different set of responses. I had increasing pain & mounting additional symptoms starting about 6 weeks after my first surgery from my remaining styloid.

Because we’re each “wired” differently, it’s entirely possible your remaining styloid is pressing on nerves (accessory which can affect the brachial plexus which innervates arms/hands) that are affecting your upper body. The vagus nerve runs all the way down into the pelvis, & if it’s irritated higher up, it could be sending negative signals to nerves that affect your lower limbs. Vertigo could definitely be a styloid symptom as well. It’s not uncommon w/ ES though more normally seen w/ vascular compression. When the nerves that innervate a given muscle are irritated, muscle twitches/tremors can result. I also believe that an irritated nerve can cause a sympathetic response from other local nerves & thus the body will react to that as though those nerves are irritated, too. Our bodies are very interconnected within so something as small as a styloid process that is too long, angled, pointed, etc., can create big problems. This is my non-medical opinion.

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It’s like a catch-22 though - neurologist says hold off on the surgery as it could make whatever is going on worse, but what if not having the surgery is causing issues. Then there’s the whole pandemic risk, with post-surgical immune system compromise…

At the same time, neither neurologists nor Dr Samji have seen this as being connected, and they are likely right.

“The proof is in the pudding” as they say. I guess there is no way to know if the styloid is at fault or partially so until it’s gone. Just for reassurance, Dr. Samji has been doing ES surgeries since mid-April, & we have several forum members who had successful ES surgeries w/ him during this time w/o complications.

Dr. Samji & the Silicon Valley Surgical Center take every precaution to prevent any health risks. No one is allowed into the surgery center except the patients at this time. The upside is, you are able to ride to the surgery center in your own car & would be able to go home soon after surgery flying here & staying in the hospital, a hotel or Air BnB. That is a huge plus in your favor as far as not picking up an infection or nasty bug go.

It boils down to what your comfort level is & we’re each different in that arena at this point in time.

My cousin is an experienced ER doctor in LA and had a very clear and strong opinion that I needed to postpone the surgery - his point was that even with low likelihood of contracting it, my potential for a very bad outcome goes up significantly after surgery.

You are right, each person needs to do what they are comfortable with, and I do think the likelihood of contracting the virus through the surgery process is very low.


Have your Drs determined the cause of poor circulation since your surgery.

Hi @sfbear

Just checking, were there any signs of intervertebral disc degeneration, especially around C4-T1 levels, on your CT scans?


Mild degenerative changes of the cervical spine most notable for moderate left neuroforaminal stenosis at C3-C4, C4-C5, and C5-C6. No high-grade canal stenosis.

sfbear ~
Finding the cause(s) of neurological issues can take some sleuthing & thinking outside of the box at times. One of our members had similar symptoms to yours & was tested for small fiber neuropathy. His tests came back positive. I don’t know much about this problem or it’s treatment, but it might be worth getting checked for that. You can PM our member Anthony to compare symptoms.

Not willing to speculate as I am not a doctor, but thinking of this possibility: after the styloid process was removed, the spine lost certain “support” (from spasmed muscles? the styloid process “bone” itself?) and the other side muscles since then have greater effect on the spine, keeping it in a posture that was not “normal” before the surgery. Was there any examination/advice from physiotherapy specialists, if the posture has changed after the surgery?

That’s if the pressure on nerve roots somehow changed after the surgery, leading to the numbness (source:

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Interesting thought, vdm. We’ve had discussions here in the past on that very topic - how muscle/fascia/ligament support changes when one styloid is removed & the other is still elongated (or not). Surely the remaining side begins to carry a fuller load than before surgery & nerves/soft tissues are by default impacted by that. In some cases there are no consequences but more often there are, as could be the case w/ sfbear.

Check any previous or new medications for potential adverse effects as well. I took my pharmacology course this summer… and just, wow… I will never look at even the “simple” drugs the same way.

Also has posture changed much from possibly now working at home, sitting at home due to quarantine? My husband has a carpal tunnel pain most recently from working with terrible posture at our kitchen counter. But much better after he went to his office and “stole” his chair and large monitor to use at home. Lol. Can’t explain everything but just a thought …


I wondered the same. I have been getting the scar tissue in my neck from the incision massaged and kneaded. Ive also had my TMJ / jaw kick up after surgery and getting acupuncture also. The muscles in my neck and jaw and super tight. A couple months out I had a little flair on the other side but it calmed down. A physiologist or Occupational Therapist to work on the neck and incision site might help.

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