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Spine and Back Health

Muscle atrophy

08/19/2008

Question:

Once you have muscle atrophy due to nerve problems in neck, can your muscles come back after the surgery?

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. If the nerve is not permanently damaged, then after surgery as the nerve begins to heal itself it will begin sending impulses to the muscle again. With aggressive, diligent physical therapy the muscle atrophy can improve. This process can take many months, often longer than a year. There are also some cases where the atrophied muscle never recovers despite the nerve healing, but that is less common. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University