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Old 12-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #1
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Any idea why I have pain

Had cervical neck surgery c4-c7 in June. Range of motion in neck good but now I have excruciating pain in my upper back between my shoulder blades and if I bend my neck say to read and I lift my head, the pain intensifies and goes up my neck. Not sure I am happy I even had surgery. Any thoughts are appreciated

 
Old 12-20-2012, 09:48 AM   #2
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

I would be concerned that due to the stress on the adjacent segment, you may now have some issues with C-7-C-8 or possibly C8-T1. Have you discussed this with your surgeon? You may want to have a new MRI to see what, if anything is going on.

When a group of discs are fused, one ends up with an immovable block...so the adjacent disc and facet joints end up getting more stress than they would normally, as it is the first movable segment after the fusion.

The other option is that you aren't fused yet and there may be a little issue at C6-C7 that is irritating the C7 nerve -- something like that may be going on.

I would suggest you call your surgeon.

At six months post surgery, you are not completely healed yet...so you may still be experiencing some of the readjustment that goes on after a multi-level fusion. Are you working with a physical therapist?

 
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

I have not started any physical therapy, called my surgeon like you suggested in hopes he would send orders to start physical therapy but his nurse said if I was in this much pain I needed to see him. Last time I saw him was at my 8 weeks post surgery, they took x ray and said it looked good. I also asked about the possibility of the stress that may be put on other discs and I was told that does not happen. It was the surgeons assistant.
Thank you for the speedy response

 
Old 12-20-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

I have not started any physical therapy, called my surgeon like you suggested in hopes he would send orders to start physical therapy but his nurse said if I was in this much pain I needed to see him. Last time I saw him was at my 8 weeks post surgery, they took x ray and said it looked good. I also asked about the possibility of the stress that may be put on other discs and I was told that does not happen. It was the surgeons assistant.
Thank you for the speedy response

 
Old 12-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

It is against posting rules to quote from most sites, etc. but the government's NIH one exception and the following is from one of their studies: (published in 2009)

"Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion is one of the most common cervical spine procedures. Although it is usually successful in relieving the symptoms of radiculopathy and myelopathy, the subsequent development of clinically significant disk disease at levels adjacent to the fusion is a matter of concern. Adjacent segment cervical disease occurs in approximately 3% of patients; the incidence is expected to increase to more than 25% of patients within the first 10 years after the index fusion procedure."

I doubt very much that you have adjacent disc disease as it is too early in your recovery...but I just mentioned it as one thing that can cause pain post fusion, particularly in the lumbar area.

More likely is that the muscles and soft tissue in the vicinity of C7-C8 have not gotten used to having to take the brunt of movement that previously was shared by all the other discs that are now fused. This should improve as time goes on, through physical therapy and general strengthening.

Last edited by teteri66; 12-20-2012 at 04:27 PM.

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

Thank you!

 
Old 12-21-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

I know you said you called the surgeon's office, but did he want to see you and do you have an appointment to get this pain checked out?

I have only had lumbar surgeries so do not have cervical knowledge based on personal experiences. I did have a cervical MRI at the beginning of my lumbar problems because I had a hyper-reflexive knee reflex which can be a sign of a cervical problem. I discovered that my body naturally fused one cervical disc to the adjoining one -- can't remember which one it was...I think C4-C5...so I have a good solid natural fusion there without even realizing anything was going on!

Keep in mind that some people have quite a bit of pain for months post surgery. Some don't really start feeling somewhat "normal" for the first year...so don't get discouraged...but I would continue to check with the surgeon if the pain continues or intensifies.

 
Old 12-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #8
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

I have an appointment with him Friday...maybe I should have called sooner but I was hoping it would go away but it is just getting worse. And wow! Did the docs explain why that natural fusion happened?

 
Old 12-22-2012, 07:53 AM   #9
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

It just naturally occurs when the disc flattens and/or dries out and there are arthritic changes, maybe osteophytes growing and filling in the space...think of the money I saved my insurance carrier.

That's basically why some degenerative disc disease is not treated surgically when it involves many segments of the spine...eventually nature will take its course and natural fusion can occur.

 
Old 12-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Any idea why I have pain

Went to appointment yesterday. Doctor having ct done and flex X-rays. Having pain and pins and needles in arms, he is checking to see if I healed right however, I have other issues he has to take into consideration, I have demyelination lesions on my brain, have been seeing ms doctor but have not been Ds yet. He did see reflex issues when he flicked my fingers. I refuse to have another surgery if I did not heal right

 
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