I had a cervical fusion (C5-6) about 10 weeks ago. I am now taking Lyrica, tramadol and tylenol. I take a muscle relaxer if needed. As my other pains have subsided, I am left with a pretty sharp, severe pain in my upper thoracic spine. My surgeon sent me to a chiropractor that he trusts, but so far it has not helped. I am going to ask for a thoracic x-ray at my next appointment. Have any other neck sufferers had this, or do you think it is totally unrelated to my neck issues and needs to be treated as such?
The chiropractor said he thought it was not related to my neck, but my surgeon did not seem to think it was a big deal. It is becoming a big deal for me, because I am back at work now and am having a hard time controlling the pain without narcotics. I don't think the pain is from nerve damage, because my Lyrica was just increased and that helped with all of my other pains. Any thoughts for me?
A great deal of my pain prior to my ACDF (5/6 & 6/7) was in my upper back. It felt like someone was sticking an ice pick between my shoulder blades. Sounds like what you're experiencing now. I'd get back to the surgeon pronto! Good luck and let us know what you find out.
This is a common complaint of lots of folks with ACDFs if you read posts. It seems for some people they have other problems in other parts of the spine causing the pain. Then for others it seems unexplained causes. I personally have it bad and am tired of hearing the opposite that you heard. They have been telling me it IS casued by my neck issues - my pain doc says it is increased spinal pressure from ACDF C4-7 and my stenosis. I am 22 months out from my last surgery. It has gotten so bad in past 2 months that I am waiting for my appointment getting new tests trying to figure out if there is something in my thoracic we are missing. I have to wait until May. It feels like someone hit me with a hammer about bra level with burning, along with knife like stab in the center of my back - mid level, I have significant constant chest pressure and back spasms. Activity horribly aggravates the pain. but it hurts just sitting still.
Heat and ice help some. Do you take NSAIDs? You might try a couple weeks of continuous dosing and see if yours is inflammed from the new acdf and needs time to adjust to the new structure.
I had c5-c6 fusion done in February 2008, then a second surgery to fuse c6-c7 in May 2008. I have the same severe pain down my spine. NSAIDS do not work. I take muscle relaxers too, but that does not relieve the pain. the most I can do is lay flat on my back and hope and pray that these surgeries will heal. it is tough.