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  • Expectations of improved shoulder function after neck fusion??

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    Old 07-09-2019, 03:44 PM   #1
    DavidN
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    Unhappy Expectations of improved shoulder function after neck fusion??

    Greetings:
    Before having 2 sets of cervical vertebra fused, my summary symptoms were:

    General: NAD Gait: normal. Inspection: atrophy right deltoid, infraspinatus, supraspinatus area Palpation: no focal TTP
    Neck range of motion: mild limitation in bilateral rotation and extension, which increases right sided neck pain
    Strength in upper extremities: left upper extremity 5/5, RIGHT UPPER EXTREMITY: SA 0, ER 2-, IR 5, EF
    4, WE 5, FA 5, TA 5 Reflexes: absent in the bilateral upper extremities, 1+ both knees ankles

    generating he following:

    ASSESSMENT: 1. Right C5 radiculopathy with severe right C4-5 foraminal stenosis and multilevel central stenosis

    This arose from a small "jerk" of a 35 pound bag of manure, and I lost overshoulder use of the right arm. And then it began to return (the function, that is), and when it "stopped recovering", I saw my PCP, who misdiagnosed the situation as a "rotator cuff", and sent me to PT, who ALSO said "rotator cuff",
    DESPITE my protestations that it was NERVE related, not muscle.

    So they sent me to MRI to prove the issue, and I didn't know that they weren't deriving proof either way, but just to demonstrate the accuracy of their (wrong) diagnosis.

    The only reason I was sure was because I had had a similar matter with my left shoulder some years ago, and this replicated the issue in all important ways.

    At any rate, they said "oops", and sent me back to MRI, introducing several weeks delay. grrrr.

    So, the physician who did the fusion is superb in my opinion, though the outcome has not been beneficial.

    After 6 weeks, absolutely no change in shoulder/arm function., and my vocal chords have done ?? whatever?? and I'm going to quit barbershop until/when/if I can sing again.

    And:
    When I'm on the "inversion table", it's apparent that I have existing nerve function, as I can move my arm just fine.

    But, upon righting myself, the muscles can't hold up my arm, they are so freaking weak!

    Why? What is the prognosis? What can be done about it? PT isn't doing any good what so ever!

    I was hoping to die all at once, not this gradual crap!!

    Am I just impatient: or is this ir-remedial??

    thank you.

    David

     
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    Old 07-10-2019, 06:18 PM   #2
    DavidN
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    Re: Expectations of improved shoulder function after neck fusion??

    Just a follow up to state that many stories of others who have come to this site
    remind me of how fortunate I am, comparatively, to those who have not only lost function but endure unremitting pain.
    I can moan about having to quit Barbershop:
    lament the loss of playing " horseshoes" :
    and cry over losing accurate rifle-shooting marksmanship, being unable to enter "learned form" from 65 year's practice.

    But I have no real pain, enjoy life when I'm not bitching about it,
    and have compassion for those here
    whose situation includes the haze of pain,
    or the cloak of dullness attendant to attempts to lessen it's presence.

    If nothing else at all,
    THANK YOU
    for giving me perspective.

    () deep bow ()
    david

     
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    esker (07-11-2019)
    Old 08-11-2019, 02:06 PM   #3
    teteri66
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    Re: Expectations of improved shoulder function after neck fusion??

    Welcome to the board. Sorry no one has responded to you sooner.

    One thing surgeons are not too good at stating clearly is that recovery from a spinal fusion can take a long time and requires a good deal of patience. Sometimes it takes more than one surgery to actually find the culprit that is he pain generator!

    Sometimes something that happens inadvertently during the surgery can take a long time to recover from...I had tons of nerve pain after my last lumbar surgery that I did not have prior to surgery. They always say ďoh, thatís normal...we had to tug on the nerve to free it and it will take awhile for it to calm down...six weeks. Then at six weeks they say, well, it may take a few more months....etc.Ē
    Finally, 14 months later, it is gone!

    Sometimes we arenít that lucky and the unintended outcome never goes away. It is almost impossible to predict what will happen.

    I would suggest you give it more time. Do you have confidence in your physical therapist? They are not all equal!

    You might want to try some acupuncture...perhaps you could find one who mostly works in a sports-related or orthopedic practice.

    Since you can move your arm when inverted, I donít see why you wouldnít be able to build up muscle strength. You are not paralyzed.

    Please try to maintain a positive attitude! And, donít give up. Give it more time, but also, keep searching for things you may be able to try!

     
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    Old 08-12-2019, 07:17 AM   #4
    yayagirl
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    Re: Expectations of improved shoulder function after neck fusion??

    Dear DavidN,

    I don't know how long ago the surgery was. I just want to empathize. Loss of movement is never welcome or easy to adjust to.

    I am not going to go into my own long story of physical problems that all began with a freak accident many years ago. There are some things physically impossible for me now and I cannot do the things I loved doing. No more riding horses, dancing or running, and even sitting here at the keyboard is difficult, but that was not all there is to life.

    Just want to encourage you to not rely on doctors to 'fix' the unfixable, and instead do your part to do your stretches and exercises and build your muscles, eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol & drugs (very damaging to the body) and remain active. Change how you do things so as to avoid hurting yourself. the body is not just a machine and even machines break down if mistreated.
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    Tags
    cervical canal stenosis, radiculopathy/degenerative, shoulder injury



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