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  • Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

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    Old 09-25-2005, 10:06 PM   #1
    Join Date: Dec 2004
    Posts: 6
    EktarEd HB User
    Wink Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

    A bit over a year ago I underwent an ACDF at C-3/4. And two months prior I had CTS surgery on my right hand.
    To make a long story short, I am being told that the burning pain I have in both shoulders, arms and hands is from the compression of the spinal cord at C-3. The MRI showed transvers myelitis at C-3, and a compression fo 40% which is the reason for the ACDF.
    I am a year post OP, and there are no real pain killers for the burning sensations that keep me up most nights. I can however knock my self out using Benadryl, but this does not seem to be a solution.

    Any one have a like problem that was resolved???

    Thanks for any help.


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    Old 09-30-2005, 06:28 AM   #2
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Posts: 515
    Backinthesaddle HB User
    Re: Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

    Hi Ed I too have had the same pain however my MRI revealed it to be C4-5 causing the hand,arm and shoulder pain. I did my research and it depends on what fingers hurt. Now a days it is all my fingers. They feel arthretic. My shoulders from the neck to the rotator cuff to the blades down around them hurt. You are right no pain killers or muscle relaxers really help. That is from cord compression. My guess it is C4 giving you the issues. Sounds like you need a new MRI done and have the doctor take a look. I had C6-7 operated on in 2002 and was told the disks below and above would not be as strong. so true since I am having issues above and below at that level.

    Old 10-01-2005, 07:29 AM   #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Posts: 167
    wimpette HB User
    Re: Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

    Have you spoken to your original surgeon or a neurosurgeon who specialises in spinal problems? If you are having significant cord compression you may find that you'll need additional surgery to correct that - I would however see if there are other options available and get several medical opinions.

    Although pain meds don't touch this type of pain some people have been helped with neurontin which seems to be relatively effective on this type of pain. You should see what your doc suggests.

    The most important thing is to get further opinions from several different sources as to whether this will resolve with time of whether it is likely to progress. That will help you make up your mind where to go from here.

    Good luck, those of us who've had that pain know how miserable it is. Hope you can find some relief.


    Old 10-02-2005, 06:43 AM   #4
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    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: Australia
    Posts: 1,335
    MarianJ HB User
    Re: Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

    I also had ACDF on level C5-6, on September 12th. Unfortunately, I have to wear my collar for 6 weeks. My surgeon did tell me that I could take it off for a little while when sitting down only.

    Since my surgery, I have slight pain in back of neck and sometimes pain on the right or the left. But this pain is manageable compared to the pain that I had prior to surgery. I did tell my neuro surgeon about the pain in the back of my neck at my last visit to him, and he told me that most of his patients complain of the same pain during recovery. At that visit I didn't have any pain on either side of my neck.

    Prior to me having surgery, I had such severe pain in both arms, triceps & biceps and numb hands very often. The pain had gotten so severe that I could only sleep on my bad back. In time I developed bilateral frozen shoulder and had to go see an orthopedic, and he did surgery on both shoulders to break up scar tissue. I then had to do therapy to keep my range of motion in both arms. I still had pain in both arms but it did diminish a bit. I also have many problems with my legs and balance and use a cane for both my legs and back. My last neuro surgeon had wanted me to go in the chair, but I declined. Like you I also had a couple of falls. I do suffer with Neuropathy as well.

    When my surgeon had told me that I really needed surgery at C5-6, I asked if I agreed to this surgery if it would help to improve some of the pain and balance in my legs. He told me that he didn't' think it would help my legs. Well, guess what, it has just a little bit. But I am grateful for any help that I can get. It seems as if my balance has greatly improved. I just pray that it is not temporary, and that they continue to improve. I no longer have pain in my shoulder's or arms which is great. As for your question about having pain where the plate is, I am not exactly sure where the plate is in my neck, so I can't answer that one. I do have a very uncomfortable feeling in the front of my neck and it feels as it their is pressure on my throat. It also hurts a bit at the incision area and still is very swollen. I do have an appointment on Wednesday with my surgeon and will ask if this is normal.

    I also wanted to ask you if your surgeon is aware of the fact that you are still taking Celebrex. I also took this medication for my arthritis but had to discontinue it a week prior to my surgery. I had to do the same when I had my lumbar fusion. They say that these NSAID's can interfere with the fusion. I am suffering without taking this med, but I sure don't want to take any chances on having this surgery redone.

    My surgeon also stated that my surgery was to stabilize and get the compression off of my cord. My last neuro surgeon had said the same thing with my lumbar fusion. No Guarantee's. I do pray that your recovery comes along well.

    Posterolateral Fusion & Infuse with Laminectomy & Discectomy on L4,L5,S1
    June 2003
    Instrumentation = 2 Rods, 6 Screws, 2 Disc Spacers
    FBSS-Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
    Straightening of the Normal Cervical Lordosis.
    Mild Congenital Narrowing of the Spinal Canal.
    Degenerative Disc Disease
    Disc Osteophyte Complex
    Compression Deformity & Spinal Lithiasis
    C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 Herniated & Bulging Disc's
    C4-5 & C5-6 , Cord Flattening at these levels.
    Fusion & Discectomy Scheduled - September 12, 2005

    Bilateral Chronic L4 versus L5 Radiculopathy
    Bilateral Frozen Shoulder - MUA 2/7/05
    Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Bursitis, Tendonitis,
    Tendonosis, Type ll Diabetes, Anemia, Asthma,
    Acid Reflux, IBS, Migraine's, Sleep Apnea,

    Last edited by moderator2; 10-04-2005 at 05:33 PM.

    Old 10-02-2005, 05:05 PM   #5
    hugo eve
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Location: sydney Oz
    Posts: 84
    hugo eve HB User
    Re: Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

    A couple of years back I had severe spinal compression in C456 (fixed 12/03). I had symptoms of legs similar to you. I couldn't get down stairs without hanging on to the bannister with a grip of grim death. Prior to my last surgery (a few weeks back) I found myself running down stairs! So my cord definately repaired itself. Apparently the cord can repair itself over a 5 year period.

    Wow! A grandmother of 46. So many, it would tire anyone out.

    3 weeks out of surgery (9/7/05) fusion C67, I had to reverse my truck for a bit... boy was that a mistake. Think I'll use mirrors next time!

    Good Luck, Hugo

    Last edited by moderator2; 10-04-2005 at 05:33 PM.

    Old 10-04-2005, 04:39 AM   #6
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    Location: Australia
    Posts: 1,335
    MarianJ HB User
    Re: Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

    About the celebrex, I believe the reason that they want you to stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs prior to surgery is that they are afraid that they might cause excessive bleeding during surgery. Your pain management doctor should be aware of the fact that you should not take Celebrex during your fusion recovery. I would think the best thing for you to do, is to call your surgeon's office since your next appointment isn't until next month, and ask them about taking the Celebrex as it is possible that someone made a mistake with not telling you.

    I just had my x-rays yesterday, and can see the plate clear as day on them. I believe that when my surgeon views this films that he will only be checking to make sure that the hardware is still in place. It is to soon to tell if fusing has begun, as I have learned this from experience with my lumbar fusion.

    Wow, ten grandchildren, congratulations.... I will be expecting my first grandchild around December 6th. I am very excited and can hardly wait.

    I know exactly what you mean about be healthy and active one day, and the next all of this medical problems and pain. But I never give up hope and pray that things will improve. Thank you for the reinsurance about the swollen and painful throat. I will post again after my appointment with my surgeon.


    Last edited by moderator2; 10-04-2005 at 05:32 PM.

    Old 10-06-2005, 08:34 AM   #7
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Posts: 2 HB User
    Re: Pain in shoulders arms and hands ??

    I have been affected for 6 years now and have tried numerous treatments. I found that I had quite a bit of success with accupuncture, although it takes a couple of months of sessions before the effects really kick in. Otherwise, it's neurontin and oxycontin. Keep looking and trying new and alternative therapies. The answer is out there for you but don't quit. No one else will help cure you except you, as I've learned.

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