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Upper arm pain and weakness

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
HI! New here and after hours to weeks of reading forums and anything I can find on the subject, I'm still not finding the information I need. In 1993 I had a c 5/6 fusion that didnt fuse. Had to have it redone at next level (c6/7) in 1997 but this time they added a plate. Over the last two 1/2 years I have had upper arm pain (left) and a pain that many doctors have mistaken for elbow joint pain. Most recently weakness was so bad I couldnt put the dishes up in the cabinet or blow dry my hair. I could only lift to my waist. I also experience the most pain when I reach from my left side to my right to pick up something. A good example is like trying to take your shirt off above your head by crossing your arms. Way too much pain doing that. In November last year, had 3 ESI's. Mostly at c5-c7. The surgeon gave me two options, 1 to have a myelogram (which I refuse since I have had two in the past and know what pain is involved) and discuss surgery or 2) pain relief. I chose pain relief by physical therapy and the ESI injections. I did fine for 9 months. The pain has now returned with a vengence so went back to the Pain Dr. for more injections. He did C5 with minimal relief. Saw a different surgeon for second opinion two weeks ago. He seems to think the problem is the c7-T1 disk has slipped foward and is pinching the nerve. He had my Pain guy inject at that level last week. The pain in my elbow area is gone but the upper arm pain is still there. This surgeon wants to do surgery as well. My last two surgeries were from the front. Both opinions say they will need to go in through the back. If I have this (terrified right now so cant make a decision) isnt there more of a risk to the spinal cord if they enter through the back of the neck vs. the front? Anyone out there experience this? Thanks for all your advice...

LR
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Comments

  • Posterior c-spine surgery carries a higher risk of nicking the vertebral artery. It also mean muscles need to be stripped instead of just moving things aside. I have had two posterior c-spine surgeries and they were the most difficult surgeries I have ever had to heal from.

    If you are in so much pain and are experiencing weakness, putting it off may cause permanent damage. Have you discussed that with the doc?

    If your experience with the previous myleograms were so painful, I wonder if talking to the doc, if you could be hospitalized for 24 hours to allow them to do pain control for you.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

    "C"
  • I had the posterior, it was a revision done and fused C4-C7 and I am not having the problem your are describing. I had the myelogram about 2 weeks ago and there was no pain at all. I was also scared of it but really there was nothing to it. I am not being treated for shoulder problems, 2 sets of injections and PT....it is some better. I'm not sure if any surgery will ever correct me. I have also had EMG/NCV test done and have denervation at C5C6 and a long list of other things it showed. PM me if you have any questions that I might help with.

    Sharon
  • The two anteriors werent too bad. The worst was from the graft from my hip. I have a follow up appointment in mid December. I did ask when we discussed the options why he had to go in posterior and he said they couldnt get to that level without it. He is also going to try the cat scan approach and EMG to try not having a myelogram. I will discuss pain control options. I have had multiple MRI's but due to the hardware, he cant see as much as he would like. Good idea on the pain control, I'll discuss that with him. Thank you...
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