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cervical fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
After a year of non-surgical treatment such as massage,PT, trigger point injections,and chiropractic care I had an MRI. They found two ruptured discs and one bulging.I had an anterior cervical fusion at 4/5 & 5/6. I wore a hard collar for 2 1/2 months and did six weeks of PT. It's been six months and I feel worse than before surgery. My original complaint was shoulder and arm pain with numbness in my arm and first three fingers.Now in addition to that I have terrible neck pain. The surgeon said my fusion looks good and I should be feeling better.I am having an EMG next week and possibly steroid injections.I feel like I'm taking a step backward.I am not crazy!!!! I know my pain is real.I do nails for a living and am afraid I will not be able to sit in that position for ten hours a day. Not to mention the vigorous arm movement. Is there anyone else that feels like they had a failed surgery even though they say the pictures look good?
I want my life back.



  • Iam now fused c4-c7 and although my NS says fusion looks great Iam in terrible pain all of the time. I feel like the NS doesn't believe me.Thank God for my primary Doctor she is awesome and says she can see the pain I am in.I also have herniated disc's above and below the fusion in which the NS says they can't be causing the pain I say Iam in.I know how you are feeling and it sucks that we go through surgery thinking all will be back to normal just to be in more pain than before. I'm sorry you are going through this, I finally just came to terms with what I have and live day to day as I don't know what each day has in store for me. I have my good days and bad days. My bad days Iam in bed most of the day.If you have anymore questions please feel fee to PM me and just ask
  • I have not had surgery, but what you explain is the same thing I have going on with me. Except I do not have ruptured discs. I have bulging discs. I hope that you get well soon and wish you the best!
  • i also had cervical fusion done. 3 level. it is funny how each dr provides information about post op pain. fusion pain hurts. and can hurt up to 18 months post op. your type of job will definitely aggravate the neck.try lowering your stool or elevating your client so you don't bend your neck as much.i would even consider wearing a soft collar so you remind yourself not to bend your neck too far over.
    ice 20 min every other hr also helps along with the pain meds.i am past my 18 months now and still have the achy neck pain and an seeing a pm doc. trying to get away from narcotics. i still need them though the pain has decreased from surgery it is still debilitating. good luck. fusion pain is real.
  • Jeanette,
    Sorry to hear all you've been through!! It's frustrating when you feel like no one believes you. Do they have any more treatments for you? I'm afraid if the injections don't work they will tell me this is as good as it gets.
  • I hope the pm doc can help you. Have you had injections?
  • Do you have a treatment plan??
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    pain from some new cause of pain. I would have to think that after 4 or 5 months after cervical surgery you should be seeing good results and not new pain. Something doesnt sound right. Is the pain you are having know basically the same type of pain you experienced prior to surgery?
    Your surgery may have been fine, but since your doctor is looking towards an EMG, I would think there may have been some existing nerve damage.

    I hear this way to often, the doctor says based on what they can see, we should not be in pain
    I believe its the doctors obligation to investigate further into why their patient is having this pain and not to just push it aside.

    Also, just to note, many documents and doctors really do not distinguish between Bulging, Ruptured or Herniated discs. Take a look in our FAQ in the Medical Section for the post that describes the difference in disc situations
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks for your advice. I read your story and can't believe all you've been through.

    I had nerve monitoring through out my surgery. The Dr said it was unusual how much pressure was relieved when they removed the discs, and that I definitely needed the surgery. Because there was so much compression for a year it could be permanent.We will see what the EMG shows.
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