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Complete fusion 4 months post op

Faith MFFaith M Posts: 287
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This is good news and bad news. I am still having ALOT of shoulder and neck pain since my C4/5 fusion. At my post op appt. surgeon poked me in a few places and said it's C3/4 nerve pain. NO! NO! NO! It just can't be so. I turned down his offer for a MRI. I told him I'd recently been diagnosed with osteo in my hands. Could it be osteo in my shoulder too? He did some ROM tests and asked if I wanted a steroid injection in my shoulder. I also turned him down on that. He said if the pain is not too bad we can wait on this. I was really taken by surprise with all of this, I assumed I was still healing as it's only been 4 months, but it's fused. I am not possibly ready to deal with MRI's and injections. He said C3/4 didn't look too bad before surgery, with MRI showing very small herniation. I rested tons, haven't done any lifting, I stretch and excersize, and walk daily. I think 4 months is too early to tell. I think a x-ray of my shoulder will be very helpful in figuring this out. I am so weary of all of this. I know I am fortunate to have fused successfully! I just pray I don't have another disc problem. They say HE never gives us more than we can handle. HE must believe I can move mountains.
Faith M


  • I was hoping for some input. My C4/5 is completely fused at 4 months. I'm still having neck/shoulder pain and surgeon thinks it's something "new". Wouldn't it take more than 4 mo. for nerves and muscle to heal? It took 3 mo. to get the feeling back in my fingers! My Dr. expects all of the pain to be gone because I am fused. I am confused and a little scared. Opinions please!!!
    Faith M
  • Sorry you're having so much pain still. I would go for the MRI the Dr. offered to see if there was something new with your other discs as well as the fusion ones. He would be able to see more tissue swelling etc. in the MRI which only shows your bones although yes it can show soft tissue swelling but it's more defined in an MRI for the Dr. to read. I'm glad you have the feelings back in your fingers and I wish I could give you more assistance but I haven't had surgery. Take care and God bless. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Faith,

    It will take longer for the nerves to heal. With that said, why not just get the MRI so you know what you are dealing with? Fusion does place issues on other joints. Although, by doing the MRI you would know exactly what you are up against. If the mri were to be negative then more than likely it is all nerve related still. Another reason to get the MRI it is possible if you have issues at another level it could be treated conservatively and your issue will resolve successfully over time. Also by using a mri he can get a good look at the nerves and disc and make sure it has nothing to do with the hardware. Was the c3-c4 level showing signs before this surgery? Just by getting the films doesn't mean that you need to jump back into surgery. I had another level go from a surgery and finally ended up having it fused. The only reason I went back in for the surgery was more for a instability than anything else. Knowing that level was having issues was a good thing. As when I was doing therapy we knew to take it easy so as not to disrupt it. You may want to check out the video here on radiculopathy and see if your symptoms match that level. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
  • I do know that MRI is the is the right thing to do, but I don't feel like I can deal with it now. I feel like I need a emotional and mental break from everything medical. Do you ever feel like 1 more thing could just make you lose it? With 2 surgeries in a year's time, I've been in recovery for 14 months now. At 6 months recovery after lumbar fusion, my neck blew! I'm not feeling strong enough to face more bad news. And it would really upset everyone in my life. My hubby is incredible and supportive but right now we are both weary. I know when the ostrich takes his head out of the sand, everything still looks the same. But I am hoping time will heal me. I will get a MRI in 3 months if it's not better, if it gets worse I'll get it ASAP. C3/4 had small herniation before surgery, not big enough to be included. Tamtam that was a good video, but it didn't show C3/4 :/ I do thank you though! You've both helped me work through this and now I have a plan, I appreciate you both.
    Faith M
  • I think a lot of Spineys must be strong enough to "move mountains" because I am right with you. My recovery is a lot more painful than anticipated and I have recently been feeling that I am suppose to move a mountain but would rather just have it a little easier. Take care, you are in my prayers

  • I love what your screen name means! You've really been through alot, I hope you continue to do well. The last 3 years must have been really hard. I had 2 level PLIF 14 months ago, it is a very difficult recovery. But I no longer need my cane on a daily basis! You hang in there too, it does get better with time. Anybody got a bulldozer to knock down these mountains? Now you are in my prayers too. >:D<
    Faith M
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