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Pain-Numbness Again - HELP!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was a member a couple of years ago and the advice of everyone really helped! I need help again. Aug. 07 had ACDF C4-6 with plate and 6 screws. Also, severe stenosis. NS had no bedside manner and insisted on a recovery of 18 months. I did everything I was supposed to - No activities and took it really easy. I wore a electronic bone stimulator for 4 months every day. I was told that my fusion took and everything looked great. I never received physical therapy, although prior to my surgery, I received a lot of it. After the 18 months, I started living again. Here's my problem:

BOTH arms are now numb while sleeping. I haven't had a good nights sleep in a few weeks. All of the symptoms are back. Shoulder pain, burning, tingling in my arms and fingers. If I lay on my right side, my left side goes numb. If I lay on my left side, my right side goes numb. My neck gets so sore that it hurts to hold my head up. I am constantly getting dizzy. I do not like to take pain medication although I feel like crying every day because I hurt so bad. My Gen'l DR has been on vacation although I have an appointment this week. Does anyone have any idea of what might be going on with me. I'm scared to death that I am suffering from the same thing that brought me to surgery the first time.


  • I'm not a doctor and just have opinions and my own experience to tell you about. Just two months after my first ACDF C5/6, I had symptoms return on the opposite side and had to have another ACDF C4 thru 6 three weeks ago. For about 4 to 5 days now, I'm having different symptoms back to the right side where this all started, shoulder blade, but no tingling this time yet.

    You may have overgrowth of bone that's compressing the nerve roots or scar tissue or a bone spur. Are the symptoms now any different that your initial symptoms? You should get a new MRI and xrays to see what is going on. Either your surgeon or your General doc can order those for you.

    I'm really sorry that this has happened to you and I can relate. It's just not fair, is it? You should see about very soon, as I was told that tingling in the arms, hands and fingers can become permanent if the nerves aren't let go pretty quickly. I guess they get damaged too long and can't repair themselves.
  • Hi Carol,

    First let me say welcome back to spine-health. Did they follow your fusion long enough to insure it was fused solidly? I assume you had hardware placed in your neck at the time of surgery? If so it could be a hardware issue. Hardware issues are not common but taking them out is no where near as bad as putting them in. Look at the cervical radiculopathy articles and video's and see if any of those follow the pain paths you are talking about.

    Until you get a new MRI there isn't much anyone can say. Keep in mind I am sure one of the risk you signed off on surgery was the need for future surgeries. Adjacent disc disease does happen. Hopefully it is nothing major and can be treated with conservative treatment and it is only a little set back. You may want to ask this week for some muscle relaxers though to help with spasms and see if that helps some. Once again welcome back to spine-health and look forward to what the Doc says this week.
  • Thanks - I appreciate your input! I am looking forward to getting some pictures done to see exactly what is going on. I pray for something simple and hope for the best. It's just that silly pain. I just want it to go away! I am at a desk, on a computer and the up and down motion of my neck makes me dizzy.

    I love this forum and the advice everyone has. I know I am not alone as long as I have all of you! Thanks Again!
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