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Cervical radiculopathy in both arms, I am scared

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I need your input on my problem from anyone who can help me. I am one year post op ACDF at C5 C6 for disc herniation that caused stenosis and cervical myelopathy. I had a ACDF at C67 one year prior. I was left with left arm weakness and pain and other assorted issues. I have seen a slow improvement after 6 months of therapy and starting lyrica. My arm is not normal but I have been thankful that I am not left handed. For the past month my right bicep and tricep has started to hurt and the pain is becoming worse not better. So now I have two arms that hurt and I am having trouble using my right arm in addition to my left. I moved up my appt to see my NS because of my symptoms and because I AM TERRIFIED. I am even more hesitant to see this NS because he intimidates me.
Has anyone ever had symptoms in both arms before? I have some slippage or movement at C4 C5(anterolisthesis grade one) which was not there before.
I don't want anymore surgery but would like to rid at least my dominant arm of the pain. Any experience or input/advice on this subject? I am making myself sick thinking about seeing this DR and perhaps more problems. Help!


  • and I still suffer from pain It started on the left side and is now on the right also. I am in the same boat as you i have now idea what to do or who to go to for help. I can say this if I had a doctor that intimidated me I would seek a different one insurance allowing of course. No way can i stand a doctor who thinks that holding power of someone in pain is fun or even necessary. I know there are many doctors out there that are this way I think the word Dr. at the beginning of their name goes to their heads and they lose all their humanity. I am sorry and wish you luck
  • I have been suffering with right arm pain for a few years now. If I use my left arm too much due to favoring my right arm when the pain was at its most severe, then my left arm will hurt as well. However, all of these areas: the right arm tricep, the forearm and also the back shoulder muscle from the base of my neck and as it follows the path down towards my armpit has become unbearable. I've had surgery in 2004 with c4/5 & 5/6 anterior fusion. I am fearing that I have another herniation. I'll be getting my first MRI since prior to my surgery. This should tell me where the pain is coming from.

    The only things that helps the arm pain is the TENS unit, alternating ice and heat and vicodin, sometimes with 1/2 of a soma. I can't really use it for much, but I have 2 jobs and need to type. The typing isn't as bad as "writing" tho'.

    Keep me posted on what each of your docs say. I will do the same! Hang in there!
  • If this neurosurgeon intimidates you can you see a different one? If you are post surgery a year, the }:) one probably won't accept your sx caused by what he did. And it may not be, but if you are in for more PT, MRI's etc. you need to have a surgeon that you have a good relationship with. Best of luck.

  • Once you've had a fusion, our necks become a life long issue, is my opinion.

    The continued weakening and pain in your arm is concerning, so I'm glad you are seeing the doc again. Maybe a 6 week round of PT with someone qualified with the spine will help to calm things down. (I learned that not all physical therapists know what they are doing when it comes to spine surgery patients).

    I'm anxious to hear what the doctor says. I've followed your situation since you came to SH, and I was so hoping you were getting better. Sorry you continue struggling and especially with the new arm weakness. You are at about a year post op now, and that is a great time to ask for a CT scan to check for complete fusion from your surgery. That should be the first thing they check, because if you aren't fused, it could be causing continued problems. A simple x-ray won't diagnose pseudoarthrosis (failure to fuse) so you should be pushing for a CT. And probably a new MRI.

    I agree with the others that if you aren't comfortable with your surgeon, you should try to find another one. Where you have been dealing with this for so long, it is sometimes good to get another doctor involved for a fresh look.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thanks Maggie for your reply. I have thought long and hard about this Dr and decided to see him one more time for the one year post op visit he wanted anyway. I am beginning to think all NS suffer from a superior syndrome. I do love his Physiatrist I see in his practise who has helped me greatly.
    If I am not satisfied tomorrow, I am asking for my medical records and I am gone.I guess I always want to give someone the benefit of the doubt and I don't want to appear that I am Dr Hopping. Bethy
  • I am out of PT visits for the year and cannot afford to pay for them.I did see some gradual improvement and have adapted my lifestyle to know what causes increasd pain.I have attempted to just stop talking about the pain and all of the issues that go along with the neck. People get tired of hearing about it and I figure that I might as well learn how to live with this issue.
    What troubles me also is that with my diagnosis and history my NS tells me I can work with no limitations whatsoever.
    My job does require me to lift up tp 60 pounds occasionally as well as 5 to 10 pounds intermittantly. I have been very fortunate that I have other people who take pity on me and are more than willing to help lift heavy things. I have been lifting more than I am used to this past month so maybe that has caused a increase pain issue in my good arm.
    I am totally confused however why a Dr says it is fine for me to lift heavy things. Won't this just add to my problems?
    Wish me luck at the Drs and I will keep you informed .
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