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Shoulder Pain after Foraminotomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
On October 13th, I had a posterior cervical foraminotomy. It was at four levels. I am currently taking a muscle relaxer and Tylenol extra strength. I have been pretty good at not being too active or lifting anything over five pounds.

My question for anyone who has had a similar operation: how common is neck and shoulder pain after the operation? Also, what is a realistic time frame for the pain to lessen and go away? I do realize this will vary from person to person, but would welcome anyone’s experience with this.

The reason I got the operation was to alleviate shoulder pain. Now, three weeks after surgery, my shoulder pain is a lot worse than before the surgery. I am trying to keep a positive optimistic perspective and assume the shoulder and neck pain is a result of the surgery? Yes, my doctor did warn me that my type of operation was going “to be very painful”. So far, he hasn’t made a liar out of himself.


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Often the pain increases during your initial period of recovery. While they were in there they manipulated and moved many nerves and other tissues and surgery causes inflammation which may increase pain. It is normal to have pain at this point in your recovery and I can tell you my pain increased tremendously after my posterior cervical foraminotomy. The ACDF was a breeze compared to the foraminotomy. Take all the medications they have recommended to control pain and if you take them regularly (on a schedule) that helps keep the pain level down. You can also ask your physician if it's safe for you to take over the count anti inflammatories such as Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), or Aspirin.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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