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Cervical fusion Pain after surgery

boydco22bboydco22 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm 5 days post c5-c6 cervical fusion i'm having ALOT of pain in my left shoulder when I stand or move around they only way I can get rid of pain is lay flat with no movement. Just wondering if something is wrong or should I be concerned about it at all. I'm n severe pain in my shoulder more than what I was having before the surgery.


  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    From what I have read and recall ... Part of the ACDF procedure includes a device that "pulls down" your shoulders to help open up the cervical disk spaces. So new post shoulder pain might make sense if that machince - procedure was used.

    could be 1000 other things also....

    As always .... When in doubt .... to your doctor shout out! (call him or her)

    Hope you have a pain free day,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Hi,
    I have had two neck surgeries C4-7 one from the front and a year later from the back of neck C4-7, after both surgeries I had bad shoulder(s) pain as well as the neck and upper back. I was told part of my shoulder pain was from the positions they had my on the operating table, one's body is not made to bend the way those doctors like to operate on.
    It will take time, med's and PT for it to get better, the most important is TIME.
    Take care.
  • I've had two cervical spine surgeries, and pretty much had stiffness/soreness in my shoulders post op - lasted about a week, week and a half. When they do the surgery, you are put in Gardner-Wells tongs or similar device which holds your head back and under tension for insertion of cages or graphs etc. I have double divot dents on either side of my head just above the ears. Do you have them?

    Also if you are in a collar, that puts pressure on the muscles on top of your shoulders, and I would guess that too can also contribute? Hopefully you'll be feeling better soon Boydco.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I also had horrible shoulder pain following all 5 of my cervical fusions. The pain would let up in a week or two. I was told positioning on the operating table caused this. Once i came to with a black and bruised nose they say from positioning. I always wondered if they dropped me.lol
  • Hi,

    As someone who just recently had another level added into their fusion I can tell you the pain should be normal to have additional pain following surgery. I guess the one thing is do you have a good muscle relaxer and or a tens unit to help. That may be of more help than anything at this point and time. I would suspect that you have a follow-up appointment in about two weeks and if you are still having discomfort to discuss it with your doctor then. But overall how is the initial pain that you had the surgery for any better. I do hope the surgery provides you with some relief and you begin to feel better. Take care.
  • The pain that I am having is when i lay down or sit in a recliner the pain is not there. But as soon as I stand or walk around with in 2-3 mins. the pain is so severe in my left shoulder and upper left arm that I have to lay down agian in order to get it to stop. I also loose most of my range of motion and movement when this pain hits. I honesly don't believe this is normal. But my NS keeps prescribeing me muscle relaxers in think that it is a muscle problem I guess? I'm pretty sure it is nerve problems, I had pain in my left arm before the surgery and the pain that I had then is nothing like the pain that I have now this is a totally different pain than before. I'm just not sure what to do or anything that will help.
  • I don't know if your married or have a significant other or not, but have you tried having someone gently massage your shoulders? Has your doctor offered physical therapy? Not all PT is grunt and groan, some is of a more delicate approach. Have you tried ice or heat when you get this pain?

    My right shoulder was the culprit for my post surgeries, and my hubby would gently massage my shoulder. Now the pain didn't fully go away mind you, but it did help a bit. Hopefully you will be over this hump soon, I know, it's not fun.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • After receiving anesthesia for a surgical procedure (not spine related), my sister in law suffered from terrible shoulder pain. I don't know details, but I know the pain she endured was related to her anesthesia and eventually went away. Perhaps you could research the side effects of the anesthesia you had for surgery. I do hope that you will be seeing improvement in time.
  • I had a C7-C4 disc replacement a fusion done 2 weeks ago. The first week or so was hell and very painfull, and I believe that it's not from the procedure so much as to the nerve damage that I have from putting this procedure off for so many years. Last Friday I had a heart to heart talk with my OP and said that in order to rest and relax I need different meds to help start the healing and recovery process. I'm not worried about getting hooked on the new meds since it's only temporary. Don't be afraid to have that heart to heart talk with your doc. You need be patient and follow your doctors directives and in time you will feel much better. I'll know for sure in a few weeks if the new meds are working and my nerves are healing. I hope that they will and then start PT in a couple of months. The recovery time will be much longer than I expected, but the outcome will be worth it if I feel somewhat pain free next spring.
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