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Update on return of spinal pain after C5/C6 fusion in 2005

scoopsscoop Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

After sleeping on mom-in-law's couch over the 4th of July holiday, i woke up to the super painful neck, shoulder, arm hand pain. I went to the orthopedic doc yesterday. Here's what he said:

Doc says i may have herniated another disc and torn rotator cuff, too. He prescribed three weeks of physical therapy, a special pillow, home traction twice a day. And more oxycodone, aleve, soma (muscle relaxer) and a 7 day regimine of 21 steroid pills.

My next appt is in three weeks. If not enuf progress, then I will get sent off for MRI. He was very concerned that I've been in pain since july 4th and wants to move agressively. My take is that there are two surgeries in my future. One for my spine and the other for my rotator cuff. Without the pain meds then I'm at a 6 or 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. The actual exam was frighteningly painfull.

I repeat, ugh!


  • Give everything a chance to help you,plus hopefully the mri will paint a picture of what is really happening. Three weeks doesn't sound like alot of time for anything to heal and feel better. Don't worry about surgery until your told for sure that you need it,it will only put more stress on yourself and make the pain worse then it is.
  • Hey Guys,
    Well, good news at last... After about twelve weeks of physical therapy/chiropractic care with tens, traction and stretching. Also, after a mound of pain and anti-inflamation meds, including aleve, soma, oxycotin , methylprednisolone, cymbalta, tramadol, relafen, skelaxin, trigger point injections, MRI, Xrays and EMG nerve tests... I'm happy to report that my issues are mostly resolved.
    From July 5 until now, my life has been a terrible mix of pain, medication and therapy. I already had an ACDF of c5-6 in 2005 and after sleeping on my mother in laws couch this summer, it all started over again with the painful neck, throbbing shoulder, flaming and tingling thumb and hand.
    However, the MRI and nerve test showed that I didn't have any structural damage to my spine or nerves. It turned out to be a severe case of muscle spasms and inflammation.
    I have about a week and a half more of physical therapy and then this chapter of my life will have concluded. I'm not issue free or pain free (as anyone who has a spinal fusion knows) but things have calmed down to a very manageable level. I'm still taking some anti-inflammatory meds and some muscle relaxers, but not nearly at the level that I was in July and August. And, I'm off of the narcotic pain killers.
    Whew. that was tough.
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