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Question for all the neckies

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am fused at multi levels in the cervical region. With all
the hardware to go along with it. 2 rods, 16 screws, and a plate. Heres my new issue. In the mornings upon waking I am having the worse clavical pain. Its like the weight of the fusion is crushing this area. The pain is bi-lateral and can be pretty bad. Does anyone else experience this? Ive noticed it is worse when the weather changes so Im suspecting arthritis.


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hi susan,
    3 years ago I had a major rebuild involving C3 thru C6. This past year I have been experiencing your very same symptoms. Myelogram revealed new problems above and below fusion although my fusion is good and solid.
    Facet block injections worked but did not last very long at all. For me more surgery is inevitable. I do have severe OA that is attacking almost every joint in my body. Weather will play a factor with flares.
    Take care,
  • Do you think these could be muscle spasms? Are you taking muscle relaxants? I also find that mornings are the worst times for me both with my lumbar and cervical issues and my morning med cocktail helps me tremendously. Then it's only what I need during the day.

    Definitely some days are worse than others and weather does play a role, in my humble opinion.

    Also, could it be that you need to try a new sleeping regimen, maybe a new neck-friendly pillow like a tempurpedic? I've spent thousands of dollars on my sleeping arrangements, a sleep number bed, a tempurpedic pillow specifically for side and back sleepers, egyptian high thread-count cotton sheets, and a quilt that keeps the temperature perfect throughout the night. All that seems to help with my comfort level while sleeping, but all the same, I do have more problems in the morning, like you seem to be having.

    Anyway, just wanted to post to say I understand what you're going through and sometimes it takes just the right combination of things to help, if it's not that you have additional cervical problems.

    Have you talked to your surgeon about this? I'm also having additional problems, but mine are above my fusion, not below.

    Take care and please keep us posted on what you try and find out about your new problems.

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I really do not think it is muscle pain. It feels like bone pain. I do take muscle relaxants daily for my neck
    but it has no affect on the pain. Cath I have been through every sleeping arrangement you can imagine and
    have found a mattress that works for me. I also have a full bed heating pad I could not live without. I couldnt get out of bed in the morning without it.lol. Makes the bed nice a cozy. I have the special pillows, mattress and have like you tried everything until I found the right fit for me. Ranger what are they saying is wrong with your clavical area? I do see the surgeon next month and I think I need this investigated
    what scares me is what if all the hardware and fusion is just too much weight. Then what? Is this the domino effect?
  • Greetings! I hope you're feeling better today. I doubt personally the hardware "weight" is a problem, as titanium is a very strong alloy, but "light" compared to many metals.

    Let me ask you this (and I did read your profile), is the pain in any way "nerve" like? I mean the burning or buzz feel you get with nerves? I'm asking because you might want to get with your surgeon to rule out 'adjacent level failure'! Are you having any issues down your arms or into your hands? Another thing, does the pain "change" if you lean your head forward - back - to the sides?

    When my last level went, I pretty well knew as *most* of the symptoms were instant. But I "did" find that I could 'moderate' the pain with my head position. Just a possibility to *sniff* consider. Fingers crossed that it is maybe more "body" adjustments due to your fusions? *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Im so sorry that you are having issues and I will say a prayer that it does not lead to more surgery. Ive been a 4 time failure at fusion and well its enough to break your heart when you hear those words. Brenda no it is not nerve pain. Position changing does not increase or decrease the pain. I am almost certain this is bone pain. The pain comes and goes and it is only worse in the morning. As soon as I stand up from the bed it feels like something is crushing my clavicals. I may just be freaking out about this but god knows I dont need anything else wrong with me. Maybe I should just make a appointment with PCP instead of waitng for my surgeon appointment. Thanks everyone
  • I think that calling your PCP instead of waiting on your surgeon would be a prudent move on your part. Hope you get some answers and feel better soon.

  • Susan, I agree with "C" that getting this looked at sooner than your NS appointment would be a good idea. It's always better to err on the side of caution.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    as what I am going through is really nothing too new ... been going on for several month like this.

    He (my primary) on the other hand will be thrilled that I have an appointment with the surgeon this Wednesday.

    This week I WILL get answers - probably won't like them but ???

    Keep us posted Susan .... all of this is such a "pain"

    Warmest Regards,

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

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I can relate .... so much that this Wednesday I'm off to the surgeon who fixed my failed three level to ask him about much of the same symptoms you are reporting.

    In my case I have constant upper shoulder pain - like some one hit me with a baseball bat across the base of my neck - sharp pains in my left lower neck -
    sharp pains on the ulner side of my left arm - pain into my pinkie - numbness and pain in my left ring finger and the area betweeen ring and middle - achy tricep and shoulder ....and some new patches of numbness on both legs - occasional loss of feeling in both thumbs ... and some similar pains on my right side.

    This has been progressing over the past year and a half and I have avoided seeing my surgeon for $ reasons .... but I can't take it any more and want to "get to the bottom" of whats is going on.

    I know the part of my problem is that I have cut out my contolled release meds .... for $ reasons and to try to tough it out a bit more .... Well that little experiment has failed horribly.

    I see an MRI in my future ... and hopefully some explaination as to why my condition is worsening. I am hopeful that it is just progressed facet arthropathy at C-7 T-1 as my last CAT scan in July 09 indicated (moderate - progressed since previous study) I am hopeful there are no other new and exciting findings.

    Another surgery is simply NOT an option at this point.

    I guess thats why its called Degenerative Disc Disease ... because it is progressive and all the titanium in the world won't stop the arthritic process ... I am a degenerate! And my hip bone is connected to my neck bone ..... sing along....

    Praying for the best for you ... and me .... and Brenda ... and Cindy ... and Tam ... and Alex ... and all of us degenerate neckies! Sorry i missed some of you ....

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

  • If you can get with your PCP before your NS, please let us know what you find out. Good luck! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I get the clavical pain.... Among other things like rib pain in several ribs. At any rate the ESI at C7/8, T1/2/3 seems to have helped that one a lot.

    Like you I cannot fathom another surgery. That being said I can not live in this pain any longer. I sleep maybe 2 good nights a week and they rest of the week is spent tring to be comfortable. I use the 4" memory foam on top of my bed and surround myself with pillows. No matter what- I wake about in pain. I used to be a side sleeper but after my first fusion I became a back sleeper.... After the MVA this spring I don't even have that..... It hurts to lay on my back.....

    Some one said lay on my stomach..... With 2 fusions I can even imagine how well that would go.
  • I've had this pain since my accident. After many tests and doctors they finally decided that it comes from the facet at c6/7 and the costovertebral joint which connects your spine to your ribs and collar bone. So far no solution to the pain, just an idea of what is probably causing it.

    Julie sleeping on your stomach does help....until the neck hurts more :)
  • I Have had clavical pain that just never seems to go away. It actually had gotten to the point it was even tender to the touch. My surgeons answer is part of it is the chronic myofascial pain syndrome. The other part of we hope will resolve after this last fusion surgery. In that surgery they fused the facets as well. Sense I am still in a brace and I know recovering it would be hard to gauge. But the idea is sense i have lost the posterior neck muscle is fusing the facets will pull me upward and let up some of the pressure. But for now it is still there but I think having more to do with surgery itself. Being a anterior-posterior surgery I knew the recovery would be long. Susan in your case I would suspect that you are still recovering from the surgery you had earlier this year. But it is always worth it to ask your doctors about it and see what type of treatments they have to reduce the pain.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I also have lost all the muscle in the back of my neck,
    so much that the hardware if sticking out. Is this normal for a posterior patient? I did go to my PCP and he said just what I suspected, I need to go back to my NS. Alot of help he was. He is at the point if it involves my neck he wants nothing to do with it. I really need to find a new PCP. He is at a loss when it comes to me. I think he is afraid of my neck issues because when I started having neck issues all he would do is crack my neck. That was not good, I couldnt get him to listen to me something serious was wrong. So if it involves my spine he always says see your NS. That was a waste of money. I do see my PM doc the 10th and he will investigate the issue. He is really good at finding out what is going on. I tried to get into the surgeon but he is on vacation so they told me if I feel it is a emergency go to the ER. I dont feel as if that is necessary I just want to know what is going on. I guess Ill have to wait a few weeks to find out. Thanks everyone
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