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c3 thru t1 posterior and anterior fusion

gailgggailg Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello all, been awhile since I've been on. My question for anyone who can help. I had neck surgery Memorial day 2009 and I was doing fine up until these past 3 months. The middle of my back is now aching so bad sometimes I can hardly stand it. I was told by my PT that my thoracic is taking over for my twisting since I can't turn my head very much anymore. It has put a strain on it. Has anyone else had this problem? And if so,,,,,what do you do to releive it? Thanks lots


  • Have you tried muscle relaxants? I'm wondering if you're having spasms in your back due to the increased work your muscles are doing from your fusion.

  • Hi Cathie.

    I noticed that in your signature line you post a new C3 concern. What are the symptoms and what is the doctor doing to alleviate the symptoms?

    I ask because I am currently fused c4/5 c5/6. I've been having neck and shoulder pain, weakness in my left arm and tingling in my hand (dependent on the position of my head). I am also getting daily headaches that start at the base of my skull and extend to behind my eyes. I go for CT myelogram on Wednesday, but I'm really nervous about this. The surgeon and therapist are both in agreement that this seems like a c3 issue. The therapist is hoping for facet joint issues, which is supported by the pain but not the headaches or weakness and muscle spasms.

    You've had 2 surgeries so far. How do you deal with the addition diagnosis? I'm praying - I'm afraid. ya know? Recovery kicked my bum after my '09 surgery.

    sigh....this too shall pass.

    Thanks for any advice, info, input...gracias.

  • First, Gail, don't mean to hijack your thread here, but I'm going to answer Yvonne's question, ok? But do let us know how you're doing.

    Yvonne, as for my problems above my cervical fusion, I have severe arthritis and facet problems on the left side at C2/3 and right side at C3/4. I've got edema at the right side, a sac of fluid that's trying to protect my facet joint there. The problems are getting worse and the pain is almost constant now. The only option is injections, but with my insurance at the moment, it's not affordable to get them done. I personally don't think they'll help anyway because they didn't help my lumbar facets and the ones in my neck are far worse than the ones were in my lumbar. So we're managing with pain meds, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, lidoderm patches, and perhaps some PT. BTW, although my surgeon's PA mentioned adjacent problems after fusion, the areas above my fusion were bad to begin with, just not as bad as they are now. The surgery for these particular problems and area is serious surgery and my surgeon and I won't even discuss it at this point. I'll have to be on my death bed before that happens.

    As for symptoms, my pain is in the back of my neck (right much worse than left), pain down into my shoulder, mostly right side, but sometime left, and occasional headaches like you describe. My PA also said that at these two areas, I'm not likely to have any issues with my arms or coordination (or lack thereof).

    Dealing with it? Well, I guess we have to take it one step at a time. I've known that my neck is a mess, even before my surgery I knew the levels above weren't great, but they've just been getting worse.

    I know it's all very scary, but I'm just grateful that my surgeon and his PA work with me and adjust to what I can and can't do, what I do and don't need, and are just my best advocates. I trust them completely and they trust me to be honest with them and do what they ask me to.

    Feel free to PM me if I can help you in any way. Cervical problems are a pain, I know, and they're pretty scary, too. BTW, why is the therapist hoping for facet issues? I always thought it's easier to deal with disc problems than facet problems, especially in the upper cervical area, but I very well might be wrong.

    Take care,

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