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Upper Back Pain now after 4 Level ACDF 13 months ago

jennychelejjennychele Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
In Dec 2009 I had a 4 level ACDF from C3-7 using PEEK Prevail Disks and BMP. All has been going well I believe although I still see my PM and am on Morphine and Pecocets and Baclophen.
However, in just the past few days I have had a fairly strong pain in my upper back (Maybe near the T1 Level)It is feels like if I move wrong it is going to be a very sharp pain right between my shoulders and up a little.

I know that after having a 4 level ACDF it puts a lot of pressure on the next vertebre and it will probably need to be fused as well eventually. I feel like that is what the problem is. I have a very stressful desk job which requires me to sit at a desk for 8-10 hours a day with very little opprotunity to get up and move around. Also, in the past 3 weeks I have switched to night shift, which moved me to a different desk that sits a little higher than my other desk and I believe this contributes to the pain as well. Also in the past month is when my medication changed from percocet 10/325 and Valium to 24 ER Morphine, Percocet 10/325 for breakthrough and Baclophen for Muscle spasms.

I was wondering if anyone else has had this upper back pain start so soon after a ACDF and if so what did you do. Any info will be greatly appreciated.


  • I had upper back pain following ACDF but the actually pain was coming off the hardware not the level below it. A myelogram revealed signal disruption in all disc from that level down and some scolosis developing more than likely from the way I need to hold my head. But you are correct that is a lot of weight for the disc below to hold it. But the problem comes in and what point and time do they stop fusing cause it will just blow the levels below it? So while you maybe having issues with the level below it, it is possible they can treat it conservatively and maintain the disc.

    To error on the side of caution you should make contact with your doctor and let them determine what is going on. I would hate to speculate as to what could really be going on. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.
  • I had ACDF to C4/5/6 in September 2010 and around Xmas time I thought my recovery was going quite well because at long last I was able to eat solids. However since then the pain in my neck and shoulders has increased to being more than I had before the operation. My Surgeon has referred me for MRI scan of complete spine and CT scan of lumbar region as he suspects another disc or discs have herniated. He maintains that having a PLIF which I had in December 2008 has placed undue stress on the upper spine. I get scans on 4th March 2011 and then see Surgeon on 11th for outcome. Even taking my tramadol painkillers seem to have little or no effect on the pain level.

    Previous operations: Rt Knee replacement 1998 followed by revision in 2000! Lt Knee replacement in 2006. PLIF plus rebuild in 2008. ACDF Surgery to C4/5/6 in September 2010.
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