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Clicking Sound in My Neck

Patty5374PPatty5374 Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Does anyone have a clicking sound in their neck after cervical fusion? I had a two level anterior fusion 18 months ago C4-C6 and also a lumbar fusion six months ago L4-L5. For the past two months, every time I look to the left or right for a few moments and then turn my head back to the straight position, I hear a click in the back of my neck. Sometimes it's a snap like a rubber band but mostly a click. There is some pain with the snap but only as long as the snap lasts. The back of my neck has also become sore, just a tired feeling, like I want to lay back and take the weight off of it.

I called my doc and he is sending me for xrays. But I'm just nervous and worried something may be slipping with the screws or plate. So, has anyone else had this and what was the outcome?




  • Hi Patty,
    Please give us an update on your Dr. visit. I had the clicking/popping before my acdf 4-5 and I am 23 months post surgery and the popping/clicking is back along with my neck locking up. I am also having pain in my neck and left shoulder. I hope that you get some relief soon. Susan
  • My Physical Therapist said it's probably a ligament, but I think it's my Artificial Disc. I don't worry about it, it doesn't hurt and is quite common.
  • Like Kendrak said, most times it is ligaments you are hearing. Sometimes it can be trapped air, or maybe a minor rub in the spiney process bones. I get some of that, but some of it is the osteophytes in my C2/3 bumping each other! Funky sound when they do that. Please let us know what they tell you.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • He said just as you all were saying - that it is normal, probably ligaments. He said one vertebrae had completely fused and the other was getting close (surgery 05/09) 20 months out. But that was ok. Said all the instrumentation was aligned. So basically, take anti inflammatory if it hurts too. Also, since I fly a good bit, to take anti-inflammatory before I fly to help with the stiffness and subsequent clicking there.

    Thanks everyone for your answers and support.
  • Mine sometimes pops and cracks so much, and too loud enough my hubby can hear it a few feet away! He calls it my "Rice Crispy's" neck! Glad to hear all is well, and what's probably causing yours is what we've been told about ours. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have the same issue, but it is after I irritated nerves recently. When I am stretching my neck, I have some clicking, snapping and grinding. It is likely from ligaments tightening from an irritated nerve that is causing the muscles to tighten and restrict range of motion. Unfortunately for me I am experiencing a significant amount of neck pain the last 6 weeks = 18 months out of ACDF C5-C7. I have non-union of my C6-C7 that is causing unintended motion.

    I would see your surgeion to rule out non-union of your fusion.
  • :/ Hello , I am new here and am wondering if anyone has had troublee with tailbone pain or coccydynia ! I have had it for almost 4 yrs have had multiple injectionssome work for a short time some don't work at all !! I am at the end of my rope and and am thinking of surgery !! Has anyone had surgery for this condition ? Would love to hear your experience with this
  • I had an ACDF w/ instrumentation 4 1/2 years ago. I also started having that grinding and clicking noise in my neck and began to have severe pain in what I call the "hump" in the back of my neck which would radiate to my shoulders and down to the middle of my back.
    After my surgeon reviewed my xrays he said it was mostly due to arthritic changes and that my fusion looked good but he wanted an MRI because of the pain I'm in.
    Well needless to say I am heading back to surgery for a Posterior Laminectomy of C-3 thru C-7 w/ fusion and instrumentation. The bone will again be taken from my left hip but this time from the back of the iliac crest.
    My previous fusion had NOT healed completely on the lower level, I have stenosis, a herniated disc and bone spurs from the arthritis.
    If anybody has had this procedure I would like some feedback please. Does anybody know if there is any problem from having bone harvested from both sides of the same hip?
    I guess my whole point is....if you have pain that doesn't feel like your "NORMAL" pain...talk to your surgeon! If they look at the xrays and say there seems to be no problem...insist on an MRI!
    I have had severe OA for 10 years and live with my normal pain everyday from sunrise to sunset. I knew this pain was NOT normal. Only YOU know your body!
    Thank you and God Bless you all!
  • Good luck to all of you!
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