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Question About Neck Fusion & Shoulder Pain?

Mindymork62MMindymork62 Posts: 207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a fusion (anterior with bone graft) at C 5,6 7, on April 1st. Lately I have had very severe shoulder pain in my right shoulder to the point I can't raise my arm above my shoulder, and it hurts in the back of my neck on that same side. I don't have any idea as to the cause. Could something be going on with the fusion? I also have 3 screws in my neck. I do have an appointment with my surgeon on monday, but do I need to bring this to his attention before then?


  • Mindy,

    You're still fairly young from surgery. It sounds like you might have tight muscles and or spasms going on. Remember, any fusion within our spines, the whole spine (and body to a large degree) has to adjust. Our posture changes, the dynamics and loading on our spine changes, which translates into tight muscles and the like.

    Of course give your surgeon a call if it gets real concerning, but it sounds like your muscles are getting really tight. Have you tried heat or ice to see if that helps? Changing how you sleep may help - for me, having my upper body elevated knocked down a lot of my spasms and tightness...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I will give the ice and what you suggested a try. I'm still recovering from L3, and L 4/5 surgery from last July. I'm 60 years young, and all of this has taken a toll on my body. I'm also sleeping till one or two in the afternoon, but maybe my body needs that for now. :)
  • It's looking like they are going to redo my neck plus at least one level, back now is on the list as well. I too have had those sleep till 2 in the afternoon times as well. I think that is a mix of body healing, the medications, the internal stress we have with what all we've had done on the table.

    Unlike breaking an arm or leg, spine surgery affects our whole body in many ways. It's funny, my back likes heat, and my neck likes ice! I haven't figured that out yet.

    What also might help is trying different positions for sleeping. Elevate your head or legs, or as I've found both. I bought an adjustable bed, and sleeping has gotten a lot better most nights. Sitting, sometimes my office like chair is just fine as I can wiggle and be 'sort of comfortable', other times I sneak over to the recliner. :)

    I hope you find some things that help. Also too, have you tried using a TENS unit? Just thought I'd toss out another possible tool to reduce pain.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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