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pain after cervical fusion

I have progressing pain in my neck arm shoulder and fingers,since my surgery!
Renee Elbel


  • I feel your pain, curtnay. My doctor was sure to explain ahead of time that the surgery was to avoid further damage to the spinal cord... paralysis, etc. While I understand that, I wonder how we're supposed to live with, or deal with the continuing nerve pain.

    How long ago was your surgery? I'm sorry you're going through this... I think we might just all be in this lousy boat together.


  • my surgery was 14 months ago
    Renee Elbel
  • My surgery was 2 1/2 years ago and I still see my pain management doctor every 3 months.(4 levels C3-4, 4-5, 5-6, 6-7 using the Peek Prevail Disks by Medco so I do not have cages with plates.)
    Although I do not have the horrible nerve pain in my arm anymore. Mine is mostly myofascial pain and muscle spasms with trigger points in my trapezius muscles which also causes headaches. I do have what I call "bone pain" (just to differentiate it from the other types I have) in what I feel like is the level just below my fusion. I have always wondered why I am still in some sort of pain 24/7. I kept thinking it would get better but it is pretty much the same since after recovery from the surgery.
    I just went through 2 rounds of trigger point injections 1 week apart and at the last visit I asked my PM doctor again why I am still having so much pain. He sent me for a CT scan (which I just had today so I don't know the results yet). Hopefully it will reveal something and he will have a plan on how to get to the source.
    I feel for you because I know how frustrating it is to go through the surgery and the recovery with hope of being pain free and feeling let down because you're not. If you don't mind me asking, how many levels did you have done and what type of hardware did they use? Are any of your symptoms different or better after the surgery?
  • CarpTCCarpT Posts: 7
    edited 07/20/2012 - 8:07 PM
    I am sorry to hear that you are still having pain. My surgery was Jan. 21, 2010 and I still have constant pain in my neck, shoulder, arm and finger 24/7. I see my pain management doctor every 3 months for pain meds and recently started going to a chiropractor to see if he can help with some of the pain. Which he has - the pain hasn't been as severe. I always ask the doctors why I still have so much pain after surgery and they tell me that I have to learn to live with it. I have had many MRI, CT scans and CT scan with die. (which I had an allergic reaction to and had to go to the emergency room a couple days after. I will never do that again.)
    After finding this site I have come to learn that there are many of us that are still in pain after surgery. I hope someone can give you the help you need. Best of luck.
  • Yea, I am still in constant pain too. I don't regret having the surgery. I am in less pain than I was before. It's just different now. I didn't think it would be like this though. I am a year and a month post op.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I can relate to your pain 2 years later still pain, but I have plates & screws. I just had a CT and my plate is lipping at c4, which is causing c3 to get irritated. I did not fuse at c6,c7 so I would need to have that done, and I also have a bone spur at c7.

    I have had a total of 3 pm dr's and the only one who has helped me was the one I saw June 18th, 2012. He gave me a ESI in c7 & t1 it helped out with my pain!!! I know this is not a fix, but it's better than nothing. I wear a soft collar when I feel my neck start to get tired, and when it starts to ache.

    Let us know what your CT reveals. I hope you get some results that will explain your pain.

    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
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