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I am 2 years post ACDF surgery of my C5-C6 cervical Spine. I continue to have pain in my shoulders and left side of neck. (This is where the made the incision to get to my spine)
My neck feels as if it is locked up all the time. I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if so, what did you do to stop the pain and get the flexibility back in the neck and shoulders.




  • Hi and welcome, I am three months post surgery for same disc as you and still have neck, nerve and muscle pain. My neurosurgeon said I should be off of the meds and be symptom free but obviously I am not. The left side of my neck and left shoulder is higher then my right and my neck feels like its locked up all the time. Sometimes it's mild but whenever I do "normal" activities it locks up more and when it comes to sleeping that's another story. I can't get comfortable and when I lay on my left side it hurts so bad I have to reposition, my wife says I toss and turn all night and when it's bad I twitch and shake so much the bed shakes and keeps her awake. I don't know what else I can tell you at this time as my neurosurgeon isn't sure either. God Bless, Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • Sometimes our muscles overcompensate for the spinal damage that was "corrected" during the operation. I would consider seeing a qualified masseuse weekly or every other week to help with the remaining physical issues. I also personally believe that many of us suffer from trigger points.

    I had a fusion in 1995, c5-c6, no hardware, my own bone and had issues for years. Muscle treatment is definitely worth a shot. Of course our muscles are mad; we put them through hell.
    Take the high road. There's less traffic up there.
  • DonnabeDDonnabe Posts: 597
    edited 10/16/2012 - 4:24 PM
    Although the intensity of my pain is less than it was pre op, I still have constant pain in my neck, shoulders and mid back!! I hate it!! Nothing helps me except gentle stretching, tens and meds.
    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 too had the same surgery at the same level, but with hardware. I am more than 1.5 years post-op and my spine muscles on the left side spasms all the time. Depending on how long you've had damage, your muscles learn to compensate. This causes super tight muscles that refuse to function normally. I've gotten much better since surgery and I find stretching, heat and self-massages have helped make it bearable. I can't really complain, because I am so much better than before surgery. Gentle strengthen exercises that the PT gave also helps. I stretch everyday and when I forget to do it for a couple of days, I notice that the pain gets worse.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
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