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Cervical fusion 2years post op, new bad problems!

la rubialla rubia Posts: 9
edited 01/06/2013 - 5:42 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am 2 years post op from antior cervical c 2,3, 4. I was better after initial surgery for about 1 1/2 years. NOW, my neck pain is back, I have limited movement in my right arm and, arm gets numb as well as the newest: my fingers on my right hand are numb , cold and two are swollen, can't make a fist or hold anything. I am desperate to find help. My orthopedic surgeon was/is a non caring , defensive person who won't see me again. YET, I have asked for a "release" to see someone else, and, he will not do it. He is arogant and mean, yet his rep. as a sugeon was supposed to be the best. NO ONE told me he lacks ANY compassion and, blames the patient if I complain! My pain tolerance is very high and, I am a great patient.Can't find another doctor who will take me as a patient because of MY doctor who is so respected and "has a big name" here in Salt Lake City. can anyone help? has anyone has the numbness, lack of motion, etc two years after what seemed like successful surgery? Am I back to starting all over? I really am scared and, in pain. I know it can only get worse. please help


  • What does and can happen after fusing parts of the spine isa condition called adjacent disc disease. Which means by fusing one area of the spine it has placed additional burden on the other levels and caused them to fail. You don't need a release from your surgeon, and have never heard of a doctor not seeing a patient cause they supposedly went to the best. You have the right to see any surgeon you would like to. They can't hold your medical records hostage, as you own them. Of course they may charge for them, but you still own them. Just pick out the relevant piece, such as the surgery notes and the last time you seen him for copies and the initial diagnoses, of course any imaging would be great.

    If you did so well for a year and half then the surgeon should be willing to see you as a patient. He is well aware of this condition and I am sure if you look at your surgery release one of the things you signed off on, is the need for more surgery. I am not saying you need more surgery, even if you have blown another level, it could still be treated conservatively. But of course we can't assume anything, as only imaging will show what is going on and a clinical exam.

    This is your neck and you need to be persistent. Whatever you do, don't speak badly of the other surgeon as it goes no where in helping your case. But it also serves no purpose. As far as his bed side manner, many surgeons don't have one, they are actually very busy people. But they also are not in the relationship building business as say a primary. They see a patient do the surgery once the patient has healed from the surgery, most times they will never see the patient again. If your still in pain following a surgery they will send you on to a pain management doctor or let a primary take over. They sole purpose is to do surgery, and like I say, once they have completed it, they often send you on. Also many insurance companies won't allow them to continue to treat either.

    If I was in your shoes and didn't like that surgeon, for one your primary can order images to see what is going on. He/she can also do a clinical exam and make a diagnoses. Keep in mind you don't have to see a surgeon. You can also see a neurologist. Often times a patient has pretty much been diagnoses by the time they see a patient. I will say one thing If a surgeon has a poor bad side manner but they are good I will take it anyway. I don't care about the bedside manner I just care about getting better. I often say I am not there to make friends but rather get better. If we get along that is a huge bonus.

    Also don't forget about looking a dermatone chart it might help you understand where the pain is coming from.

    Anyway good luck and keep us posted as to what happens.
  • try4smilettry4smile Posts: 33
    edited 01/09/2013 - 1:35 PM
    I'm so sorry you are having so much trouble! Do you HAVE to have a release form to see another dr? Can u just go see a GP and have that dr. give you a recommendation or referral? I mean what would you have to do to get a second opinion?

    I talked with a nurse one time while I was getting an epideral. She had neck surgery and a year later she was in pain. This is why I will not have the fusion in my neck. I have talked to more people who have had it, just for the pain to come back and also have the movement limitations. I so wish you the best la rubia and keep us posted.

    Herniated disc C5 C-6, DDD, Fibromyalgia, Nerve damage both arms, Disc Decompression, SCS 2010, Si joint pain, many epidurals, mri's, trigger point injections. Nerve conduction tests, RFA 11/28/12, RLS
  • I had similar surgery in 2004. I got along great until June 2010. I started dropping coin & cash at my bank job. Went to my dr & just had an XRay of my neck. OMG.......the plate in my neck had shifted....crooked! Had MRI too. My spine surgeon told me that bones shift all the time. How could a plate that had 3 screws through it shift? By the time I was scheduled for the second surgery, I had pain shooting down both sides of my neck, down both arms into my hands & fingers. Clumsy hands with numbness & tingling & electrifying shocks in my pointer fingers that are purplish. Had the surgery to straighten up the plate in July in hopes that all the pain would be gone. Not! Nothing had changed. My spine surgeon that did both surgeries told me to go apply for
    Disability. My spinal cord had been permanently damaged from the plate shifting. I started Social Security Disability in December with no problems. He could no longer help me. Medication is what gets me through each & every day & night. I type away on my tablet with my pinkie finger. I do have some tingling in my legs & toes but my legs are great & I try to stay active walking. I feel your pain!!!

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