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Pain is back in my arm and neck!!!!!!

ok so I had surgery last year February,28th.2013.......... I had ACDF done C3/6 6/7. Everything had been going great even after surgery. I never experience any pain. until 3 days ago! it made me sick at my stomach, because I knew immediately what it was! does this mean it did not fuse back together? AM I just jumping to conclusion? do I still have hope? I have been PAIN FREE FOR ALMOST A YEAR! W the heck!.................. no pain NOTHING till now!!!!!! I hope someone can answer my questions No need to candy coat it, I can handle it! I have no choice!!!!!


  • While we can all understand your concerns it may be that it is a simple flare up or you may have done something to irritate the nerve. Did you follow up with your surgeon since you had surgery? Did he tell you that you were fused?
    Did you have xrays or a CT scan done to evaluate the fusion process?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Plus we really have nothing solid to go on except for your description of a flare up.
    Almost anyone who has had spinal surgery will experience flareups many times
    Right now, it seems that you are in panic mode.
    Wait a couple of days to see how everything pans out.
    If after 5 or 7 days, you still feel the way you do , contact your doctor to discuss the situation.
    However, if you feel that there is something that is definitely wrong right now, dont hesitate in calling your doctor.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I had ACDF (C5-6)in December of 2008 as well, and never had any problem after, until 2 months ago when I started having arm/elbow and neck pains again. They're treating me for a tennis elbow. I was on prednisone and NSAID and on PT but the pain remains. Finally, my doctor sent me for an MRI of the cervical spine but with inconclusive report because they can.t see anything from C3-C6, it's all black because of the metal fusion, as the radiologist said. Is that possible, or they just didn't do the MRI right? Now, he's sending me for a CT scan of the cervical spine. Im just worried that if they can't see anything again from the CT, what's next? Has anyone ever have the same problem? Please help. I would really appreciate it so much. I just want to know what's causing all these pains so they can treat me right. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
    edited 02/13/2014 - 10:12 AM

    I agree with Sandi and Ron. I understand that after a year without pain since your surgery, to suddenly have it must be very worrying but it could be just a flare of pain.

    3 days probably seems like a long time to be having this pain in your arm and neck, but it could settle.
    You could try to ease back on what you do for a week and see if the pain improves.

    As Ron said, if things definately feel very wrong then get medical advice.

    I hope that this is nothing serious and just a flare that will improve.
    I would definately say that you still have hope. :-)
    Also the fact that you have felt so good after surgery up until now is a good sign.

    Do let us know how things turn out.

  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
    edited 02/13/2014 - 10:19 AM
    Firstly, welcome to Spine Health. This is a great and friendly place to come for information on the Conditions and Treatment pages and support on the forum from fellow sufferers.

    I'm sorry that you didn't get any helpful answers from your MRI scan.

    I had my MRI scans after surgery with contrast for the very reason that metal hardware will cause artifact that distorts the images making them very hard to read accurately.

    As far as I know, CT scans are not affected by hardware. I'm sure that your surgeon has referred you for a CT scan so that he will be able to find out what is happening in your neck.

    I hope that you will get some answers soon, and hopefully you will be able to share some good news with us.
    Good luck. :-)
  • Elizabeth -

    I had the same issue with MRIs (I had ACDF c3-7, Lumbar fusion L4-5, L5-S1). Instead of going with a CT my surgeon had me have CT myelograms of my cervical and lumbar areas. It allowed analysis of the areas without the disruption from the "metallic artifact" which was a big issue with the mris.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • THANK YOU so much. Does myelogram hurt?

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    I'm sorry that I can't answer that as I have never had one. However, I thought this might interest you:


    Let us know how you get on. :-)

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