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Pain in shoulder & neck after c5-6 6-7 fusion

AbbeyAAbbey Posts: 7
edited 10/07/2014 - 7:26 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi I am new to this site. I just underwent a cervical fusion c5-6 & 6-7. I have a lot of pain in my shoulder mostly rt side and arm and neck, I have a hard time sitting as the pain worsens and is made even worse in a recliner. It has only been three weeks post op but I guess I thought I would feel better not worse. People I know had this surgery and said they felt pain free immediately and none of them wore a collar at all which I thought odd. That has confused me as I am miserable. I wear a soft collar walking, and around the house and none at night to sleep which my surgeon said was ok. He also said I did not have to wear one when sitting at home. I only wear the hard collar when in the car, which tends to make shoulder pain worse and have headaches. Just would appreciate others experiences as I am not sure what's normal. Thank you


  • A post op flare up of pain is common. Have you contacted your surgeon to discuss your symptoms?
    Surgery isn't an instant cure for your condition. It is a repair that needs time to heal.
  • I have contacted my surgeon and the nurse said she would send him a message. I was just wondering what others experienced and if what I am going thru is normal. Sitting is the worse to cause neck and shoulder pain. Thanks for any input.
  • I have the same shoulder and upper to middle right back pain(I've been told its all the metal making it very stiff now???) But my fusion was c2,c3,c4,c5,c6,c7,t1,t2,t3,t4,and t5 and they removed the entire c3 ,c5,t1,and t3 and put in titanium cages in there; places.also mine was 38 inch rear incision and 14 inch front incison:.with plates in front and rods I. Rear...all surgeries are different for each person but this forum can be very helpful.I made a few GREAT friends here that I do t think I could have got threw the surgery without there help...I ( and maybe you) have come to terms by speaking g to all 18 doctors that worked o. Me for probably 20 hours that this is the best its going to get..and I am ready to live with this amount of pain ..meds for ever but quality of life is important.so the right meds.therapy.and support are crucial ...I wish u luck in your recovery and know that u r not all alone....
  • I had ACDF on Sept. 9th on C5/C6. I was told by a lot of people that I would have virtually no pain when I woke up from surgery. I honestly didn't believe that for a second. It is really an individual pain thing. It depends on the issue, how long you had the issue before pain and a lot of stuff. It is going to take time to heal and 3 weeks really isn't that long. I still have pain also similar to what you are describing. Its a bummer to still deal with it but sometimes it takes a while. My doctor was pretty upfront with me though that my surgery was to fix the spinal cord compression and it didn't necessarily mean that I would have no more pain. I dealt for 2.5 yrs. It will take a while. With that being said, like Sandi had said, talk to your doctor about the issue. Maybe physical therapy might be prescribed for you to help deal with the pain and lasting issues. Good Luck.
    Tracie C
  • Thanks everyone for your input. It makes me feel like I'm not crazy. I'm sorry any of you are suffering. Living with pain daily really works on your mind. I am just going to try harder to take the meds and stay ahead of it and give it time. I start PT on the 22 md so maybe that will help. The pain in the arms concerns me but from what I have read is normal...normal as long as it goes away one day I hope.
  • You have just had surgery......it is going to take awhile before you see improvement in your symptoms and reduction in pain. Try putting a piece of foam of some sort or a folded piece of fleece under the edge of the hard collar where it is compressing on the shoulder. It is a relatively common complaint that the collar causes shoulder and neck pain.
    The nerve pain can take some weeks and even months post op to resolve completely, but there should be improvement in the mean time. Meaning the symptoms should change and evolve as you heal.
    Surgery is only one small step in the journey, it relieves the compression or repairs the structural problem but now, your body needs time and space to heal properly and recover.
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