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Another flare up post surgery

In the 2.5 yrs before I had ACDF surgery almost 6 weeks ago, I would have "flare ups" in my neck and shoulder. Every time a flare up would happen, I would lose most movement in my neck, shoulder and right arm. It would be painful to the touch also. I missed quite a bit of work from these flare ups. I would deal with it when I could and modify my job when I could but the first couple of days of the flare up. They were extremely painful and would last at least a week. They started out infrequent but by about a year ago, they came closer and closer together until they would be every 2-3 weeks after the end of the previous flare up. I would go to the doctor and they would give me anti-inflamitories and muscle relaxers. Neither worked. It became an everyday thing from April/May until surgery in September. Anything from turning my head wrong or nothing at all would trigger them. I thought that after I had the ACDF surgery, I would be done with those. Well, I guess I thought wrong. Thursday afternoon, I sneezed and low and behold, another flare up has started. It wasn't a particularly big sneeze and I didn't feel a pop or crack or anything when it happened so I have no idea why this one sneeze caused it to start. I have seasonal allergies so its not like its a rare thing. The difference with this one is that normally the pain is on the right side only. This time its my left side. I have more movement than normal but the pain is nerve pain down my left arm that is sharp and stabbing and burning. It is also going all the way down my back to my lower back also and I keep getting pain and numbness in my legs periodically. However it is mostly centered in my shoulder blade area all the way across. I am also experiencing major headaches with this. I am taking leftover muscle relaxers and pain meds from my surgery that I didn't use.
I am really disappointed that these flare ups may continue. I knew I would still have pain after surgery but these were the worst part of the neck issues. I have a doctor appt. with my neuro surgeon and I definitely plan on discussing this with him.
Does anyone else experience this?
Tracie C


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/18/2014 - 4:00 PM
    and yes, even change sides. The surgical area is still healing, and still irritated from the surgery, the tools used during it, and the movement.......so sneezing, and coughing may aggravate the area some.
    It should improve and settle down again.....the best thing you can do is ice it, and perhaps some muscle topical creams or ointments may help.
  • I will try that Sandi. It seems to have improved quite a bit since yesterday. I have some weakness in my left leg yet but I decided to take a walk to try to get some activity going instead of sitting around. I am trying to refrain from taking the muscle relaxers except for bed time since I am having trouble sleeping. I was given a list of things not to take before surgery and after. I cant remember where it is but I couldn't remember if muscle creams were on there. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow so I will double check when I go in
    Tracie C
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