I had a C5/6 fusion 1 year and 2 months ago. I thought I would be over all this muscle pain by now. I had terrible little knots in my forearms and my shoulders felt like they were glued together at 8 months post surgery. Now, my forearms have no knots, though I can easily get tennis elbow in one arm if I do not wear a brace. I started rebuilding a bit and decreasing my Lyrica. I was so thrilled to get down to 25 mg. of Lyrica per day, and then, all at once, the pain was incredible. I felt as if I were on fire and my muscles all got sore again. My biceps got tendonitis and my pectorals hurt a lot. Just misery. So I panicked and increased the Lyrica back to 100 mg per day. Unfortunately, it takes as long as a month to re-stabilize on that drug, so my recovery has been slow. I am still not as good as I was before I nose-dived. So now, I am trying to stabilize again and rebuild. I had injections in my bicep tendons (again) and find it so frustrating that I cannot recover! If I lift much or do much out of the ordinary, my arms will hurt. My shoulders are not all glued together anymore-- it's as if I got unlocked, but with natural movement, I have a rawness. I have had a new MRI and all is well. The level above the fusion is bulged, but not pinching nerves according to the MRI. The fusion is good. An EMG says I have no permanent damage on my nerves. My neurologist said it can take two years for nerves to recover. I HOPE.
Has anyone else gone through this? Has anyone else TRIED to get off Lyrica, but found that the withdrawal pain is four times worse than the original pain? I have gotten off Gabapentin since my surgery and I was uncomfortable. That was at 6 months post surgery, but I never felt as if I were on fire!!! But Lyrica withdrawal is like setting a match to oneself. I wish someone had warned me! I have read that many do a water titration method to get off Lyrica---creeping off of it for MONTHS to avoid the hellish withdrawal.
I just want my arms back---I want to walk my dogs again. It's so discouraging. Anyone else relate? Anyone else recover?