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Problems after ACDF

dymillerddymiller Posts: 2
edited 10/19/2015 - 8:04 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi. I am new to this group and looking for answers. I have had issues with my spine for years and recently had ACDF for C5-C7. I had surgery 10 weeks ago and have continued to have issues ever since. I have been back in physical therapy for 6 weeks with no change. I am having excruciating pain in the back of my neck, space between neck and whoulder, and into shoulder and arm on the right side. I can barely lift my arm and have a feeling of being set on fire and ripped into all at the same time. I can not sleep and have not been able to return to work. My neurosurgery office says they hope it is not a neck issue and sent me to an orthopaedic surgeon for possible rotator cuff injury. They gave me a shot in the back of my arm, which has helped nothing. I have asked for an MRI due to this going on for several weeks and I feel like no one is taking it seriously. Has anyone else experienced this? Why is it so hard to get someone to listen and provide solutions. I feel as though surgery has been done and now I am tossed to the wolves. I can not to my job right now and I am also having an issue with the provider:s passing the buck on that responsibility..... no one seems to care that I have to answer to my employer and disability company. Help.....


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 554
    I am sorry that you are having all of these problems after your surgery.
    There are several of us on this site that are dealing with both neck & shoulder issues. I've had 2 neck surgeries & all the while, the doctors were telling me that my shoulder pain was coming from my neck? I finally found a new ortho doctor & he did an exam on me & sent me for an arthrogram. He said a regular mri won't show as much as an arthrogram will. I ended up having a full rotator cuff tear. I had surgery for that 4 months ago.
    I'm not saying that you do have a shoulder injury. But I think you do need to get some testing done, just to rule it out?
    After my neck surgeries, I had a lot of nerve pain too. There are several different meds that can help with that burning pain.
    Are you doing any physical therapy? Do you have a Tens unit? I found that using a Tens unit with a heat pack helped me some.
    I hope you get some answers & relief with your pain.
  • Hi Motor1: Thank you and I hope that you are doing much better. I believe that I definately need tests also. I think my providers are taking the stance that we did surgery, post op days are X and that should be it, but, something is seriously wrong. I am trying to get in with a new orthopaedic doctor now, as the last one blew it off and the neurosurgeon's office says they "hope" it is not my neck and to try to work with an orthopaedic. I am still in physical therapy and yes I do have a tens unit. I use that constantly. I have tried meds for nerve pain too and to no avail.

    Thanks again and feel better.
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