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Fixing naturally fused facet joints in the neck.

pcreedyppcreedy Posts: 1
edited 12/04/2015 - 5:33 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Problem: Chronic tightness in neck muscles (with burning at left side of C5) , shoulder muscles (left rhomboid) and severe restricted range of motion in neck (rotation and lateral flexion) both ways. Im a 50 year old male with this problem for at least 20 years. It particularly effects my ability to work out in gym with arm and overhead exercises as well as it for long periods at a desk. I am a reasonably fit office worker.
I have seen neurosurgeon, PT, chiropractor and GP who said I had extensive spondylosis - DDD and facet spur growths particulary cervical (C3-C4, C5-C6) but also lumbar particularly (L4-L5) and Thoracic particularly (T1-2) (T10-11). No surgery is viable as facet joint spur growth nerve compromise is only minimal at C5-C6. There is no major stenosis of the spinal cord at this stage.
I have had imaging: X ray, CT and MRI of all areas of my back and pelvis. The most extensive degeneration appears to be in C3-C4 facet joints which are reported on CT Scan as extensive facet fusion at C3-C4 with "a faint residuum of a left C3-C4 facet joint". An interesting finding was that the "C2-C3 joint had assymetrical facet joint planes" which I am guessing may have had something to do with the extensive degeneration of the facet joints underneath. I asked my neurosurgeon if he thought the C3-C4 facets had gradually fused over time, or whether I was born with a fusion here (Klippel Feil) He didnt know for sure but thought that it was probably gradual over time in my case. He didnt seem interested in talking about restoring fused C3-C4 facet joints. He suggested NSAIDs (these did nothing) and facet joint injections if it got worse.
My question: Can C3-C4 lateral and rotational movement (and surrounding muscle relaxation) be restored when facet joints are naturally fused?
Many Thanks

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  • ccsiskiyoucccsiskiyou CaliforniaPosts: 1
    I am in a similar situation.  54 years old, active - exercise a lot, but have limited neck rotation and sideways bending.  c3-c4 facets are fused and the rest of the spine has some arthritis.  I'm wondering if it's possible to regain some range of motion with exercises or if it's too late.  My limited range of motion has been around for about 30 years....
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