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Degeneration above and below Fusion

Hello. I had ACDF C5-C7 in March 2015. The surgery significantly helped my left arm pain and weakness as well as left leg weakness. Since the surgery I have had an increase of neck and upper back pain without arm numbness or weakness. It feels like it is the spine itself. I had 2 sets of XRAYS by different doctors. 1 was interpreted as Pseudoarthritis / failed fusion. 2nd was interpreted as Stage 2 Spondylolishesis at C3-C5 and C7-T1. The neck pain is sometimes unbearable. Also I have sever low back pain which I can only imagine is from some of the postural changes I make to help with the neck pain - I am not sure.

I have had 2 Cervical ESI so far and will be starting Physical Therapy. I take 2 Alleve in the AM / 2 Alleve in the PM and Tylenol throughout the day & Gabapentin 2700mg daily. I can also take Tramadol 50mg 3x daily but this offers little relief and gives me mild nausea (which I wouldn't mind so much if it helped better). I use ice, TENS, & DMSO as well.

Has anyone experienced similiar changes post-op? Has any of the treatment options I suggested helped or is surgery a forgone conclusion?
Thank You


  • ArtsygalAArtsygal Kentucky Posts: 27
    Sorry to hear you haven't fused and experiencing additional pain.  I had the same surgery as you in December 2013 and just got confirmation I didn't fuse. For me I'm waiting for a date for revision surgery as tens, pt, pain meds etc did not help me. I have DDD and levels above and below original acdf are bad too. If you can manage I would say try what your doing to see if it gets better and above all talk to your doctor!  If surgery is the only option like me, you can do it later. Have you discussed your low back pain with your doctors? I ask because of DDD I now have issues from L3 - S1 and may have lumbar surgery after my cervical revision surgery. If your lumbar issue continues you may want further testing. I hope you find relief without surgey, keep us updated!
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