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Cervical Pain again after 2nd surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi! Just looking for some insight. I have had 1st fusion 2 1/2 yrs ago on levels C5-C7, then in April of this year Levels C7-T1 were fused. Now I am having left arm pain with very achy neck pain and headaches raidiating up my entire head and into my eyes. The doc is treating me with muscle relaxers, pain meds, steriod pills, and slight strengthening excercises. They took an x-ray last friday and it showed a bulging disc at C4-C5, which wasn't there 2 weeks after my surgery. It don't seem like anything is helping as of yet, everything still feels the same if not worse at times. Has anyone ever had this kind of problem within this short of time from surgery? Wondering how much I should push the doc to do an MRI or other test. Talk about getting depressed, this has all happened to me since my husband now proposed, imagine that he must love me, he actually followed through and married me - he has been great, but I am sure as most of you know it is quite a strain on a relationship. Lots of frustrations with the docs.


  • Snuggles,

    I think if you read other posts you will see that people generally have a series of surgeries over time. After each fusion you put additionalpressure on adjacent levels and also the surgery tends to accelerate degenerative and arthritic changes. You didn't indicate your age, but these problems tend to get worse with age. Sorry for your problems.

    If your first fusion was c5-c7, it was two levels. Adding c7-t1 means that your bottom three cervical disks have been fuased.

    Do you have any mobility in your neck?
  • I'm fused at the same levels as you are but had then all done at once. After the first fusion in January I started having arm pain within 10 days of my surgery. I've since had to have a revision surgery....it's a long, long story LOL.

    I don't understand how an x-ray showed a bulging disc. I've never seen disc material show on x-ray before. Most of the time, radiating arm pain can indicate damage to the nerves. This can happen at the muscle level or because of a host of other reasons including scar tissue at the surgical site. How long have you been having the arm pain? Have you been to physical therapy?

    I'd be happy to discuss my experiences with you if you'd like. Just PM me anytime and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

    Congratulations on your wedded bliss! It sounds like you got yourself a keeper there =D>


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  • I am having the same problems....I had 2 surgeries within 5 months, the second one a revision done Feb 07...I am fused C4-C7 and starting this past May started having left shoulder isssues.....xray of shoulder looks good and have just finished PT and the PT people think it is my neck...pressure from the hardware on my TSpine.....I see my surgeon on Oct 22 so will know more then. I have also had an EMG/NCV done which showed denervation at C5C6, radiuculpathy, parathesis and of course muscle atrophy. You might want to get that test done if you have not had it done already.

  • I am 40 yrs old, as for the movement of my neck, I really can't tell a big difference, but I am not allowed to move a whole lot yet. I am only 4 months from my surgery and just now getting wiened out of the soft collar. I know that the other disc are working harder now, but to have it happen just 4 months after the surgery was quite a surprise to me. Makes me wonder if it will ever end or if my whole neck will be fused before I am 45.
  • The doc even pointed it out on the x-ray, it is kind of interesting. The arm pain a such has been about 1 1/2 months now, they have me doing some strengthing exercises, but just having surgery there isn't a whole lot they can have me do. I have been on steriods, pain meds, and muscle relaxers also and nothing is working. The last surgery had all these symptoms and it took them 7 months to find out that the cause was the disc was leaking, I guess I am pretty sensitive or just a cry baby when it comes to pain, but it felt just like a pinched nerve like before the 1st surgery. Doc just called me to verify appointment that should have been cancelled, so I told him that I wasn't any better, we will see what happens now. Thanks for the reply and the info.
    I don't get a chance to get on this site very often, but if you would like to email me and let me know your long story (lol) I would really like to hear it, my email is: snuggles61268@yahoo.com
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  • They thought my problem was my shoulder at first to before my 2nd surgery, the pt just made it worse. I will ask the doc about these other test if the mri don't show anything. Thank you!!!
  • Snuggles,

    My NS said i could stand to have my entire neck replaced but he really doesn't want to fuse at all levels. So we opted to do foraminotomies that hopefully will make more room for the nerves and ultimately eliminate the symptoms (although 4 weeks post-op it has not done so).

    This will hopefully buy some time for new or better technology (stem cells, etc.).

    Good luck to you and I hope things improve for you.
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