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Shoulder Problems after Cervical Surgery

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Comments

  • neck and rotator cuffs both sides and elbow on left side and right hand, all nerve stuff.
  • Elle,
    sorry to hear that you are still having pain. Hopefully you will continue to get better since your surgery was fairly recent.

    Jim,
    I'm glad you are now pain free but sounds pretty awful that it took so long and that you needed more surgery to get to this point. That scares me to death, the possiblity of more surgery.

    Kathal,
    I'm glad your pain is better and you are still doing PT.

    Tonya,
    Sounds like you need to be very careful in PT and make sure anyone that works with you knows exactly what you had done. I had one of the assistants try to give me something to do with weights one day and I was quick to tell him that I am not to use weights and then my therapist came over to tell him also. They see so many people that sometimes they don't realize what exactly we had done. If they make a mistake its a mistake but if we listen we are the ones who suffer. I hope you will be able to continue PT because I think it helps just be very vocal about what works and what does not. I usually work with one of two people and the one I work with less had me do an exercise laying on my back and tucking my chin and lifting my head slightly. This is fine for a second or two but she had me hold for 10 seconds. by they my whole body was shaking and I was in serious pain. I said I will continue to do this exercise but I want to start slow and work my way up over time.

    Mabun
    Sounds like you still have a lot of nerve related issues and unfortunately I seem to as well. I thought I was getting some improvement and then unfortunately I overdid on Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving and now both my shoulders are back in spasm and I have pain in the center of my shoulders and upper back. I always have nerve related pain in my right hand and arm but I am still very hopeful that most of this will resolve in time. I just need to keep reminding myself that I can't do a lot of things that I want to for now. I hope you get a lot better,
    LJ
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  • I think I found a new form of PT that I don't have to pay for. For the first time in 2 months I babysat for my daughter in law while she went to have her hair done. He's a handful at 8 months old. He's already trying to walk and can actually take a few steps now without falling. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't just keep him more often and keeping my copay in my pocket. :))) Actually I think I'm going to ask that we just work on strengthening exercises and intend to ask about some of the thing that you mentioned. I can do heat at home and I'm afraid of the ultrasound now.
  • My surgeon told me before the surgery that I was going to have really bad shoulder pain. And a lot of pain between the shoulders as well. He said it was due to the repositioning of the all of the tendons and muscles of the neck that were so used to "guarding" and because my neck was being strengthened and straightened.
    He wasn't kidding. There were days in the first few weeks that it felt like someone was trying to rip my arm off at my shoulder (like a chicken wing).
    I'm 6 weeks post-op and I went to a party this weekend and even with my collar on, I was looking around and talking, etc. The next day my shoulders - OooohEeee!
  • Tonya,
    Wow, babysitting an 8 month old. I hope you were extra careful. I would not think you would be allowed to pick him up. Strengthening exercises sound like a good idea. Your PT should be open to suggestion as long as it fits into things that are good for you and won't hurt you. The PT I see the most is really good. She listens to me and depending on what I am feeling she adjusts the days PT. I just wish my shoulders would feel better. I am used to neck pain but I wish this pain would ease up already.
    LJ
    tonya42 said:
    I think I found a new form of PT that I don't have to pay for. For the first time in 2 months I babysat for my daughter in law while she went to have her hair done. He's a handful at 8 months old. He's already trying to walk and can actually take a few steps now without falling. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't just keep him more often and keeping my copay in my pocket. :))) Actually I think I'm going to ask that we just work on strengthening exercises and intend to ask about some of the thing that you mentioned. I can do heat at home and I'm afraid of the ultrasound now.
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  • I find it very interesting that so many of us that had ACDF surgery have the same type of shoulder issues. My PT said that stuff about guarding. When our neck hurts we tend to protect it. Who knew it was going to create all these other issues. I had planned to go back to work in Nov after 8 weeks but I am still out now at 10 weeks post op. Most likely I will return to work right after the new year. I have a ton of vacation time and I am going to see if I can "offically" return to work but use my vacation till Jan so I can continue to recover and do PT but bring home a little more money then the disability is paying me. I will lose several weeks of vacation time if I don't take it so it seems like a good idea to me.
    LJ
    phxchele said:
    My surgeon told me before the surgery that I was going to have really bad shoulder pain. And a lot of pain between the shoulders as well. He said it was due to the repositioning of the all of the tendons and muscles of the neck that were so used to "guarding" and because my neck was being strengthened and straightened.
    He wasn't kidding. There were days in the first few weeks that it felt like someone was trying to rip my arm off at my shoulder (like a chicken wing).
    I'm 6 weeks post-op and I went to a party this weekend and even with my collar on, I was looking around and talking, etc. The next day my shoulders - OooohEeee!
  • I went back after 7 weeks and I'm afraid I'm paying the price for it. I work in IT so I sit in front of the computer most of the day but I do lots of walking too to fix other people's computers. But when I get home oh how I just want my pain pill, recliner and heating pad. I took 2 weeks of vacation right after my surgery which was really only 2 days since I have been working from home through all of this. We I think are the fortunate few. I was in the same situation as you. I've been with this company for 8 years and have 220 hrs of vacation time. So it came down to use it for lose it. But this is no way to spend a vacation.
  • I had my surgery in June and all my back pain was fixed! But after a few months doing PT and all that, my right shoulder blade, like under the shoulder blade keeps getting knots in it and it like zings up to my neck. got x-rays and a mri again to see whats going on, they said its because the bones aren't fusing or growing.... doc ordered a bone stimulator and told me to put the soft collar back on :( so here i am again *sighs* But i still cant help but think there is something else going on, so when i go back in Jan. and the bones are growing back and if i still have shoulder pain..yea i will still be upset! Curious if anyone has gone through this yet or if it ever goes away.
  • My shoulder pain started this past May and that was 13 months after my surgery. I struggled with it until July and went to my ortho doctor, not my surgeon but all in the same practice. He felt stuck in the middle not knowing what to do since I had neck surgery....could not get in to see my surgeon until October so he did an injection and ordered PT.....after all this and still no better he ordered an MRI which showed "blunting"....PT finally hit the nail on the head when she mentioned the postion that I was put in for posterior cervical spine surgery. I remember when I woke up from surgery my primary pain was left arm and shoulder pain. Did see my surgeon in Oct who ordered an myelogram which showed bulging disc above fusion...I also got another set of injections, 5 very painful injections in the shoulder area, done by a shoulder surgeon. As of right now my shoulder is much better and I am praying it stays that way. I think after cervical spine surgery shoulder problems will follow. I still wonder if something did not happen during my surgery to cause this. It was a 6 hours surgery and if anyone has ever googled posterior cervical spine surgery you will see what I am talking about when I say "position"

    Sharon
  • LJ said:
    I have a ton of vacation time and I am going to see if I can "offically" return to work but use my vacation till Jan so I can continue to recover and do PT but bring home a little more money then the disability is paying me. I will lose several weeks of vacation time if I don't take it so it seems like a good idea to me.
    My doctor sent me back to work three weeks post op from a level 2 ACDF. If you can stay home you should. That was WAY too early to go back and I was in terrible pain. My company lets us use vacation time in lieu of sick time if we want and we don't have to officially return to work. Maybe your place of work would let you do that too - it might not hurt to ask. Since our vacation is also a "use it or lose it" policy we can replace sick time with vacation.

    I wanted to tell you also that I had my first appt. with the new PT today. I went in with fairly severe pain and tonight it's not as bad as it normally is. (Finally!) She did things my old PT did not do and it really helped. I think I am going to be very pleased with this organization.
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