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Shoulder Problems after Cervical Surgery



  • Really glad to hear that your back is fine. Too bad no one seems to be able to give us a good explaination of the shoulder pain. If this is something that happens with this surgery they should come up with ways to a) make it happen less and b) fix it faster and better after surgery

  • I had pain in my right shoulder before my surgery, I thought it had gone away....must've been the good drugs in the hospital though. ;)

    I'm 6 weeks post-op now, my right shoulder is really bothering me. I've got a follow-up with my Dr on Wednesday, we'll see if he has any explanation.
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  • Well I am new to this board and process. I had the ACDF for C5/C6 Aug'21st. Stayed at home for 6 weeks. Pain increased in the right shoulder and reduced a bit after cortisone shot. Had PT for about 8 weeks. Spasm and pain continues. Kind of feeling like don't have a whole lot of options. Some days pain is severe other days less. I hope one of you can give me some pointers that will alleviate this pain. Thanks.
  • Or at least it does for me. My left shoulder started hurting back in the spring. I have had 2 rounds of injections and 2 sets of PT. Seen the shoulder surgeon this week and he says that my ROM is better but to be aware that at any moment it could flare again. With my neck fusion not sure if some of the pain is neck related. It seems to me it is a guessing game. I will say the last set of injections did the trick.....they were very painful, 5 of them in the shoulder area, the next day it felt like surgery pain. It's been 6 weeks and so far the shoulder is feeling almost 100%. I pray each day it stays gone.

  • Snap Dragon and Venu,
    I am sorry that you are also suffering with shoulder pain. I have been going for PT since mid Oct and if I do much of anything I get a flare up and major pain. My PT asked me today about progress and I said on my shoulders its minimal. My neck is doing pretty good with some improved ROM but the shoulder issue is making me miserable.

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  • Hi Sharon,
    I am glad you are getting some relief from shoulder pain. I hope it stays gone for you. what type of injections did you get and from what type of doctor? I am wondering what I can do besides the PT because in a few weeks I am going to go back to work and I am concerned that I am going to have a major pain issue.
  • Hi Lj, Wow I've been reading these posts and can't believe how much shoulder pain is going on. I am 5 weeks post op for ACDF C5 C6 with myleopathy and revision surgery at C67. I started therapy 4 weeks post op and the pain it caused was too much. The PT felt my shoulder was frozen and even thought that I had a rotator cuff tear. I saw the NS today and he felt all of the shoulder pain was from severe muscle spasms and insisted i take the valium he prescribed. We are stopping PT for 4 weeks to calm things down. The funny thing is that I did not complain of shoulder pain until PT started to work with me. I was hoping to gain my arm strength back but got a shoulder problem instead. Has anyone ever had their shoulder xrayed or an MRI done to check for damage? Bethy
  • My NS feels that since my shoulder problems started before surgery, they probably are not related to my neck. He and I aren't too sure I didn't injure it while training for a 1/2 marathon. He did tell me it's OK to see my massage therapist, so I'll talk to her about it.

  • and none before! I have been using the pain meds for it-not my sore, cut up neck. I use heat-seems to help and I am walking a bit each day and moving it ti free it up. Surgeon seems to think it was from operation positioning. Hey, use a pillow next time!
  • I went to a shoulder surgeon, this was after my spine surgeon looked at me and told me to get my shoulder scoped. My spine surgeon refuses to think that my neck is the source of any problems I am having. This shoulder surgeon was the best doctor I have ever seen in my life. He does not do surgery unless everything else has been done. He explained to me how bad shoulder surgery is and the recoup time. He did 5 injections at one time in my shoulder area.....it hurt like nothing I have ever felt. The next day did feel like I had surgery but it worked. I am just glad I found him and he wasn't a surgery happy doctor like so many are. He did tell me to keep up the PT exercises at home because they will keep the pain away.

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