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Shoulder Problems after Cervical Surgery



  • JRCurtisJJRCurtis Posts: 2
    edited 04/14/2013 - 10:36 AM
    I had neck surgery 3 weeks ago. Instead of feeling better, a new pain, in my right shoulder, has gotten to be pretty bad. I see from the posts on this forum that I am not alone. I see me NS for my first follow up next week. Hopefully, I will find out why my shoulder hurts so bad. This is quite miserable and I have a very high pain tolerance.
    JR Curtis
    Ocala, FL
  • It seems that the shoulder pain relates to C5 & C6 surgeries. My surgery was higher, on 2, 3 & 4; however, I had a herniated disk at C5. The Surgeon said that he didn't feel like the C5 disk was bad enough to warrant any repair. I wonder if my shoulder pain is from that disk and if the surgery shifted more pressure in that area or if it just inflamed.
    JR Curtis
    Ocala, FL
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  • nice reply thnaxxx...........
  • Chronic pain may be caused by an Initial injury / trauma or Infection, or it can be a permanent source of pain. However, read people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or Evidence of body damage ....
    nic reply...
  • lansurllansur Posts: 13
    edited 01/01/2014 - 1:52 PM
    I would love to hear from others who have had shoulder - rotator cuff (supraspinatus tendon) - injuries following ACD&F surgery. I am told that, the reason for this injury is that, when the subject is secured to O.R. table, he is tied down with some ratchet/belt affair. I presume that, if you have any curvature of the spine, tying down the shoulders (with the subject on his back) will impose a lot of stress on the shoulders and their rotator cuffs. It may take only a little carelessness/over exuberance to tighten these straps to the point that the injuries to the shoulders must occur. Note, I am not looking for compensation; just a little care on the part of the O.R. people!
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  • Blakedfw32BBlakedfw32 Posts: 6
    edited 02/08/2014 - 2:50 PM
    My surgery was on Dec 19, on Jan 11, my left pectorial tightened up so bad (along with cheek bone) that I thought I was having heart attack. After to a visit to ER, no such problem.

    It has not as of yet fully loosened, the tendons above my armpit are very tight and have formed a knot, Shoulder very very sore. I am recovering out of town, went to a local surgeon and said xray looked fine and said I need to visit a should doctor. I think its neck complications......I have follow up appt this next week w my surgeon and have called doctor to express worsening condition. Could it be the neck brace causing any of this, bc I havent moved my head much. HELP!

    I will read through the post and see what I can find.
  • Are you still supposed to be using the collar full time? Or have you been told to use it less often now? It could be a complication from surgery or it could be from simple disuse at this point, but I would definately get in contact with your surgeon for a follow up appointment soon.
  • Thanks Sandi!! I was told to wear collar until follow up - which is now off! about 8 weeks (I was one week longer due to scheduling appt)

    I saw my surgeon and an shoulder ortho doctor. Had an MRI which really shows everything is okay, however the consensus is that between the brace and the neck surgery, my body has done some adjusting, unfortunately pain for me. So I got a cortisone shot in the shoulder and now get to start some light rotator exercises, as well as take anti inflammatory's. I have a follow up in 8 weeks....

    As for the pain in my hand, its about 50 percent better, but Ive had the pain for 3 years, so that will be slow going I am told.

    Ill post a follow up for those reading as so many times it appears some abandon post if they get better and we never know the out come.

  • I am 3 years out of surgery and have talked to my ns several times but he can only look at the MRI and X-rays and say it looks fine the fusion is fine and send me to pain management. I can go on like this for the rest of my life with no help from doctors. I requested further testing and got an EMG which showed nerve damage at the root of C6/7. This nerve goes around the shoulder and down the arm. I am tired of having to increase Oxycotin and still not get relief. So I am trying Cleveland Clinic and hoping they have alternate to meds. I have had epidural injections, massage which makes it worse and a portable tens unit. I use heat and ice and a hot tub. I will share what I find.
  • Thanks for the post "Tired of the pain" I'm very sorry to hear, 3 years-that has got to be unbearable. Please keep up posted.

    I must say I am a bit concerned (okay VERY) that everyone who has posted about shoulder pain does not know why and there appears to be no resolution. Even post on other sites seems to say the same thing. Surgeons say fusion okay, and they don't know why shoulder pain is happening.

    I fully think my body has adjusted (as when it happened on the left side I thought I was having a heart attack and went to ER) and the result is everything in my shoulders and arms has tighten up a bit, so any little movement of my arms (folding laundry) are now setting my shoulders and upper arms on fire as I have discovered now that my neck brace is off. Ice helps temporarely.

    Can anyone who has had this problem and aware of what its called please provide any details and share? At this point, and if would have been warned of this side affect would have been a factor in the surgery decision. I was more worried about the lump in my throat which I did not have. Thinking Positive!

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