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Increased Pain in hands after surgeries

Laurie AnnLLaurie Ann Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
I had surgery on my Cervical C/5 and 6 April 08 with plate and screws. Sept 08 I had surgery on Lumbar L4/5 Plates, and rods. I was diagnosed with nerve damage on the right side (my arm) as a result of cervical. Since my surgeries my right hand especially my thumb and my lower arm ache. Has anyone else experienced this? I have been on Neurontin, Flexeril and Vicodin since before surgeries they are not helping that pain, I suspect its arthritis because they said I have Osteoarthritis up and down my spine. Does it sound like it? and any suggestions for relieving it at home?


  • I get relief from my arthritis pain with heat-nerve pain doesn't seem like it (unless it is muscle spasm pain). Put a heating pad over the sore arm and thumb and see if that helps.

    Good luck in finding the source-that will help you find the cure.
  • I also agree with the heat part. Do you have a Dr. Ho massage machine or TENS that may help too. Hydrotherapy would probably be relaxing but you have to look around for Physios that use a hydrotherapy tub. Unless of course you have a hot tub? Have you been cleared to start physio yet? Maybe ask your Dr. you may need to see your PM Dr. again. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I can relate to your symptoms.
    I have severe OA throughout my spine and for the most part, throughout my
    whole body. I had a Laminectomy of L4 thru L6 back in '06 and a multi-level cervical fusion of C3 thru C6 back in '07 with lots of hardware. I do have some pain between my shoulder blades. My left arm and hand have pain/ numbness due to nerve damage prior to surgery.
    I have to agree with the others, heat is a good thing, I can't get enough of it.
    Gabapentin/Neurontin has given me some relief, at present I am on 900mg
    per day. I assume you have a Rheumatologist you are seeing? If not, seek one out as they can help you control the pain and discomfort you experience.
    OA is a terrible disease that there is no cure for. We have to learn to live with it and keep a positive attitude. I wish you the best and keep us posted here.
  • I had terrible right arm and hand pain after cervical fusion and they put me on Lyrica, which was incredibly helpful.
  • I went to my surgeon today for folllow up after L4/5 surgery in sept. I told him what is goimg on he said to have my pain specialist refer me to a rheumotologist.
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  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey Laurie Ann,
    Now you are headed in the right direction to get a handle on your OA. My rheumatologist has been wonderful, I feel very lucky to have access to such
    a good medical team that communicates well.
    Let us know what you find out.
  • My Rheumatologist has done more to control my pain than even the PM doc. She was so very thorough with the exam, labs, x-rays, etc. I have a lot of pain in my hands but with the meds, I can get some relief. I take Gabapentin, low dose prednisone, Celebrex, MTX and tramadol. When my hands get really bad, though, it takes a medrol pack (high, tapered dose of prednisone)to get the flare under control.

    Have you tried any hot parafin wax dips for your hands? It is very soothing.
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