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Hello from Southern California

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in New Member Introductions
15 years ago, I injured myself, rupturing 3 discs in my neck. I let it go as I did not have insurance, thinking it would get better in time. It got worse, turning into spinal stenosis, fluid build up and a tremendous amount of pain. 21 months ago, I underwent my first surgery, a fusion from C3 to C7, inserting a titanium plate into my neck. After this surgery, the pain did not subside. 6 months later, I underwent a 6 level laminectomy from C6 to T4. This surgery was to shrink the syrinx(?). Unfortunately, during the procedure, at C7, some instrumentation was "forced downward" while in the canal. It has been 5 1/2 months since this last surgery and I am still in great pain. I have major spasms in my thoracic region and nerve damage along my right arm. My right arm muscles have virtually disappeared. I've been doing physical therapy/massages but it seems to make things worse. Each day is a struggle.

I am on Cymblata, Gabapentin, Adavan, Mazapan, Percoset, Vitamins, Calcium, Magnesium + D.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to participation on this board.

Steven Zang


  • It's sounds like you've been through alot. I hope you get your strength back in your arm. And hope you can get the pain under control. Do you have a pain management Dr? Take care. 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
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry you are struggling so. i am from southern cal as well. it has been cold her lately! brrrrrrr! have a look around and make yourself at home!! good luck as you seek pain relief! Jenny :)
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  • Have you had that checked lately. Just because they did the surgery to reduce it doesn't mean that it hasn't begun to grow again. All of the symptoms you describe sound like it could be caused by the syrnix. Did they explain the syrnix to you? If not they should have. You can PM me and we can talk about that because I have become quite educated lately on syrnix because my Dr.'s think that I possibly have Chiari Malformation and the two of them go hand in hand. Steven, After all of the hardware that you have had to have my heart REALLY goes out to you. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that must cause. I cry over my little one level ACDF until I read stories like yours. Massage actually made my muscle spasms worse in PT. I had to stop. I couldn't take it any more. I have full ROM in my neck so the spasms were all we had left to work on and nothing seems to be helping them. Tell your doctor about how you feel after Physical Therapy. They really need to know that. But welcome to the board. You'll find lots of great friends here willing to help.
  • Thank you to everyone for your concern.

    I do not have a Pain Management Dr. but I am considering one now. Last week, I had a couple of doctors prescribe me pills that did not play well together. I nearly passed out and ended up in Emergency.

    I believe my main problem is that during my second surgery, Instrumentation slipped and was, according to the report "forced down" onto my cord at C7. That is what is prolonging my recuperation. A couple of nuerosurgeons have told me so.

    I live in Garden Grove right off of Beach Blvd. I wouldn't mind meeting people but my mobility is quite limited at the moment. It sucks because I used to body build and was in pretty good shape. Now it's a struggle just to lift those rubber coated colorful baby weights. And like Jenny said, it really is cold here right now in So Cal. so my joints aren't up to par...
  • after my last surgery i have had huge muscle spasms in my traps .I tried everything massage makes i little better but then it bothers the nerves and flairs up my right chest and arm so bad its paralyzing.I can t do p.t in till the spasms go away. Im going crazy.Please if anyone have any info i would be so great full.
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  • Yorba Linda!!! I do really wish those of us who live near by could get together. It is only us on this board that truly understand. :X :*

  • I'm sorry this has happened to you and understand the type of pain you're in. Next time if your pain gets worse, never ignore it, always seek help. I would hate for your condition to worsen.
    My problems are in the lumbar spine and I have chronic, intractable back pain and sciatica. You really should see a spine specialist or go to pain management. They can do lots more for you and give you better continuity of care. I go in every month to PM, and see my surgeon when necessary. Maybe injections could help along with your PT. You can get that and more at an integrative pain clinic that offers treatments that range from behavioral therapy to morphine pump implantation.
  • I have been to three surgeons i had to neck and back surgery s this year.the surgeon was putting a screw in and slipped hitting my spinal cord.leaving me worse off with huge spazums on both traps and my right hand is parallelized and in pain.i tried massage made it flare up and my neural surgeon said its a nerve problem not a muscle problem.
  • I moved from Long Beach, CA a few months ago. I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you no longer have to suffer. You have found a great site to ask questions and do research.

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • As Tanya mentioned, the Syrinx can have many adverse affectations that contribute to ongoing problems.

    Personally, it sounds to me like you have had less than acceptable surgical care. While I am no "ambulance chaser", you may have some acceptable means for compensation.

    My father had a C1-3 anterior fusion earlier in the year and is dealing with all the same issues you describe in your traps. It is almost 100% nerve related. Have you inquired about doubling your dose of either Cymbalta or Neurontin? Have you tried a TENS machine? What about lidocane patches? My pop said the lidocane patches help his shoulders greatly. With the pain you're in, also consider the Fentanyl patch. It's heavy-duty, but it has helped me greatly.

    I wish you well my brother. I used to live in your neck of the woods. In fact, I was the store manager at the Tower Records on Beach Blvd for most of the 90's.

    Best of luck, and keep your chin up (at least mentally).
    Mike in Los Gatos.
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