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4 months post-op 2 lvl ACDF-emergency surgeons appt today because of Bad burning in the Upper T spin

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey all,
Well I have had the surgeons office tell me to stop PT and come in right away to get checked out for this persisten and worsening pain in my upper T-spine.

I have had two cervical surgeries in 2008...Jan I had a posterior cervical formainotomy c-3-4--4-5. The Sept 3, 2008 2 level ACDF C 4-6.

This burning pain in the upper T-spine and scapular region has been there since day one of my neck injury!! It is very persistent and can be so bad that it takes me a few hours to get it controled to get up and out of my house..only to return around mid-day or in the evening...
It is always there but spikes to higher levels after sleeping and later at different times of the day or with certain activities..
:''( ~X( just a lot to set the brain off ya know!

I had recently started PT and the last visit was before Christmas. The PT person actually was feeling down my spine and pushed in an area in the t-spine and recreated the burning sensation...to the point I canceled the next visit..
I went out of town for Christmas and it never really calmed down. I did do about 10 - 15 minutes of walking everey day to keep the cirrculation moveing while gone!

I called the surgeons office yesterday and they said I need to be seen right away!!!
I will see the PA today, not my surgeon, but thats alright.
It is frightening to think there is something else going on in there....
The unknowing is so hard.

Has any one else that has had this burning before ACDF had it postoperatively???

Did it go away with the surgery,

I am looking for some others out there with similar symptoms???

Some folks suggested to me RSD or TOS, but I researched tose and some of the symptoms were just not what I have going on...

SO please any thoughts and support are welcome.

Misty/ C


  • . . . during pain flares prior to surgery. In PT, same as you, my therapist re-created it one day by pressing on a muscle in my back. At that time, she told me that I had a muscle clamping down on a nerve . . . needless to say, a new MRI several months later showed much more damage than the original MRI.

    Post-surgery, I've had no pain flares and no burning in my scapula.

    Keep us updated. I will be sending you prayers that all goes well for you.
  • hey ther Eclipse...
    I went to the surgeons and was checked by the PA whom I really just not that fond of...Everyone in my surgeons office is so upbeat and knowledgable, and she is the total opposite and sometimes I wonder just how much she really knows about the spine! Yikes..
    My surgeon is a spine specialist so I guess he feel she is wualified...

    Anyhow...She did not reallly want to palpitate that area, and my PT lady, Mardy told me to not leave until they felt that area...I kept telling her in the T-spine and she was feeling on my neck...Finally I got here near the right area and I kept having to say Push harder and you will hit the spot..She finally recreated the symptoms, but not to a really horrible degree.

    They took some x-rays of my T-spine and they ordered an MRI which I will have tomorrow morning.

    I am also allowed to go back to therapy and do some work in the pool...which I am happy about.

    I have discussed this burning area before with my PM and we have talked about an ESI in that area, so hopefully when I arrive for my monthly appointment on the 8th I will have the radiologist report and films from the recent MRI and My surgeons office has a copy of the recent x-rays as well as a note saying it is Okay for me to procedd with that treatment if need be...

    I am hoping it will help to have and ESI there and I will then be able to get a bit more done in PT...

    We shall see.

    In the mean time I have been walking almost everyday at least 12---to 1 mile because as long as I do not swing my armsand put them in my pocket (my leftmostly)...I will not cause to much more pain then I already have...
    The surgeons office said I could walk but do not do more than my body will allow...

    I will keep you all posted and I appreciate your respone..

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  • There are few of us left from the old site. I don't know if you remember me but we used to chat with Tom. I am sorry you are having such a time of it. Have you tried Neurontin or Lyrica for the burning pain? I don't know if burning in the back and burning in the foot is the same?.......just nerves letting you know something isn't right. I pray for a clear taking and reading of your MRI.
  • Hey Julie,
    I think I remember you...did you have a diferent screen name then??
    Anyway about the Lyrica andNeurontin...I tried both of those medications when I was on workers comp during all the nerve stuff with my arm...The long dragged out process of workers comp that lasted for 3- 1/2 years...
    Bothe those meds were tried and I actually had some severe reactions from them both.. Unfortunately I am unable to tolerate them..
    Then one med that I do take is Cymbalta...now I mainly was given this med back on comp because of the depression and nerve pain...

    When I got off all pain meds from the arm injury I was really at a pain free level...meaning I didnot need an prescription meds to deal with the occasional arm/wrist pain.

    As you well remember it was all short lived because of the car accident a few weeks after getting off all the narcotic meds etc...

    needless to say the one med I asked my PM to transfer over to my GP was the Cymbalta. Now I can ot say for sure what my burning T-spine/Scapular pain would be like with out the Cymbalta, but I would be totally afraid to try and see!!! LOL

    Now that I hae already had two cervical surgeries, my burning neck pain is much better and the arm weakness is much better....gone for that matter, but the one thing that has persisted though out ...is the burning in between the shulders or in other words the T-spine/ scapular pain.

    This morning I will go in and Have my MRI and this they will beable to compare to the one I had done back in 2007. I am hoping to have the radiologist report by the 8th because my PM and I have discssed having an ESI in that location and I have been cleared by the surgeons office to have it done...

    So I will keep you all posted on what transpiresover the next week or two...

    The main thing I want to know is ...is this pain I am having something signaling there is damage happening or is it ok for me to continue to become more active with out potentially damamgeing somthing or hurting myself...

    It will all come out into the open ..I am hopeing..

  • I hope all goes really well today. No I had the same screen name. My doctor combined the Cymbalta with the Lyrica and that has helped more than anything else has. I had questioned whether both were needed since I started them at the same time and my answer came when I had to stop the Cymbalta for four days because of a myelogram. The Cymbalta was needed!!!!!!!! My doctor just smiled when I told him. Then he said do you want to try and stop the Lyrica and see if that is necessary too????? No I said. I learned my lesson!!! lol.
    I hope you get your answers too.

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  • sorry you are having this pain! I understand how it feel so have ongoing pain after surgery.
    My surgeon (whom i love) explained to me, that when pain persists after surgery) he begins to look at other parts of the body to identify the problem as long as all is well with the fusion. Pain comes from somewhere! i am glad he feels this way..for me..he found that I have shoulder problems that give similar symptoms to my neck!
    So it is a good thing you are getting the MRI...hopefully it will be nothing major for your sake! you have been through enough. keep us posted! Donna
  • Hi all,
    Well I had the MRI on Friday and I expect that the results from the radiologist will be ready Tomorrwo or the next day.

    My pain is/was very high this morning and I had to lay on the heating pad in the bed for about 20 min before I could get out of the bed. Then I took my morning medication along with more heat from the heating pad and I feel better for the moment.

    I still am walking my 1 mile but not real vigorus like...

    Tomorrow I will start my Aquatic therapy. I am so hoping to have good results from this type of therapy. SO say some prayers it goes well tomorrow.. That reminds me I need to find my swim suit and hope it still fits...lol

    I will see my PM on Thursday and I am hoping that he will be ready to try the ESI we discussed in the burning area. I have to pick up the x-rays from my orthos office along with a note saying it is okay to have the ESI, and then I will also bring both the old MRI of the T-spin and the New MRI of the T-spine...so I will have all the ducks in a row and he can hopfully get in to have the ESI the next day which would be this Friday!!
    I am a self pay and there is only one facility that will allow me to pay this way..
    And no my insurance will not pay for any of this unless there is a docor that finds something going on in my spine that is NOT related to my car accident...otherwise the health insurance i have will not pay for it..long story with the Health insurance..

    So in the meantime I go out and only do the bare minimu of errands and walk if I feel I can and then rest most of the rest of a day...on heat of course and occasionally an ice pak or cold pak if needed.

    As soon as I have some references from the test results I will make a post for that!! I could not really tell a whole lot on this MRI except maby there was something near but not pressing on the SC.

    Say some prayers...
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