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Trapezius spasm

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I recently underwent both posterior and anterior surgeries, 10 days apart, on C3-C6. Because of the number of levels, two operations had to be performed. I was told that only 3 discs can be done in one operation. After, the anterior surgery I had a slight amount of pain. I was totally unprepared for the pain after the posterior surgery. I had to take 12 Percoset a day, and would have taken more, but that is the limit of acetaminophen that can safely be ingested daily without hurting the liver. I couldn't leave the house for over two months due to the excruciating pain. I had to wear a Miami J cervical collar 24/7 for 12 weeks. I also had to wear an electrical stimulation unit for a month, along with the collar. I am not referring to a TENS unit, but rather one that sends out low current stimulation that can't be felt. It helps in the fusion of the new cadaver bones. Talk about torture. My surgeon took X-rays every month and was pleased with the results. I had been falling constantly prior to the surgeries. After about 10-11 weeks of wearing the collar I began to experience excruciating pain in my trapezius muscles. The pain travels from left to right to center and back throughout the course of the day. I discussed it with my surgeon and he told me it is expected because of the immobility of the head and neck during the long period of wearing the collar. This causes the trapzius to go into spasm. I am taking Flexeril, a muscle relaxant, and some days need to take Percoset. I get a small amount of relief. My doctor says to wait a bit and if it doesn't dissipate on its own, I will have to get PT. It's two weeks now and the pain is still the same. I will wait a little longer before starting PT.



  • Something I discovered the hard way, is that there's a nerve sometimes referred to as the third occipital nerve. It has a trigger point at the base of the skull where a collar tends to place pressure and it runs to the top center of the trap. While undergoing numerous rhizotomies the doc accidentally stimulated the nerve and the trap jumped into horrible spasm.

    Have you been trying things like moist heat or ice?

    Welcome to Spine Health and I hope your muscle calms down soon.

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