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Neck Pain and Botox

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had surgery about six months ago, fusion 5-6. After months of muscle spasms afterwards they decided to put Botox in the muscles in shoulder and upper back to releave it as PT said he couldn't stop them. Eight days after Botox, my left arm dropped and now I can't raise my arm but half way, left hand is numb. I had Botox the first of November, they say the use of my arm should come back but it is really not getting any better and the muscle connecting neck and shoulder is tight and painful. Anyone ever heard of this??? I was better four weeks after surgery-- now I can't lift my left arm. Doc did a MRI and says everything looks great.


  • Did the doc say where he injected the Botox? Was it in multiple locations? Was it guided using EMG? I've had lots of Botox done in my neck and lower back and did not experience issues with my arms. I did feel like I had a bad case of the flu for about 2 weeks after the injections and had a difficult time holding my head up for a while. It all seems to settle just after the 2 week point and then wears off at just shy of 3 months.

    Was the MRI before or after the new issue with your arm and hand? Which doc read the MRI and which doc did the Botox injection/s? Do you have a follow up appointment to monitor your progress?

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • The surgeon sent me to the Pain Dr, they are all part of the same group. The Dr. put the Botox right below my shoulder from one side to the other where I was having muscle spasms after neck surgery. He did not use an EMG. The only thing he did was put one needle in my spine (said that was like acupuncture) and then injected the botox across the muscles. He mentioned something about I might see a little shoulder drop but acted like is was no big deal. Eight days later, I could not lift my left arm past my waist. I have virtually no strength in my left arm and in order to raise it to put it on my computer I have to lift it. I called the Pain Dr. immediately and the message I got from nurse is that it was probably due to the Botox.

    I went back to the surgeon, he said he didn't think Botox could have that much effect so he did an MRI. Nothing showed up and surgery looked fine. He told me to try wearing a hard collar since my arm and shoulder were pulling at my neck-- four months after surgery. Sent me back to Pain Dr. and he just shook his head and said the good news is Botox wears off and keep trying to do my stretches and stay on tens machine. Went to get a hard collar and they told me I would just weaken my neck muscles at this point but they gave it to me. I am afraid to wear it and I am not going to work with it.

    So, it is two months after Botox, five and half months after surgery and I now have a shoulder that won't raise my arm, my left hand goes numb and when I am on my feet too long because of my dropped shoulder, my neck hurts from carrying my arm and shoulder around.

    Someone suggested an orthopedist to see if something has happened to my shoulder muscles.

    How long did your Botox work and where did they put? Shouldn't it be wearing off by now, it has been since 10/14th when I had the shot. I went to have a massage and the lady, without me telling her what is going on, said that my muscles felt like bones.


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  • The Botox I had done, was into my neck and base of my skull, as well as in my lumbar spine from L1 down to S1 and across to my hips. I did not have any placed in my shoulders. The initial times it was done, the neurologist that was doing it, used EMG to check the muscles locked in spasm. He created a road map so to speak so that each successive time he knew exactly where to inject it. The effects would last up to about 3 months, at which time it would be repeated.

    Are you working with a physical therapist at all? I wonder if that would help you target muscles better. The muscles where the Botox is injected do not die off, they are still receiving blood supply and are still innervated, so once the Botox wears off, as long as the condition was created by the Botox, things should theoretically improve.

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