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Shoulder pain post surgery

kalbuddykkalbuddy Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
New to this site just today. I am 3 weeks post-op cervical fusion on 4,5 and 6. I have terrible pain from my c7 all the way to the end of my shoulder in the muscular part between shoulder blade and scapula. Pain feels like white hot searing pain. My surgeon said he has done over 2000 of these proceedures and this is the first time anyone has "complained" of pain. I noticed several people on this site had posted similar symptoms. Has anyone ever had a cause or cure for this pain?


  • I had a lamenectomy at c4/c5 and have the same pain you describe. It has been going on almost 3 years now. Have been through Physical therapy, pain management, had every type of injection you can name and no relief. Tried every type of nerve pill, muscle relaxer nadda. Pain pills don't touch the pain. Heat provides some relief but not much.
    I am going in wednesday for a NCT/EMG as my last MRI shows ruptured disc and 2 bulging discs.
    I hope you get some relief, don't believe a Dr who says they've done 2000 surgeries without a complaint of pain. It's their ego in the way of reality. Sometimes they can't explain why you hurt so they try and pass you off. Keep looking for relief, it's out there somewhere, I'm still looking.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • It's hard to believe your Surgeon didn't have anyone complain about pain after neck surgery. Is he going to be sending you for Physiotherapy and maybe back to your Pain Management Dr. if you have one for pain control? Did he give you any pain meds for your pain or muscle relaxants? I hope this pain goes away for you soon and hoping it's the nerves waking up after being compressed for so long. Please call your Surgeon again if you're not getting any relief with your meds or icing. 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
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  • It may be nerve pain. I had similiar pain to your's for a good month after. The only thing that helped me was Lyrica. I would ask your doctor if you can try that and see if it helps.

    Best wishes,

  • I had pretty horrible shoulder pain as you describe for about three weeks post op. When I woke up in the recovery room I thought I had died and gone to hell it hurt so much. The hospital was unable to get the pain under control saying that the anesthesia was "blocking" the pain meds from being effective. When I went home they gave me percocet and Soma muscle relaxers and it just took time. I alternated ice and heat.
  • My surgeon said the same thing. "I've never had anyone come out of this surgery worse than they came in"

    Well...I live it everyday. My shoulder pain and tendonitis is a constant...my tricep weakness is vvvvery slowly improving. I had no use of my left arm coming out of surgery. I'll be five months post of on April 3.
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  • Thanks for everyones input. Just so happens my boyfriend pulled a neurologist out of his family tree and here is the advice he gives.
    1. Do these things, it will get better

    2. Sitting still is by far the worst thing you can do for this condition. Move, dont sit in front of your computer.

    3. Ice or heat both beneficial. Heat or ice for 5-10 minutes then let rest. That should increase the blood flow = quicker healing.

    4. SLEEP, they don't know why but this is the most healing activity you can do for your body

    5. TAKE MAGNESIUM 2000 MG a day not with any other meds you may be taking

    6. Vitamin D-3 4000 units per day

    7. Massage as you can take it

    8. Finally, my surgeon has me on anti-seizure med and an anti-drepessant. He said YES YES to this combination. It helps all parts of your body start communicating again

    In a nut shell, he explained this condition as follows. Every part of your body speaks one language and they all communicate. After surgery, they have moved so much stuff around, all of your body parts are now speaking different languages, your muscles German, ligament now speaking spanish, bones japanese....and so on. Everyone is fighting to speak their language, you have a battle going on in your body.

    The anti-drugs in #8 helps everyone start communication again.

    I had a good 2 hours yesterday, the first day after taking suppliments, Maybe a
    fluke but I'll take the brief relief. Hope this information helps
  • Hello. I also had surgery for C5-6 4 months ago. I decided to go through with it after 4 months of pain. I had a moderate stenosis on my right arm. I also had left arm pain but no stenosis on my left side. I have a small osteophyte on my C6-7. I am still in pain after 4 months of having this surgery. Any suggestions on what I should do. I am beginning to think I shouldn't have bothered with the surgery. I didn't have cord compression or flattening. I had moderate stenosis from a moderate to large osteophyte with disc dessication. Was this really even surgical?
  • jewel2005 do u have copy of mri to post I would like to see and compare to mine I have some of the same problems but had a acdf on 4/6/11 but had severe central stenosis and cord compression but the 3 disc below sound about the same and nuero doc said it was not bad enough for surgery but I have the same shoulder pain as kalbuddy now went to see nuero yesterday will have another mri to see what is going on but he still said he wants to do some heavy deep massage on musles in shoulder and pt. so if u have it post it I will compare to mine and give u my opinion I have had neck problems since 2008 and then had a discectomy on t1 c7 and had problems since and the was involved in a head on collission on 6/25/10 and all problems have gotten worse since then. hope this helps clsmeeks
  • Hello clsmeeks,

    My MRI says at c5-6 there is disc dessication with loss of disc signal intensity moderate to large/right paracentral/right foraminal osteophytic ridge disc complex with impingement on the cervical cord without cord compression or flattening, as well as moderate right-sided foraminal stenosis at right c6 nerve root level. I had acdf at this level because the pressure on my head made it hard to walk up and down stairs or against any type of wind. But now have bad headaches after surgery. The worst headaches ever. And still have tingling and pain in both arms. More pain on the left side then on my right. I have woken up at night with burning shoulders and ankles before and after surgery. I also have neuropathy on my left leg, don't know if it's related to my neck issue. I was told it's my lower back. Don't know what to believe anymore, doctors don't see to give straight answers.

    At c6-7, there is a relatively small osteophytic ridge/disc complex asymmetric to the left with minimal impingement on the left side of the thecal sac, as well as mild impingment on the region of the left c7 ventral root ganglia. No impingment on the cervical cord at this level.

    Would appreciate any information.Thank you.
  • Most of my pain post ACDF C4-5 surgery is in the are you are talking about. I would not describe it as "white hot searing pain" more just like medium burning pain, mostly after I do some sort of physical activity. (walking, bending) I am taking valium 5mg 2x a day and it seems to help with this pain. I am about a month out of surgery.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
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