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Pain under base of skull-back of head-post 2 level ACDF 8 months


I was wondering if someone has similar experiences as me. I had C5/6 and C6/7 done in early Jan 2013. I have been experiencing headaches or tightness pain in the back of my head at the base of the skull, especially on the left side. I have done a dozen PT sessions, along with weekly trigger point massages. I even got a shot of Prednisone from my ortho in mid-July. Any chance these pains dissipate? I had the exact pain for months prior to surgery and expected it would go away post surgery. I do take magnesium and 10mg of Flexeril at night, which seems to help. Biofreeze also works decently. I'm starting to wonder if I have another unrelated condition, as the pain is in another area away from where the fusion took place. I feel depressed that I'm going to have to live this way for the rest of my life. I just turned 40 and didn't expect to have my life be like this. Wondering if I should go get another MRI or CAT scan post surgery to see where the problem may exist. I had an xray done at 4 months from my ortho and he said I was starting to fuse. I did wear that bone-stimulation device for 4 months religiously.

Any advice on where to turn????



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  • in the base of my skull. I was in a vehicle accident 4/11 I flipped my van and crushed my C6,7. They replaced them with cadaver bone and fused C5,6,7 together. They told me that the large knot in neck was a large muscle spasm but I also have them in my right shoulder and shoulder blade. I am on lyrica, zanaflex, hydrocodone, elavil, and topamax for migraines and a Tens Unit. As long as I don't miss my meds I have relief but when I miss them the pain in the back of my neck is so bad I get terrible migraines to where I can't do anything. I am having another x-ray on my neck and an ultrasound on the large knot on my neck. Sorry if my reply was not a good one just wanted to let you know I can certainly relate.
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  • I just had 2 cervical fusions Sept 24, 2013 on C5 & C6, C6 & C7. They cleaned off spurs & put cadaver bones in where discs were all but gone. My pain right now is on left side in left shoulder blade & down left arm. I am also having pain up the back of my neck & head. This is scaring me because 7 years ago I had a lumbar fusion done & I am still having to depend on Vicodin when I just can stand the pain in my back anymore. Right now for after cervical surgery they have me on Oxycodone & Valium. I will keep you guys in my prayers. Please let me know any updates you have & if things are getting any better for you both.
  • Forgot to ask...
  • I had ACDF surgery in April. I too am experiencing headaches which starts at the base of my head and moves up to the back and sides. I have started taking neurontin because the doctor said it is because of the pain in my neck which is irritating the nerves at the base of my head. I am also still having severe neck pain. But the neurontin is helping my head pain.
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  • everpeacheeverpeach Posts: 30
    edited 10/04/2013 - 4:11 PM
    I have tried neuronton and it did not do anything for me. I am trusting these neck fusions will be a success unlike the lumbar fusion. Praying you will be pain free very soon.
    Take care
  • K61KK61 Posts: 20
    edited 10/04/2013 - 5:48 PM
    I had the same 2 level fusion in my neck a little over 4 years ago. I had the fusion done to
    prevent paralysis. I actually had little to no pain in my neck prior to the surgery. I did have
    finger numbness and electric shock if I sneezed. A week before I had the surgery I
    experienced 15 to 20 minutes of full body paralysis at the dentist. Now I have aching pain
    in my neck most of the time. I take 400 mg tramadol during the day and 5-10 mg
    oxycodone at night. I would take the stronger meds during the day except my job prohibits
    this. I hope your pain subsides, but it may be here for the long haul. If someone were to
    ask me, " Would you do it again?", I would say yes because the pain I am in now is still
    better than becoming a cripple. I hope you do better, but most of the time it is just a trade
  • So at 9.5 months....doing way better....don't have the pain in the back of my head nearly as often....maybe the neck muscles needed time to adjust. People said it would take 8-9 months to see improvement and I have. I'm even able to chase after my 6 yr old son without issue.......knock on wood....hope it continues...haven't had to take a muscle relaxer in months.
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