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Shoulder pain following ACDF

Has anyone had shoulder pain develop following a single level ACDF. I had ACDF on C-5-6 August of 2014. A few months later, my left shoulder started hurting. It hurts when I sleep on my left side or when I get undressed. Certain arm movements. I've had this for several months now and worry it is due to an issue at c4-5.
Any thoughts?

Thanks :)
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Comments

  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    I was injured at work & complained of neck & left shoulder pain. They did mri's of both & said shoulder was fine, but I had herniated c4/5. I had 2 fusion surgeries & my shoulder continued to get worse. All doctors kept saying shoulder pain was coming from my neck? After 2 years, I found a new ortho doctor. He ordered an Arthrogram & it came back that I had a full tear in rotator cuff & bone spurs. I just had rotator cuff surgery a week ago. Wow it is very painful! But now I'm concerned about new pains I'm feeling in my neck? I don't know if the surgery stirred up a bunch of nerve pain or if having to wear this sling/splint 24/7 is causing other issues in my neck?
    I would have your doctor check it out?
  • I had acdf surgery L3/4 L5/6 in February and recovered really well, i was virtually symptom free until a week ago. I have shoulder pain and pain in my elbow and forearm, it's not shooting pain but an ache. I use an electric wheelchair and when I have been driving on uneven ground for longer than normal it starts. I went to see my doctor who said it's definitely referred pain from my neck but nothing to worry about.
    Fracture L1/L2, Osteoarthritis of lumbar, cervical spine and coccyx, wheelchair bound, ACDF C3/4 &C5/6
    Discectomy L4/L5
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  • Yes! I had a single level ACDF (C6/C7) on May 20th of this year and my shoulder kills sometimes! I think/thought it was a posture problem such as overcompensating my neck pain and sitting in an awkward position, or pulling more weight in that area. Right now's too early to look into anything because if it's one thing I've learned in my recent recovery it's that all these little aches and pains (sometimes familiar, sometimes new) seem to be related to the recent procedure. However, if it sticks around I'm not stopping until I find the reason or cause.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • Hi,
    I had my second ACDF @ C6-C7 on 3/5/15 ( my first surgery was 2/12/09 @ C5-C6 ) and I have been in physical therapy since the end of April and nothing has relieved the extreme right neck,shoulder & elbow pain with radiating numbness in my right hand. My thumb and pinky also lock in a downward position. My surgeon did both procedures and didnt seem to listen to my concerns pre-surgery about the C5-C6 pain. I did get a post MRI, and it showed exactly the same thing pre-surgery MRI showed, which was a bone spur with mass effect on the spine at the C5-C6. I am schedule to see my pain management doctor next week on treatment options. Totally disappointed in the outcome of this surgery and I have been out of work for almost 4 months, due to return soon ...still in pain !
    Good Luck !
    Tracy~
  • Gropm said:
    Has anyone had shoulder pain develop following a single level ACDF. I had ACDF on C-5-6 August of 2014. A few months later, my left shoulder started hurting. It hurts when I sleep on my left side or when I get undressed. Certain arm movements. I've had this for several months now and worry it is due to an issue at c4-5.
    Any thoughts?
    Gropm,
    I noticed after I woke up from the surgery that my right shoulder was very sore. I've had trouble lifting my arm at all to wash my hair, etc. I have been wondering if anyone else had this problem as well. It seems your pain came up later though. I have heard that they do strap you down outstretched on the operating table and I'm wondering if the pain has something to do with that. The strange part is I had terrific pain in my left shoulder prior to surgery and it is practically gone now! I thought for sure I would need shoulder surgery, I have been so surprised about it!
    I would ask your surgeon on your next visit. I'm seeing mine on Tuesday and it is one of my questions.

    My best wishes on your healing! - Faith
    Thanks :)
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    by 2000. By 2002, I started in with some shoulder pains. That increased over time and a subsequent bone scan identified masses of arthritis in all of my joints., most of it around the shoulders.

    For the next 6 to 8 years I was in physical therapy and had countless number of steroid injections. The steroid did buy me time. I could go from 9 to 14 months in less pain after those injections. But after a while, they could not continue with steroids.

    X-Rays showed the bone on bone and advanced arthritis. So, it was a matter of time before surgery. In 2010, I had both of my shoulders totally replaced with titanium ball and implants. Part of that surgery also required to completely sever the rotator cuff and tendons. It was a very long (18 months) and painful recovery. But I am pretty much pain free in my shoulders now.

    So, if you can continue with your shoulder pain, discuss it with your doctor. See if there are ways that you can pinpoint as to what the problem is.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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