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Pain after Cervical Fusion
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Pain after Cervical Fusion

I'm 4 weeks out from anterior cervical fusion of 5/6, 6/7 & 7/8 with typical screws & plate.My headaches are gone!!! My neck feels great with some soreness and problems swallowing still which I think is typical.  My problems started about 3 days after surgery with awful pain in the whole right shoulder, bicep and running down rt arm to thumb and pointer finger. My thumb feels like it's on fire!  My meds were Hydrocodone and Valium for he pain and cramps in my biceps. I am also taking, Gabapentin/Neurotin for nerve damage to my lumber spine from my fusion in Nov. 06.  My Back is great! Except for the nerve damage.  I walk 1/4 mile a day before my foot starts dropping, but I can live with that.  My cervical Surgeon referred me to neurologist who put met me on tegretol starting a low dose of 100 mg 2xs daily for a week, then 100 mg 3xs daily for a week, then 200mg 2xs day for a week, then 200mg 3xs a day. They put me back in the hosp. for 2 days for iv pain meds and a MRI and steroid injection 1 wk after surgery.  He says the nerve is just so inflamed or maybe nicked during surgery.  I'm not certain my surgeon will refill my Valium 5mg 4/6 hrs.Which I feel helps more than the pain meds.  My question is How the heck am I supposed to survive with all the pain that I am in???  I take a hydrocodone and valium in the morning with ice packs on neck and biceps and it takes about an hour before I can even think about moving and getting anything done. Even with this I have real problems doing anything and and one of the "grouchiest" people around.  My poor husband is an angel. I take the hydrocodone/valium about 3xs a day.  Is there not anything more I can do while hopefully the nerve heals?? Any other meds that would help better?   Please respond and let me know as I am at my whits end again.  Thanks so such,   Susa
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454186_tn?1388978568
Hi here,sorry to know your suffering,you should think of your surgery as the first step on the road to recovery.it will take about 6-8 weeks for short term relief at least. Carefully follow your surgeon's instructions and focus on reaching the goal . Are you confident that surgery is your best option? if so,you can begin to focus on the alternative med help now ,acupuncture can help for inflammation relief.take care!

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patients education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Zak Han
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Avatar_m_tn
When surgery to C5/6, C6/7 and C7/T1 is performed, you run the risk of irritating the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that control the movements of your arm and hand.

If after 6-8 weeks you're still experiencing the pain, consider alternative therapies. Acupuncture may help facilitate a decrease in inflammation. Also consider doing your own personal research on a very specialized form of chiropractic known as Upper Cervical Care.

Don't be confused though, UpC is NOT general chiropractic - which is absolutely contraindicated from now on for you after this surgery. It's a very gentle form of chiropractic that focuses specifically on the 1st and 2nd cervical vertebrae. Corrections occur without twisting or popping the head/neck.

A good source for patient education is here, www.UpCspine.com. There's a referral directory there, so if it's something you wish to pursue, focus on finding a NUCCA, Grostic, Atlas Orthogonal, Palmer Specific or Blair technique specialist from the list in your area. Those are the most gentle techniques that shouldn't interfere with your surgical fusions.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Upper Cervical Specialist you choose to determine if he'll be able to help you.
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Avatar_f_tn
I wish you all the best.  I have had the same surgery done in Aug 07.  I am still bothered with headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain and arm pain.  And recently the numbness is returning.  I cannot get the the insurance company to approve an injection of the facet joint, so I have been living on hydrocodone three times a day and not being able to do much of anything.  Now I have to see the neurosurgeon again and I am afraid they will not refill my prescription for pain meds even though I cannot be seen until June 4th.  I just wish everything would have been helped with surgery, now I am back in the same situation I was prior to surgery.  My PT group did try several types of manipulations on my neck, but everything just made it worse.    Good Luck to you and I would love to hear if you find a solution.
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Avatar_f_tn
Many people have posted about the pain after cervical fusions. Though there are many causes and I see the doctors agree, muscle spasms, joint irritation above and below the fusion etc...
I have had terrible chronic pain from 2007 until 3 days ago. I tried ever imaginable way to get rid of it from massage, acupuncture, cupping, therapy massage, pain pills ( strong doses) steroid injection, Botox...the list goes on and on. But a few days ago my sister told me about an herb that Dr Oz talked about ( I know Dr Oz???, I was skeptical too) I tried it and the first ONE I took relieved the terrible tension in the muscles in my head, neck and shoulders by 80%. Now just days after I am 95% better. I still have some joint discomfort but the inflammation causing the horrible soreness it almost gone. Hopefully I will be able to find something that helps that so I can return to work. But please try this herb it was a miracle for me!!! ZYFLAMEND by NewChapter. I am NOT getting anything for writing this. I was so disappointed when I came on line to find help but found only others suffering like me. Just give it a try!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Many people have posted about the pain after cervical fusions. Though there are many causes and I see the doctors agree, muscle spasms, joint irritation above and below the fusion etc...
I have had terrible chronic pain from 2007 until 3 days ago. I tried ever imaginable way to get rid of it from massage, acupuncture, cupping, therapy massage, pain pills ( strong doses) steroid injection, Botox...the list goes on and on. But a few days ago my sister told me about an herb that Dr Oz talked about ( I know Dr Oz???, I was skeptical too) I tried it and the first ONE I took relieved the terrible tension in the muscles in my head, neck and shoulders by 80%. Now just days after I am 95% better. I still have some joint discomfort but the inflammation causing the horrible soreness it almost gone. Hopefully I will be able to find something that helps that so I can return to work. But please try this herb it was a miracle for me!!! ZYFLAMEND by NewChapter. I am NOT getting anything for writing this. I was so disappointed when I came on line to find help but found only others suffering like me. Just give it a try!!!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Many people have posted about the pain after cervical fusions. Though there are many causes and I see the doctors agree, muscle spasms, joint irritation above and below the fusion etc...
I have had terrible chronic pain from 2007 until 3 days ago. I tried ever imaginable way to get rid of it from massage, acupuncture, cupping, therapy massage, pain pills ( strong doses) steroid injection, Botox...the list goes on and on. But a few days ago my sister told me about an herb that Dr Oz talked about ( I know Dr Oz???, I was skeptical too) I tried it and the first ONE I took relieved the terrible tension in the muscles in my head, neck and shoulders by 80%. Now just days after I am 95% better. I still have some joint discomfort but the inflammation causing the horrible soreness it almost gone. Hopefully I will be able to find something that helps that so I can return to work. But please try this herb it was a miracle for me!!! ZYFLAMEND by NewChapter. I am NOT getting anything for writing this. I was so disappointed when I came on line to find help but found only others suffering like me. Just give it a try!!!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Many people have posted about the pain after cervical fusions. Though there are many causes and I see the doctors agree, muscle spasms, joint irritation above and below the fusion etc...
I have had terrible chronic pain from 2007 until 3 days ago. I tried ever imaginable way to get rid of it from massage, acupuncture, cupping, therapy massage, pain pills ( strong doses) steroid injection, Botox...the list goes on and on. But a few days ago my sister told me about an herb that Dr Oz talked about ( I know Dr Oz???, I was skeptical too) I tried it and the first ONE I took relieved the terrible tension in the muscles in my head, neck and shoulders by 80%. Now just days after I am 95% better. I still have some joint discomfort but the inflammation causing the horrible soreness it almost gone. Hopefully I will be able to find something that helps that so I can return to work. But please try this herb it was a miracle for me!!! ZYFLAMEND by NewChapter. I am NOT getting anything for writing this. I was so disappointed when I came on line to find help but found only others suffering like me. Just give it a try!!!
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