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anterior cervical discectomy and fusion muscle pain after surgery
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anterior cervical discectomy and fusion muscle pain after surgery

I had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion 6 weeks ago and I am having extreme muscle pain under the sight at the shoulder.  The muscle gets  so tense and tight that it actually causes arm pain and pain at the fusion site.  What could be causing this and what can I do to remedy it?
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i had c56 adisc fusion with cage and plate on 2/12 and am in agony. funny that my docs name is Hacker is there any ideas out there on how to recover withthis my arms throb and r is stillgoing numb after surgery. seen doc says just more time only help is to freeze my neck and take the pres meds.
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Welcome to the Neck and Back community.  This community has been formed to assist the members in understanding the symptoms related to conditions in their cervical and/or lumbar spine.  Please feel free to post any additional questions that you may have regarding your symptoms and medical treatment.  The members are here to provide support and assistance from their own experiences and understanding of the problems encountered with these conditons.

To cateye38:  You are still early in your postop recovery phase and the shoulder muscle pain you are experiencing is not unusual.  During the surgery you were placed on the OR table with your neck in a hyper-extended position.  Although care is taken to keep the shoulders adequately supported with pillow-like devices, the shoulders are taking a bit of a beating.  If your surgery lasts a few hours, it is a natural result for the muscles to react as you are now experiencing.  This is not a sign that your fusion procedure was unsuccessful.   Call your doctor and request a prescription for muscle relaxants and explain your symptoms.  A medication such as Robaxin will help ease the spasms and  provide some relief of the acute pain.  Since you have not had muscle relaxants right after your surgery, you should take them on a scheduled basis (ie every 8hrs) until relief is provided.  Then daily and as needed to maintain comfort.  Having warm heat (not hot!) applied to your shoulders will also help.  The microwaveable types are easy to use and provide the right amount of heat.  Be sure you are not putting anything too hot on the area, as you risk burning the skin.
Please post again and let us know how you are progressing.
Best wishes ----

To trademysorrow:  You also are fairly new to the postop recovery of surgery to the cervical spine.  Many times we anticipate that there will be immediate relief of the pain we were experiencing preoperatively.  Unfortunately, nerves are somewhat tricky.  Some will respond quickly once pressure is removed (removal of herniated disc etc) and others take a period of time to recuperate from having been compressed.  A standard measurement is that the nerve will recover approximately 1mm per day.  Some recuperate sooner, some even later.   Your surgeon is correct that more time will help to allow the nerves a chance to heal.  I am not sure why he is suggesting to "freeze" your neck.  Postoperatively I found that applying warm heat to the areas, particularly the shoulders and base of the neck. (See above to cateye38) was more helpful.  It is difficult in the first few weeks to imagine the surgery was helpful, but given recuperative time, it is anticipated that you will have less pain.  Please feel free to post again if you have additional questions or need further assistance.
Best wishes ----
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I had the same surgery with 2 discs replaced with the anterior procedure. (cadavar bones and plate and screw used). I too, had sever muscle spasms in my shoulder and even my skin hurt. I was put on valium, then neurontin and things improved. I was told they had to "contort" me during surgery and that is what makes the shoulders hurt. I am now doing so much better, and I wish you the best of luck!
Michelle
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I had anterior cervical discectomy with fusion and caging on November 19, 2010.  I am in more pain now than I was prior to surgery.  My left arm is no longer numb, but now my spine hurts so bad, I can hardly stand it.  I have been on Robaxin and it is doing nothing.  I am back to work full time as my company would not allow restrictions.  I am also on pain meds.  Why is my spine hurting where the fusion was done.  I had C4-C7.  Feels like someone is trying to pull my spine out of back at the C7 fusion point.
Can anyone tell me why.  I just keep being told that my muscles are in spasm but nothing is releasing the spasms.  Believe me I have tried everything.  This is almost 3 months after surgery.
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