Hi - I have a couple of questions actually. First, the easy one... What causes the crackling sound when I turn my head from side to side? It's quite annoying.
Second, I had a C5-6-7 fusion 13 years ago, and now have more bulging below the fused site and a little above it. Prior to the fusion, I had pain that went down my right arm, fasiculation of the affected muscle, weakness and atrophy. It was horrible. Now, I'm getting pain on both sides and in the same place. I can only assume it's from my neck, but If each nerve only deals with one area of the body, why am I getting this pain again? I thought the fusion resolved this area.
The cracking sound you hear can be heard for multiple reasons. When you manipulate the joint yourself, the sound is a forced pressure release of gases within the tiny joint capsule. An example of this would be "popping" your knuckles.
If it occurs all on its own, without intention of doing so, it could be caused by joints that are in the process of destabilizing. Osteoarthritis and biomechanical stress could be the culprits.
While I'm not a surgeon, the surgery you had fuses the spinal bones together, eliminating the disc material that originally may have caused the pain down into the right arm. The surgery doesn't remove the nerves of the brachial plexus that control your arm and hand. Tiny muscle spasms or tissue irritation of the nerve can still cause the symptoms you're currently noticing.
You might consider speaking with an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, particularly one who specializes in the NUCCA or Grostic techniques.
You can find a referral directory for New Jersey here: http://upcspine.com/prac3.asp?rid=4&r=North%20America&sid=33&s=New%20Jersey&cid=5&c=UNITED%20STATES%20of%20AMERICA
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