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burning neck and hands
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burning neck and hands

I had ACDF surgery in 08/07.  I started experiencing burning pain on the right side of my neck approximately 6 weeks after surgery.. I have had several MRI's and the cervical ones indicated I have enlarged lymph nodes on the right side approximately 15millimeters in diameter. They were there presurgery as well. The surgeon says my bones are fused and evertything looks fine. My problem is this burning pain comes and goes on the right side of my neck and it has spread to under my breasts sometimes in the arms and now I have noticed my hands are turning red and they burn and sting as well.  It seems they turn red when the neck burns intensely. My sed rate on 2 different occasions was 27 and 35. My c reactive protein was normal. SOmething just doesnt feel right on the right side of my neck, it feels like a stretching pulling pain. I have seen 2 different neurologists and they have no answser for me. I havent had an EMG yet but think I should schedule one soon.  I am so worried about it and I want some answers. Are there any tests I can have done to get to the bottom of this."?  Could the titanium plate be causing this? I just need some answers and advice. I have an appt to see a Rheumatologist in late April. Please give me some guidance.
Thank you



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Dear ms38,

Thank you for submitting your question. I will answer your concerns to the best of my abilities, but please be informed that I am unable to offer a formal diagnosis based on your history and list of symptoms. I am limited in not having the opportunity to perform a full neurologic examination on you, nor am I able to review the pertinent imaging.
This is solely for educational purposes and should in no way be a substitute for a formal evaluation by a certified physician.

Some questions first : Was the burning pain/sensation you describe present before surgery ? If not, how long was it after surgery until these symptoms first appeared. Although you may have had xrays after your ACDF which demonstrated a satisfactory fusion, I would suggest that you have an MRI to evaluate for possible compression of one or more nerves in the cervical spine. I think an EMG will be of questonable value in this case, but may be considered if the reaminder of your workup failed to reveal a cause. Although anterior cervical plates are associated with a number of complications, such as swallowing difficulty and plate migration, it would not be expected to cause the pain symptoms you are experiencing.

It is possible, however, that the burning pain and redness, especially in both hands, represents a rheumatological disorder, such as Raynaud syndrome. So, first and foremost I would recommend that you see a rheumalogist for evaluation of this (as you are in the process of doing).

Best wishes,

JKL,MD
3 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for replying. THe answers to your questions:  THe burning pain and sensations werent present before the surgery.. THe symptoms I had before surgery were left upper arm pain sharp and stabbing in nature and left shoulder pain and left arm weakness. I had 2 ruptured discs at c5-c6 and c6-c7. These were removed. I also had a bulging disc at c7-T1 that wasnt operated on. The surgeon said it wasnt impinging the cord so that was left alone. I am so frustrated with the doctors I want to cry. I feel they arent taking my symptoms seriously and say there is nothing wrong.  I have had a total of 6 MRI's since my surgery. They say there are no changes. I did have an EMG and it was normal. These symptoms of burning pain in the right neck started 6 weeks after the surgery. Then the burning pain began to spread later on.  My hand started turning red about 1 month ago.  Do you have any suggestions? I am trying to get a 2nd opinion with a neurosurgeon.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I cant get a 2nd opinion with the neurosurgeon. SO I am back to square one. HOpelessly trying to find out what is wrong. My primary care doctor is scheduling a CT scan of my lymph nodes on the rigth side and one of the cspine too.  I scheduled an appointment with my surgeon in April.. DO you have any suggestions of what questions to ask him?? Please advise. Thanks
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