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Neck and Shoulder pain after C5-6 fusion.
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Neck and Shoulder pain after C5-6 fusion.

A little over a year ago, I had C5-6 fused. With a plate and screws inserted. Since then I am having trouble with pain in the neck and shoulder area just below the fusion area. I wake in the morning with a headache then turns to pain in lower neck and shoulders.
I have talked to the neurosurgeon who did the surgery and he shrugged his shoulders and said I have no idea and sent me back to my neurologist. He gave me a series of injections in both shoulders and the pain stopped for a couple days but then came right back. Then we tried message therapy, it helps but only for a short period. And I have tried changing my pillows on my bed and sleeping in different positions and nothing seems to help for long term.
What can I do?
Thanks
Maureen
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Avatar_n_tn
My comments are in response to Maureen's neck and Shoulder pain after C5-6 fusion.  I had a neck disectomy perform 8 months ago on C4-5, C5-6.  I also had the plate and screws inserted.  Like you, I experienced headaches, neck and shoulder pains.  Fortunately, through trial and error, I found out that my sleeping position had a lot to do with my pain.  Maureen, you mentioned changing your pillows, which I did also.  However, it depends a lot on the type of pillow you are using.  Try purchasing a Memory Foam Cool Contour Pillow (currently, on sale at Target) ... not only will you sleep much better but you will awake feeling less pain.  Also, determine which side (left or right) is your best sleeping side.  For me, it's my surgery side, which is my right side and/or flat on my back.  Hope this helps ...

God Bless,
Mae
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have neck and upper back pain after C5-6 fusion.  An Oropod did my surgery.  I eventually went to a Neuro in Rapid City, SD but it appears that there is not a problem.  I have had another MRI. No problem.  My new Neuro is doing an Intrathecal CT on Jan 3, 2007.  My guess is that he will not see anything.  The pain that I feel, generally a "burning" sensation in between my shoulder blades, along with headaches, upper neck pain, and nitetime pain in both the left and right neck is becoming debilitating.  I have not worked since August of 2006 and am starting to get desperate.  Along with this I just started (two weeks ago) right Iliac Crest pain.  Not sure what to do about that.  I did use my own bone for this surgery. The hip pain is just another in the whole thing. Why has it started after about 4 months?  I am a smoker but am on Wellbutrin to quit ad my Neuro says this may help. Any help would be appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also had the same surgery due to a blown disc in C5,6 and arthritis in c7... I had the fusion with donor bone, this was in Feb 2006. I was out for 8 weeks and felt pretty good. I was in the hospital only over night! I was amazed at how fast I felt better. It is now July 2007 and I am in so much pain and so many headaches that I want to scream! I have been seeing a Chiropractor and that helps some, but relief only lasts for a few hours. I just had another MRI done today and hope to see something so that I can get it fixed. I have good pillows and do stretching stuff, but no relief. I hope that I can find some help, I am getting so depressed from the pain. I also have numbness in my arms at night now also. Let me know if you all get some answers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi All,

I am 44 yr old female.  I just got home from DR with results of MRI... I too have probs at C5-C6.  Dr now tells me there is a surgery to fix my prob but he recommends that I just stay on pain meds and muscle relaxers so as to avoid scar tissue later on from surgery.

I was wondering if you all have great relief from surgery and if you had to do it again would you?  Reason for question is, if I can quit taking pain meds of course I would like to do so...But life is not so bad on pain meds...I still work and life if going good so far.

Thanks
G Wilson (Greeter from New Orleans)
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to say, Greeter, if you can live without the surgery, do it.  I also had this same operation as the rest of you--donor bone (C5-C6), osteoarthritis in the rest of the cervical spine.  I don't understand how this is happening.  I have always exercised and follow a balanced diet.  My Neurologist seemed offended and kept repeating that the surgery was a sucess.  I agree the surgery was a sucess, I have no pain in the front of my neck and have good mobility.  Before surgery, I was myleopathic and was losing bladder and bowel control.  They are back to normal.  What isn't normal is the pain I am in.  I also get the burning pain down my spinal column and into my shoulders.  Sometimes it radiates down my back.  My Physical Therapist got to the point that he wouldn't see me anymore because the exercises were causing me too much pain.  The memory foam pillow worked for about six months to reduce the pain at night.  I am seeing symptoms of compression on the left side of my body as well as the right.  According to my neurosurgeon, only the right side was compressed.  It would seem with so many of us out here asking these questions, there would be an answer somewhere.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was experiencing excruciating and debilitating headaches associated with severe neck pain.  For over five years I was required by my many many doctors to endure many many medical procedures and tons of different medications, to which was not only a waste of time but put me into so much debt with co-pays.  I had my fusion (C4-C6) with a plate and six screws done in March 2007 and was so impressed that I was feeling so much better for about two months after my surgery.  No more headaches!!!!  I was so happy.  Then about eight weeks after my surgery I began my physical therapy – twice a week for six weeks at $50 a pop.  I felt horrible, so I stopped, I felt horrible.  I bought a new mattress and several new pillows, I felt horrible every single morning.  I tried physical therapy again, I felt horrible.  I have resorted to using pain pills three or four times a day and now after reading this page I have lost all hope.  I do plan on printing this all out and taking it to my PCP in hopes I guess that she will continue to prescribe the pain pills I take.  I would like to know though if there was anything (any one thing) that brought some type of relief to the horrible pain in your back and neck.fg
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Avatar_f_tn
i also had surgery at c5 an c6 i hurt my neck at work was in therpy for 5 months an got surgery at c5 an c6 with a plate an suffer from headachs an lower neck pain an shounder pain  on the right side headachs last 3 days an neck pain that goses into my right shouder  the dr sent me back to therpy witch makes it worse.he looks at me like im makin this up he said i shoundnt have any pain its been 3 months senice surgery he said its not his job to get rid of my headachs i just looked at him he thinks i just dont want to go back to work but i live with this pain everyday somedays its pretty good but otheres i cant even do anything am i the only one with this kind of pain i feel like im the only one out there
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Avatar_n_tn
I want to say how relieved I was when I read your comments.  I'm not alone.  I had a cervical neck fusion, C5-6, with plate and screws December 2005.  After the surgery I had pain and the pain gets worse and worse.  It took me years to get the courage to have the surgery and now doctors tell me there is nothing they can do and refer me to doctors in larger cities.  I have to admit I'm scared to think what can or cannot be done for me.  I take oxycodone twice a day, it helps me to tolerate the pain or I would be crying most of the day and be unable to sleep.  Physical theraphy does make it worse, for me, before and after the surgery.  I feel the memory foam pillow, from Target, is a must.  I've used one even before the surgery for relief and have been thru three of them to date.  I'm open to any suggestions out there.
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband had a C5-6 fusion in February of '06 and for the first 6 months post-op, he had major headaches, which his surgeon said would go away after the 6 month period.  They did disappear but for a short time.  He now suffers from neck pain, shoulder pain, pain and numbness on the front of his bicep and then numbness in his hand including all fingers but the "pinky".  We have since revisited the Neurosurgeon only to find that the disc in the C6-7 level is now bulging and pressing on a nerve.  He claims that this is COMMON as this level now takes the brunt of the work for the other level that was previously fused.  He has scheduled my husband for (marcaine) local injections near the C7 to diagnose if this is actually where the pain is originating.  15 minutes after the injection, his pain level has improved atleast 50%.  He is now looking at having the C6-7 level fused as well.  I am amazed at how many people have had this surgery done, and then returned to their surgeons with great pain and have not been told how COMMON the breakdown of the C6-7 level becomes after a C5-6 fusion.  I hope this points someone in the right direction as after watching my husband go through his ordeal, heating pads, pain meds, ibuprofen, losing many hours of work etc. is exhausting for both of us.........hopefully we are headed in the right direction.  Prayers for you all.
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Avatar_n_tn
i had a neck fusion in 2003 fron a car accident i was good up untill 2 mouths ago,now i get lighting voults in my neck when i lift somthing,i also get headachs,both my arms fall asleep,i have sharp pains in my neck iam a mess and scared!!!!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a c5-6 fusion with plates/screws/donor bone in June 2008 - following a fall in Jan 2007.  I too put it off as long as I could and was initially thrilled postop.- no pain, no headaches, still had the arm and hand numbness but was finally able to sleep at nite which makes almost anything more tolerable.  
That lasted for 3 mos. When I began the rehab with weights, I returned to all the symptoms I had before surgery and am now scheduled for a neurologist consult.  I guess I too am amazed at how many of us there seem to be - don't remember my surgeon giving me a # on how many fusions seem to fail but it appears to be many.
Has anyone had additional fusions to try to fix this problem (ie if the discs above and below the fusion are too stressed and causing this pain)?
Good luck and prayers to all,
K
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Avatar_n_tn
I can relate to everyone here.  I have had C6, and C5 fused, then C5 and C4 fused later on.  I have screws and plates, and I wake up every day in agony with a headache and blurry eyes.  Something is very wrong and I can not get my physicians to listen to me.  The leg sysptome should be clue enough that it is pressing on my spine, but all they want to do is argue with me.  I have had similar shots(as the ones mentioned)  in the shoulder, and it only brings a couple days of relief and the pain is actually worse than before.  Now they want to do the same to my neck and I am getting livid with anger at these people.  Why can't they just prescribe the appropriate amount of muscle relaxers?  That is my big beef with the whole thing.  I disobeyed my doctor and used the PDR to prescribe it properly and lo and behold, it worked.  Tommorow I plan to put it to her this way, either follow the portion of the PDR I am going to print out or refer me to someone else.  Am I doing the right thing?  Doctors generally do not like it when I get "smart" with them, should I play my hand?  Any advice is welcome!
Kate in Oregon
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Hi Kate I just typed up my experience and tips since my 5/6 fusion and the misery I felt.To keep it short incase that comment should appear?? dont see ityet!! My gp put me on zoloft for headaches. Had a pain clinic doc tell me burning and sore running down my arm caused by the nerves at c5/6 were blocked and causing the neck shoulder pain have had a epidural steriod injection big improvement,another this Friday 5th and I hear it will make a much bigger difference. I take neurontin 900mg three times a day muscle relaxants and pain meds but im way way better since the diagnoses and first shot. I use a water pillow love it!! Dont give up! I also stopped the phys ther it was aweful.Will tell you how the second shot goes on Friday.They take you to day theatre for it and can sedate mildy.I also tried my chirop and massage no luck. Martina Oregon      
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there :)

  I am new to this forum and have been reading all of your posts. I am living with Cervical Dystonia which caused disc disease ( degeneration) in my 3/4 5/6. I had surgery 2 weeks ago today, he fused the 3/4 with a donor's graph and replaced the 5/6 with plastic.I also have a metal plate and screws in my neck to help stabilize my spine. I've lived with severe chronic pain for many years but still worked a great deal up until this point. My neurologist has treated me with Botox A for many years to help pain, headaches,tremors and spasms that I dealt with on top of the disc pain....had bone spurs and arthitis on both. Sadly I had no alternative but to go through this process and the spurs were pressing against my spinal cord and the pain was more and more severe.

Since surgery I've found a great sense of relief on the left side and hoping it continues as I recover. Yes I am experiencing headaches as well but it is difficult for me to know whether it is surgery related or from Dystonia.

I find using a good pillow helps as I am not experiencing the shoulder and back pain like others.....I tried stretching the other day but felt I am not ready to start yet :) to early.

I hope that all of you find some relief in one form or the other....living with pain is debilitating and not many people understand unless they are dealing with the same thing.

Take care and try to keep smiling and laughing- it helps :) Have a good day, bye for now.
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I am so glad I found this forum,sounds like alot of people are experiencing the same thing.(Maybe I'm not going crazy!)I had c4,c5 discetomy,fusion and fixation on Jan.19th.I had numbness in my left leg and was quickly loosing control with left arm.The surgery went well,better than expected!Incision healed well,and really no throat swelling ,but I am still having alot of pain in shoulders and back of neck.Sometimes worse than before surgery.

I am still using pain meds ,but don't like them.I really need to get back to work .Am I being impatient ?Is the 6-8 window the time that you guys notice a difference?Any advice would be appreciated .
Deanne from Ohio
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I was in a car accident last May. Have 2 Bulging discs in neck. I have severe pain in me neck and back and shoulder. I had a nerve block done on Wednesday, dont feel to bad. Drs saying its not herniated and not pinching any nerves nothing they can do. Doed that mean I have to wait for them to herniate before anything can be done. Nerve block will only last a couple of weeks. On muscle relaxers and migraine meds. never had this problem before dont know what to do.Is there surgery for Bulging discs?  Any information would be appreciated Kathy Pa
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a C5/6 discectomy and fusion with cadaver graft, plate and screws on 2/18/2009. Had no radiating pain until six weeks after when my husband stopped short in the car and my head snapped forward. I also have a large ruptures at C7/T1 and C3/4 which don't hurt currently. My surgeon said that neuropathy often happens after as the nerve roots get damaged from the pressure from the ruptures. Fortunately, mine is managable and gets better if i watch my sleep position. I'm looking at some really bad fusions in the future if the other ruptures act up. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the relief I got. I hope everyone else gets relief.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,
I had a discetomy and fusion of the c5/c6 in febuary of this year. I to am in terrible pain and feel worse now after surgery than before it. I take strong pain medicine every day, I suffer from servere head aches which leaves me bed bound for days. I have lower back pain and still have severe pain in the right shoulder and arm. The only thing the surgery did do was stop the pins and needles sensation I had in the right arm to which I have developed now in the left arm. I have started physio and hydrotherapy which I find very painfully and cant complete a whole sessions as I end up in tears. My doctors can not explain what is going on. I have had numerous mri and xrays to which the doctors all say look normal. So what is going on I have no idea!!!!! I wish there was a solution to all these problems if anyone has and answers I would really apreciate them. Good luck to all hope everyone gets the answers they are looking for
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my dad had this done a year ago the pain is so bad he is lucky to get out of bed. the pain meds help but only a little. its so frusterating. im so annoyed so many people are suffering i really really wish someone had some answers. the doctors all have no answers and just say im not sure try this try that. its ******** the heating pads and stuff only help for awhile no long term relief.dad and i used to go snow mobiling and ride the rocket bike we sold everything. he wont be able to use them. we would have never done the surgery had we known. a word to anyone looking into this surgery stay away, my dad would have ended up loosing the use of his arms and legs and they also told us he would never breath on his own again. well quality over quantity because this is no way to live.
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Hi I'm a 44 Male.
So after reading this forum makes me feel good to know that theres others like myself with the same issues I have. I had the c5c6 fushion work done in Jan of 09 stayed in the hospital for 3 days the surgery didnt go as smooth as they wanted you see when he went to remove the bone from my neck there was a bubble and in it burst and fluid my spine leaked and the surgery ended up to be like 4 hours instead of a 45 minute thing like they said. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days.
When I wake up in the morning from my neck to my shoulders feels like its very stiff then from my shoulders down to my middle of the back feels like its on fire then from there the lower part of my back right in the belt line area I can feel my disk move they tell me that I do have  bulding disk in the L3 L4 area And then when Im sitting on the toilet my right leg goes numb when Im walking my left foot feels like there someone grabbing it just has that pull on it and my right legs feels like its gonna give out on me.

So like theres many things going on with me including the fears I never had before and also my eating habits changed Im weigh more then I did  and there other things going on as well maybe talk about them later on

So in the mean time back on the farm I driving my poor wife crazy with this garbage any suggestion for that I dont want her to suffer either with the stress level any help would be great thanks..
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Geeze, I am sooo glad to to find you people and know this is not all in my head or that I should be further along in my recovery according to the dr's. At the three year mark they finally admitted that I probably "dinged" my spinal cord during the roll over and that is why I still have nerve damage in my left arm. I can't lift it very high or hold much weight without it going "out" on me. My finger tingle and hurt. It worsen's with over use. My neck and shoulders are so tight all the time and want to spasm.( I have been in the ER several times due to my neck locking from spasms) I have pain down my neck and spine to the middle of my shoulders and lower. Headaches off and on. Sleep is so hard can't find a place that is comfy. I have gone to PT and had the blocks and the tins unit and nothing works for a long period of time. they don't want to give you pain meds they want you to learn to deal with it. I go every Jan and try to get them to do something and we go around in a circle and I get a few months of pain meds and then I am left to deal with it again. I finally gave up on going back to the dr for help. I fell a couple of years ago and now have a herrinated disc I think at the C5 they say its the norm because the fusion weakens the others around it so it is to be expected. I have to wait this one out too. geeze, when do they just take care of you and help you out of your pain!?!  When do they treat you like a human and not a cattle call branding each person the same!?!  We PAY them to tell us to wait and deal!   This is the only Hospital my insurance allows me to go to. The ortho surgeon is the best but the dr's I have to see for pain suck! I can't even work a regular 8-5 job anymore.
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914086_tn?1247741467
Oops....Had a fusion at the C6-7 with plates and screws. Broken collar bone with plate and screws.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a c4-6 fusion with cadaver graft too, like many of you, but mine was in 2000.  I still have pain from my neck to my lower back, sometimes down my leg and arm too, almost daily migraines, and it is reassuring to see that so many other people are having similar "non-physiologic" symptoms.  So, I also learned that physical therapy makes it worse, so does pretty much any kind of exercise except for 1) walking, if I keep my posture good, and 2)  belly dancing.  Great core strenthener, gentle graceful movements, no jarring movements, and it's so much fun.  Also anti-depressants like nortriptyline and bupriorion (wellbutrin) (I tried one then the other) help turn down the temperature on the pain.  Motrin helps, twice a day Vicodin gets me through.  I doubt I'll ever be pain-free, but I hope to be less pre-occupied by it in the future.  At least when I'm dancing I'm not thinking about it.
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Hi like you all I to had a C5- C6 spinal fusion in Feb 06 plates with 4 screws and used my own bone. All was good for about 2 months after the surgery. Then the pain started, after extensive rehab ie physio, exercise programme, and seeing a physolgist to learn how to live with the pain, Still no good. Accident Compensation in New Zealand then sent me to a specialist who medically cleared me to go back to work. Still in pain just coping some days at work. I was seeing a chiro whom I got short term relief. Then Accident Comp sent me to a rehab specialist who said I have permanent nerve damage. Named chronic pain syndrome. And that there is not alot I can do for it except to learn to cope with it. I wake at nights with pain down my right arm, have a numb thumb and have neck pain shoulder pain which in turn causes my whole spine to feel pain. Headaches all the time. A friend advised me to take high doses of vitamin bcomplex and vitamin b6 I also found a product in NZ called nerve nurse made by a herbalist in Newzealand Malcolm Harker, touch wood but I am so far finding some improvement but it has only been a couple of weeks. Will keep you all posted
Lucelle New Zealand
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
It is good that you are getting relief from vitamins but always go through proper medical channel as this short term effect may mask your symptoms.
If it is an approved drug and the compostion is clear there is nothing to worry. Take care
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just had a fusion of 5&6 last week. I did notice some improvement in my fingers and legs. My  doctor said that I will notice baby steps later on as time passes. A woman is comming by to give me a dervice to help my bone heal faster and reduce the risk of future problems. I will let you know what happens.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Yes  when your spinal nerve problems are fixed due to the fusion of vertebra you would have improvement with symptoms as you are feeling now with your hands and legs.

Proper balanced diet with protein and some extra calcium supplements would help you. Try to be in the BMI range for your height,weight.

For back problems always wear proper footwear in future, control your weight and Physiotherapy is important. Take care!
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I just had cervical fusion on the 16nth of July of 2009 and how long is it that I will stop feeling the arm and neck pain? I had a severly herniated disc in my neck and I had underwent 7 epidural shots and nothing and then I went to my orthopedic surgeon dr. and he told me I needed to have surgery. I hope this solves it but I am not able to go to work until 8 weeks from now which I am not going to argue that because I have disability ins. I just want to know if this pain is going to go away.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
The surgical pain will decrease in 4 weeks.

But the back pain will decrease over a period of 12 weeks and you come to normal with Physiotherapy. You can join work after 8-12 weeks but continue the Physiotherapy as in 6 months time you will feel normal if everything goes according to plan. Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had c5-c6 fusion in 2006. I am now having more numbness in my left ring and pinky finger( I have had numbness before and after surgery). I had a nerve study and I have issues with my deltoids and biceps all the nerves are good. I am also having a few random muscle spasms all over my body (these are minor to me). I do not show to have any pressure on my spinal cord like I did before surgery in 2006, but I am concerned about what is happening now. They said that I might have screw loosening but if I am fused that should not be important, right?  Having and MRI on the 20th. Ugghh!
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
The numbness can be due to anything. This might be due to the muscle and tendon issues you are having presently.

After 3 years of surgery you need to re evaluate your case. MRI is a good idea and it will throw light on the soft tissue issues. An X-ray will reveal the result of the fusion and the present day condition of the spine at c5 and c6.

How long did you do physiotherapy? Physiotherapy helps in relieving the nerve numbness and tingling issues.

Take care and follow up the basic investigations ( X-ray & MRI) to know the present status.



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Avatar_n_tn
I had a C5 -C6 cervical fusion in August of 2008. So just a little over a year ago. My spinal cord was almost severed so we did the bone with plate and screws. I went through therapy before and after surgery. I did the tins machine, the ultrasound therapy, I have had the ESI at the shoulder area closer to the neck. Nothing, and I mean nothing helps the pain and numbness. I have changed all of my pillows, added more pillows, taken pillows away, tried different sleeping positions. However, the pain is not just during the night when trying to sleep. It is ALL of the time. I can't clean my house, it is very hard to cook, some days it is hard to even get out of bed. WORK is NOT an option.

I have had numerous MRI's done post-op that all come out looking really good. I have had all of the proper testing done for every kind of arthritis. Nothing. I ask my neurosurgeon what is causing the pain if everything looks so good, and she has no answer. She tells me that this is very common after having this surgery. She says that the surgery was important to have to keep from paralyzing myself from the neck down, and that I may be in the percentage of people who have life long pain after this. I have degenerative disc disease as well so she says that this may not be the only fusion I ever have to have! Lovely. I had no injuries that caused the problem to begin with. I just woke up one day and felt like I had slept on my neck wrong, and from there the pain increased over time until I decided to have it checked.

I just seen my neurosurgeon yesterday and I am scheduled for a nerve conduction study on wednesday to determine if there is any nerve damage that may also be causing the pain. We will see how that goes.

My end result basically came down to this yesterday....
I have to take Amitryptaline before bed. This actually does give me some form of relief from the numbness. I don't wake up as much with tingling arms and hands and severe pain. However, it does make you very drowsy and very sleepy. Sometimes for a long period of time. I took 2 ONE time because it seemed like taking the one pill had started to not work as well. Doctor told me to take 2 if needed. I tried it and I kid you not I slept for 16 hours! So I will never take 2 of them again. Also, the doctor finally told me that I may only be able to find relief in long term pain management. So she is sending me to a long term pain management doctor. I will see them as soon as they call me with my appointment time. Which it couldn't get here fast enough. I have only been on Lortab 7.5 for months and they do nothing for me and never have.

My suggestion to you all, since we all seem to be in this together, is that you ask about something like I am taking at night, and then ask for a long term pain management doctor that can give you something to help relieve it during the day as well. Truth seems to be that we will have this pain now for the rest of our lives if the research and study is right. I am only 34, have a 15 year old daughter, and I would love to be a lot more active. I hope pain management can make that possible. I have opted to file for SSI, as I have many many more health problems that also keep me from working, however, if I didn't, this alone makes sure to guarantee that work is not an option. I can't sit, stand, walk, reach, bend, turn my head very far, etc etc.... between the cervical pain and lumbar pain as well.

I hope someday we all can find a answer! Good luck to all of you, my thoughts are certainly with each of you. You are NOT alone!
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Avatar_n_tn
Please read my story:

I thought I was the only one living in this chronic pain.  I had my first signs of pain when I was 19.  Started having pain in my right shoulder, sometimes it was just nagging pain, other times it was shooting pain.  Went to a sports medicine doctor who said it was rotator cuff tendonitis and he gave me two cortisone injection shots into my shoulder several times.  They lasted like an hour. Then went to physical therapy, cervical traction seemed to help a bit, but not much.  At this time I was desperate so started seeing a chiropractor.  I saw a chiropracter from 1999-2004 and was generally pain free!  Then it hit me....like a train, one morning I woke up and was in such excrutiating pain I couldn't lift my right arm, couln't get dressed, etc.  Drove myself balling to the hospital, and we found I had a herniated disc that was pinching my nerve.  C5/C6.  

So in May 2004 I ended up having a disc fusion. (discectomy with metal plate and four screws)  In 2005, started having neck and shoulder pain and went to physical therapy.  They had be doing neck strengthening exercises, that put me in terrible pain.  So then just tried to live with it.  In 2006 it progressively got worse, I started having symptoms in the left shoulder and down the left arm in partnership with the muscle and neck pain already.  Many physical therapy appointments, trialing different pain meds, and other items....I decided I wanted it to end....the pain.  I bougth a Chronic Pain Relief book and took charge of my own life.  

I highly recommend a book like this.  It showed me foods to eat that block nerve pain and other pain as well as foods that make it worse.  It also talked about exercise, etc.  Let's just say, I quit all of the other meds and therapies and read this book, changed my diet and exercise routine and was basically pain free!!!!  However, in May 2009 I was doing some painting and other home remodeling.  Feeling as good as I was...I forgot I even had neck issues!!  So I spiraled down very badly.  

Long story short, I am now going in for C6/C7 artificial disc replacement to correct the herniated disc I have right now.  It has been pinching on my nerve for years and now I have nerve damage in my left arm.  I am in so much pain now with that nerve pain down my arm, and I'm also experiencing pain, inflammation, spams, and a general feeling of "hotness" in both of my shoulders and my neck...headaches too.  I did a lot of research on artifical disc replacement and am hopeful that after my surgery on September 11th and living and breathing by my chronic pain book...that I will lead a normal life.  

Another thing that has helped me a lot is my faith in God to get me through.  I had my grieving time.  The why me syndrome.  You do need to deal with that, but then get right back up, and determine that this pain is not going to rule the life that God intended for you to enjoy.  I think some day I'll write a book on my journey...because as you all may know, it's lonely often times.  People cannot see the pain...and if you are like me, you try not to let it show.  Isn't that the most exhausting thing ever?

I hope you all buy a Chronic Pain Relief Book that details meal plans, foods to eat, foods not to eat, supplements to take, and other types of therapies to try.....It's worked for me and it will again after my surgery. :)

Take charge of your life!  Don't Let the pain rule you!
Crystal
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OMG! I really thought there was something wrong with me. I also had surgery at c5-6 with cadaver bone in 2005. The area under my surgery is extremely painful and feels like someone is taking a screwdriver and jabbing me. Recently, I am experiencing numbness in my right index finger and middle finger. I've seen a chiropractor, had the epidurals, can longer get mri's because they show up fuzzy so I have to get something called a mylogram (or something like that). All I know is it is painful because they have to put you on your stomach jab you with a series of needles than one big needle in the middle of your back, turn you upside down and let the ink flow to your head. I came online to check out any new technology and so far the only thing that shows promise is disc replacement. I am just glad I came across this sight because the doctors were telling me it may be mental. Nice huh? Thank you everyone for posting.
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wow we could form a club me to c4, c5 c6 all discetomy /grafting donor bone/fusion/titanium plate screws the whole 9 yards..and yet I still cant turn head to far to left mobility is 100% to the right I have zero numbness had a lot before but still pain,,however Ive gone from vicodionHP to just darvocet or tylenol 3 or 4,,would like to get to nothing not so sure thats gonna happen...the right sholder pain seems to be a common link
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Hello to all.
I did a search on multi level fusion and found this thread. I am a 45 year old man and like many here I had a c5-c6 (and c7 additionally once they got in there) fusion in 07 due to an auto accident (pain and weakness in my right arm and neck/shoulder with very bad headaches) and after a short time my symptoms returned much worse with additional symptoms on the left side as well along with trouble swallowing, a muscle spasm of my head to the right side, loss of fine motor control in both hands along with numbness and a weak voice. As a guitarist and singer in a band that was tough to take. 12 weeks ago I had to have additional fusion c2-c4 with a redo of c6-c7, two plates and many screws. The doctors had a hard time figuring out what was going on but finally got a good view of where my spinal cord was being compressed. Once they got in there they found more damage than anticipated which caused them to have to do the additional levels. It took them 8 hours, my wife said that both doctors looked exhausted when they came out to talk to her after the surgery and told her that they had opted to do all they could in one shot so that I would have the best chance to play my guitar again but that going back to work was unlikely at best.  I am lucky in that one of the worst symptoms are gone, no more pain shooting down my arms and my range of motion is quite good considering.  I have been working my way out of the neck collar and doing PT for the last two weeks and as I have been getting more active the neck spasms have returned along with some pain on the right side of my neck and arm. The more I do the worse it gets, I had worked my way off of most of the muscle relaxers and painkillers, just one of each before trying to sleep as sleeping has been difficult even using the good old water pillow but now the only was to stop the spasms is to take the pain killers every 4 hours. I was hoping to return to work next month, although this was “my” plan, the doctors have been somewhat skeptical of me doing so but were willing to let me try and see, I am thinking now that they were just humoring me a bit. I guess really I am wondering what my expectations should be, more so how long of a recovery other folks have had and if they were able to return to work. My current job is pretty physical, lots of lifting and bending ( I build testing apparatus for a research lab) I see my ortho doctor next week and hope to get some answers then but they had been somewhat evasive so far.

Any advice and experiences would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Bob
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Wow this is amazing. Same story here. I can't type very long because of the nerve pain. I had a c5/c6 fusion because of a car accident in May 2008. The pain never really went away afterwards and I wound up in a chronic pain hospital for 35 days, along with a rehab for painkiller addiction. I had only taken painkillers once or twice before this because of other non related surgeries 10 or so years ago. Since then I started developing pain in the other side of my neck which I thought was just a pulled muscle at first. I have stabbing pain down into my shoulder blade and down my arms, into my fingers. I had another MRI done, and in one year, the c6/c7 went out, 4 bone spurs formed, and a bunch of arthritis showed up. And I'm only 36. So now, they want me to have a c6/c7 disk replace ment surgery, which I will porbably have because I can't live like this. I'm afraid to go to sleep at night because I know I'm going to wake up at 3 or 4 am in unbelievable pain. The past year and a half has been a nightmare. My life revolves around this pain and what I can't do. I'm only able to work about 20 hours a day and probably will wind up loosing my job when they figure out how to get around the laws.
Now I see so many posts of people who have had these surgeries and still are not getting relief. I'm wondering now if there really is no "cure" for this for some people. My Dr. said in reality they really know very little about the spine.
I'm crossing my fingers that this next surgery works, and I can finally move on with my life.
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I had c5/c6/c7 fusion with cadavor bone a year and three mounths ago was doing realy good with it until about 2 weeks ago. Know I am so much worse the before the surg. going for a ct soon hope every thing is ok . I dont wont to go though the surg. again I am so scared. I just dont understand why after so long it all comes back and the pain is so much worse. I will keep you all posted
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Thank You so much. I was starting to think id lost my mind. Drs tell me only 3 % of the people continue to have pain. I had surgery c5/6 with fusion plate, cage etc 01/09. I was injured at wrok for the postal service in a freak accident.I was feeling much better, wanted to go back to work, but within weeks with only a twenty pound limit my pain returned and 10x worse. It now radiated down both arms, across my shoulders and for the last three months Ive been having severe leg pain too. Wound up in the ER seveal weeks ago for severe lowere back pain radiating up my back.

My original surgeon basically told me they wish they had a majic pill.. NICE... I find a new neurosurgeon, who a month ago I went to for pain management. Her solution was to send me back to work. This mind you after I re-injured it at work when the first dr wished he had a majic pill.  Today I had a CAT scan. hopefully that will give me some answers but some how I doubt it. I also had an EMG. which of course shows normal as did the second MRI after i Re-injured it at work. My job is very physical and requires heavy lifting,twisting, turning, bending etc. and I should return?? This is why doctors say they practice medicine. Never again on me is all i can say.  Honestly, if I had it to do again, NEVER!!!
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I am in same boat as youss guyss. I have C5-C6 spinal fusio(failed fusion if you ask me). I also have T3-T4 compressed fracture that doc even failed to tell me @. What is up w./that? How do they have the rigth not to inform you of what you have or if it could be what is causing all the pain. I have it all..all that you have described. You won't believe this one either. I was getting my paperwork in order for disability court..Yeah, I hate that to since I am a worker and actually love it. Anyway, I saw on my report that I also have a mild Chiari Malformation...there is no such thing as a MILD CHIARI MALFORMATION!! I suffer so much and can't believe that this place has sent me back into the world without knowing exactly everything that is wrong with me and talk to me @ it. I have suffered for 4 years and that is after the surgery...'06. You know that I hurt before..so,now what to do? I am 44 with two young boys that need mom. Always been active,now in bed most of day suffering and thank God I do have some kind of relief, but hate it. I have to wear 50mcg Fentanyl patche, take 3-4 Norco a day(same as Lortab10),Lyrica 150mg.3-4xday,Zanax 1mg.(muscle spasms...since allergic to flexeril),TENS unit(basically stay hooked up to electricity), I am so tired of it. I wish there were a majic pill that would make it al go away, They just left me hanging and I believe it's like a meat factory..where they do one right after another. It makes you feel that way. OH, I had a series of ESI's(3).,the third one made me jump on the table and cause me to be numb in my hands and feet. THis was Dec.'06 and still numb to this day. Anyone got any hope for me? Going to ENT 17th, All they are going to want to do is trigger point and ESI's...not on me they ain't. I had enough of that. I want to know what can be done to make this pain go away. There has got to be something. Maybe the CM is causing it all or I think I have a 3 fold problem...the surgery Neuro done has caused pressure on the disc below and that is arms and shoulders. The CM is my neck and head problems and when they hit me, in which I think my spinal cord, caused all the pain in my legs,. I felt I got a visit from Kathy Bates the other day and she did the "MISERY" thing where she hit my legs with the sledge hammer. Oh, please is there anyone there that can help me get on a road to recovery somewhere? There has got to be an answer somewhere.
     I am a Christian and I do thank GOD that He has taken half of my pain away. I truly believe that He has. Also,I at least have someone,PCP, that is giving me what I take now for all my pain. I don't know what I would do. I am literally in pain all the time and that can make you feel mental. I know I am not insane yet. Maybe one day I will see a day coming that promises at least a 2-4 pain level everyday that i can stand. It would sure beat all of these 6-10 days...You all take care and always...GOD BLESS
Go to website and read @ my story and some exhortion on the side:
http://skeetelmore65.blogspot.com/        
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Same here!  After cervical fusion c5-c7 4 weeks later got all pain symptoms back.  I have since then been told from multiple doctors to learn how to cope with the pain and their was nothing else that could be done.  After multi x-rays, Mri's, Ct Mylogram still did not show where the pain was comming from or why i have these symptoms.  Finally went for a 2nd opinion at U of M.  I was sent for a Diskogram that hurt like a  - -  - .  During the procedure they were able to recreate the pain symptoms while at rest indicating an additional herniation.  Regardless if physical therapy caused this or was so minute the first time around you must exhaust all resources before you become medicated the rest of your life as they to will eventually wear you out!  To the doctors out there who tell all of us there is nothing else for us or make us think its in our head F.U. If they keep giving you the same results from good hospitals then stop and go to the best hospitals.  I was not willing to accept tbe pain that shoots across the back of my neck every time i move my head, hearing loss in the left ear, numbness in both hands, migrain headaches, sleepless nights, medications, injections, epudurals and at the age of 31.  The diskogram was not a comfortable procedure but may in fact give many of you out there answers to the unsolved pain that follows us 24/7.  Good Luck, Ryan T  
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i am having doubts about this fusion but there is a alternative surgery(laser surgery) laser surgery institute.com check it out the success rate is alot higher then fusion but you have to pay for it out of your pocket i am afraid of surgery but hate the pain also
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This is a comment for all on this thread and it is further to my recent post. It is about post-operative pain from neck surgery (ACDF) at C5,6 and 6,7 in Jan & Oct 2008. Hopefully, this will provide encouragement to those of you who suffer the same or greater pain than before surgery.  That was true of me and the pain really took control of my enjoyment of life. However, I have taken acupuncture and have done fairly extreme neck exercises and my neck pain, although still there, is nowhere near as severe and it no longer has control over me.  I think my neck exercise was the reason for controling the pain. Twice a day for only two week I would do flexion, extension and rotation to the point of noticeable pain. I would hold that position for about 10 seconds and gradually release and go the opposite direction.  Note that I did it to the point where I could barely manage the pain. As a result, I believe that I have stretched all the soft tissue including all muscles and ligaments in my neck.  If any is afraid of doing more damage, remember, your fused joints are stronger after the surgery than before assuming that a titanium plate was screwed into place.  Try it and send me a note in a couple of weeks to let me know that it worked for you or not.  Good luck and God bless and give you strength and encouragement.
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I had discs 5-7 removed and fused on 10-28 Dr had told me i would wear the cervical collar for 6 weeks went back in 2 weeks and he said  i could wear the collar prn. So i am using it when am in a car or when in pain. I have had pain across my shoulders for the last week is also like a burning sensation all the way across. Sometimes pain is lessened, not relieved, by wearing my collar. Still after this long I am still sleeping in a recliner as sleeping in a bed causes pain. I was going to make a dr appt but reading  all these comments am thinking this is all quite a normal reaction and just to let it run its course. I do have pain pills i could take but really dont like to take them so only doing tylenol as needed as dr said i am not allowed to take anything with asa for a minimum of 6 weeks. Good luck everyone the surgery was well worth it before for the last year my left arm to my fingertips was "dead" numb with "electricity" and pain in it constantly having me to the point of tears the numbness is gone but now pain has started.
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ruhappyim, you have a good attitude. But - and I am not alone in this - keeping your neck immobile is probably the worst thing you can do.  Your fusion has healed so why keep it immobilized? It is the soft tissue in your neck that is hurting and the best thing for it is exercise and movement. Otherwise, you will be encouraging neck stiffness (atrophy) which will only prolong the pain. Lose the collar and move and stretch (and hold) your neck to the limits in every direction. Good luck!
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Hello Everyone,

I was so happy to find this site.  I thought it was just me but now I see that all these people that have posted here that have had Cervical Spinal fusion with hardware still are experiencing pain.  I had a 3 level fusion last February and to this date (December) I'm in so much pain I can't handle it.  The pain in my neck and shoulders is unbearable.  It's so bad that one of my grandchildren tried to give me a "massage" over the weekend and I had to make her stop because even the gentle massage of a 6 yr old hurt so bad I almost cried.  Before the surgery I was suffering from debilitating headaches.   When I came out of surgery, the headache was gone, but I replaced it with neck and shoulder pain.   My Ortho surgeon wanted me to go to PT but I couldn't afford it.  When I called my insurance and the PT practice nearest my home, I found out it would be $35 per visit and he wanted me to go 3 times a week......I don't have that kind of money since I've been on SSD since 2005.  I've not worked since 2003 because of back problems. In fact here are the stats of my surgeries due to DDD:

1.  Back surgery -July 1998 ALIF L4/L5 Fusion with cadaver threaded dowels.  This surgery failed within 6 months as the dowels dropped into L5 vertebra body and it never fused at the top.  

2.  Back Sugery -Sept 2001  L4/L5 Fusion (again) with hardware.

3. Back Surgery - May 2007 L4/L5, L5/S1 fusion with NEW HARDWARE and opening of the area around S1 nerve root due to compression of of the nerve.

4.  Back surgery - Nov 2007  I did really well until 12 weeks post op I started having severe pain on the left side.  MRI & CT scan later reveals bone spurs that had grown and completely compressing S1 Nerve Root.  No Fusion this time, but still surgery.

5. Cervical Spine Fusion - 3 level C3/C4, C4/C5, C5/C6.  Also found out I have what they consider a "mild" Chiari Malformation (Like someone else said...there is no such thing as a "Mild" Chiari Malformation!_)  I had immediate relief of headache but now suffer from neck and shoulder pain.  Difficulty sleeping, constant pain, on narcotic drugs since 2002!!!  I also have a lot of pain in my lower back and hips due to all the surgeries.  I still have 3 more protruding disc at T12/L1, L2/L3 & L3/L4.

That's another story.  The mfg of Oxycontin won a lawsuit to keep any other company from making generic Oxy until 2013.  So generic is no longer available, however; my insurance won't pay for the brand name drug.  I have been on Oxy's for 9 years and now I don't know what I'm going to do.  My PCP wants me to go to a Pain Mgmt clinic to have them change my medication and once I'm on maintenance dose, then I can come back to her.  However, there is NO pain mgmt clinic within a 40 mile radius of my home that will accept my insurance.........I'm so scared because I have enough Oxy's to last me until next Thursday and then I'm out.  I am so scared about that.  I am in so much pain and I take 60 mg twice a day of CR and 15 mg 3 x day of IR.  What am I suppose to do???? No Pain Clinic, no drugs available....I've already filed an appeal with my insurance but they denied it.  I don't understand how they can do this to people....it's NOT MY FAULT that the generic is no longer available.

Thanks for listening and it really is nice to know I'm not alone in having so much pain after fusion.
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Man, I feel ur pain.I am sorry to hear of it. I may not have the intensity that u have, but believe me I am suffering. I have an ACD & F Spinal diskectomy w/titanium plates and screws(C5-C6)w/Cervical & Lumbar DDD, Spinal Stenosis,Spondyosis,Hydronephrosis(Kidney),Fractured rib, Degenerative hip/joint disease and Fibromyalgia...I am sure there is more,but I still make it w/some help of Fentanyl Patch/Lortab 10/Xanax,but it still doesn't cover it..there is more help and the best at the bottom paragraph. I have suffered since my surgery. The bad thing @ it is I have had 3 docs say that I didn't even need the surgery and now there is nothing that can be done to correct it.I have accepted it and am trying to deal w/it. It is hard and I go through literal he** sometimes, but I keep on trudging along and this next paragraph will explain just how I make it through my days.
I can tell u one thing that helped me tremendously. I rededicated my life to The Lord. He, after I went up,confessed and repented of my sins..HE took half of my pain away. I actually felt His hand on my back. I have lived for him ever since and always will.He is The Great Physician. I truly believe if u do this and have faith and believe He will do the same for u. I just want to help u and this is one thing that I know helped me. I will write back and check on u and see how things are going. Just give it a try..what do u have to lose...Nothing but gain..trust me.
You take care and always...GOD BLESS..Karen
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I also had a posterior cervical fusion C3-T1 in Sept. 08.  Things started to feel a little better for a couple of months.  I am now seeing a steady progression of the same symptoms I had before surgery.  No feeling in arms and legs hands and feet.  Constant neck /shoulder pain and headaches. Sitting in a chair is painful.   I am just so frustrated with Dr's.  The fusion has heeled but no one is taking me seriously.  I am currently unemployed and don't feel capable of going back to a full time job.  I can't even get pain medication.  At wits end, becoming very depressed.  I stretch and work out my neck regularly.  Pain would be worse if I didn't.  I want to scream.  I don't understand why there is nothing anyone can do if so many people are having the same problem.  Also had lumbar fusion with cages.  That was a piece of cake compared to this.  Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Hello, I am sorry to hear of the pain, but can relate. I suffer everyday,but am blessed so far to have a doc that prescribes something that at least gets rid of half the pain. I do have good days, but would love to have all good. I think I am dreaming. I just think that we have SCI. It just makes sense that if our spinal cord has been interupted that would cause pain and we will always experience it and might as well except it. I had surgery..an ACD & F spinal fusion back in '06 and have suffered ever since. I take Lyrica, wear a Fentanyl Patch,Norco and Xanax for spasms and breakthrough pain. I am blessed that I receive what I do, I guess by hearing all of the horror stories of not getting anything for pain.I am afraid it is going to get that way for all of us eventually...hopefully not. We are in enough misery already without worrying @ having nothing to take for it. I just wished some doc would fix me somehow..someway and I wouldn't have to take anything...that would be nice. You all take care and pray...that seems to help me a lot. It brings me closer to God and He always sends the comforter to you. GOD BLESS..Karen
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Well, I am not alone, I see.
I have a Titanium plate with screws in my neck. That was done on the 3rd neck surgery.

After an MRI and Myelogram, I had my first surgery. Bone was taken from my hip and placed in my neck. The hip incision was what gave me the most pain to begin with. After 3 months, I was experiencing severe pain in my neck and shoulder still. The bone from my hip did not fuse.

I had a second surgery almost a year later. Bone from the bone bank was used. That bone was probably from a serial killer, lol, and did not fuse either.

Almost a year after that, another surgery. This time a Titanium plate with screws was placed in my neck. I never did really return back to normal and refused to continue to take prescription pain reliever. Just Tylenol.

The last surgery was approximately 10 years ago. Now I cannot work due to tremendous headaches, shoulder pain, numbness in the ring and little finger of both hands, and arm pain. I cannot keep my arms above my head long enough to screw in a light bulb without intense burning in my neck and top of my shoulders. One leg, ankle, and foot continually swells and the other does not.

I am at the end of my rope with the pain involved. I have applied for disability and my doctor's appointment is tomorrow. Disability is so hard to get because too many people fake it and try to play the system. I was a correctional officer, and then the office manager of the correctional facility. I cannot sit at a desk all day and do computer work. I cannot use my home computer for very long at a time because my shoulder will start to hurt.

I no longer have health insurance and cannot afford to get treatment. One thing I will not ever do again is have another neck surgery. Some of us are just SOL.

And all of this is not even mentioning the depression because of chronic pain. I am soon to be 60 years old and have almost become a recluse.

God bless all of you out there with these problems. Sometimes even 3 surgeries does not work.
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update to my earlier comments. surgeon said on my return all this pain is the muscles settling in..so sent me to physical therapy.....at first she tried excercises to strengthen muscles but they made it hurt worse so now started just loosening muscles n gave me a tens machine...so lets see how this works so far no improvement but only been 2 days...good luck all...i had a 5,6,7 fusion done 10/28 of this year...good luck
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Hi there..NEWS!! There IS a generic Oxycodone I take 3- 20 mg's a day. The DEA WAS going to make this happen but they couldnt. The patent WAS lifted and there are Generic Oxycontin available. You have to be careful though bc there is a Oxycodone IR (instant release) available also my Dr made the mistake of Rx'ing this to me 1 time. Look up in the Physicians MPR thru Google. Please feel free to email me I have a fill today Jan.08/10 Hope this helps ...KB   ***@****
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Hi there..NEWS!! There IS a generic Oxycodone I take 3- 20 mg's a day. The DEA WAS going to make this happen but they couldnt. The patent WAS lifted and there are Generic Oxycontin available. You have to be careful though bc there is a Oxycodone IR (instant release) available also my Dr made the mistake of Rx'ing this to me 1 time. Look up in the Physicians MPR thru Google. Please feel free to email me I have a fill today Jan.08/10 Hope this helps ...KB   ***@****
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I found this site trying to find a cause for my current pain.  I have suffered from weekly migraines since I was 8 years old.  My neurologist found a blown disc on the MRI by accident as he was looking for brain tumors.   I had a cervical fusion in July 2006.  I did not get instant relief after my surgery as I was promised.  I have a donor bone and titanium plate in my neck.  I was in pain for a year after my surgery and then had a series of steroid injections the following summer for the disc above the surgery site.  I was in a car accident January 2009 and have pain from C4C5 disc.  I have had 2 injections but they did not work.  My right arm feels like it is on fire and is weak.  I am right handed and a teacher so it makes the pain even worse.  I feel that I may be looking at another surgery and feel hopeless again.  I didn't realize how many people there are in the same situation as me.  I have pain running from my neck down my right arm and into my hand.  I am not sure if it is scar tissue that is causing the problem or if the disc blew.  Is there anyone who had a successful 2nd surgery?  I want a better quality of life.  I am only 38 and feel trapped by my pain.
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Hello, I have to tell u that I have the same burning, but mine is all over. Does anyone know what this is caused from? I have been doing some research, but don't like any of the answers..one was ALS..(Lou Gehrig's disease)..I have many other things that it could be. I am going to see an Internist Fri. and have some more blood work done and see what he has to say @ all of the pain and misery that I am in. It seems after ur first surgery that u were still in pain..same as I. I had C5-C6 spinal diskectomy and fusion...I guess. They don't tell u exactly what they're doing. That is what erks me so much. Why can't they explain it all in laymons terms...simple english. They make it so difficult. I just know I am tired of living in the agony all the time. I have to wear a Fentanyl Patch(75mg.) and hate it, but it does take most of my pain away. I also don't know what I would have done for the Lyrica that I took. I was taking 150mg.,but now have moved down to 75mg.,bc of the 80lbs. that I put on and couldn't breath. So,think long and hard b4 u even start it. I want to take the Topamax and am working towards it. I have to get down to taking just one 75mg. a day of the Lyrica and then I am starting it..again. I tried it once and it made my ankles swell up to 2-3x there normal size. I was scared to death and who is to say that I still ain't. I just wish we could get into to see a doc without waiting forever and get somewhere. All they want to do to me is give me meds..I wish I could throw it all away...flush it. I mean it, but my pain keeps me in bed, even though I make myself move and now I am at the comp....goooood 4 me. It doesn't last long. I have carpel tunnel in both hands so they give out after a while. It's getting there so I wish the best 4u and maybe we can give each other help when we find it. Think @ me and say a prayer if u would and I will do the same 4 u. Take care and always...GOD BLESS... Karen
http://skeetelmore65.blogspot.com
P.S. Would love to be a friend so we can talk more @ what is going on with each other and maybe find an answer somehow...:)
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I had the c5-c6 surgery done over a year now
and I know now that its not in my head.with the headachs and the this and thats to go along with.
My Dr.informed me that im going to be on perm Restriction for the rest of my living years.
My comp dr's there a joke to compare to my own dr's you see the comp board wants you off there payroll its that simple and there going to use every trick in the book to do this
I live in Buffalo,NY And The compensation flew me all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah to see there Dr's so that they could released me back to go back to work how ever since I live in NY I have togo by Ny state rules and regulations. MY attorney had that tosed out in court and the courts are on my side.
So I suggest very strongly that you get a good attorney that knows how to deal with compensation and a second attorney that deals with accidents in my case I have 3 attornys
You see the accident happen in Ohio, IM from Ny And My company is in Utah and the person that hit me lives somewhere so its a ball of wax I didnt mean to sidetrack with the pain issues or anything I just want people to be aware of them comp dr's who claims that there on your side. the bottom line there not they are being paid by the comp board and the comp board will tell them whats best for you so get your own dr's for your own pertection..
In the mean time back to me Im still waking up with pains inbetween my shoudlers headachs and everything else Im seeing a back dr but that only giving some releafs by the way Im also on face book if anyone want to add me in as friends..
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I cannot help wondering what percentage of ACD&F surgery patients report positive results.  "Statistics" might indicate that only those patients (read "victims" if you like) would report negative results and I include myself in that group. I wonder if the medical associations (US and Canada et al.) have done any studies of all patients which might give a more accurate result of success/failure rates.  As for myself, I last reported that excerise - pushing the neck to extremes of movement - helped.  Well, I withdraw that remark.  I think it was a result of the self fulfilling prophecy - I wanted it to work.  But now, 2 years post 1st surgery and 1 year after my last, my pain is no better but I think, without the excercise it may be a lot worse.  I am still on pain killers - synthetic morphine - one 8 mg tablet 3 times a day.  I usually take all 3 in the morning when the pain is the worst. (Yes, I have tried every type of pillow including memory foam and even got an electric bed which hasn't helped.)  Like everyone else in this predicament "between a rock and a hard place" the main conflict is do I live with more pain without medicinal relief or do I live on pain killers and suffer the side effects.  The decrease in libido and constipation being to my mind the most serious.  The latter can be treated easily with the proper diet but the former is not so easy to treat.  I need not point out the difference between E.D. and libido so those little blue pills have no effect on libido. Having given it much thought, I would rather risk addiction to pain killers than have my enjoyment of life sink any lower than it already is.  But this in itself brings on a major discussion on ethics and morality. For, what makes my "disability" any worse than those unfortunates who choose drugs to ameliorate their quality of life? I have not reached a conclusion perhaps because I am too subjectively involved.  But, I think from the point of view of pure Logic, if we in this forum are permitted to live on pain killers (read "narcotics") then would we not necessarily have to be careful not to judge most "junkies"!  (You would have to exclude those who choose to get a buzz just because of their hedonistic make-up.)  Anyway, this is just a rambling but nonetheless important aside. I would love to hear from anyone that can comment on medical reports on all surgery patients that have been done in accordance with accepted statistical principles.
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It's to the point I don't know if there is any point of talking about this anymore.
I have been through enough misery for 2 lifetimes. My husband died a little over 4 years ago at the age of 33 from small cell lung cancer.

They tried everything they could think of to fix me without surgery, painful procedures left and right.. nothing worked.
I have had 2 surgeries on my neck c3-c7 . Oh I am sure I dont even have that right. I am in so much pain I can't stand to be awake. What ever happened to.. "surgery will fix it" are you kidding me? My first surgery was in July of 2008 on one level in my neck. The 2nd surgery was Sept. of 2009. To fix the 1st surgery and replace more discs and replace the old hardware. Now I have 3 levels of metal plates and screws in my neck.
I am in a 1000x more pain now then when this whole thing started. The burning the stabbing the aching.. the pain, the everything. The bone stimulator I wear once a day isnt suppose to hurt.. but you know what? IT DOES.
So then they send you to pain management. Its like trying to turn around on a one way street. All they want to do is drug you up and mask the problem. Some of you ask what is the pain from. Could it be nerve damage? Shoot I dont know anymore. I am only 37 years old. I feel like I am trapped in a 90 year olds body. I just wanted my life back. Losing my husband was enough, my son getting diabetes was enough, losing my job over this was enough. The pain is too much to bear. Most days I lay in my bed and cry. My question is what would these doctors do if this were them in pain? Do they even care anymore??
If I could go back and choose whether or not I have surgery would I?.. NOOOOOO
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Amen to that!! It just feels redundant to even discuss it sometimes. I feel so painful myself and am dealing w/a lot on the side as well. I am so sorry lansur @ what ur going thru. Life as I have said b4 is H***. Sorry Lord. I didn't mean it to bring anyone down..that is just the way it is. I have learned the hard way. I am a possitive person although I have been thru what I have and know it does something to u. It makes u very humble. I appreciate all the good days I get. I pray that more of them r coming. I believe they r and have faith in that. It might be in a better place, but that is okay. I don't know what to expect anymore. I expect pain though. It is always there. I just try and deal w/ith and move on if that is possible...sometimes move on to sleep too. It is easier to just try and sleep thru it although it wakes u up too. We will make it..somehow..someway..
     I use the TENS unit and it just buys me a little time, and cry when I brush my teeth or stand too long bc my back burns(mostly in the middle).When I take a bath...that I used to linger in...now it is painful just to get thru it...Life is hard...so hard sometimes...I sure could use a little more life to live...like do something again. Maybe one day..I am not going to give up...not yet. They are going to get sick of seeing me at the dcs...I think they already are..but just let them switch shoes w/us 4 a little while...:) Take care and always...GOD BLESS..Karen
How ru feeling Tamberly6? Better I hope...:)
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TE - I want to tell you that things will get better - they have to.  I am drawn to the word "believe" and felt so strongly about it that I had it tattooed on my foot last year.  I am not a religious person at all, but I can not give up on hope.  Things will get better - stay strong and believe!  As for me, my arm pain is now coming and going and my 2nd  cortisone injection must be put on hold b/c I have now have bronchitis.  My pain management doctor feels I need a 2nd surgery.  While I think I do as well, I too wonder if the first surgery I had caused nerve damage.  I can't go to PT b/c thee exercises just make the pain and burning worse.  Even though my surgeon was supposed to be the best in CT, things can still go wrong.  I was on pain killers for over 2 years and became terribly addicted.  People thought I took the pills just to take them and I was making up the pain.  People who are in our situation just don't understand even though they try.  I was on a very high dose of pain meds (as my tolerance for medications is extremely high).  I needed the medication to function like a "normal person" and go to work.  I felt no side effects and many times meds didn't even work.  I finally detoxed over a year ago and it was terrible.  I felt ashamed b/c I felt like a junky.  I detoxed quickly and am afraid that with another surgery I will start the whole process over for me.  I have researched a bit and found that ice on the neck is better than heat.  A friend also recommended a tilt table that uses your own body weight to do traction and helps realign the spine.  She swears by this and told me she found the table that inverts at Dicks sporting goods.  I thought I might look into this.  I wish everyone on this panel well.  A cyber hug is coming to everyone in pain and please BELIEVE that things have to get better for us.  For without belief we lose hope and without hope ...
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I finally feel better knowing that im not crazy. I was hurt at work in 1/08. I did everything to avoid surgery. I finally had surgery on 1/09. c6/c7. Between trying to get better my job forces me back to work and unfortunately i have to medicate myself which doesn't work. Trying to work with others and them not understanding my pain is very difficult.  So I smile and try and get through the day, The crazy part is the pain sometimes starts off as a dull shoulder pain, slight headache and pain to my neck. By the time I'm done with work my scapular spasms are so bad. My shoulder is burning, pains going down my arms , headaches you can't move your head, and neck pain that's so bad I shrug my shoulders to keep my head up. These are a few to list.  Unbelievable!  It seems that the more I do the worst it gets . I've tried every pain medicine. I've tried P/T which of course makes it worse. I took an EMG and found nerve irritation in the same site where I had surgery. When does the pain stop?  I'm tired of pain medication I want my life back!  Doctor's dont understand and now even my husband .  Is there a doctor who is familiar with these problems after surgery.  What can I do ? Please help.
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To everyone:

I can say I feel your pain.  Having been in an accident four years ago, I have gone through all the injections, nerve burnings, and multiple surgeries.  I am fused anterior c5-7 and then after still having a lot of pain my doc did another CT scan to find that one level did not take.  That is when they did a posterior c5-7 to stablize the neck.  I still fight numbness in the hands at night and can't feel the hands in the morning, but the headaches are gone and my head no longer feels like a pumpkin on a broomstick.  (most days)  I still have three ruptures midback t6-9, which is my nightmare.  Trying to avoid fusion in the mid back, I opted for a spinal cord stim unit that was suppose to surpress the pain by 50%.  After living with a remote, charging all the time, getting shocked 24/7 from the chest to the feet and back, I finally had it taken out this week.  In my opinion if anybody gives this option to you, pray hard, get all the advice you can, and weigh out all options as it does not fix anything, but yet just try to buy you time before the surgery has to be done.  In reading some of the post some are on heavy medicine.  I have done it all, oxy, percs, valium, lyrica, fentanyl, you name it.  After much consideration and reading other post, I came to the conclusion that I have lost four years of my life with my family because of the meds, and I honestly think that some of the meds actually make you over sensitive to the pain.  Now I still fight pain everyday, but have been three months cold turkey with no meds besides an occasional muscle relaxer or tylenol, and have to say that to see my kids grow up and hear them say I love you, is far more medicine to me, than it is is to take a legal drug that is just tearing up my insides.  I still have years of surgeries ahead of me due to the condition of my spine thanks to a couple of careless acts of people not watching what they were doing, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  For all that have neck pain after surgery, it took a good eight months to a year for it to really start feeling pretty good.  I give all the credit to God, and to my awesome spinal surgeon.  Wish you all the best.  Stretching is your friend, and the right pillow.  Not all pt is the same.  Some use strength, and others use more of a massage and work with the muscles down deep.  Take it all in stride.  Now we all have to learn to dance in the rain, as this storm will be slow to pass.  
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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this forum and have cried after reading all of your posts.  It's upsetting and maddening that most of you were promised relief with surgery, only to be disappointed or worse off than before.  It would seem that the doctors are straight out lying to people about the general outcome of surgery.  I was told it had a 90% success rate by my doctor.  According to all the people on these blogs, I would say it's more like a 99% failure rate!  Why aren't the doctors honest about this???

I have been recommended for this surgery C5 & C6 Anterior Cervical Fusion with Plating and Fibular Graft because of chronic painful muscle spasms and headaches.  My disc is protruding and pressing on my spinal cord.  I do not have numbness or tingling or pain in my arm though.  I obviously DON'T want to have the surgery after reading about your experiences. IS THERE ANYTHING TO HELP WITH THE MUSCLE SPASMS AND HEADACHES?  I've tried Skelaxin and Flexeral and all they do is make me sleepy.  I've tried NSAIDS, chiropractic, and massage for 18 years with limited relief.  If anyone knows of anything that may help, I would be greatly appreciative to hear from you.

In the meantime I pray for all of you who are in pain and have been let down by their doctors.  I pray for physical relief as well as emotional and spiritual peace for us all.

God Bless,
Elizabeth
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Hello,
     I want to tell u another way that seems to be the only way of success. I have a brother-in-law that had a surgery done exactly like mine except the doc used something called a prodisc. It is the newest thing out there. Sure wished I would have waited and had it done for my pain is so unbearable at times. I think I have other issues going on though....maybe. I not 4 sure that it is not my surgery, but I did also get hit by an ESI (Epidural Steroid Injection)..so, whatever u do..don't do that. I can tell u from experience and watching the other patients pace in the office that it is bad. On guy, as a matter of fact kept going in and out of the building. I wound up asking him since I was at my first one at the time and he thought they had hit or in his words..punctured his lungs. That is bad.

So, My B-I-L lives in Dallas and he is fine. I spoke to him just the other night and he is working and everything. I am so happy 4 him. I have to say that when I heard he was going to have to have the surgery all I could think of was that he was going to suffer like I was doing.

I think for some reason that when they did my last ESI they did something to me too. I jumped on the table and even raised my head to ask the doc what happened. He said with a studder "Friction" and kept me for an hour and other times just let me go home. I could see them pacing out the door, watching and worrying if they had done something. I remember him asking me to sit up real fast after I raised my head to sit up real fast and asked me if I had heavy breathing and if my ears were ringing. I told him that my hands and feet were numb right there. To this day they still are. I had the procedure done Dec. 26th,2006. I can prove it bc I have picked up the habit of clpping and biting my nails. One or two of my nails doesn't have a nail or cuticle at all. I can clip it back and I am talking @ all the way until it bleeds and the next day I don't even feel it. Now, I remember how it used to feel when I would have a hangnail and if I would pull it and it bled, the next day it would be sooo sore, but I don't feel it. @ my feet. My son wanted to see how numb my foot was so he stuck his toe nail into my foot and asked me if I felt it and I said ...a little. He said, "MOM..u should be bleeding"..It scared him. He didn't mean to hurt me. It still bothers him. Doc told me that I could've had some kind of blood clot or something and not to ever do that again.

Oh well, we all have our crosses to bear, but I would really research on the Pro-disc and leave out the titanium plates and u see the results here. PLease. We don't want to see another sufferer...k
Hey, @ the headaches Topamax is wonderful 4 them. I take it 4 Migraine. Yet another thing I have been dx with besides Cervical,Lumbar,Hip/Joint DDD, Spinal Stenosis, Myofascial Pain, Spondylosis,CM(Chiari Malformation),T3-T4 compressed fractured vertebrea( I think result of having my surgery...yes..failed fusion). and believe me that the NS that done my surgery didn't even tell me of the CM or the T3-T4. Yep...he didn't.I found that out after 4 yrs. when I had to file for disability.
I wish u the best in whatever u decide, but be careful and please stay away from those plates....:)

You take care and always....GOD BLESS... Karen
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i also had a fusion at c5 c6 and am having all the stiffness and muscle pain along with headaches and facial pain when i wake up every morning from clenching my teeth...but have had an anterior laminectomy too.. it is six years since the laminectomy and one year since the fusion. i can definatley tell the fusion worked as the bone on bone feeling is gone, but the muscle pain down my neck and in my shoulders and back are daily.  i started doing some lite weight lifting as my right arm doesnt have much stregnth anymore, it still feels that way after working three days (waitress) but feels somewhat better when i'm off. as for the neck and shoulder pain i am now going to a massage therapist (licenced) who does deep tissue and cranial massage once a month sometimes every three weeks.  this helps keep the pain under control. (does not relieve it all) but it definately helps.  i've noticed when i stop going on a monthly basis my headaches and pain come back ten fold. also i use a heating pad every morning and every nite to relax things. i ice when needed or after my work shift. sometimes the muscle relaxers help when using while doing other daily routines.  i am learning to manage my pain because i pretty much know this is a lifelong journey... not excited to know that my c3 c4 are also bad but if i would i fused all four i would have no mobilty left.. i am only 41 now and that wasnt an option for me.... anyway my suggestions are to use a memory foam mattress pad... a good pillow (keep trying til you find one that works for you) monthly masssage therapy, muscle relaxers, and daily heat and ice. i don't like taking pills so i try to stick to tylenol for pain and exedrin migrain for my headaches. and last a little light weight lifting to strengthen my shoulders and arms. hope this helps at least one person as no one that hasn't been through this understands the daily pain we deal with. i can't even work in my yard without pain, so i have learned to spend the sixty dollars a month on massage (which i would spend somewhere else) on me and my health because it works the best out of anything else.(if you find a good therapist). good luck...oh one last thing.. i have my son lift me straight up, i put my hands behiind my neck and he goes throgh them and lifts me.  this cracks the neck a little and gets rid of the sensation of feeling like im all jammed up.. don't know if this is good or not probly should leave it to the chiropractor, but it does feel good...
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You keep doing what works 4 u. I am not doing so well myself. I just found out that I have inflamation (inflammation) in my body(sedimentation rate elevated). It is scary. I have to go and have more blood test run and am hoping they can get it under control. I thoroughly believe it is from taking LYRICA and I urge anyone who is to not to take it. I am on Neruontin and Topamax now and don't really know @ it either and am still swollen. I have edema in my legs and ankles bad. I can't stay on long, not until I get me a lab top anyway.
     I just take it one day at a time and pray a lot. He is with me so I know I am taken care of and that is what matters. I will keep u in my thoughts and prayers as to all of u here. I do all the time. I know exactly what ur going thru. IT is not fun at all. It does get so old when u suffer all the time and stay in bed. I tried to lift a little weight I have by the bed. It is only 1 lb. lol...but I know I have to start small bc my muscles are actuallly disappearing on me. You can see rings in my legs and my arms are now to where I can't lift them off of my side much. I thought I might have developed MS. Not to say that it is not a chance. I am reaching even though I know it is where I had the fusion done. There is no question to that. All of my pain. BB
      Hey, got to get some rest and eat some breakfast that my son brought me from mom's...mmmmmmm.  buscuits,gravy,and eggs..breakfast first..Yummy...Thank God 4 good ole mom..don't know what I'd do w/out here...Thank You Lord too.
     You guys take care and always...GOD BLESS...Karen
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Broke my neck C6C7 by falling in the shower Feb 2008. I have the t-rod and plates with six screws.  I don't have any pain, its uncomfortable and feels like you are carrying this weight around your neck but what could have happened would have been way worse.  I went thru a lot of PT and really can't turn my neck either way very well but I manage.  I find the cervical pillow I purchased from rehab is a Godsend.  I am happy to have survived that mishap.
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I thought i was going crazy and all alone.. THANK you for this forum. I too as all of you have had back and neck issues. I had a l5/s1 laminectomy in Jan of 09, then had an accident in Feb of 09 and herniated my C6/C7. I prolonged surgery as long as i could but then due to all the issues i was having i had the surgery in july of 09, a single fusion with the plate and screws and the nice permanent necklace from it. I have been in worse pain every since the surgery. Can't hardly move my neck. Pain in between my shoulder blades, Migraines and Spinal headaches, numbness in my right leg and right arm, pain shooting from the middle of my shoulder blades under my right arm into my breast, can't sit, stand, walk, lay down for long periods at a time. Can't sleep because of the pain, can't bend, pick up anything. I have had Mri's, CT scans and all looks good except for now they say that i have a protrusion in my C4/C5, which i believe has been there all this time since my accident in feb of 09 but maybe due to all the pressure from my c6/c7 surgery it made it worse?. I have had epidural shots which don't do anything at all except drain my bank account. My neurosurgeon just has No clue what is wrong, sending me to another pain management dr. to get a facet joint shot in my neck. Have many doubts this will work but only bring on the migraines and spinal headaches for me to enjoy for 2 weeks. I am only 37, been out of work since dec of 08. Fighting SSDI to get approved. Depression has set in as it does with anyone feeling like we all do in this Forum. I feel better just knowing I am not alone.    
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Wow feel good not alone after reading some of the post here.I have problems with c5,c6and c7 other day on mother day I spent day in bed migraine all day lost whole day in bed.Migraines killing me nonething is working.I go for mri mygram in morning mri for left neck and shoulder arm pain,nect day go for mri on my left neck here.Today i can focus doing research on this issue and on migraines.So sick of them be 50 in month to young cope on all this.Loosing use of my left arm my elbow I bend sits pain to my neck.I have use flat pillow pain meds some time work other days horrible on it.So glad found post here leasr not alone on this isssue.Any one go through before storms get migrains days not able to do any thing.>?So frustrating years differnt doctors to.I wonder if Igot fibro.My family not much they can do or say on things.THat so far way I know they care,Be lost with out my husband with me he dieabetic tyoe 2 neuropathy in legs and feet.He know what pain like.now sleep,watch me other day.My pets so great on my bad days my one cat stay with me whole time on my migraines.So lost no pets help me cope on bad days to.My daughter grown up and her own now.
Sue ,kansas
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I am so releived to see that I am not the only one with this problem I have a spinal fusion on my lower back in 2006 that didnt work so had to have another one in 2007. That did help for like about 5 months then the pain came back worse than before found out I have spinal sternois. Then in 2008 had a car accident and injured my neck took them almost 2 years to find out that had a bulging disc in c-5 c-6 so had surgery on that in march of this year. well the doctor  who fixed my back did my neck but said they was no guarntee that this would work and guess what it hasnt . The pain is so bad at times that I cry all the time the only thing i am on is vicoden 10  and that only seems to help take the edge of a little bit so i feel for all of you I know how bad it can get. I keep hoping that someone will be able to help me instead of telling me that there is nothing that they can do besides give me pain killers instead of addressing the problem at hand. I have tried everything had a spinal stimulator inplanted worked for a couple of weeks then nothing so had that removed tried morphone, injections, steriods, anything that you could think of and no help at all. So, to all of u out there my prayers are with you.
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i have had neck, shoulder pain for as long as i can remember, massages were welcomed from anyone one that offered, seeking acknowledgedment and more importantantly relief. seeking medical attention, chiro, osteo, herbal,anything to no avail, the pain kept comming back. being in the medical profession i sought xrays, ultrasounds , MRI and finally a ct which showed c5-c6 nerve disc bulge. hooray i have a diagnosis but now what ??? i work as a nurse and am a wife and mother with ususall bills and demands from all sides. cant afford to take time off. always in pain but no one understands. after reading all of your comments post surgery it somehow does not look like a good thing, do i follow everyone else and have the surgery with no gaurantee or do i continue to suffer and keep going the way i am ????? i am currently living on antinflammotories only on my days off which means 5 days a week i suffer, must be alert at all times when im working, unfortunately not sleeping well and any pain relief would affect me so to anyone whos willing to listen do istay as i am or do i seek surgical intervention ?????????
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Dear I know it is a big dicision and I urge u to check out the pro-disc if u do anything. I had spinal fusion too and I can tell u the pain is worse now than b4 the surgery. I actually have become bedridden now. I can barely do anything. I have some good days, but the pain I experience afterward is a bad word. I urge u to really check on newer procedures.
     My prayers are w/u and sincerely hope u find the right solution. U can read here @ all the misery that comes with doing this surgery. I wished I would have just gone to the Chiro to ease things up the best I could. What.. me131565 said...said it all. Take care and GOD BLESS... Karen
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hemorrhoids
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Firstly, my apologies.  I did not mean to post hemorrhoids.  I was merely trying to get the spelling right and VOILA!  (While trying to get the correct spelling, I made sure that I copied my posting but, (thank you Murphy once again!) while copying the word I lost my original copy of my posting.
AN ASIDE - DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO RECOVER LOST TEXT WHEN YOU FORGET THAT COPYING ONE ITEM CAUSES THE LOSS OF THE ORIGINAL COPY?  THIS HAPPENS FAR TOO OFTEN AND I AM SURE THAT I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE TO ENDURE YET ANOTHER FRUSTRATION SUCH AS THIS!
Anyway, I had 2 operations, Jan and Oct of 2008 after having nearly 2 1/2 feet of diseased bowel removed - diverticulitis in 2006.  This caused problems of its own making.  SBS or short bowel syndrome as my GP calls it.  But, as many of you know, these pain killing medications - necessary evils - cause constipation which, in my case, caused severe and recurring hemorrhoids.  I even developed an incisional hernia just above my naval which (I have visions of its being caused by trying too hard to have B.M.'s  That was successfully operated on last month.  The good news is this:  I went to the Caribbean for a 2 week vacation and during that respite and ever since, my neck pain has diminished to the point that I no longer need 32 mg's of dilaudid - sythetic morphine anymore.  I had gradually diminished my intake lest I experience withdrawal and am happy to report that I am (almost) symptom free!  The only down side which I understand is pretty common, your constipation will disappear in favour of the runs.  (I did not want to look up the diahrrea spelling lest I lose my posting again.) Call it an answer to many prayers which I what I like to believe.  Call it anything you want.  But do not give up hope and be patient!!  Or take a trip to the Dominican Republic :-)  And take heart.  There is always hope.  Take care, God bless you all and I will pray that you all get the relief that I did.
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Dear,
Please heed the warnings on this web site surgery does not work i had 3 on my back on 1 on my neck and the pain is just as bad if not worse some day and I am only 45 years old and am on disability now for the rest of my life. I wish I would have found this web site before all of my surgeries I would have never gotten any of them because once you have them you can never get your life back to the way it was. I used to be able to play with my grandson and dance and run and do all sorts of things that I can no longer do due to all the surgeries and the pain so please see if there is something else that can be done besides surgery. I am telling you this for your own good I and I am sure that everyone on this website feels the same way check out every option available instead of surgery. Take Care
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A year and a half later-- not incontinent, not in wheelchair- chronic pain I didn't have before surgery-  tried just about everything- am now going to see a former therapist- husband and extended family's lack of understanding makes it worse- after fusion and plating other ares get weaker- may we all get relief.  
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I had ACFD on C5 6 with plate and screws on March 7th 2007.  The disk had slipped 3/4ths of the way into my spinal cord.  I was off work for 6 months as had problems with the graft fusion.  I had been feeling better, most of the pain was gone, had a little numbness in my arms and fingers.  On December 31, 2007, I slipped catching myself, but herniated T11, L 4, and L5 S1.  I was off work for two weeks then went back to work.  My PCP sent me to pain management.  I had epidural injections and also used a stimulator.  In August of 2008, I started having numbness in my left toes.  By October my left leg was getting numb spots.  I had an MRI of my Lumbar, and nerve tests which concluded Neuropathy.  I asked my Pain doctor if the Cervical surgery could have caused my spine to become weak.  His answer was yes.  

To make a long story short, in June of 2009, I started having burning and pain in my neck again.  In September of 2009, my entire left side became numb.  I have been off work since September 29th, and my company fired me after I ran out of FMLA.  My neurologist sent my for MRI of the brain, and of the cervical area.  I now have a herniation at c4 5, above the ACDF.   They cannot figure out what is wrong with me.  I now drag my left leg when walking and my right toes are starting to get numb.  Besides this, I am being treated for Severe Depression.  My left leg will give out and I will fall if I get tired or I am not careful.  My life has changed dramatically.  

There is no answers to long term problems with cervical surgery.  I can only find research up to 6 months after surgery.  Are doctors afraid to let us know the real lasting effects of surgery???

I am so glad I found this website.  At least now I know I am not alone and I am not crazy.

Thanks to all who have posted here.
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Well thanks for that bit of info I do have prbblems with constipation from time to time but not to bad yet as I explained before I have had surgeries on my back and one on my neck had that done in mar of this year. The pain is still there but a different kind of pain went to the er wed. night they did a cscan and showed that now i have boe spurs pushing into my nerve root and have to go see a neurosurgeon. Not to sure what they can do about this lastest problem but hope it doent consist of another surgey my body cant handle anymore . And I know all about your family not understanding because unless u are the one actually going through they cant understand and it does take a toll on your mind as well as your body. My husband says he understands but I know he doesnt i am just a former shell of the person I used to be. I know it is hard on him to and i feel so bad for him to have to put up with me being like this . I told him to go find someone else if it gets to bad but he wont but i know he wants to have ihis wife back and that will never happen unforuturelly.I just want my old life back the good hearted, fun spirited , carefree, woman who did love life and was so happy and bubbly instead of this person who gets down on herself and unfortunately everyone when the pain gets to be to much. I just have one quetion they are always talking about all these modern medicals that they are making then why cant anyone find one for us all of us whose lives have been turned upside down and the pain is bad at times you feel like killing yourself or anyone .
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What a relief it is to find this forum!  

I have advanced Spinal Degeneration Disease.  I have had a lumbar fusion that was done in 1999 and someday will have to have it redone as x-rays show that it is desintegrating but it isnt bothering me that much. yet..  It was done with a Titanium Ray-cage.  Three years ago I had the cervical done..  C5-7. plate and screws  

It has been fine for awhile but for the last year or so my neck has been very stiff and sore and nothing has seemed to help.  Massage, stretching, heat, cold, vibration, nothing..  Started when I got divorced and had to move mine and my daughters belongings out of the family home.  Then about 5 months ago the headaches started.  I get them about every two weeks and they last about 3 to 4 days..  It is best if I stay laying down flat because if I am upright or moving then it is just sharp pains right through my skull.  They cause nausea with some vomiting but the pain almost completely goes away if I lay down.   I have been trying all kinds of migraine medications and they don't stop the pain so finding this site and reading all these posts,,, wow,,,  how powerful this is...  I am seeing my MD again today to get yet another note for work and talk about the headaches and I am going to tell her about all of these postings..  She thought that the headaches were related to the post tramatic syndrome and depression from my marriage and divorce but now maybe it is physical and has a physical manisfestation after all...  would be really nice to not feel "nuts"..  LOL  
Thank you all of you!
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c-4-5-6 fusion ran out of disability. no job ,no money, lossing apartment. Heey the va gave me a 20% disability cAUSE I HURT NECK FALLING off humvee. 248$ a month. Im only over 300k in debt because the company from JAPAN i worked for,well the shut down 3months after my fusion. The still have not paid there portion.   oh yeah i forgot.AT NIGHT I WALK THE HOUSE WONDERING IF I SHOULD JUMP IN THE OCEAN AND DROWN MYSELF,,,I CANT WORK,,WILL BE HOMELESS SOON. OLDER DAUGHTERS LEFT HOME SO IT WOULD BE CHEAPER ON ME.
MY LIFE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO TURN OUT THIS WAY. AFTER 2YRS ON NARCO 6K MGRMS DAY I SAID I HAVE TO THINK CLEAR,,,AND ITS CLEAR,,,,IM STILLL F@$KED
I was happy at one time. Remember me when ya see a guy on the corner with a sign that says
"DISABLED VET,,HUNGRY, NO MONEY,NO HOPE, NO HOME I WAS A FATHER AND I AM A HUMANBEING
PLEASE HELP.

THINK ABOUT IT


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     OH my goodness I am balling out my eyes...I AM NOT CRAZY!  I had c5 and c6 fusion surgery in 2000 after a work injury.  I was fortunate the Dr. used my own hip bone for the fusion which I'm told is better the only complication was an infection in my hip.  I now have two more protrunding discs above and below the fusion, with lower back pain that makes it hard to cross a room.  Along with major headaches that make my teeth hurt and now if I have to pee I can't hold it. I can't sleep at night because everything aches so I'm lucky to have a solid hour.  No numbness or tingling on the right side like before but pain in the joints on the right side.  I am seeing a pain management doctor so far have gone through three different pain medications and countless injections. I can't concentrate at work because neck and back pain start after an hour at my desk.  I work in the financial industry and am on phones for 8 to 10 hours a day.  If I take pain medication I can't pay attention or concentrate on what the customer is saying.  Needless to say I have been written up due to performance going down and am in danger of losing my job.  
     Now my injury was a result of a weaponless defense class in which I was handcuffed and my partner pulled my arms up and a disc in my neck ruptured.  It took the doctors 3 years to figure it out while sending me to one torture after another.  I was retrained in real estate Haha but then lost my disability case and was told I had to return to work as a Correctional Officer.  I quit after 8 months because I was scared of re-injury so I took a desk job.  I guess the joke was on me there because I can't sit for more then an hour at a time.  I am seriously thinking about having surgery again because I feel like I need to try anything I can't keep taking medication it just masks the pain if it helps at all.
I'm sorry I rambled I just felt all alone and you guys sharing your stories is a comfort.
  
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I have severe pain in my neck and horrible migraines. My problems started when I was 21. I went to dr. after dr. and they kept doing xrays and 1 mri dinding nothing. I finally got to a Dr. in another city and he decided to do a Mylogram which showed a ruptured disc at the C5-6. They did surgery and a bone fusion. I left the hospital a week later still in excrutiating pain. I was throwing up the day I was discharged. Well it is almost 30 years later and I am in so much pain its undecribable. 10 years ago a dr. sent me to a pain clinic to where the are treating me with pain med. Lortab 10,neurontin,zanaflex and 1 klonopin at bedtime. The pain med is like eating candy. It gives me no relief. I have had a mri done which shows mild to moderate buldging at C4-5 and also 5-6. also Degenerative disc diease. the cervical cord seems to be at normal range. there is straightenng of the spine related to the fusion at C5-6. I don't know what is causing all the pain. I just know I am tired of suffering everyday. I have numbness in all my fingers on my right hand and lots of pain in my right hand. My mother in law had a pain patch of fentynal that I tired and it didn't phase the pain. I don'tknow what else to try. Feeling lost without hope:(
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I had c5/c6 fused in 2007 and still experience shoulder/neck pain.  I take 200 mg celebrex per day, which helps, and get therapeutic massage, and see a chiropractor specializing in SOT technique(sacral occipital technique).  That has helped a ton.  I use thermacare heat packs on the base of my neck and shoulders to keep the muscles there warm, so they don't get as tight, and this helps some.  I also do pectoral stretches daily and lie with a small towel rolled up and placed under the base of my neck(where the hump is), and put my hands behind my head.  this really stretches out the chest, which in turn, relieves the muscles that pull on my shoulder and neck.  Hope this helps some!    
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I had horrible neck pain, I found laserspine institute on internet Oct. of 2006 after 5 of the best neurosurgeons in California told me I had to have a fusion, two levels, 5-6,6-7. I contacted the office in Tampa, they had me send my MRI and they contacted me back within 24 hours. They told me they could help. No fusions, endoscope surgery to widen foramina and get get rid of pain. Dr. St.James or St. Louis, can't remember his name, but he is still there, did the surgery. Took about 45 minutes, people wre there from all over the world. I went back in December of 06 to have the other side done. I snow ski, water ski, hike, bike, don't play tennis anymore or golf, but do all the rest, windsurf as well. It was not cheap, 30 grand for each side, insurance paid for it. But folks, it is so worth it to be out of pain and not have a horrible fusion surgery that will change your life no always for the better. Check out their website, I don't work for them and am not paid to say this stuff, so check it out.

Wanda M West
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I had surgery July 7,10 and i felt a little relief until about 2 weeks ago i started having muscle spasms bad and like most everyone else i now am experiencing alot of headaches. I work 40 hrs + sometimes a week and it is taking a toll on me. I came into work today and have been in contant pain all day and at work i can only take tylenol or something like that. Before i had surgery (they took out 2 disc and replaced with cadivar bone and have plate with 6 screws) one on my main symptoms was i have bad pain in my lower left arm and hand real bad i got to where its hard for me to even stir a pot when cooking and not only did they say i had to have the neck surgery but am now facing them wanting to do surgery on my rotator cuff saying it's torn. I am wondering if they know what they are talking about anymore because i am in worse pain now after the neck surgery and if i go and have the shoulder surgery what if is still bad! i feel bad for everyone in here because i am in the same boat as all of you and i know your pain. In my case i never had numbness and i see alot of ya'll talking about that but is there anyone like me that never had numbness just the pain all the time and in the lower arm and hand real bad? and if so what the doc's are telling you? May God Bless Us All
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I am so glad I am not alone. I was in a very bad car accident on Jan. 09 and hurt my neck and back. They said from the accident I had 4 herniated disc in my neck and 2 in my back. I was in so much pain and tried evrything. Finally my insurance finally approved surgery almost 2 years later. I finally had surgery on Oct. 13. I got Anterior Cervical Fusion on my c3/c4 and c5/c6. They replace them with plastic and put a metal plate on. I have to wear some machine around my neck 4 hours a day to help fuse my bones faster. Its been 3 weeks since I had surgery I wish I could say I am better. At least I am not at apain level 8 every day. But I am still in alot of pain and my cut hasn't healed one bit and its numb where they cut me. I can't sleep at all and can't do anythin g without it hurting. I still have the arm and shoulder pain just not the dying pain. can anyone tell me if they had the numbness where they were cut and if they new when it would go away. I also have throat problem I have trouble swallowing and my throat is sore. DR. said it will take weeks for it to go away. Does anyone have these problems and have they went away for them and how long did it take? I can't deal with this I refuse to get back surgery next.  Thanks Jamie
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Had the fussion 04/14/.2010. on c 5, 6 and 7,8 disc. I'm doing remarkably well. only had to wear the neck brace for 2 1/2 weeks, released to drive a tractor trailer  in 5 weeks,  released fully in 5 months. I left 40 lb cases all day. go down a ramp of a truck. after reading all the post I'm kinda worried.
     Now you all may ask what went so right with me, it's called lot of prayer and faith. as we are told to do in the book of Jmes. my only complant with my surgeon out of Lafayette Indiana. he now is wanting charge me for follow up apointments
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I had ACDF on C5-6 on July 27th. The pain I had before surgery was horrible.  I really thought I had somehow broken my arm because it hurt so bad.  Numbness, tingling, weakness in my arm as well.  I also started tripping a lot.  The cord was compressed and I had surgery 2 weeks after diagnosis.  I woke up in the recovery room a new woman.  I ate toast and drank juice.  The pain was gone after about 5 days and I was feeling normal after 2 weeks.  Last week I was rear ended.  It wasn't horrible but now I am really scared about the adjacent levels.  My surgeon's office seems to have a problem communicating with me.  I have asked about going in for tests but they just won't get back to me.  I do have some pain in my shoulder.  Any one have advice?  Maybe it's just because I am hyper sensitive to looking for something wrong with me now.  I don't want it to look like I am looking to have them find something.  Thanks everyone!
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Wow...amazed to read this forum...I was diagnose with Degenerative Disk disease about 12 years ago...1st surgery was C3-C4, went great, releaved all pain and stopped my migraines....then, 4 years after, there goes C6-C7...surgery again which stopped all pain, numbness and headaches...1 1/2 months ago, I had C5-C6 done...this time, instad of my own bone (becuase I do smoke), they used a synthetic bone, which quickly helped my recovery time because of no insision in my hip...Things were great until about 3 days ago..now...migraine for 3 days, constant pain in the back of my neck that was just about as bad as the pain in my arms before surgery....sure, living on 8 Hydrocodone a day solve the issue, but who can function? Waiting from the call back from the Surgeons nurse to see what they have to say....
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I had cervical fussion on c5/c6 in june of 1998. Before surgery I had neck pain, severe headaches on the back side of my head to the top, dizziness, felt like I was being strangled when I'd lay on my back, also severe pain and numbness in my right arm and had.
I was injured at work in 1997. The Dr. called it Double crushed syndrum, and carpol tunnel of my right hand. I had carpal tunnel release in 1997.Dr. told me I'd be back to have fussion on my neck. He was right.I had surgery in june of 1998. I felt great. It seemed so good to be almost pain free. I started having pain agian with numbness radiating down my left arm and hand, but above and below were I had 5&6 fussed. I went back to the Dr. that did the surgery. Had nerve tests, xrays, and an MRI. Dr. said that I had carpal tunnel in my left hand and something in my left elbow. As for my neck,c4&c7 are crushed, withc7 almost completely gone. He said that nothing could be done, that surgery was to risky, And I wouldn't be able to work. I cried. I'm still working. I went for a 2nd appinion, and this Dr. wants to have a test done to see if it might be causing Thorscic outlet syndrom (syndrome). This was in Sept. on 2010, comp is fighting it so I have to have a hearing just to have this done .It's been going on 4months. Mean time on in constant pain and can't sleep well. I'm to on pain med. , My family Dr. tried me on pain patch Fentylan, but it mad eme sick and dizzy. I need help, does anyone know if my neck injuries could be causing Thoracic outlet syndrom (syndrome)? I to have the constant pain of a feeling of dull/sharp object pushing down feeling were c7 is located.I'd appreciate any ideas or suggestions. Thanks
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Wow.  I guess we are all in the "small" % of people who the surgery doesn't work for.  I had diskectomy & fusion at C4-C5 & C5-C6 in Feb. 2010.  Didn't have alot of neck pain before, but unrelenting pain in mid back and shoulder areas.  Now I have neck pain, same mid back pain, feel like I'm in a turtleneck all the time.  Surgeon released me in Dec, said nothing else she could do. Been thru pt twice, all that does is cause more pain.  Had the nerve conduction, mri's, massage therapy.  Nobody can say why the pain is still there.  I'm on percocet 4x a day.  But the pain never really goes away.  I hate the meds.  Did go for a 2nd opinion, he said the same thing.  I just have to live with it.  My pcp perscribes the pain meds, he said I drew the short straw.  I am only 38. I also have numbness, and my hands jerk on occasion, so I drop things alot.  Don't really have a life.  Ok, I know I am just rambling. But thanks for listening.  Please if anyone has advice to something that will work, let us all know.
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Had c5-6 fixed 2yrs. ago,haven't had a pain since, but keep having rash all over me. Can this be from metal in neck, Drs. can't seem to figure out what is from.
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   In 2005 I lost feeling on my left side from shoulder to hand. After 2 1/2 months of Doctor hooping. My pt told me I had a broke neck. Went to Nerosurgeon and was in surgery 4 days later. Had fusion c5/c6  fusion/plating c6/c7. About three weeks ago, I thought I had a heart attack. Was checked out by doctor and she found no problems. Two weeks ago started feeling pressure on right side of my head from my ear to shoulder. Starting having severe headaches and tingling on right side of my head. Went to doctor and had xrays. Doctor stated that I had seperation between c2/c3 and problems with c4/c5. I am having MRI on thursday. Has anyone experienced chest pains with your neck injuries. Good Bless us all.
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I am 17 months post 2-level ACDF.  I just experienced 1 year of feeling great until 2 weeks ago.  After my surgery on 8/31/09, it took me 5 months to feel decent.  Had severe back of head headaches, muscle spasms and a swollen C7.  I had a facet joint block performed on 1/7/10 and by 1/28/10 I began to feel great.  As a result of my long-term feeling great and being active in the gym I have unfortunately had a major set back.  My C7 is very swollen and very painful to touch, pain radiating across upper back, hard to sleep and my neck feels like it sticks in certain positions as if needs to be adjusted, also feel it being pulled in opposing direction from really bad muscle spasms.  Lidoderm patches help.  I have tried PT recently with no success.  I am reluctant in going to my NS because I'm pretty sure he won't find anything wrong.  Therefore I am going to a prolotherapist tomorrow who is an MD and DC and get another evaluation as well as prolotherapy.   Because I was pain free for a year, I'm confident I'll get back there but I am very frustrated and demoralized at this time.  
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I  had surgery for c5/c6 in March 2005.  They used donor bone, plates and screws.  After the surgery, I did not have problems for many years.  Last year, after much pain, my surgeon did the C3/c4 and used plastic spacers with a plate and screws which took me longer to recover and I had a hard time with breathing difficulty after the surgery.  This surgery was good for about three months.  I have been seeing a nuerologist for the headaches that accompany the pain.  He has me on Lyrica every day which helps trememdously with the everyday headaches.  I do suffer from migraines but I think alot of my headaches are due to my neck pain.  I also have the burning between the shoulders, throbbing pain in the back of my head, numbness in my arms and legs constantly and suffer in bed alot.
I have had two nerve blocks done.  One stopped thee pain for three months and the other for three weeks.  I also had the nerves burned which did not help at all.  

I am on pain meds almost every day but still manage to work.  I take the pain meds when I get home.  My doctor put me on morphine to help with the pain.  He is now talking about doing a disc fusiion with all my discs and the cervical collar.  Has anyone had this done and what were the results after having it done.  I feel at this point, I will do just about anything to not have to live with the pain.  I am only 56 but still have a 7 year old daughter at home.  I need to be able to function with some normality.  Any one out there had the cervical collar fusion done.  
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Good news: I was taking nortriptyline and arthrotec and pain diminished considerably. One week later I got a cortiso-steroid injection and now, 2 days later, I am pain free.  Suggest everyone tries it.  It is supposed to last 3 or 4 months and some say it lasts much longer.  Well worth it if you can get it done.  I am completely off dilaudid now.
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forgot to say I had ADC&F in 2008, C5,6 and C6,7 and had been in constant pain and bedridden for most of the time until now!!!
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I have to say after reading this forum I'm even afraid to go to the doc.   I had C3-C7 replaced and fused in Oct 09.   After surgery I was so happy, pain free...until about 3 weeks ago.  Now the headaches are back as well as the neck and shoulder pain.   It is almost a constant pain.  I have tried pillows, stretches, muscle relaxers and patches.   Like many others the pain will ease somewhat but return almost immediately.  
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OMG, I cannot believe I found this posting and comments. I have a multi level fusion in May of 2010, C5, C6, C7 and I will say it was a success in that I have the feelng back in my hands almost all the time. Thank you. But the pain, the nerve burn in my neck and shoulders are still here, I had hoped the surgery would take that away also. I had a 1000 vending machine fall on me when I was 11 years old, my chin held the brunt of the weight until someone came to rescue me. Unfortunately it took 37 years for anyone to understand the damage that caused to my neck. What I have discovered after taking every pain drug possible is that none of the narcotics touch the nerve pain.
Lyrika has changed my life!
I almost feel as if I never had surgery, at least for most of my day I am pain free. I could not be more pleased with the discovery though my insurance will do nothing for me unless I am diagnosed with Fibromialgia (fibromyalgia)! Which I am willing to do if that means the Lyrika will be covered. Very expensive of course! I tried the Nortonin which is a close generic but I had a very strong reaction to it and cannot tolerate it. Insuracne co. will ask you to try that first.
Trust me when I say, I am a new person with this medicine and I am thrilled to say it out loud.
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Let me just say i read through many of the posts but do realize there is plenty out there having continued pain post neck surgery but no real good treatments. It seems to me that some peoples bodies react differently to neck problems and surgery. I had a cervical fusion of 5-6-7 following a snowmobile accident April of 2004. I had ruptured the discs. Granted I had been through other head and neck traumas earlier in my life which caused some boney ridges. Surgery was necessary since my spinal cord was being compromised. The surgery was a success but i did have some neck muscle pain and spasms from time to time. Well within the last 3 years I have now suffered from multiple nerve and muscle problems. These include involuntary neck, head and back muscle spasms. Trigeminal neuralgia, occipital neuralgia, miagranes, cluster headaches, and mostly recently numbness and tingling in my hands, legs and feet. Worse on the left side. Ive tried a multitude of meds for all the different painful problems as well as steriods orally and injections. I now suffer from severe gastritis which was brought on by a recent surgery to repair my shoulder from an injury to it as well as long term use of meds to treat pain. So I no longer can take nsaids, steriods, or pain meds due to the strain on my stomach and liver. I had an Mri done last aug. and it only found slight herniation in cspine 3-4-5 but the radiologist stated in the report it wasnt significant enough to be a problem. Humm really well how would he know he isnt the one living with the pain. I have been in physical thearpy for 4 months now and the shoulder has healed but the neck issues persist. I am now going to try electrothearpy. I wanted to do the botox for my neck but in order to have ins cover it I have to try all options. I will probably see about another Mri to see if 3-5 has become any worse. Unfortunately I have no good suggestions as I have tried almost everything. But I did want to know if anyone on here after there fusion had healed did they have the hardware removed and did that make any difference in their problems? I already use heat thearpy daily as well as a memory foam bed and pillow. If the electro thearpy and botox are not effective then i will consider nerve blocks. Beyond that I dont know I just pray something helps. I am a single mother raising 2 kids and at 36 should not feel so disabled.
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i had fusion c5/c6 disectomy acdf 5 and 7 plate and six screws in 2007, one year later pain became became worst in neck shoulder right arm, i went back to the surgeon and he told me i shoul not of had surgery to relieve pain and recomended pt epidurals and all of the things that they did before surgery i suffer from migraines,neck pain,shoulder and arm pain and have not worked in two yrs i have ran across several other people with the same problems after this surgery i think the plate and screws are barbaric i have trouble at other levels as well , i didnt have problems there before , and i have osteophytes where i was fused and where i have the bone grafts  the sad part is the average person of the street and even some doctors have no idea what an average bad day feels like , there are days when i feel like the frankenstein monster  and i wish i could relieve my pain with pillss,support groups,spinal stimulators,   but none of it worked   i know there has to be something somewhere for people like us going through this hell!!
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Hello, my dad has the same problem.  I am going to be doing some tests with him.  DDD comes from the body's innability to do correct protien synthesis.  an Arizona doctor has found with proper Amino Acid balance, full protien synthesis can be corrected stopping the deterioration of the spinal chord.  Posture therapy is a new field, that is growing daily.  People with perfect posture generally cannot develop back problems because the back is so straight there is no curvature on the back that causes the spine to get out of wack or for the disks to start bulding.  I am going to be experimenting with my dad by having him start to wear a posture brace (note: a posture brace is not a back brace)  A posture brace pulls back on the arms and pulls the shoulder back.  When you have a piece of steel in your neck, you even have to have more perfect posture than a normal person because everytime you sag that head that steal pushes right into your nerves causing all that pain.  reshaping your posture with a posture brace can theoretically stop alot of the pain and further deterioration.  the deterioration comes not only from the fact that you have DDD, or you probably wouldn't be in this place in the first place, but from the fact that your posture is pushing and pulling that steel in your neck in ungodly directions.  so, go to the Vitamin Shoppe and buy 'stacked amino acids' this is in the body building section.  it will have in it like all 20 something amino acids.  take this daily, maybe even twice a day.  this will stop the DDD and maybe even reverse it.  second, go online and buy one of those posture braces that holds the shoulders back but doesn't come near the neck.  start to wear it and also start to help it by doing stretches that will start to make your chest go outward not inward, meaning stretch those arms back.  as your muscles start to reform, make that posture brace tighter and tighter as your muscles start to grow in the right direction.  do this and give me feedback: ***@****
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my name is jeffrey glenn jones, i played high school football in high school , my surgeon used that excuss to fuse levels 3,4,5,6 of my kneck. the truth is football probably was partly to blame,because i was diagnosed with a narrow spinal canal and was told i never should of played football. truth of the matter i was involved in a car accident where i avoided hitting another car head on, but hit a telephone instead. this happened at age 16. i used chiropractors up to the age of 44 when the pain got so bad that i could not perform my job as an auto technician so i went to see my doctor who sent me to phisical theropy, but that was not working so he sent me to a orthepedic surgeon that told me i needed surgery, i asked him if it was really necessary , he said either surgery or a wheel chair. i told him before surgery that most of my pain was in the upper levels causing extreme headaches and fatigue. it totally unmanageable, sometimes i thought i was going to have crawl home from work. anyway after surgery i still have these extreme headaches, but not any pain from the area that was fused i think . i just had another mri at st vincint hospital that was perscribed by my surgoen jeffrey johnson, i saw him to go over the results and he says there is nothing surgicaly wrong  but he can't or won't tell me why i have so many problems. i just want my kneck diagnosed and told if there is anything that can be done to repair m injury, i am having a injection done by dr. stapleton at tanasborne medical center monday at level two. he has given me three injections previosly at different levels because the mri shows abnormal wear at level 7. everyone can see that this getting rediculas. i realy need help. what i have written is just a small part of what i have had to indure. i have left out so much of what i have had to go through. please if someone out there has any information that can help me i would really appreciate it.
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I had a work injury in August of 2004 and c5/6, c6/7 fusion in December of 2005. Work comp released me, in Novermber 2010, saying the pain I was having now is not related to my injury. I went to my family doctor as I have never had any relief since the surgery and have countless med's, nerve root injections, trigger point, epidurals,  physical therapy, patches, tens unit, you name I have tried whatever that the doctor's have suggested. Nothing has work and if at all only very short term. My doc sent me to a nerosurgeon who has purposed repairing my original 2 levels (which he says is not fully fused) and fusing the 2 levels above (c4/5, c/34) with a 2 part surgery plates in the front and back, using my hip bone for the fusion material and cleaning up bone spurs. Then Work comp decided they did want a second opinion since I have now hired a lawyer.  Went to that doctor this week and he says that everything that the nerosurgeon said is incorrect, that my fusion is good that there is nothing wrong with the c4/5,c3/4 levels and that doing that surgery would make me a broom stick.  He was ready to say there was nothing wrong with me until he got to talk to the doc who did the nerve study who now says that there is a herniation at the c7/T1.  He wants me to have a block in that level which I have had before.  It did help the loss of strength in my hand at that time but the neck and shoulder muscle spasms increased.  I have no hope that this will make a difference.  How can these two doctors opinions be so far apart?  I feel I have multiple problems that the c7/t1 herniation can't explain.    
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i had my surgery 4 weeks ago, c5/c6  i am in so much pain across my shoulders, in my neck and the headaches are unreal! I am so upset that i was not warned that this could be a side effect of the surgery, i thought it was all in my mind until today when i decided to do a little research and found all this here. Is this what i am to expect now for the rest of my days. Sleeping is a complete nightmare.
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I had my cervical fusion in the end of 2008. Went home from the hospital the next day they used donor bone. I started feeling the pain again after only 6 months and I came to find out after going to my dr that performed the surgery like 10 times and him telling me I was fine, I decided to go to a different dr and I'm glad I did my fusion which was for my c4-6 that it fused on top but not on the bottom because the dr didn't position the plate correctly. Now because the dr fouled up on the fusion I started having pain in my lower back, neck, head, having problems breathing, burning in my back, weakness and loss of control in arms and legs,  I recently found out not only do I need another fusion to my c4-6 but to my l4-s1 and I have scoliosis. I feel like that dr ruined my life I can't chase my kids around I'm constantly in pain I'm only 29 I don't know what to do.
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Had C5/C6 fused in December 2006 and was hugely relieved to be out pain on 2 nerves.  Have had bouts of shoulder/neck pain but have a good PT and they usually get me though it.   Was told after the 1st flair up to do Yoga every other day (gentle flow stuff).  I think it's saved me from all I read here.  PT said if I did not go I'd be having a lot more problems.  Now I flair up about once a year, anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months but with my PT and Yoga I get through it.   Hate the pain meds, worse than the pain most of the time.  I am very physically active and do a lot of work around the house, laying tile, painting etc.  If I had not of fallen out of boat onto a garage floor a few weeks ago I'd probable not even be in PT right now.  
So to all try some gentle flow Yoga.  It's part of my life now and I'm glad to have it.
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I am not very happy with how I keep reading about how the outcome of the fusion has been with all of you who are still in so much pain and even more than before.
I am worried now more about having the surgery done. I have had pain now for 3 years due to a work injury.I have noticed that when we have to talk about it that it gets all flared up in more pain and I have to have someone with me to talk for me most times since it gets so bad I can't talk due to the pain level. 3 cortisone shots and I've try'd all the pain meds out there and I actually can't take them since they make me sick with me being very sensitive. I've also try'd PT and they actually stopped after 3 treatments of Traction because I was getting worse after every time!

I was told that since the other docs didn't do the surgery within the first 6 months(lack of communication on their part) that it will take longer for me to heal. The doc did say he's not promising it will take the pain away but he's saying it will stop it from getting worse.

I am actually waiting to be scheduled for the fusion  

I can tell you that someone else I know did have surgery and the fusion done and he is doing a lot better than before and he even went back to his desk job but,Seems to me like it is our bodies that either it works or it doesn't.
But if it doesn't then where do we go from here?
I don't want to live on pain meds for the rest of my life.
I want to be able to walk without pain.
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I am new to this forum and my story is  like alot of yours except the conditions. I am an aircraft mech and i fell off of an a/c after my trouserrs got caught on a stand and i fell approx 8-10 ft on the back of my head. big concussion 16 staples but didn't loose con. there but i did at the hospital and was put on  life support for 5 days when revived off to surgery for a neck fusion 3c-7c.  The Dr thought that i was the next Christipher Reeves even after the surgery. I was then sent to rehab and i really worked hard and got use of my arms and legs . After about 3weeks released to home and more phy therapy where i worked as hard as i have ever worked in my life butb was sick to my stomach, naus all the time, major headaches, and my hands and feet didn't feel like they were mine and to make matters worse vertigo set in. Got to walking 5 miles a day and going to therapy but i fell alot, luckly i didn't break anything but i wanted to get better if it killed me. Then W/C cut off therapy for no reason ,so i went as bought a treadmill and a bicycle to the tune of 3,000 dollars so i could continue to improve and return to work .
   I was told that i had to go see their Drs and you know that is a no win situation. We have to drive to atlanta to see these Drs and my wife drives me but i stayed car sick alot of the time so they put me on Phenagren pills and supp. which made me feel so very bad i didn't want to even breath let alone see a Dr. On  one of my visits i fell in his office and i later found out that he stated on his report that i was embellishing another word for faking. .
That started the ball rolling and they sent me to an IME exam the Dr came in  (i have never seen him before nor him me) and i kid you not tells me that there is nothing wrong with me and that i should be back at work and that I was FAKING . I told him that he hadn't even examined me and how could he come to that conculision.
So to date W/c has not allowed me to see ant Dr. only a check a week and wants to settle this claim. I'm seeing my own dr. for my  condition now
they say my choses are to return to work but i can't return with limitations and  if the dr's that think i'm faking why won't they release me with no limitations  if am truly faking there should not be a problem if they really believed this .
   I gave 30 yrs to this company Perfect record, attendance, many awards  for preformance, always there a real living and breathing WORKAHOLIC Now I'm reduced to a lier, faker and con man  in a 10 min Dr appt  I have never asked anyone for anything , retired Marine, never cheated anyone out of anything. %& yrs old and reduced to what ?????
My condition has somewhat improved but still have bad headaches ,numbness in shoulders throat, vertigo is pretty much gone except for some dizzy spells. I just don't feel right and i don't feel like doing the things that i love to do anymore something is still very wrong and i don't feel stable on my feet. I have never wanted money I WANT MY  HEALTH What good is money without it!!!
Sometimes i wished that it would have ended at the fall on that concrete at least i would not have had my integrity DESTROYED!!! for what?  W/C no more  
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I am new to this forum and my story is  like alot of yours except the conditions. I am an aircraft mech and i fell off of an a/c after my trouserrs got caught on a stand and i fell approx 8-10 ft on the back of my head. big concussion 16 staples but didn't loose con. there but i did at the hospital and was put on  life support for 5 days when revived off to surgery for a neck fusion 3c-7c.  The Dr thought that i was the next Christipher Reeves even after the surgery. I was then sent to rehab and i really worked hard and got use of my arms and legs . After about 3weeks released to home and more phy therapy where i worked as hard as i have ever worked in my life butb was sick to my stomach, naus all the time, major headaches, and my hands and feet didn't feel like they were mine and to make matters worse vertigo set in. Got to walking 5 miles a day and going to therapy but i fell alot, luckly i didn't break anything but i wanted to get better if it killed me. Then W/C cut off therapy for no reason ,so i went as bought a treadmill and a bicycle to the tune of 3,000 dollars so i could continue to improve and return to work .
   I was told that i had to go see their Drs and you know that is a no win situation. We have to drive to atlanta to see these Drs and my wife drives me but i stayed car sick alot of the time so they put me on Phenagren pills and supp. which made me feel so very bad i didn't want to even breath let alone see a Dr. On  one of my visits i fell in his office and i later found out that he stated on his report that i was embellishing another word for faking. .
That started the ball rolling and they sent me to an IME exam the Dr came in  (i have never seen him before nor him me) and i kid you not tells me that there is nothing wrong with me and that i should be back at work and that I was FAKING . I told him that he hadn't even examined me and how could he come to that conculision.
So to date W/c has not allowed me to see ant Dr. only a check a week and wants to settle this claim. I'm seeing my own dr. for my  condition now
they say my choses are to return to work but i can't return with limitations and  if the dr's that think i'm faking why won't they release me with no limitations  if am truly faking there should not be a problem if they really believed this .
   I gave 30 yrs to this company Perfect record, attendance, many awards  for preformance, always there a real living and breathing WORKAHOLIC Now I'm reduced to a lier, faker and con man  in a 10 min Dr appt  I have never asked anyone for anything , retired Marine, never cheated anyone out of anything. %& yrs old and reduced to what ?????
My condition has somewhat improved but still have bad headaches ,numbness in shoulders throat, vertigo is pretty much gone except for some dizzy spells. I just don't feel right and i don't feel like doing the things that i love to do anymore something is still very wrong and i don't feel stable on my feet. I have never wanted money I WANT MY  HEALTH What good is money without it!!!
Sometimes i wished that it would have ended at the fall on that concrete at least i would not have had my integrity DESTROYED!!! for what?  W/C no more  
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I had my neck fused c5c6c7 in 2009 after I was catapulted from a new young horse we had just bought.  I have been riding showing and training horses all my life. I just happen to hit the wrong way and I do live in Virginia.  My Neurosurgeon is at the Medical College of Virginia (100 miles from where I live).  In 30 days I went from pain to no pain instantly.  He just recently(12-2010) fused my back (L4L5 S1) because I have severe degeneration of the spine and this was back operation #4. With the combination it makes life interesting (how to get in cars, looking at a top self in Wal-Mart, etc)

What I would recommend to you is -to get a copy of every diagnosis, surgery, MRI, X-ray, file sheet, anything that pertains to you since this accident.  Freedom of Information Act says you cannot be denied a copy of any hospital record with your name on it. (You might have to pay) but it is worth it. I have two 3" notebooks files with copies.

If you are a retired Marine, use the VA or Tricare to  get a second opinion for what is going on.

Apply for SSD and tell W/C to kiss off-  you are getting a lawyer.

I taught students with special needs for 30 years, now I am one.  I was medically retired at the age of 51.

Also talk to YOUR Dr. about the depression meds that help with pain. I am on 2 and they do help with both situations.  I hope this helps.

#1 SCREWed up SPED TCHR
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I am so glad to finally hear that I'm not alone in this mess...I had a 5 level fusion C2 thru C7 in Oct 2010 for bulging disc's and spinal stenosis.  I had been in a severe car accident in my early 20's (now 51).  I refused surgery for a few years, but it got to where I couldn't drive or turn my head, I had arm and hand pain and numbness and shoulder pain.  I finally decided to have the surgery...first I went into surgery to have C3-C5 fused with plates and screw's...but the actually fused all 5 level's and used cadaver bone...stating my bone structure wouldn't support the metal.  I was in the hosp. for 4 days, and in a hard collar for 6 weeks.  I now have severe pain in my hands, swelling of my hands and my feet, headache's, neck pain and lft., shoulder pain, total numbness of the entire left side of my upper back an pain across my shoulder's...I also have a burning at C7/T1 that feels like a hot curler pushing into my lower neck...and my surgeon said there was nothing more he could do and sent me to a pain management center...No I'm prescribed norco 10mg, 2 tabs every 4 hrs, Nucynta 50mg 1-2 tabs every 4hrs, neurontin 400mg three times a day, fioricet for migraines and OTC Aleve.     Now I'm a nurse,and I was a methadone nurse for a long time, and I treated patient's on less mediations than this!  I am not back to work and it's almost a year and I was just told to file for SSD, "because you'll never work as a nurse again"!!  
I went for a second opinion, to have a nerve stimulator placed, and was told that it's to risky...because I have nothing to hold the stimulator paddle in place!  I am the mom of 5, with the two youngest being 12 & 14 yr old teenage boys....I can barely drive, I drop things all the time, It takes at least an hour in the mornings before I can even get out of bed...I have to take my medication and then stretch before I can get up.   This was never told to me, I expected to be made whole again...Not left in this unrelenting pain...I'm one of the lucky women...I have a super husband that understand's what I'm going thru....I hate not working, sitting around all the time....I'm a busy person!!   This has completely disrailed my life and future....I'm hoping I don't have to live on these narcotic med's for the reat of my life....but it's nice to know I'm not alone.....  
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Keep your head up Momma...I had my C5-C6 surgery in 2001, after a bad car crash. My surgeon was a ridiculous, ---I was supposed to have a bone graft and metal plate, but the nurse dropped the plate, so I only got the bone graft. When I went back for my three week check up and said I didn't feel any relief, my surgeon told me I was "damn lucky not to be one of his brain tumor patients, and lucky to only deal with this." Yes I was, but my pain was real too, and shouldn't have been down played. I never went back to him.... I was out of work two years, a year and a half after surgery. I own my own child care now, and I can walk, lift and carry and do most all normal things. Sometimes things go wrong, like on Friday, when a child jumped into my arms unexpectedly. I closed today after a weekend of dizziness, nausea, arm tingling, back and neck pain. I know it will settle in a few days and I'll be back to my "norm" There will be up and down times and I know it seems forever right now, a year into it already. After two years I thought I will never work, never do things with my husband, never drive again, and now nothing holds me back, unless I just don't want to do it. Can I go on fast rides, bumpy terrains, or ski, NO, but I didn't want to do those things anyway. I know my limitations and I can get by happily. I still want to look into bettering things so I don't have to go through this every year or so, but this forum is wonderful, that we are not alone, not imagining or complaining for the sake of complaining. Take care all, continue to give info, it all helps.
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C5-C6 fused a year ago xrays show pseudarthrosis, (medical term for NON Union) CT shows probable non union. All symptoms gone for 8 months all have returned in the last 3. :( Surgery again or not? I have no clue what to do. I have also had 3 procedures on my L. Shoulder, I am left handed and all the pain is down that arm. See Orthopedic on Weds get the verdict. I want my life back.
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I think any kind of fusion is not going to give 100% relief.  What I mean is the original problem might be fixed but there are residual effects.  I had C3-4, 4-5, 5-6 removed and fused, titanium plate, screws.  I have no more numbness or paralysis as a result, which is a great relief.  I had no idea before I met my surgeon that I was losing strength and starting down the road to paralysis.  I had no idea I had ruptured my discs until the MRI and the emergency surgery.  I have a nice scar to show for the effort and now pain in the area of C-7 and T-1.  I am in some kind of constant pain daily.  It varies from a 1-2 level of pain to 4-5.  I stretch as much as possible with the limited range of motion.  Not much help.  I wish the artificial disc was an option for me, but with the mulit-level fusion it is not.  Perhaps in the future.  I am curious to know if others have suffered some sort of post surgery depression as I have.  I have not been the same mentally since the surgery, and obviously physically.  I was told no more contact sports and avoid running due to the jarring and the risk of expediting deterioraton of the remaining cervical discs.  I loved road cycling but am in pain when I ride.  Glad to be mostly whole again, mobile.  I appreciate what the surgeon did for me.  Good luck to all.
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Hi I have been where most of you are. I was in a Humvee when an IED went off shattering my shoulder and luckily only ruptured my c3/4 disc patched me up. I never really healed well from the military doctors this was in 2004 I managed to get insurance and went to ortho in 2009 who did a total reverse shoulder replacement and referred my to a spinal center he fused c4/5 c5/6 c6/7 during surgery he cut an artery which put me in icy a few days so I don't have any parts of my hips with no scar I know what everyone has been through on this forum the pain is real and use usually u get massive relief in the short term usually couple months. Then pain follows in my case it was bad and lasted about a year then slowly eased up not sure we will ever be pain free I used mobic and tramadol for mild pain and oxycodone for the rough days. The point is you are all patients they are doctors you are in control I always stayed in control I also research my doctors carefully ask questions give suggestions if they don't like it fire them my nuero would spend 45mins to an hour just talking about options they are out there take time to find them the ones that listen usually care a little more about your outcome good luck everyone I live in mobile al pinnacle brain and spine institute is who handled all my surgeries
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I should also tell you anyone who goes through life changing surgeries should be on some type of depression meds it will help with the pain as it breaks the cycle from pain to depression and back to pain going in circles. For those like me that hard gut wrenching deltoid shoulder and arm pain mine was greatly helped by Valium to control the spasms when the compression is taken off a nerve root at any level as it heals it's inflamed those connect to the muscles that are turned into tense knots Valium didn't stop the nerve pain but sure helped my back and shoulders
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I need a c5disc plated with a hinge and c6/and 7 fused is there any one who has had this done ? how do you feel now and are you glad that you did it?
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I need a c5disc plated with a hinge and c6/and 7 fused is there any one who has had this done ? how do you feel now and are you glad that you did it?
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Hi my name is Brenda I have just been told that I need c5/6/7 doing I wa told to the hinge one done for c5/ and to fuse 6/7  I am so sceard about the op and there is no one I can talk to about this. How did you feel after it and do you think it has been good for you. please please let me know
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I had c6/c7 fused about four weeks ago.  Of course I am still pain.  Exactly how you explained about the deltoid muscles and the pain and the parathesia down the arm. Ns clinic does not deal with residual.  My pcp is working with me to control the pain. He is wonderful. Calls me weekly to see how pain is doing.  I am on nortriptaline which is an anti depressant (for long term control) along with gabapentin (for short term). I have been referred to the pain clinic so I can a better hold on the pain.  Btw my doc is at the VA hospital.  Outpatient care is amazing.
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Hi there I am very ethletic just like you and after reading all of this stuff that happens to people I am very woried as you can imagin? I will look at the web sight thank you so much for your help
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Wow,  I am just amazed that there are so many of us suffering from the same thing. Before my surgery, I specifically asked my surgeon will it relieve pain that I was experiencing and will I be able to go back to living a normal life and most importantly running again. He assured me that I would. I was in a car accident in 2009 and found that it left me with 2 herniated discs, C4 and C5, so 2 years past and pain was getting worse. I tried chiropratic, PT, Massage Therapy, more Chiro, injections, time off, and nothing made it better. I was out of options and surgery sounded pretty good granted I was opposed to having it. Afterwards, my pain never let up and only got worse. Before surgery, it only affected my rt side, now I have pain on both sides, lost mobility in neck, stiffness in shoulder, and still cannot sleep comfortably. I cannot take meds bcuz I donated a kidney and I want to keep the other one healthy. I refuse to take meds just to mask the pain. I need real relief! I will try accupuncture becuz pple keep saying how it helped with their pain. But I will not recommend this surgery unless its life threatening and make sure your surgeon cares about your post-op. I am fortunate that he believes I am still in pain and will do whatever he can to help me. I pray for all those on here who is suffering from pain that God, the Healer will remove your pain and suffering. I truly believe He is the only One with the Power to heal us all. God bless you and keep me posted on your treatments!
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I am a 53 year old female and I had a cervical discectomy with fusion and plating on my C4, 5, 6, and 7 in March 2010.  I have received no relief and pain is getting worse and worse.  Cried myself to sleep last night until sleeping pills took effect.  My left rotator cuff is bothing me and now not only my neck is killing me, but my upper back and shoulders.  Don't know what to do.  I cant imagine living with level of pain for the next 30+ years. I can't get comfortable and I had the pain medications.  i am a tennis player and active woman working a full-time job and don't have the luxury to be whacked out on pain meds.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  I do not want to live like this... there must be something out there somewhere.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to hurt myself, but I'm seriously wondering how I'm going to cope for the next 30 years of my life.  Any ideas are welcomed!  I can get all the pain medications I want, but I don't want them.  I think I can probably get a medical retirement, but I don't want one.  I want my life back!!!!  Help!!!
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  Thanks for your post. I to have the same fusion because of a fall that i had  yr 1/2  ago when i fell off of an aircraft i was working on and hit directly on the back of my head. I can't get anyone of these W/C doctors to understand that i am in pain 24/7 and have been told that i am FAKING. After 30 yrs ,perfect attendance, many awards for my effort. I've been reduced to a lier, fake, cheat, and wanting something for nothing, now i'm a libality to this Co. MONEY has never been an issue with us. I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!! Something that money can't buy!!! and just one day free of headaches and neck pain!! The VA has been more understanding than any of these W/C doctors.  God bless you !!!
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Really interested in artificial disk.  How did your's do?
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Hi, I had surgery in August (beginning) 2011, C5/6 fused with bone taken from my own hip and standard titanium plate and 4 screws.  I also had a prosthetic disk inserted between C6/7 and spent 7 days in hospital after surgery.  This was followed by 6 (six) weeks rest, four of which with a soft collar brace.  I then started Rehab thereafter.  Question.  Would I have the same procedure again.  At first I said NEVER, but time heals wounds and I am almost symptom free.  WARNING, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (and I can't emphasise this enough) PLEASE get off painkillers as soon as possible if they are opiate based.  I am going through withdrawal after only 7 weeks on the damn things!  Probably as painfull as the symptoms beforehand.  Core muscle training helps with discomfort/numbness in affected arm together with drug known in Germany as Lyrica (anti epilepsy drug).  Stay away fom Oxycodone if you can, it's a great painkiller but addictive as hell.  All I really want to know is, can I get back to jogging at some point?
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hi , i can refer to what your saying as i had an accident 2 years ago , i slipped a disc in my neck , i had physiotherepy they put me on traction which was more painfull , i had 2 lots of physio also i am on my 3rd lot due because i am still suffering with pain in my neck plus i still get numbness in my arm an fingers , my shoilder also sounds like its crunching , the doc said its nerve damage , but its reached my other arm , i have just been the hospital as i had severe pain in my lower spine plus pins an needles like down my leg they diagnosed sciatica but the doc said this could be due to the neck injury an he feels i will probs suffer with my neck an spine unfortunalty , i havnt had surgery tho but seriously i shouldnt be suffering like this an i am even on a high dose of medication , am on , 900 gabapentin 3 times a day plus tramadol 100 4 times a day but can still feel the pain , recently tho i was on morphine xxx
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Avatar_f_tn
If you found any comment, feedback or therapy that helped you, please share. I have been struggling with the same exact thing, it has taken over my life and is very depressing.
Further, I have been in several car accidents, two were not my fault and three were (due to my loss of motor skill ability post surgery) and I now have tingling and numbness in my hand and fingers again. Im scared to even see the doctor/surgeon again...
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had 2 artificial disk placed at c5/c6 and c6/c7 and have had nothing but problems, but test after test they have no answer if why,12 trigger point shots in one week, a mylogram that I ended up haveing bad reactions to, now I'm having shots in my neck, if this does not work then my dr will take out the artificial disk and try a fusion....
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1904179_tn?1321736585
Did you try the acupuncture yet? I am curious as to if it helped relieve your pain symptoms? It's the only alternative I have NOT tried.

I ruptured a disk back in Aug. 2005 and had surgery in Jan. 2006 (cadaver bone fusion on the C5/C6). Although the surgery relieved the tingling and numbness, the pain is still there 5 years later.

I did 5 months of physical therapy, tried water therapy (which only made the pain worse), numerous visits to the neurosurgeon, I've tried: Ice, Heat, Muscle massage, Electric modalities; Ultrasound and EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation), chiropractors, stretching exercises, I even have the Saunders HomeTrac Deluxe (a Cervical Home Traction device ).

Most of the things I have tried are only temporary pain relievers; they do not address the cause. And like most of you here in this forum, my Dr. can't explain why there is pain, where it is coming from or what is causing it.
When my Dr. suggested it was all in my mind I was not a happy camper. I was evaluated by an IME in 2007 and the findings were permanent physical limitations: no repetitive pushing, pulling, pinching, or grasping, no overhead reaching, a weight limit max. of an occasional #35.

Limited cervical mobility was found and I was told I would no longer be able to do a lot of the things I was used to doing, that I would need to change my life style and get used to the fact that I would no longer have the life I was used to.

I was told no bike riding, no jogging, no 4 wheeling, skiing...ect.... anything that would cause jarring to my body was to be avoided. Also diagnosed with DDD and a narrowing of the spine I was told to be careful because the fusion would now cause more stress on the adjacent disks.

Are you kidding me?

My life went downhill after my surgery, not only because of the constant pain, but the knowing that after 40+ years of an active lifestyle I was now grounded (so to speak). I do not take prescription pain meds. as I no longer have health ins., so I use OC pain relievers. I have not worked since Nov. 2007 and cannot find a job that can accommodate all the restrictions I am under.

Although I have come to tolerate the daily constant pain, there are days when I get mad at my disability and I throw caution to the wind and I will pick up that 45# of dog food (instead of having a store clerk do it) and throw it in the basket.....and yes it felt good to do it, but the backlash of pain reminds me with a vengeance that that it is no no :(
I am currently going college to educate myself and get a business degree (I only have a GED education) so that I can find a "desk job" that will accommodate my physical restrictions.

I feel for each and every one of you who is experiencing this persistent invisible pain. It has taken me 5 years to finally realize that I have to change in order to live with this as comfortably as possible and try to use a minimum of pain medications to avoid further health complications from long term medicine use.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a C5-C6 fusion in 1989.  I was told I have permanent muscle and nerve damage because it took over 10 years to find the ruptured disc (5 yrs in the Army - 5 at the VA).  Only after I couldn't move my head did I go to private doctors.  I had the best neurosurgeon in Fort Wayne, Indiana perform the fusion (with cadavar).  I must say that this surgery gave me back a life with bearable pain.  Total absence of pain was not possible.  So for all these years, I stayed on medication for the muscle spasms and pain.  I learned to work around the pain.  Some days were good - some not so good.  Still, my level of pain tolerance increased and I made it all these years.  Now, something's going on at the fused area again.  Pain shoots up the back of my scalp, down my shoulder, and into my right arm and my neck cracks when I move it.  I can barely get through most days . . . I can barely stand it and am in tears a lot.  Depression is something that comes with it.  I quit working 8 months ago because of it.  They say it's degenerative bone disease which is common.  They say when there's a fusion, sooner or later, the disc above and the disc below the fusion deteriorate.  I can't bear another surgery - especially at age 56.  I just thank heaven for all the good years that I had in between.  I don't know what I'll do now.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I also had my neck fused.  I had 2 fusions, one at the C5-6 level in 2006, and one at the C6-7 level in 2010.  Both my fusions turned out great.  I still have pain in my neck but it seems it's more arthritic than anything else.  I also have great pain in my left shoulder which I am going to physical therapy for now and possibly surgery to clean out everything in there because I have bursitis, tendonitis, and arthritis.  My neck pain and shoulder pain was caused from a car accident in 1990.  I had years of pain and migraines.  I don't have the migraines anymore.  Right now to deal with the constant pain in my neck I am on one medication (it's just a little bit stronger than something like Aleve) and I am doing traction for 1 to 11/2 hours per day.  If these things don't help my neurosurgeon said we could try botox trigger point injections.  I've never tried botox yet but I've heard it can really help.  And for me, right now, the traction is helping somewhat and so is my medication.  I am not one to take much of anything for medications either.  One day at a time.  I am thankful I have a great doctor who always is helpful and supportive of me.  I know I'll have pain the rest of my life but I'm learning to manage it.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a c4-c5-c6 fusion performed on February 25th. The days following the surgery everything was great, no pain and only taking 1 Percocet every 12 hours which i stopped using after 10 days. Had my collar removed after 6 weeks and still felt great. The next 6 weeks were spent trying to get my left shoulder moving again as it had atrophied from the nerve compression. As a gym rat amatuer powerlifter/bodybuilder the muscle loss was unacceptable.
After 3 months of 10 pound rehab work my surgeon released me start training again which i took very light and easy. Then late September i started to push the workout weights a little but still far from what i was lifting pre surgery, even though my surgeon said i would have my strength back in 6 months.At this point in time the neck aches started and would progress into head aches that i could not get rid of. I found this forum and tried everything that has been suggested with only short term relief. My work has suffered because i dont feel like leaving the house most days due to the head pain or drug use making me feel high. My wife has about had it with me but i am glad to find other people who understand.
I truly hope we can find an answer and treatment that works for everyone. Thanks for listening.
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1954213_tn?1324854934
I had the C5-6 fusion same as you in 2004 it is 2011 now and I just had to have the same surgery again with the disc above C4-5 and below C6-7 both went because of the first surgery. Last time it seemed to work better. I was on pain meds but for the most part I was functional. This time its been since 07-14 it is now Christmas night of the same year and I am having problems with something locking. they had to put in a cage with my last surg. I am seriously sitting here contemplating going to the ER to get an MRI. I was making Christmas dinner tonite in tears. I get pains down my arms and headaches like a mofo. I am on some pretty sting meds right now, I cant do anything without them and it *****. In that I say if you can get away with just the meds DO NOT have another surgery! Although it seems now that ppl just want the meds and it makes it harder for ppl like  us who actuly need it. Keep talking to your doc about your symptoms and dont hold anything back.  Good luck I hope this helped, even if it helps a little bit (anyone) then I will feel better about sitting here writing it. Merry Christmas.
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Avatar_m_tn
My spouse is seriously considering getting the fusion of C5-6.  After reading the posts on this issue I am wondering if he should go through it.  It all sounds good till a couple of months after then I read how different pain comes back so I am concerned for him.  It seems as though people with this issue are **** if they do and **** if they don't.  So is there anyone out there who has had good results from this surgery?  
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Avatar_m_tn
another year,more pain, am i right dave,weve all had surgery here and weve all had bad results;but i think when we get a positive response to spinal pain it wont be an op for us,i had 2 ops c5 c6 second 1 i came round from life support then wen i beat that cus surg drilled into my vertebral artery,i had 3 surgery to correct an anuerysm created in that artery,my point,we should not all q for surgery as if its the miricle cure,weve been there it never worked,a good pain managment specialist is priceless if he gets the combination right,look at the ages of people taking strong meds 70s 80s an alternative med i came across does me well serrapeptase 40,000iu 1 on empty every day in week miss weekends,no side effects take care
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Avatar_f_tn
I had fusion of C5-C6 & C7....... They used an artificial bone.
I had this surgey over a year and a half ago!
I've had almost no pain relief from this surgery and my left hand remains numb.........
I too have become desperate, Doctors also scrutinize my complaints!!!
Please tell me there is something that will work to eliminate pain!
Is there something I should ask for that I don't know or haven't tried
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I had MRI's done and I have three bulging discs in my neck with instability and a broken L5 along with my tail bone being deformed.
I read Dr. John E Sarno's book Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection  and became 90% pain free. I KNOW I will be totally pain free before long. I have bought all of his books and I also love Dr. Schubiner http://www.unlearnyourpain.com/
I knew that when I had pain in my back and my neck would all of a sudden shot pain the back pain was no longer there. We can only have ONE pain at a time so it is a thought. This lead me to more investigation and found these books.
Don't knock it until you try it. :)
Susie
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1971967_tn?1325867925
I had C6 and C7 fused with a plate and screws when i was 26.  The first doctor i went to that did the surgery used gadiver (sp) bone and i never healed.  A year later, i went to a different surgeon after my dr said we would need to do surgery again, and this surgeon said same thing.  He didn't like how the first dr had done the surgery.  He ended up going in from the front and adding another plate for more support and used bone from my hip.  That healed much better.  It's been almost 3yrs now and I've been having headaches all the time and last week had the sharpest pain down by where my my scar was from the last surgery.  I was in so much pain, i was in tears.  It's the day before a holiday and my surgeon called me in some medication and had me an appt for the following week.  I went in and had xrays and now C4 and C5 are so compressed and rubbing a nerve.  My finger tips on my right hand have been turning white and going numb and the strength in that hand and arm have drastically changed.  I'm right handed and my left hand/arm is way stronger right now.  He's got me on a steroid pack so hoping that helps and I don't have to have surgery again!  Everyone keeps telling me I'm way too young to have had so many neck problems, especially when i wasn't in a wreck or anything to have caused it.  even the dr's are amazed.  I go back in 2 wks and if no improvement, they're going to do an MRI.  I really don't want a 3rd surgery!  For anyone that's had C6, C7 and C4, C5 fused; is the recovery about the same?  I was off from work for 14 wks with my last surgery, granted my job is pretty physical.  I'm just hoping if i do have to have surgery, that this one will be easier to recover from!  
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear DrVinod: Please explain what you mean by "proper medical channel" and "approved drug"?...Thank You
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Its been almost a year and a half since I had the surgery and I have literally tried everything from the drugs to the therapy, neuro, shoulder doctors, MRIs, CAT scans and was still feeling worse than before surgery. Its sad that so many pple are suffering from the same types of pain from the same surgery. One day, I was in so much pain that I was desperate to find a place that did acupuncture because so many pple recommended it, however the place was closed. They had this Holistic magazines sitting outside of office so I picked one up and browsed thru it to see where else I can go. I happened upon an add for a Chiropractic office that specialized in healing fibromyalgia whick is chronic pain in the body. As desperate as I was I called and the actual doctor answered the phone. I was able to tell him my symptoms and the history of my pain and he said he could help me to come in, so I drove 45 minutes from home to his office that day. I was skeptic at first but desperate, I had already done 2 bouts of chiropractic prior to surgery. But praise God, I went in and met my new best friend Dr. Mike Reggish. He studied chiropractic and holistic healing methods over seas and in the States and he told me about a technique he learned in Asia while he studied acupuncture there. He doesn't use needles, he has an unorthodox method that I've never seen before but its working, I have been seeing him for a month now and he has been the only one who has been able to help alleviate my spasms and neck pain. Its not cured but its gradually reducing the pain and allowing me to sleep at night which is a miracle by itself. I am only able to go 2x a week because of the distance but he does recommend 3-5x a week to help the bones realign themselves. All he did initially was felt on my top vertebrae and down the front and sides of my neck and he was able to see that my vertebrae had been off alignment which is why I still have neck pain. I told him it felt like a pinched nerve but my doctors said it wasn't. He assured me that if I'm in this kind of pain then obviously something is sitting on the nerve. And once he pushed all my bones back in line, my God I felt like I could go out and run a marathon. I just couldn't believe it. And I have been going there ever since faithfully and it feels good to feel normal again. I don't know if all chiropractors can do this but I highly recommend all of you to check out Dr. Mike Reggish in Livonia, Michigan, he can be reached at 734-427-7110. He has patients that fly in from Boston, a lady who drives in from Ohio every week so he must be doing something right. I pray that this will bless you and give you a sense of hope. Don't give up and don't listen to the doctors who says that there is nothing wrong from their end, I've heard it many times and if it had not been for my faith I would have just accepted living in pain for the rest of my life, but I have a 7 yr old son who needs his mommy healthy! God bless.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi dev,pain were all here for that,is there some releif for yours,(definatley) 1 what have u tried,2 whats your pain thresh 1/10 daily ive had good results,u can too,what meds u on
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HOPE U GET RICH DR REGGISH,THAT STOREYS RICH!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I had C3/4 and 4/5 fused with donor bone and a titanium plate with 3 screws about 18 months ago.  I had no problems until about a month ago. I have constant burning pain in the base of my neck and a constant headache.  I was just glad to see I am not alone.  I see my orthopedic doctor in a couple of weeks for an unrelated surgery and will ask him about this.  Thanks for all your posting.
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Avatar_m_tn
interesting to see your post though my issue is a little different it does involve generally the same area of the spine according to the doctors (C7-T1), and we are close in age(I'm 24). I had something called an irregular arteriovenous malformation or AVM that was compressing a nerve root on my spine as a result of a hematoma that formed from this AVM. I had surgery to resolve the issue in early January. It has now been about a month since the surgery and while I do not seem to have the sharp shooting pains I was having before that led me to get the MRI, I have a hard time believing I am any better because I still have hand numbness and am starting to see signs of atrophy in my right hand in the ring and pinky fingers. My pinky kind of just doesnt respond to any of my commands. I wish I knew more to tell you but I am just as confused as the next guy/girl with this type of stuff. You think everything will be okay because at least youre not paralyzed, but gee whiz. I thought i'd recover a little faster than this. My incision looks great but I just keep getting different sensations back there and my hand is still very weak and numb mostly. anymore feedback you might be able to share would be tremendous.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had fusion in 1995 on 6-7 with my own bone and using a collar for 6-weeks.  For the first few weeks, I still felt pain. If nerves are jangled and inflammed it can take time for them to settle down and heal.  This week I had 5-6 and 4-5 done-knew this would be needed eventually because of how my neck is configured and certain risks for me.  This time was with donor bone and plates, so I am healing as I write.  I expect to feel some pain and tension in my shoulders/back of neck, as explained by my Dr.  Some of this is learning new ways to move and different stresses on the muscles than they are used to.  Some, not all, pain is from wrong movement for the change in your body--how easy it is to go back to old movement habits, and a bad physical therapist can make it worse--did for me.  Inflammation can also greatly exacerbate this situation.  SOD, an antioxidant, was great in removing much of my pain by decreasing inflammation.  Also good quality fish oil andvother supplement reduces inflammation.  I use www.lef.org for mine, but a good quality brand from any health food store is available.  You might want to check the lef.org site for recommendations and scientific studies of supplements that reduce inflammation whether you buy from them or not.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had fusion done C4-7 in 2000. Living in a nightmare. Had 8 nerves burned in neck so that pain can not be relayed to brain. It worked on the upper part of my neck but not the bottom. It seems the only thing that is helping is wearing the neck brace, the white cushion one. I have tried thepary, exercising. All that seems to do in irritate it. The Dr has given me Fentynol patches and oxycodone. All that does is constipates me. Tired of drugs and having no life. I am 57 and feel like I am 96. Every time I go and enjoy myself for a day out, I suffer for a few days after. Am a single woman who can not even think of dating. Depression has set in. Have gone on disability after going back to school and getting certified for medical coding. No way can I go back to work. Have been written up and lost my job because of being on pain meds and making no so great choices. Have tried pillows and now trying the pillow and mat that is accupressure. Doubt if that is going to do the job either. Desperate to get a life again. Sitting home alone day after day in pain is awful. Praying does not seem to have helped either. Thanks for listening.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just had my c5c6 worked on with fusion in Des   Moines Iowa by Dr. Hatfield. I do have the residual pain from post op but this doctor is amazing. Before the surgery my right arm all the way to my fingers were. Numb and the pain without medicinal relief was excruciating. After Dr. Hatfield and his staff at Des Moines Orthopidic Surgeons worked on me I feel great. Not quite 100% yet. But I'm getting there. I would recommend this doctor any time.
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Avatar_m_tn
After two fussions with cadaver bones in the neck, three years later I still had a lot of pain constantly,no one told me about fibermyalga (fibromyalgia) and it is often accoures after car wreaks or trama and major surgery. They have medicines, in my case cymbalta that takes a lot of pain away, I had to ask about it and it helps tremendously.I am a rear ended trucker.
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Avatar_f_tn
I too had to have a C5-C7 double level fusion after an accident and subsequent collapsed discs. Since the accident ('04) and surgery ('06) I've had severe pain mostly on the right side of my neck and upper back between my shoulder blades. The pain also radiates down my right arm. I also have debilitating migraines that put me out for 1 to 2 days. This seems like a recurring problem with patients from this type of surgery. I've tried EVERYTHING!  Meds, Accupucture, 4 types of physical therapy, steroid injections, massage, etc.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic, only for them to tell me that they can see nothing "physically" out of place and there is nothing they can do for me. That's why my neurosurgeon gave up on me. I just finished steroid injections again but because they lasted for such a short time, they've given up on me too. My depression from this problem has been affecting not only myself but also my family.  I'm at the end of my rope and don't know what to do next. Do I just give up? I'm just so frustrated.
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Avatar_m_tn
Had the same surgery in 2006 Fusion of c5-c6-c7.Had 2 spurs removed and had plate and 6 screws.and  pain is worse than before.Had MRI and they found nothing.I suffer with severe neck and shoulder pain.Was told to try injections and they didn't work either.on pain medicine and nothing has help.it has affacted my walking and balance.any help let me know.I have MS.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the fusion at c5-c6 with a donor bone..screws and titanium plate.  That was just over a year ago.  People must understand that the surgeons job is to relieve the pressure from the spinal cord...that's all.  If that is done, then the surgery is considered a success.  As there was no after care plan, I read a lot of info to help myself.  I found that (and stuck to) not lifting over 10lbs for 1 full year after surgery and not using Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medication has helped as that type of medication can inhibit the bone graft from grafting to the vertebrae.  I don't take any pain medication except for Tylenol extra strength if I feel a headache coming on and that's not as often anymore.  A posture-pedic pillow helps too.  I am on a gradual back to work program and work just over half-time.  I find that moving around and not staying stationary, limiting time spent on the computer and other activities that don't call for neck movement has helped immensely.  Utilizing pain medication is not good for your liver or kidney's so I recommend trying to find other ways to help with pain management.  I recently starting using a Pinook mini-massager  and it helps to loosen tight muscles in the neck, back and shoulder blade.  It sends electrical impulses that work the muscle to the point of relaxation and is also used on acupuncture points.  Am I pain free?  No, but I am doing well and am starting to do light workouts now.  One thing I found for sure to help is to exercise at the level you are comfortable at but don't over do it and continue on from where you left off prior to surgery....for example, if it hurts to do 5 pushups (from knees on floor position) but doesn't hurt to do 2, then do two regularly until you can work up to three.  I was told by my doctor to try things and expect some pain, take a break when it hurts but keep trying in order to build back the core strength.  I hope this helps someone and please, don't give up hope.  If pressure is not relieved from the spinal cord, the outcome over time would be paralysis as the pressure wears away at the protective sleeve of the spinal cord. And when it wears through, the fluid leaks out and there is no way to correct this....this is what will cause paralysis.  I suggest getting the surgery if the surgeon is recommending it.  A neurosurgeon is your best bet.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there, in 2002 I had c5-6 removed and replaced and fused.  At the time I had severe left arm pain.  It did help, but there is not a day that goes by that my neck doesnt hurt.  Like a stiff neck. In the past 10 years, I went through loss of use in my left arm.....thank goodness it came back. But my neck and part of left arm is always sore and achy.  I still have numbness in my left hand pinky and second finger from pinky.  I have done Chiro, massage, acupuncture, drugs, etc etc...but same every day.  I do still continue to play hockey, golf, and quite active...Every once in a while....probably 4 times a year....my neck goes completely out.  Even just from grabbing my toothbrush...and I cant move very good for the nest few days.....then after a week its back to "normal" and life goes on....but its just the way life goes and I dont want to sit around and do nothing....but man its a "pain in the neck" .....daily.
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Avatar_m_tn
It will make you worse . I hate c5 c6 c7 Im worse.Try injection did't work.
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Avatar_f_tn
with surgery you have the chance of more pain and pain med, you take a big chance
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Avatar_m_tn
Agreed, If anyone out there has a chance NOT to have surgery....Dont do it, Even if there is relief at first....there is always problems down the road.  I am sorry that I had my c5-6 replaced and fused
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ZYFLAMEND

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!!!by  ZYFLAMEND 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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This is my first post on any web site but I felt compelled to comment on my back/neck surgery on C5-C6 performed on 9/19/2011. I would welcome any suggestions that may help my condition.

This all started on May 31, 2011 at work while I had my head bent over writing price tags as I had been doing for a long period at my job. It felt like someone had stabbed me in the back. MRI showed blown disc at C5-C6 and nuerosurgen said "I can fix that!".  i decided to go for PT first then surgery. PT did not help the aching left arm and half numb/tingling left pinky and aching back. Took pain pills (oxycodone) for 3 months and surgery Sept. ! Went in hospital 6am out by 1pm. but now had someones bone and a plate with 4 screws. I remember in the recovery room the surgen ask if pain was all gone. I said "Can't till due to numb from surgery." Three days after surgery I freeked out because my arm went to aching and pinky was numb as before but over time it did get some what better.  PT after surgery did very little to improve my pain but did not increase it. It seemed to cause a knot to develope just under my left shoulder blade that the PT folks would work on and told me to lay down on a tennis ball 20 min everyday to help it.
I go back to work in Nov 2011 and have to lift heavy boxes in order to keep my job since my doctor released me to work. I ended up quitting the job in Jan 2012 due to back hurting.  My back still hurts but most of my pain now is in my neck and seems to be influenced by my pillows and sleeping. The knot(small) is still there and not only does my left pink go slightly numb but my right hand pinky does as well.  At this point I do not want to go back on the pain pills and I regret having surgery but was convinced by the doctor it was the right thing to do. I have nowhere to turn since the doctor took x-rays after the surgery and said his work was fine and any pain might be due to some scarring since I waited so long to allow the surgery.  I hate to think that I'll have to live with this till I die! If anybody has a solution to my problem please let me know.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the same thing you had. My pain started back in march of 2011 had therapy, shots, and lots of medication. And on June 2' of 2011 had surgery. Felt better after surgery then started theraphy again.started feeling some pain  again. So then I started working and started to feel worse. Am still working and under my same restrictions before surgery and I am a assembler so I use my right hand a lot and it's killing me , sometimes I just want to walk out of there. Every time I go back to doctor I get a different medication. I am so depressed I see a therapist now .
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the c5/c6 frontal neck fusion with bone from my hip and a donor, plate and screws on 2/18/11. As of today, i am in pain on the opposite side of my neck, do not have the total mobility of the left side and i also get headaches. My surgery was done for the right side, which is fine. I take valum and anti inflamatories. Nothing seems to help and my surgeon says nothing is wrong, all went well. I am considering seeing another doctor with all my CT scans and MRI's to see if they see anything. I am tired of walking around in cconstant neck and shoulder pain. I would never get another surgery unless it was an issue of life or death. I have recently started getting lower back pain and shooting pains in my legs. I am an active person so I cannot blame it on being lazy. Good luck to you and everyone on this blog.
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Angiesutherland,
Feel the same way had the surgery 13 days ago the pain is intolerable hope its better for you now! John
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Avatar_m_tn
I had C5/C6 fused in 2008 and everything was going great until about 6 months ago when my neck started to crack and pop again. Then my arms and hands started to go numb. I have a constant and persistant pain in my left shoulder. I am waiting for an MRI to be scheduled to see if one or more additional disks are going bad. When I had my surgery I was told that it was a possability that this could happen. Has anyone heard of this happening years after a surgery?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had a spinal fusion in C4/5 & C5/6 four years ago. The bone was taken from my hip. Two years ago I had a disc replacement in C6/7. The pain has never left even after both the operations & in fact the pain is now worse. Mainly in my index finger on my left hand. My neck is painful, but I know what my limitations are, so I am careful how I move my neck. Nothing seems to help with the pain in my finger, but I have been told to live with it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a fusion in 2007 and just now have found out what the problem is. They don't tell you but the joints above and below the fusion may not be able to handle all the weight they now carry (your head weights about 11-12 pounds. So the joints hurt and the muscles try and compensate by tightening up, causing severe pain in itself. Only relief I found is constant stretching and strengthens the muscles so the neck has more support. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING. Pain medicine to acupuncture, shots on and on. Nothing helps but toning up your muscles. And good posture.
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2139117_tn?1336068598
Ok...everyone is different. I had a motorcycle wreck on a track last Oct. Which in turn, smashed my collar bone and blew out the disks between C5/6 and C6/7. The later we did not know about for 3 months because of the issues and pain with my collar bone. Anyhow, I have had C5/6 and C6/7 plated, screwed, and now are fusing nicely 8 weeks after surgery. I have pain in both calves and feet as well as arthritis in my neck. I went back to work with no restrictions after 6 weeks. I still ride sportbikes 500-700 miles a week and live a normal life. I believe that  ACTIVITY is the key to heathy recovery. Well that and a positive attitude as well as a firm belief that you can make it. I do not take pain meds anymore nor do I take relaxers. Im not saying I am totally healed and will never need to see my neurosurgeon again, but I am saying I refuse to give up. BTW...I am 44 years old and am a smoker.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a work accident in december 2002 and blew out c2-c3 and had emergency surgery on Christmas Eve of 2002 went well for about a year. then i started to have pain again in neck and shoulders with numbness down right arm. went back to neurosurgeon and had mri done and found out that c3-c5 had ruptured. So had surgery again (by the way they used artificial disk with screws and plates for both surgeries) eight-teen months later from first surgery. Then again about a year later started to have neck and shoulder pain with numbness in arms again. So had surgery again (yes this makes 3 surgeries)with them removing disk between c5-c6 and that went well until a year and a half . I fought pain for as long as i could until it was unbearable. This time i blew out c6-t1 (yes it has worked down on my neck) so had those removed and with so many fusions my neck was very unstable so at same time they went threw back of neck and placed two rods going from c4-t4 for support. I just recently had this done (April 20, 2012) and had to spend 14 days in hospital for in house therapy due to no strength in legs. Surgeon had me on Robaxin and flexaril (muscle relaxers) and Fentyl patch and oxycodone 10mg every four hours as needed for pain until i met with family doc. Family doctor took me off Fentyl patch and placed me on methodone and took me off oxycodone and put me on naproxen which did not relieve me of pain. She told me that she would not prescribe me anymore narcotics except methodone 5mg to ween me off of that and that was it. after making several calls to her she finially replaced the naproxen 500mg with ultram 50mg every 6 hours and that helped some (about a 7 on a scale of 1-10). I dont think the family doc should have any right to prescribe it should be left up to he surgeon if you ask me. I wil be 40 in July and I wish this will be the last surgery but the neurologist told me that I would eventually lose c1. I have regain some strength back in legs but I have to use a walker for now. I can walk maybe walk a hundred yards before i need to stop and rest. And as far as my hands and arms is that my arms have no pain but are week and my left hand is week but my right hand has no feeling in middle three finger and numbness in thumb and pinky. Doc said feeling may never come back. I recommend that if you can deal with pain not to have surgery because it will work down and eventually it will effect lower back which in turn will effect legs.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
No pillow is going to stop the pain she is feeling. Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your pain is coming from the position your neck is now after the surgery. The muscles ar straining to compensate for the strange postion they are not use to ( nor ever will) I have been going through this since 2007. I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to help my pain. but I am going to Dr Kenneth Light in San Francisco to get the fusion reversed and an artificial disc put in. Fusions cost over 70 thousand dollars and disc replacement half. So which do you think the doctors want to do? Which makes them more money??? If at all possible DO NOT HAVE A FUSION DONE!!!. Old and out of date for everyone except certain cases that are too far gone as far as bone disease need to have them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Do not do another fusion, do a disc replacement ( artificail) better all the way around for you!
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Avatar_f_tn
no fusions, just artificial disc replacement!!! Fusions are nightmares
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Avatar_n_tn
tucsondee, I  feel your pain. I fell off of an aircraft about 10' and landed on the back of my head was rushed to the hospital and was induced into a coma for 5 days. Upon waking up i was rushed to, surgury and fused from 3thru 7. I went to rehab to learn to walk again for approx 1 yr and exper vertigo bad, lots of pain and unstable. workman's comp said that i should be as good as new and sent me to  their doc which ( i was advised that this would happen) i saw never examined me but Declared that i was faking. so W/C stopped me from seeing any doc's and said that i should return to work . So i got in touch with THEIR DOC and said to him that if he truly believed that i was faking then he should have no problem with allowing me to go back to work ,HE SAID NO!!. I informed my att. that W/c was about to make me have a nervious B/D and that i wanted to settle so i could try to get some help and some relief. I am retired now and the pain in myneck and the Headaches continue daily nonstop. I have tried everything from tens unit to steriod injections and i have dibietes and the injection affect my B/S I also take hydro 3 times a day because the pain affects my B/S as well. Im say all, of this to tell you that i'm 58 yrs old and was a workaholic all of my life and now i'm reduced to depression and constant pain so, i Hear you and can relate to you circumstance. I don't know where to turn nor do i want to continue with the constant pain.  My Pain Doc tells me that he will find an answer.  I can only hope. I wish you well and i'll Pray for you as well  GOD BLESS
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Avatar_f_tn
Should have a artificial disc instead of fusion. See if you can have it replaced. Doctors don't suggest because some insurance companies don't cover so they go with ones that will pay them ( fusions)
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3103988_tn?1341372913
on 8/8/2008 i had a a plate and screws in the front to relace 2 hurniated discs,was ok for the first year after that started to feel like my head was too heavy for my neck! went back to ns and he said after mri,ct,and mylogram everything was great the pain got so bad that i couldnt even stand up straight. so i checked out a dr at the hospital near my sister and after viewing results from dr that did the surgery found that the plate and screws never fused! He said i would need to have another surgery to stabilize my neck and on 3/14/2011 2 rodes and screw put in the back to stabilize. and i am in pain every day! the migraines i have always suffered from have gotten 10 x worse. The drs keep telling me that there is nothing in my tests to show that i would be in any pain at all, and i am already having trouble standing up straight again, he said i should try going back to work to forget about the pain that shouldnt be there! so now im crazy and the pain is all in my head???????
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Avatar_m_tn
I also had a  fusion at C-6 with a donor bone..screws and titanium plate Sept of 2011. I felt good for the first 4 weeks until I stopped taking the pain pills. Wow after that the pain in my neck came back plus pain down my arm sometimes also burning. I also have shoulder pain and weakness in only my right arm.  It's been almost a year since my surgery and I'm still seeing lots of doctors. I had injection that didn't work at all and taking lots of pain pills. I had a nerve study and it does show positive for nerve damage but no one can figure out where the damage point is. After a year still having neck,shoulder and arm pain. But my question is, I've been having lots of problems with my vision only in my right eye also strange feeling, numbness, tinling on my right toes. Has anyone had this problem.    Good luck to all.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry to say but after 5 years( now 2012) things are still the same....the only relief is Pain meds witch now is like giving your right arm for them...We are all treated like a bunch of low lives, junkies, drug addicts, all because of this surgery that obviously does NOT work and makes live even harder to live...WTF is a person to do !!!???!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
may I ask the name of the book you brought
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey everyone, I had a fusion C4 to 7 in 2000 - worst decision of my life. Same as everyone on this blog. Backache, pain in shoulders, neck spasms, migraines, jaw pain, insomnia. I have tried everything and nothing solves the problem. I go for physio once a week, neck and back massage when necessary, anti-inflam tabs daily and pain killers. When the pain is chronic I go for steriod jabs and pethidine when migraines are out of control. That's all we can do, manage the pain as best you can. Only have a fusion when the other option is a wheelchair! Good luck everyone, my heart goes out to you all.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had the same surgery in C5-6-7 fusion thru the front of the neck.  Was in so much pain afterwards that I went thru 3 months of physical theropy. Did not work.  I be I have had over 100 shots in neck, back both arms numb and shooting pains along with the neck/back/shoulder.  Started see a Dr Yearwood in Pascagoula Ms. and they implanted a stimulator in the upper spine area.  Sorta likne a tense  unit but internally.  It made things worse.  I just got home form seeing a Dr at John Hopskins in Baltimore, and now he wants to put in rods to stabalize the neck.  He doesnt think the fusion took and there is too much movement and that is causing all the problems.  only a 50/50 chance it will work, but if the 50% chance works-he said I would be pain free.  Another surgery? What to do?
Don't want to live like this anymore.  Anyone heard of this>
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow. I stumbled upon this site by accident, looking for information of something I caught on TV about defective neck fusions / grafts.  I too have had multiple surgeries, multiple levels, and still experience the same pains and limitation I hear in all of these comments.  It is very sad and discouraging.  Anyone considering a neck fusion, I would try to persuade you to manage it in other methods.  

Regarding the last comment, I too had my last surgery trying to "fix" one that never fused from two prior surgeries.  With this last surgery, they went in from both the front and back of the neck, fused and inserted a substance that is like concrete.  No doubt, it fused.  But I have had severe shoulder pain, shoulder blade area pain, incision pain, clicking, and headaches.

I do not know the answer.  My three surgeries were in two different states, two different doctors, spanning 8 years.  I really did like my last surgeon in NYC, and do feel he advised me down the best path he knew.  But I really do not know if the damage was already done from the prior two.  I still have herniated disks now in the middle of my back, but he does not want to operate on me.  Once you have multiples, you are not a good candidate for further levels.  They simply weaken and weaken.  

Has anyone heard of discoveries of the products being deffective or this material that is like a concrete causing issues with tissue and throat?

Best wishes and prayers to everyone.  I trully feel your pain.
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