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Increased & New Pain After C Spine Fusion

Started by CMulazim on 09/26/2016 2:13pm

Hi. I had 2 severely herniated discs in my neck that required removal back in 2007. This caused pain like an electric shock shooting down my right arm, pain up high between my shoulder blades and headaches, mostly. After having C5-C6-C7 fused finally in September 2008 (no PT afterwards, was off work 9 months wearing a neck brace and using a bone stimulator, as the bones wouldn't fuse) and then adding C4 to the fusion in January 2013, my pain has only continued to increase and spread. The first fusion included cadaver bone and a titanium plate. I ended up with nerve damage at or around C6 as well as radiculopathy in my spine and neuropathy in both arms. My spine tried to heal itself at the fusion site and created a huge bone spur (like a shark's tooth, the doc said) that the Ortho doc was actually happy to be able to use (grinded down and used the bone 'dust', mixed with my blood from surgery to pour into a plastic ring that would create a gelatinous substance that would fuse faster and better than cadaver bone). It fused FAST and I was back to work in just as few weeks. The spur had been cutting into my throat every time I swallowed so it was nice to get that sharp pain gone. HOWEVER, neither surgery has taken away my initial pain that I went in with back in 2007!!! It has in fact, increased and spread. Now it shoots down my upper spine, upwards and outwards to both shoulders and down my arms, I have increased headaches and on top of it all, I can't turn my head side to side but maybe 45% of what I used to be able to. Sooo...yeah, this sucks. High impact workouts are a no no for me, so I swim. And YET, I am unable to rotate my arms up and around (over my head) as this is excrutiating! Also, I cannot bend my head up/back to get air so I would rather not drown in the pool, thank you. Reaching up to just get dressed or do my hair in the morning is HELL. But recently I have noticed a very painful crunching sensation in BOTH of my shoulder joints every time I try to rotate them. It's a show-stopper and I almost cry when it happens. It's like it is happening like 75% of the time and other times it's ok. I mean, slight movements of my arms at the shoulder joints and it's almost grinding inside. I've also found out recently that I now have Fibromyalgia too and I am depressed.

Pain Management docs have gotten me on a strong pain med and now they are tapering me totally off, with nothing to take the place for the very real every day pain that I am stuck with forever! I'm in my 40's and at times I feel like I'm 90! It's awful. They don't take me seriously. I still work FT and am on a very low dose oxy that I don't even take regularly, and yet I'm treated like a street druggie. I just want to live without pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does anyone know why this shoulder pain could be happeneding?
Does anyone know what medication (even herbal) might help with this hell I am living in please?
Does a C spine fusion cause Fibromyalgia?

I would appreciate any feedback please! Thank you!!!
Be well.

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2 Responses


*happening ;)


Hi Cat, Sorry your having such a miserable time but try to stay positive and I wish you well.
Fibro is just a diagnosis docs use for people who have chronic widespread pain.
Check out my post to what ails me. Best of luck