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Posted in: Chronic pain, and Neck pain.

2 1/2 yrs after C5-7 surgery- can’t find cause for ongoing pain

Started by KAlaska on 03/08/2019 7:11pm

I had neck surgery 2 1/2 years ago to address neck and hand issues that have been getting progressively worse since I was 13 years old (I am 46 now). They put titanium in C5-7, sanded off the arthritis, and removed an unusually large quantity of bone spurs. The surgery definitely helped, but my quality of life is still highly compromised. I’m still in pain 100% of the time and am unable to be fully self-sufficient and return to my career. Key symptoms include: extremely sore muscles in my entire upper back and neck; the two worst areas are down the left back side of my neck into the top of my shoulder, and a sharp pain inside my right shoulder blade; I get occasional numbing on the left side of my face accompanied by left-sided headaches; tingling in all fingers of both hands but it’s improving with time; occasional excruciating soreness in my arms, especially around the shoulders and elbows; a hotspot on the very outer top of my left shoulder that fires up mostly when I sleep. My flexibility and strength is fairly good. The one movement that sets everything off the most is when I hold anything of weight out in front of me. Ice packs and massage seem to help the most. Injections have had limited impact. Same go for meds, though I keep trying different ones. Exercise, especially walking up and down hills, aggravates it (I’m a former runner and backpacker so this slays me). The MRI shows that there is still narrowing on the left, but the doctors I have met with say that getting it surgically addressed will probably only help the arm tingling. The pain is the big thing- the pain is the thing that is getting in the way of my life. They can’t figure out the underlying cause. Any thoughts? Thank you!

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3 Responses


Hi again! If anyone has any thoughts, I would really appreciate any insights you might have. I’m at wit’s end. Thank you! —KAlaska


I have the same exact pain almost 3 years later and looking for answers. It is draining the life from me and taking from my family. Was told it's bone spurs and arthritis.


I had ACDF surgery on C5-6 and C5-7 in mid 2017 and now have similar problems to yourself, as well as the pain on the neck, shoulders and arms and fingers I have pain that travels down into my Rib cage and chest areas, Sadly they cannot figure out what is going on and now I am being sent to a Nerve Conduction test as well as a Pain Management Centre so I am hoping for some kind of answers and relief from them. You are not alone