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Severe Pain following C5 fusion

Started by 1171152733@facebook on 02/15/2012 7:37pm

HELP! I had a single level anterior C5 fusion on January 20, 2012. I am now in more pain than I was pre-surgery. Pain in neck, clavical, shoulder blade, and down to elbow in right arm. I know I am only 3 weeks out but having worse pain than I had prior to surgery? After reading many forums I am wondering if I should have had surgery at all! Any suggestions, comment? Please share any experiences. Thank you.

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In November 2011, I too had cervical spinal surgery that fused me from C3 to C7. The pain after the surgery was excruciating! That went on for about 3 weeks and then pain did start to subside. The more I moved my arms, the more painful it was, so I pretty much did NOTHING for the first month. Maybe you're doing too much. Let your body heal and don't suffer through the pain, take the meds and rest.

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Thank you for sharing your experience! :-)

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I had a double fusion of C4/5 C5/6 in 2010. The shoulder pain and neck pain will be there for awhile. Have you had any PT ? It will help once you get the muscle moving again. We forget what exactly our bodies go through with this procedure. Our muscles in this area were traumatized, they used power tools and retractors etc. It took a long time for me to start to use my arms in the normal way. Had to use my fingers to crawl up the wall to put my arm up for awhile. Continue the muscle relaxants for a few months until things are more calmed. I am now facing another fusion, as I had my C3 recently collapse from adjacent level failure- We all heal in our own way.. try and be kind to yourself and not expect too much too soon. Best of luck to you...

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Thank you for you reply! Let me go in a little further detail about my injury.... In September of 2010 I injured myself lifing a patient while at work. I have been fighting pain ever since. It progressed into severe pain. Been through all the Drs routines. They didnt know wheather iit was my neck or shoulder or both. Shoulder MRI was abnormal but doctor though my pain was stemming from neck. Had surgery about a month ago fusing C4/5. First week was in pain but shoulder felt a bit better and had again ROM with slight pain. Three days post op the horrible pain began. Shoulder and down arm. Now a month after surgery I am in worse pain than pre surgery. You mentioned you has it seems some of the same issue as I am now. I have not began PT, nor has the doctor mentioned it.. Dread even thinking about it because pre surgery PT was increadibly painful! My question is.....Normal post sugical issues? Doing too much too soon? Shoulder is a issue still? Pain it a aweful cruel thing!
Thanks again for your response. Its nice to know I am not alone on this horribly painful journey! :)

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I think that you are doing too much too soon. The fusion takes 2 yrs in totality to fuse complete. The first year is crucial. Please, Please... take things slow.... ask about PT. It will be hard for the first few weeks, but it will be beneficial in the end. Doing simple things at home like lifting cans of soup up and down like you would small weights. Don't give up.... use a heating pad on the muscle areas when you need it. Use ice on the back of your neck. I had an "Adjacent Disc Failure"... I am awaiting my MRI today and am looking at surgery since my C4 is completely gone, and here I am back in my Cerv Collar again. My Doc told me no lifting over 10 lbs the first year. When he released me in Sept which was my 1 yr, he said I can go back to all of what I did before, unfortunatly... something gave way and now I have a Disc Collapse. After I am done with this surgery I am NOT going to do any lifting over 10 - 15lbs ever again. Take care of yourself.. remember, the neck area is very important and further damage can cause long lasting irreversable damage.

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WOW! Thanks for the information! I am sorry that you are having to go through this all again! No fun at all I am sure. Wonderful to see what may be in store for me. I already, even pre surgery I have disk protusion at the C3/4 level. As well as C5/6. They are not too bad as of yet and are according to last weeks MRI are not affecting the nerves.
I may have been doing too much I'm not sure. Laundry, vacumming, and the normal housework.My post op instruction did say no heavey housework. But figured that was for the first couple of weeks. They told me no lifting anything over the weight of a gallon of milk, which I dont think I have done.
The best of luck on you MRI! :)

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I think that may be your problem.... too much, too soon. My surgery was November 2011 and i still have not used a vacuum, nor has the surgeon given the ok to do so. There's always someone around and I've learned to ask for help. I too am not supposed to lift more than a gallon of milk and I have not done that either. I have lower back problems as well, so I don't ever lift the laundry baskets or carry them anywhere. I do my grocery shopping and have someone carry the bags in the house for me. I know it's a pain, but you have to allow your body time to heal properly. Hope you're on your way to feeling better.

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Well I have to admit that your probably right. I have tons of help and support but am stubborn and fiercely independant. I have had numerous abdominal surgeries and as was back on my feet within a couple of weeks. Suppose I shouldn't have expected the same results this time! Guess its time to take a break and try to get healed up. Or try to any way, on both accounts. :)

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I too am stubborn and have always done things myself..but it is time to let others do FOR you and with you. We only go around once and it would be tragic if by doing something you did more harm then good. Please keep in touch, I'd like to know how your doing. I haven't spoken with too many that have gone through what I have been through.

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