Pain in shoulder after cervical surgery

Posted by Harvey @purdy, Sun, May 10 10:50am

Anyone have cervical surgery in areas if C4 through C7 and have had permanent pain in your shoulder? Have tried injections and ting unit, but no relief.

I had fusions 6 yrs. ago on c2 ,c3,c4. My spinal cord was almost severed. I have pain in my shoulders most of the time and lately I have major pain in my neck. I have been on tens unit nearly all day and then the heating pad. I have to take muscle relaxer to be able to sleep at night.

Liked by Kathie Koch

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Good evening @ljbsgausa, welcome to Connect. I had the same cervical fusions as you did 7 years ago. I don't recall any pain in my shoulders. I had just had a reverse shoulder replacement before the cervical surgery. And as soon as the fusions were healed in about 3 months, I had a rotator cuff repair on my left shoulder from falling down the stairs. At that point, the pain in my arms and wrists became quite critical. It was then that my small fiber neuropathy was discovered by a punch skin biopsy. This all became one of those nightmares from a fall down the mountain.

I have very little discomfort in my neck as long as I do yoga stretches every morning and use the cervical collar. I still have numbness and pain in my arms and my feet. What are you doing to treat your pain? When was the last time you discussed your shoulder pain with a clinician? What has been recommended and how can we help? We are here for you…….not as physicians or medically trained technicians. What we can do is help you research your medical status and ask others to share their treatments and medical care with you.

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

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@ljbsgausa

I had fusions 6 yrs. ago on c2 ,c3,c4. My spinal cord was almost severed. I have pain in my shoulders most of the time and lately I have major pain in my neck. I have been on tens unit nearly all day and then the heating pad. I have to take muscle relaxer to be able to sleep at night.

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I am so sorry. I’m afraid that I’m beginning to have pain in my neck as well, and have also started having issues swallowing. I’m scheduled to see my pain med doc this week and plan to talk to him about an epidermal injection. I’ll keep you posted. Hang in there. It’s very frustrating.

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@artscaping

Good evening @ljbsgausa, welcome to Connect. I had the same cervical fusions as you did 7 years ago. I don't recall any pain in my shoulders. I had just had a reverse shoulder replacement before the cervical surgery. And as soon as the fusions were healed in about 3 months, I had a rotator cuff repair on my left shoulder from falling down the stairs. At that point, the pain in my arms and wrists became quite critical. It was then that my small fiber neuropathy was discovered by a punch skin biopsy. This all became one of those nightmares from a fall down the mountain.

I have very little discomfort in my neck as long as I do yoga stretches every morning and use the cervical collar. I still have numbness and pain in my arms and my feet. What are you doing to treat your pain? When was the last time you discussed your shoulder pain with a clinician? What has been recommended and how can we help? We are here for you…….not as physicians or medically trained technicians. What we can do is help you research your medical status and ask others to share their treatments and medical care with you.

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

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Good morning. I’m not the one that you responded to, but it was my original post that started the discussion. If I may ask, do you know anything about epidural injections and if they tend to help?

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Yes, I’ve had numerous epidurals. Never this high up so may get an appt. to see if that will help. I don’t want to get out due to other health problems.

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I’ve had several epidurals, but not this high up. Thinking about calling my pain dr and see what he thinks. I don’t want to get out right now due to virus as I have other health issues. I had scar tissue in my neck and could hardly swallow, so another dr stretched it last year and it helped some but it is tightening up again. Thanks for encouraging words.

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Gee, I had C2 to T2 fused and have shoulder pain as well now. I figured it was just "the next thing" . Does everyone think they are related? I know side sleepers tend to lose muscle mass in the shoulder area as they age, which will cause pain. I was going to start yoga and get back to exercising… soon.

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I’m four weeks post-op for cervical surgery on C4-5-6-7. I now have the feeling that I need to constantly clear my throat, horrible taste in my mouth and still have extreme pain in back of neck in area where surgery was done. Has anyone had this same surgery and dealt with any of these post-op issues? Is so, what help you deal with them?

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I wanted to respond to the above text for the pain after surgery of cervical fusion 4,5,6,7. I had surgery because I continued to fall, was losing function of 1 hand, foot and could no longer feel temperature. Didn’t have much pain until after surgery. After surgery had shoulder pain, headaches, neck pain and difficulty swallowing, the pain for 2 years was quite difficult. Now the GOOD news! After many docs I have a wonderful treatment plan. I elected Not to have a second surgery. I now get facet joint ablations in 2,3,4 every 7 months and Botox injections for my headaches, muscle spasms in shoulders, neck and mid back. I get them every 3 months and they work wonders! I do still take muscle relaxers at night and Neurontin for neuropathy. The swallowing I live with but changed diet. Don’t give up looking for a plan that works. I tried them all, tens unit, 2 years physical therapy land and pool. Everyone is different but there is a plan for you! Hang in there. I now have good quality of life. It was long process, just don’t get stuck in a plan that doesn’t work. Will be praying you find the best for you. Sending my best

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@jwest3sons

I wanted to respond to the above text for the pain after surgery of cervical fusion 4,5,6,7. I had surgery because I continued to fall, was losing function of 1 hand, foot and could no longer feel temperature. Didn’t have much pain until after surgery. After surgery had shoulder pain, headaches, neck pain and difficulty swallowing, the pain for 2 years was quite difficult. Now the GOOD news! After many docs I have a wonderful treatment plan. I elected Not to have a second surgery. I now get facet joint ablations in 2,3,4 every 7 months and Botox injections for my headaches, muscle spasms in shoulders, neck and mid back. I get them every 3 months and they work wonders! I do still take muscle relaxers at night and Neurontin for neuropathy. The swallowing I live with but changed diet. Don’t give up looking for a plan that works. I tried them all, tens unit, 2 years physical therapy land and pool. Everyone is different but there is a plan for you! Hang in there. I now have good quality of life. It was long process, just don’t get stuck in a plan that doesn’t work. Will be praying you find the best for you. Sending my best

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Thank you so much for your response and the good news. I’ll speak to my pain med doc immediately.

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Hi everyone, guess I'm the new guy and you're scaring me about what I'm facing in the future. Ten days ago I had a cervical discectomy on C-4,5,6,7. First seven days were great-pain free. Then pre op pain came back-back of head, neck, L shoulder and scapula. Based on pain free first 7 days, I was afraid I hurt it again. (I'm 73 and hit by car while crossing a street). Visited my MD, was told this current "pre op pain" was normal and will continue for another month or two. My MD is talking in "months" to recover and you're talking in "years." I'm very active in senior softball tournaments at the national level and hoped I could start playing again in August. But, after reading your posts, I may be too optimistic.. Good luck to all. joe

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@jabskb

Hi everyone, guess I'm the new guy and you're scaring me about what I'm facing in the future. Ten days ago I had a cervical discectomy on C-4,5,6,7. First seven days were great-pain free. Then pre op pain came back-back of head, neck, L shoulder and scapula. Based on pain free first 7 days, I was afraid I hurt it again. (I'm 73 and hit by car while crossing a street). Visited my MD, was told this current "pre op pain" was normal and will continue for another month or two. My MD is talking in "months" to recover and you're talking in "years." I'm very active in senior softball tournaments at the national level and hoped I could start playing again in August. But, after reading your posts, I may be too optimistic.. Good luck to all. joe

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@jabskb welcome to connect . We arent Dr.s so cant diagnose but with what you had done your body needs to accept it all and when you do to much like superman you can hurt yourself more . Listen to your body and rest it do simple stretches at first . Talk to your orthopedic Dr and go with his suggestions . He may want you to have some therapy done . Dont rush it or it wont get better . Then when the season opens up you maybe able to play but listen to the Dr.s and your own body as to when this may happen Good luck

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October 1st will be the 10 year anniversary of my anterior cervical spine fusion surgery. Over the course of the following 2 1/2 years, I struggled with extraordinary pain in my shoulder which compelled lots of PT and pain mngt — LOTS of shots to knock down the pain. I had radiating pain for almost a year prior to the surgery and my continued struggle post-op made me feel that I would never feel good again. Depression compounded my general state of mind.
Over time, my electric shoulder pain gradually dissipated. I believe that it was referred pain and I’m able to feel normal . There’s no doubt that I am dramatically improved, but actively working on treating the pain is something you must be committed to. Be sure to articulate your pain to your physical therapists and physiatrist.
I hope this helps and am available to talk more about it, if you like. You must keep hope alive!!!

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@shenriq Thank you for your help. Sounds like I better take it easy when I get home from surgery. It sounds like you had a pinched nerve in your neck to caused your shoulder pain. Did you have sciatica all the way down your arm from your shoulder? I'm just guessing, but I'm glad it's better. Did they ever diagnose what was wrong with your shoulder?
I wouldn't be surprised if I will eventually have a neck fusion surgery. It's a mess, but no sciatica down my arm. My right shoulder is a replacement and my left shoulder I fell, got dizzy on my garage steps and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get my key in the door to lock it. I barely turned around and flew off two steps and broke right below my shoulder. I now have a plate with 11 screws in on my left upper arm. The bone were in pieces and the surgeon told my husband that it went back together like a puzzle. I don't know what caused me to become dizzy. The only thing was I had low sodium at the hospital. Neither shoulders hardly bother me. Now this and I know it will hurt more after the surgery, but I do feel positive that it will work, since they tested me and I started out with pain at 9 and after the procedure it went down to 1 and was still not hurting me the next day.The Assistant Surgeon told me that my surgery would be a success. I liked when you said to keep my hopes alive. I feel positive and hope it carries through after the surgery and I have faith. I may start having depression, since I probably can't do much after the surgery and my husband will have to do it. Thank you for your comments!! I won't give up hope.

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@artscaping

Good evening @ljbsgausa, welcome to Connect. I had the same cervical fusions as you did 7 years ago. I don't recall any pain in my shoulders. I had just had a reverse shoulder replacement before the cervical surgery. And as soon as the fusions were healed in about 3 months, I had a rotator cuff repair on my left shoulder from falling down the stairs. At that point, the pain in my arms and wrists became quite critical. It was then that my small fiber neuropathy was discovered by a punch skin biopsy. This all became one of those nightmares from a fall down the mountain.

I have very little discomfort in my neck as long as I do yoga stretches every morning and use the cervical collar. I still have numbness and pain in my arms and my feet. What are you doing to treat your pain? When was the last time you discussed your shoulder pain with a clinician? What has been recommended and how can we help? We are here for you…….not as physicians or medically trained technicians. What we can do is help you research your medical status and ask others to share their treatments and medical care with you.

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

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@artscaping Hi, I have been thinking of @am3. We haven't heard from her in a long time and I wonder how she is doing. Would it be ok if I send her a post? Jeanie

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