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  • AvatarLoli
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    I had fusion of C4,5-5,6-6,7 6 months ago and was pain free but now I’m having new pain on the left side of neck (original pain area) shooting down to shoulder with trigger pain in side of upper arm and numbness off and on ending at elbow with some tingling in baby and ring fingers. I saw surgeon a week ago for 6 month follow up. He said xrays looked good and fusion was also doing well. He said I could be having some arthritic pain? I do have arthoplasty on facets 3,4. He ordered a 6 day steroid packet in Hope’s to knock it out. Otherwise I’m back into see him in March for possible MRI again. This pain is different than the original pain,feels different. I’m not sure though what’s causing the weakness in the arm? It’s off and on. I try to keep it moving though as this is the arm that got some muscle loss from nerve damage. I’ve also been experiencing some swelling in the tissues of my neck when I try to be active in cleaning my house, or doing my PT. PT had to stop me a lot through my sessions because of the swelling. This has gotten somewhat better though. I’ve begun some deep massage in Hope’s this will take away whatever is causing all the pain. Please tell me this is just healing issues? I’m stressed over all of this because I am self-employed and lost 6 weeks of work to have the fusion done and I cant aford to lose anymore. I’m scared. Thank you

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7288

    I’m unclear what a “facet arthroplasty” at C3-4 is. Did you have some metal fusion implants (DTRAX) into your facets at C3-4 or some type of posterior surgical debridement procedure?

    You had an ACDF fusion of C4-7. What was the graft used? Was it your own bone (autograft), donor bone (allograft) or a spacer with manufactured bone (PEEK and DBM)?

    It is not uncommon to have a failure of fusion at one level be non-symptomatic for 4-6 months and then demonstrate symptoms. Also, the level above and below can develop symptoms. I wonder about C7-T1 as you have some symptoms (“numbness off and on ending at elbow with some tingling in baby and ring fingers”) that can be referable to that level. When you follow-up with your surgeon, at least flexion/extension X-rays should be considered if not a new CT scan to go along with the MRI.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    AvatarLoli
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Thank you kindly for your quick reply.

    Mri showed, arthroplasty on facet 3 and 4

    I have a peek spacers and my own bone.

    They did flextion xrays at 6 months and they said all looked good.

    I didn’t say this because I forgot to but I was in a car accident on the 17th of this month. Could the accident be making the pain I was feeling prior to more hightened? It seems like I’m worse now then before. The urgent care dr didnt seem conserned about my neck enough to do xrays. But since that time my upper spine has started hurting more and my arm and shoulder are screaming in pain today.

    I’ve called to get a new xray as with a new xray they can compare to see if I’ve got any damage otherwise I’m going to cry if I have to ALREADY have another level done. Could a steroid injection help? I’m feeling so helpless and defeated anymore. ;(

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7288

    Peek spacers have a lower solid fusion rate so a pseudoarthrosis (lack of fusion) is a possibility. If you then added the energy of a motor vehicle accident to your neck, this could have increased the pain. You will probably need a CT scan to look at your fusion levels.

    Facet arthroplasty is a less than effective way to either make facets work after degenerative wear or cause a posterior fusion depending upon the device. The flexion/extensions would reveal if these devices are sliding surfaces or fusion devices.

    Before a steroid injection is used, imaging would be much more helpful to determine your status.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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