craig21MemberJuly 20, 2011 at 11:37 amPost count: 2
I have had a fusion at C-6 / C-7 in Oct. 2007, then right shoulder surgery Jan. 2008. In the last 3 years I have reoccurring neck pain with very bad headaches. A CT scan and another MRI was done from a different Doctor’s office, they said there shows fusion at C-1 & C-2 and said that it looks like I have had this from birth. None of the other test that have been done have ever mentioned this. The Doctor that did my fusion said I have DDD. My question is, do you think the fusions at C-1 @ C-2 are progressing and causing this pain? And are the severe headaches a concern? Thank you!Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJuly 20, 2011 at 12:02 pmPost count: 8614
You note recurring neck pain with headaches at least 3 years after a fusion at C6-7. You don’t note any accidents or traumas. A CT scan and an MRI from another doctor note a congenital or acquired fusion of C1-2 but this is not noted by your original surgeon.
Headaches can be caused by any number of problems. Headaches originating from the neck are typically generated from the C2 (greater occipital nerve) which radiates pain from the base of the neck over the top of the head ending above the eye or C3 (lesser occipital nerve) which radiates pain from the base of the neck over the ear into the jaw. Degenerative upper cervical facets very commonly can cause headaches by the same mechanism.
Congenital fusion of C1-2 is extremely rare. You might have severe degenerative C1-2 facet disease (unusual but much more common than congenital fusion) which might also explain your headaches. If you cannot rotate your head very well from side to side, this finding would also go along with C1-2 arthrosis (facet disease). If you never could rotate your head well since you were a child, this might go along with congenital fusion. Look for the radiologists report from the MRI and CT to see what that specialist had to say.
Dr. CorenmanPLEASE 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.craig21MemberJuly 20, 2011 at 11:02 pmPost count: 2
Dr. Corenman, thank you, the fusion at C-6 / C-7 was the result of a work injury of a herniated disc. I really never had trouble with rotating my head until this time, the decrease in mobility and pain has been increasing in the past few years. The headache do start at the upper part of my neck then to above my eyes. I was given a injection to lower inflammation and decrease pain as well as a prescription of muscle relaxers. Would the Doctor who preformed the surgery still have film to show of any problems at C-1 C-2 from that time? Thanks Again!
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