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  • morasmus
    Post count: 1

    Hi there!

    at the age of 18 I had a spinal fusion (herrington rods) to correct my 45 degree S curve due to scoliosis. I’ve always had a little back pain (usually low back) to some extent, I’m very active and have been most of my life doing crossfit, weight training, running, etc – most without real issues other than the occassional soreness.

    I’m now 39 years old and about a year and a half ago I started experiencing lots of upper back pain, neck pain and dull headaches/sinus pressure that I refer to as “episodes”. I’ve had x-rays completed of my spine, I’ve had an MRI on my sinus cavities (all clear looking) – but the upper back pain/neck pain/headaches are a newer issue and are becoming so very frequent and impacting my quality of life.

    I’ve went almost 20 years without experiencing this type of pain and it feels like it came out of no where! I tried 6 months of chiro adjustments trying to allieviate the pain and just started doing some soft tissue therap…all seem to help but for a very minimal amount of time.

    I’m so curious about rod removal or just figuring out what kind of tests i need to do next to find out what’s causing the new upper back, neck pain and dull headaches – nerve damage? I feel like I need some sort of scan that’s super detailed for my head/neck/shoulders…just not sure where to turn.

    My dad was an MD for 25 years with a practice in Iowa as well as assisted in surgeries in the vail valley. He passed about about a year and a half ago and I no longer have him as a resource to troubleshoot these issues…just trying to figure out where to turn to next.

    my scoliosis surgery was in Iowa City, IA with dr. Stuart Weinstein.

    Thank you for any and all advice!! I knew as I aged I may face new challenges – I just never expected to deal with neck pain and headaches!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8465

    Assuming the 20 year old fusion is solid (no pseudoarthroses), the most common problem at around 20 years post-fusion is a proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK). The movable levels above the solid spine (fused) segment tends to take all the stress as a stress riser and simply wears out. Depending on the amount of angulation (kyphosis) is present and how many segments are involved, another fusion might be necessary. You start the diagnostic process with a standard X-ray.

    Dr. Corenman

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