Thank you for your quick response. The symptom that concerns me the most is a burning sensation that is focused over the region of C5 to T3 vertebral spinous processes and extends laterally (left and right) about 3 inches (totaling about 6 inches in width centered over posterior midline). This symptom was not present prior to surgery. The pain this worse later in the day, especially when I’m typing med records. When I pull my chin back while keeping my head level (posterior movement of my neck without extension), I do feel a bit of grinding with a popping-like sensation (similar to the sensation felt during a chiropractic adjustment). This movement is non painful and occasionally provides relief of generalized neck discomfort. There are no active or passive neck movements that elicit tingling, numbness, or radiating pain. ROM is slightly decreased on left rotation and left lateral flexion, but is otherwise normal. All but the above described burning sensation can be controlled with regular medical massage, NSAIDs, and occasional muscle relaxers. Using my medical understanding of neurology and pain pathways, there does not appear to be evidence of static or dynamic spinal cord or nerve root compression. The burning pain would be classified as neuropathic pain, possibly a result of scar tissue, bony changes of cervical articular facets, or other irritation of dorsal spinal nerves. Please correct me if I’m wrong or missed something. I’m not crazy about undergoing surgery again and the neurosurgeon said I could wait awhile. His primary concern was more with the potential consequences should I sustain a trauma like being in a car accident. In your opinion, does postponing surgery advance the progression of degenerative cervical changes and increase the likelihood of needing additional fusion surgeries in the future? Also, in your experience do patients have a more difficult recovery associated with a posterior fusion? With complete understanding of the limitations of any opinions offered in this forum, how would you rank the surgical options for correction?
Reply To: Re: Treatment options for failed C5-C6 cervical fusion (Cloward method)