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associated pain from neck muscles as a result of fusion at C5C6C7

I have used the forum in the past and found it to be very informative and helpful. I hope that some members out there may be experiencing or have experienced what I am going through on a daily basis.  since my 2 operations the last one 2 yrs ago (C6C7)and the previous one 15yrs ago (C5C6) I have had extremely tight neck/shoulder muscles, which also leads to arm muscle pain. This in turn results in tightness behind my skull and forehead headaches along with jaw pain which in turn affects my upper and lower teeth. I have having physio twice a week to relieve the tension in my neck muscles, along with usage of a wheat bag which gives warmth to the area. I also use a tens machine which help. I have used various rubs which only last a few hours. I have to take Ibuprofen virtually every day which I do not like doing. I cant be the only one going through this, I would appreciate any other members thoughts. everything that the neurosurgeons have done if fine and confirmed by x-rays. I do not get pain from the operation sites only these associated muscles. 

Thanks for any help or advise, Dennis



  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,083

    I had two ACDF (1994 C4/C5) and (2000 C5/C6/C7).  Both were very successful. I was a computer programmer so I spent a lot of time on the computer.  My bottom of my neck, and shoulders were start to ache.   When that happen, wed I walked, my wife noticed that my shoulders were hunched up.

    In 2002, I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis,  then starting in 2006, my shoulders became problems.  I had numerous steroid injections, but finally I had to have both of my shoulders totally replaced with new ball/socket and stem.   

    Since then, I do not have that same aching feeling in the base of my neck.   Of course that assumes I did not overdo anything.

    Just a thought

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918

    Papillons - I can identify with your muscle symptoms.  I'm fused from C2 to C7.  My neck/upper back muscle issues became severe with my last ACDF at C4/C5 this past January.  

    Have you ever had a rheumatologist second opinion?  On my review, the rheumatologist found that I was severely Vitamin D3 deficient.     

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  • hi nutcase007 thank you for your comment, very interesting did you suffer with jaw pain ?

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918

    Papillons - Not so much jaw pain, but pain behind my right ear and pain up the right side of my face (stroke like symptoms). 

  • hi Nutcase007 have you started to take the vitamin D3 tablets and if so have they made a difference?

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  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918

    Yes I do take Vitamin D3 and it does help.

    Since I was so severely deficient, I was started at a dose, retested three months later and still found to be on the low side.  My dose was doubled and tested again in three months.  Now my Vitamin D3 level is within normal range (by U.S. standards which is 30 to 100 ng/mL).   

  • HI good to hear that the D3 seems to be helping, has it relived the pain on the right side of your face?


  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918

    I don't think the D3 did much, if anything for the pain on my the side of my face.  When I have muscle pain flare-ups in the right side of my neck, I have more pain on the right side of my face.  Those two appear directly related and I've have my neurosurgeon tell me that he also thinks the two events are directly related.  

    The Vitamin D3 correction helped improve my over all health, general pain management and surgical wounds appear to now heal faster.    

  • I've had a rough past two years with the same muscle issues you speak of since my surgery (c5-c6 replaced with Mobi-c). I thought I was alone in this. It's a daily struggle. I was paying for massages every week or two, but have started making my family "tenderize" my neck muscles. I also keep a Theracane in my office to help when I'm spending lots of time in front of the computer. Fast freeze, muscle relaxers and epsom salt are also part of my evening routine. I have found that I really have to focus on taking time to really relax. I don't think the pain will ever magically go away for me, so I will just keep doing all the small things. I hope you can find relief!

  • Hello. I am new to this website and so relieved to find it! I had anterior & posterior fusion of C2 to T4 on July 30th & Aug 1st 2018 and recovery has been brutal! I also developed a compression fracture of T5 as a result of the surgeries, that wasn't found until 3 weeks post op, then I was given the wrong brace for it that actually created more problems (& wore it for 3 weeks before seeing the surgeon and learning I was in the wrong brace).

    I have a ton of questions about the level of pain, PT, putting on a brave face & trying to appear "normal" to do-workers and even family, etc., and look forward to reading the threads about large fusions. However, I saw a comment on this thread from nutcase007 about "stroke like" issues they've had and I'm very curious if that included actual nerve damage and/or facial paralysis, and if so did the Vitamin D help? Did anyone else have similar side effects, what did you do for them, did they get better with time?  Thank you! 


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