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Left Armpit, breast, neck, shoulder pain still after ACDF surgery

History: Pain started Nov 2017. I had armpit pain on left side, it would radiate down my arm with numbing, across my chest, back and affect my left breast.
Dec 2017 mammogram and breast ultrasound were normal.
Saw a neurosurgeon and had ACDF (4-5 5-6) in April 2018.
The numbness got better. Surgery was successful according to all images. Did PT.
I have had 3T MRI, CT, Xrays, NC Series and there is no explanation for the pain I am still having.

Most pain is in my armpit and outside and top of left breast (no lumps), on the inner side of my arm. Most arm pain is above my elbow.
Pain in my neck at times. Pain will be in my shoulder and can travel around my back.
Everything is on the left side. It is dull and achy and sometimes burning.
Sometimes if I wear a shirt that rubs up against my armpit it will trigger the pain. I am constantly pulling my clothing away from my armpit area.

Some days are good....most are not.
I have recently become aware of sleeping on that side. It is uncomfortable and almost sore.

Neurosurgeon referred me to pain mgt who wants to do nerve ablation injections.
I have trouble with not knowing what it is or what is causing it.
Neuro said sometimes there is no explanation.

Do I see an othropedic? Chiropractor? Can you even see one after ACDF surgery??
Having a diagnostic mammo next week to check that again.

Any help appreciated...TY



  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 937
    llupica - I'd be very cautious about a chiropractor working on a fused neck, especially this soon after surgery.  You are only eight months post-op.  
    Getting an orthopedic evaluation of your shoulder could have some merit.  I'd suggest discussing it with your PCP or whoever is primary on your case.
    Unless protocol has changed, nerve ablations are normally a two step process.  From my experience, first they normally try injections in the area (cervical in your case) to try to determine if nerve ablation(s) are justified.  Sometimes, the injections are all that is needed.  Injections can be diagnostic, therapeutic, neither or both. 
  • Yes, they will do 2 series of test injections prior to the ablation. I am just hesitant to have a procedure done like that without specifically knowing why we're doing it. Because it might work isn't enough for me.
    My main concern is the armpit/breast pain and if this is typical of an area that is painful from cervical issues.

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