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Pain is back if not worse than before ACDF

BrendieleeBBrendielee Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Chronic Pain
I had C4-C6 ACDF April 2009. The pain and headaches are worse than before. I cannot lay down at night to sleep because I wake up in with a screaming headache and neck pain. My upper and middle back spasm.

I had a MRI July 2011. Which my doctor told me was fine.

I'm confused on the impressions. Says C3/C4 uncovertebral joint hypertrophy results in minimal left nueroforaminal narrowing. The remaining intevertebral discs spaces are maintained. No intrinsic cord signal abnormality is identified. Minimal degenerative left foraminal narrowing at C3/C4.

If everything else is supposed to be ok, is C3/C4 the cause of my pain. I'm at the point I can't take this anymore. I cannot sleep, lay on the couch, sit for long periods of time, stand for long periods of time. I'm exhausted. Everyone can't seem to find out why I'm in pain. It was the left side only and lately the right side is excrutiating pain. I'm at my whits end. I cannot work, so there is no money coming in. Waiting to see what I qualify for in SSI till I figure out what the heck is going on.

Any advice is helpful. I feel like the surgeon did his job and that's doesn't seem to want to see this through. No job, no insurance...I feel lost.


  • I can't really help you to know what is causing your neck pain and headaches.

    I can share my experience, which is partly due to C3/4 problems along with C4/5. Both these discs are compressing my cord. I suffer frequent headaches which are sometimes very painful and then I get awful pain in my ears too. I also have degeneration in the rest of my neck. They are proposing to continue with conservative treatment and taking a watchful waiting for another 6 months to see how I am then.

    I have been told by my physio that one reason why they are trying to hold off on doing surgery could be because I have so much degeneration throughout my spine and fusing one level very often leads to further degeneration needing more surgery down the line.

    I hope that they can find out what is causing your pain and headaches and that they will be able to help you feel better.

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