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lray
07-28-2011, 06:35 PM
I want to share my experiences thus far since my surgery last October as far as pain is concerned. Just wondering whether others have had similar experiences.

Since my surgery, I am having problems regarding my cervical spine. My surgeon did warn me, as I believe most of them do, that there can be degeneration of the discs above and below the fusion. I was thinking that this would be way in the future when I'm much older, and I really believed it would be my lumbar area since that is where I already had degeneration and pain.

Based on the findings of my MRI done in June, I have a herniated disc at C5/C6, which very likely caused my frozen shoulder. My pain has decreased somewhat and my range of motion is better, but it's still very bothersome and painful. But this herniated disc is definitely due to my surgery. I've been on Norco and an anti-inflammatory and though they do bring some relief, I still hurt. I've tried physical therapy and light swimming with little relief.

Interestingly, when my surgeon first took note of my neck in an x-ray, he seemed upset that it happened and recognized that something was wrong right away. He ordered the MRI immediately and helped me feel that I had a genuine problem going on with my neck. Yet when I met with my PCP after the MRI results were done, she almost poo-pooed the herniated disc by saying she could barely see it (on the MRI) and had to have the radiologist take a look at it with her. Grrrrrrr, why do doctors want to downplay something? She thinks I'm making up my pain? Guess I'm getting too defensive about everything...

I recently saw a physician who practices osteopathic manipulative therapy or OMM or OMT (He is a D.O.).He believes that he will be able to bring me some relief and I'm crossing my fingers that he will.

On another note, he commented to me that he wished that I saw him pre-surgery because he could have helped correct my curve! I was amazed by that comment. He went on to say that he had treated a teenager who had a 26 degree curve and after treatment the curve had decreased to 23! I could have said something rude, like what time of the day did you measure the curves? I really had to bite my tongue. I know that osteopaths are more holistic in their treatment approaches, and he seemed shocked by my surgery and scar, but he shouldn't have made me feel bad.

But anyway, I digressed. I am going through a rollercoaster of emotions lately because I still can't say whether I am 100% sure that I did the right thing by having this surgery. Yes, my spine is straight. Yes, my rib hump is GONE. Yes, I have kept off 20 pounds since surgery. But my neck issue really bothers me and I really hope that it will get better with time.

Lilysaidwhat
07-28-2011, 07:53 PM
Sorry to hear that. I've got neck pain/discomfort but I think it's due more to weak muscles and adjusting to sleeping/walking/sitting/moving differently.

I hope you get some relief from the DO.

titaniumed
07-28-2011, 08:11 PM
Hi Laurie

So sorry to hear about this. You know an Osteopath will not correct your curves. Been there done that. Itís a nice thought anyway......(smiley face) They can help with pain control.

I have had some minor neck issues....stiffness....talk about the tin man! No movement AT ALL.
I have been to my Chiro, (with my surgeons permission) BTW Dr Menmuir has extensive specialty cervical training....anyway, an adjustment works for me. Last time I had them do the ultrasound.

In having herniated discs in my lower spine, I tried everything. The one thing that worked was the VAX-D machine which basically pulls you apart. Itís a fancy traction machine.

Maybe it would be a good idea to get one of those simple vertical traction devices for the neck. It can be a simple pulley set-up or maybe this model. Just google cervical traction.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZKhP1NPp3s

Herniationís can retract. I battled sciatica for many years ďon and offĒ.
Ed

Lorz
07-29-2011, 11:58 AM
Hi Laurie,
I had neck pain for years prior to my surgery, and was worried about the same thing happening. I had traditional chiropractic adjustments for years, which helped, but this past year prior to my surgery switched to a new chiro. She does very gentle, non-thrust adjustments, myofascial release work, and gave me daily neck stretches to do. I was very skeptical at first, but it worked wonders. The 6 mos before my surgery, my neck felt the best it had in years. I am only 7 weeks post-op, and can't wait to go back, because the neck issues are beginning again. I work with doctors who do OMT. If yours is experienced, and gentle, it should help. But, Ed is right, they tend to think they can "cure" everything. Scoliosis is not one they can fix! Good Luck. I hope you find relief.

peachrush7
07-30-2011, 05:34 PM
I don't know how many times I've been told by friends who are chiros that "they wish I had come to them" to "fix" my scoliosis lol. I always have to hold back those sarcastic remarks too, I just try to smile and nod. I don't know why anyone would ever think it is helpful to say to someone who has had their entire spine fused, "oh well if you had come to me you wouldn't have had to do that"...like we made a mistake lol....

If I had "only" known I could have avoided all these screws in my spine lol...

Hope you get some relief...it must be frustrating to already have new problems. I feel like with scoliosis if it's not one thing going wrong, it's another. I'm enjoying a "break" from that feeling right now, but know that it probably won't last forever. I feel like we're a bit like leaky ships. You plug one hole and then another springs open...

And don't let that PCP downplay your pain/results. If your surgeon thinks it's a big deal, that's the opinion I'd go with. PCP's aren't usually very helpful when it comes to spinal/scoliosis issues I've found.

Sending you some prayers and good wishes!

pilar
07-31-2011, 11:43 AM
What do you mean by frozen shoulder?? I ve been having shoulder blade muscle and neck pain with itchiness for the last 2 days...

lray
08-01-2011, 05:49 PM
Pilar-
Frozen shoulder is another name for adhesive capsulitis which is inflammation of the capsule of the shoulder joint. In my case it was caused by my herniated cervical disc. The discomfort starts off slowly then progresses to severe pain, at least in my case, then starts to slowly improve.

Rebecca-
LOL! I like your leaky ship comment. So true.

Ed-
Thanks, I will look into that neck traction contraption. My D.O. gave me some mild neck exercises that I do throughout the day.

Oh, and I have to share another comment made by my D.O. He discovered during my initial exam that I have 1 leg longer than the other. I knew that I did but didn't pay much attention to it as my main focus has always been on my neck. I also thought that maybe my curve caused my leg length discrepency. But now that I have a straight spine, my legs are still different lengths. Anyway, he commented that it's possible that having the one leg longer than the other actually caused my scoliosis!! WHAT??? I told him that I really doubt that, that my father had scoliosis so it's very likely it was genetic in my case. He just shook his head and I could tell that he felt that he had alllll the answers to scoliosis.

But I did give him the website of the SRS so hopefully he'll read a few articles and at least get some education on the subject and stop making such silly comments.

I see my surgeon tomorrow and I will be showing him my MRI results. I'm hoping that he has some suggestions for my neck but I have a feeling it's just going to take time.

Thanks all!

asccbodypro
08-07-2011, 04:57 AM
[QUOTE=lray;123408]

Since my surgery, I am having problems regarding my cervical spine.

I have a herniated disc at C5/C6, Interestingly, when my surgeon first took note of my neck in an x-ray, he seemed upset that it happened and recognized that something was wrong right away. He ordered the MRI immediately and helped me feel that I had a genuine problem going on with my neck. Yet when I met with my PCP after the MRI results were done, she almost poo-pooed the herniated disc by saying she could barely see it (on the MRI) and had to have the radiologist take a look at it with her. Grrrrrrr, why do doctors want to downplay something? She thinks I'm making up my pain? Guess I'm getting too defensive about everything...


On another note, he commented to me that he wished that I saw him pre-surgery because he could have helped correct my curve! I was amazed by that comment. He went on to say that he had treated a teenager who had a 26 degree curve and after treatment the curve had decreased to 23!

Wow, your post sounds as though I could have written this myself. My surgery was 2 1/2 years ago (February 2009). My neck really just started bothering me in the past 6 months. My entire cervical spine is degenerated, arthritis, and spinal stenosis as well as bone spurs on the facet joints. I had a Medial Branch block about 3 weeks ago and that failed to help. I was told at that point that surgery was my best option. However, I'm not ready to give in to another surgery yet again. My pain at this point is more muscle spasm type pain vs. the sharp acute pain I had in my lower back prior to surgery. I hope that you can find some relief soon but it certainly seems that there are many of us who must contend with continuing problems.

I sympathize with your doctor situation. That in itself can drive someone over the edge. I am currently seen by doc's in a pain management clinic yet they have done an extremely poor job at managing my pain. All they have successfully done is fight over medicine. I can honestly say that it has taken 2 1/2 years for me to say that I am healed from my surgery it's just my neck and headaches that are putting a damper on everything. Hang in there....I've convinced myself that it can only get better from here on out...

scooter950
08-07-2011, 02:34 PM
Hi Laurie,

So sorry to hear about your post-op neck / shoulder pain.

I have a lot of neck/ shoulder pain now, pre-op. I followed the progress of another forum member, who had neck surgery first- Chrisanne-- then she had her spine fused, after the cervical surgery healed.
I sort of feel I may ask my surgeon about that option as well, even tho' the thought of cervical neck surgery scares me MORE thatn spinal scoli surgery.

I'll be meeting w/ Dr Geck, In Austin, later this month. I think we're going to set a date.

T-Ed, too close to truth, your comment about the tin man- I know,
some days I must turn my whole upper torso in order to back out of a parking space. ugh. Other than muscle relaxants, I have no suggestions... very HOT showers help, and I have ordered moist heat packs from Overstock.com that I microwave, just like Physical Therapy, and they do help. Hope you get some relief soon, Laurie. God bless! Jamie

mabeckoff
08-09-2011, 08:37 PM
Laurie,

How are feeling? have you gotten any relief?

Melissa

lray
08-15-2011, 08:12 PM
Hi everyone,

What a difference a few weeks makes regarding the healing time required of this surgery. I feel so much better since I first wrote this new thread. I'm sure my new doctor who does the OMT will take credit for it, but maybe it has been that treatment! My neck pain has diminished a lot...unbelievable. I also was prescribed Celebrex which appears to be helping my shoulder inflammation.

But also, I recently traded in my sports car (boo-hoo) for a crossover and THAT has really helped. I no longer have to squat down or pull myself up to get in and out of the car. My new car also has a back-up camera. Wow, I highly recommend one for those of us who can no longer twist. I don't rely on it 100% but it sure helps.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes. I'm about 10 1/2 months post surgery and I'm feeling pretty darn good now.

For the first time I can honestly say that I'm glad I had the surgery. I'm waiting to have some pics taken of my NEW back and I will post my before and after pics.

JenniferG
08-15-2011, 08:37 PM
Great to hear of your improvement Laurie. It's true, a few weeks can make a huge difference but it's hard to believe that when you're suffering. Keep up the good work!

judyat60
08-16-2011, 09:28 PM
this has been an interesting thread.
I first found out the seriousness of my scoliosis when I complained of periodical surges of pain and weakness in my arms evidently due to something being pinched in my neck. However, no doctor can actually see anything outstanding cervically and totally focus on the thoracic and lumbar curves. Dr. Boachie (and the others) feel that correcting the scoliosis 'should' have an affect on the cervical section, which is curving the opposite way (!?) to compensate for the curves.
So I'm hoping after surgery (T4-sacrum) in October will eventually relieve my neck issues.???

Lorz
08-17-2011, 07:03 AM
Judy,
I was fused T3-sacrum by Dr. Boachie on June 7th. I had neck issues prior to fusion also, due to flat or "military" neck, that most of us have. Since the surgery, the neck issues have been worse, partly because of all the muscle retraining issues, partly because of all the" laying down" during recovery. My point is, I think we will have to continue to deal with the neck isssues, and not look to fusion to fix them. I used to get a lot of soft tissue work, and do daily stretching exercises for neck/shoulders, which helped tremendously prior to surgery. I look forward to the time when I can return. I don't mean to be a downer, but I think it is important to go in to surgery with realistic expectations. Good Luck!