View Full Version : What is this sensation/feeling

05-25-2013, 10:24 AM
Hey out there, wondering if anyone can answer this question. I am about 5 months postoperative. I am fused from t9 to s1. I have this sensation or feeling, not really sure how to describe it, between my shoulder blades. Wondering if this is just my muscles getting stronger through pt, or if I am feeling the fusion; and then, of course, wondering of this will go away. It is not painful just a bit weird. I discussed this with my pt, but he suggested I talk to the doctor, but I know that some of the best answers come directly from this forum.

Thanks to anyone who can help.


loves to skate
05-25-2013, 12:24 PM
Hi Libby,
My guess is that it is just your muscles adjusting to a straighter back. At seven months post op, I had mild discomfort near my right shoulder blade and it went away in about a month.

05-25-2013, 10:10 PM
I also had some pain near my right shoulder blade around 5 months postop. It did go away. I was still having back muscle spasms at that time, too. I don't think I can feel my fusion, but I do still feel like I am wearing a brace all the time. (I'm not.)


05-26-2013, 09:24 AM
Evelyn, can you clarify - what do you mean about not feeling the fusion? I feel the rods or screws ever time I move, which is pretty darn unnerving and it sometimes hurts but is generally more uncomfortable. I assume my muscles need to toughen up and get used to the hardware?

05-26-2013, 11:16 AM
I can't help but wonder if what I feel between my shoulders blades is a couple of different issues. Because some of my vertebrae were already fused on their own prior to surgery so I now have a very straight back without any lordosis or kyphosis, so when I stand up as straight as I can, there is pressure at the top of my fusion. I also feel either the fusion or the rods, etc. along my spine when I lie on my back. It is not painful, just a feeling I hope will go away. I start back to work next week and I am concerned how my back will react. I am an administrative assistant, so I am at a computer for a good portion of the day. I do try to get up from my desk at least once an hour, just to take a short walk, so as to relieve some of the pressure off my back. Keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to work without any issues.

05-26-2013, 12:18 PM
I am not sure it would help but if you have a timer or clock that would tell remind you every 20 minutes to sit back and put your shoulders back. or stand up, of course you can't do it in a meeting with the executives.

I would get up 1/2 hour and walk around a bit before waiting to one hour.

I bought a cheap treadmill because I finally am a believer in exercise. I walk and the pain or uncomfort goes AWAY when in the past it was the most painful to exercise.

Your body changes and will manifest in many ways.

Good luck and ease in.

05-26-2013, 06:33 PM
Thanks Gardenia, I never thought about a timer. I think I will try to do that.

05-27-2013, 12:55 AM
Hi Libby.
Is the pain sharp? Constant? Is it a new pain or one you've had since the surgery?

In another thread, I wrote about my theory on nerve pain. You can read it here. http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?14027-Nerve-Theory&p=147019&highlight=#post147019 I got a prescription for Gabapentin, which is supposed to be really good for nerve pain, but it made me feel too sick so I quit taking it after just a week. I got used to the nerve pain and figured it was all temporary and I just had to wait it out. I'm at 8 months post op and take Tylenol two or three times a week and that works fine.

As each part of my body got sensation back, I no longer got nerve pain in it. I still have some numb places in my back and a small numb section under my right breast in the ribs. So I'm expecting intermittent nerve "stabs" as the nerves in those places heal. I'm starting to get feeling back in my right hip and the whole section feels strange and tingling, like a foot tingles after it's been asleep for a while and you touch it.

If I over-work, such as when I swept our deck yesterday, my shoulders hurt especially bad last night. But they felt fine today. So it depends on what I'm doing and how much I'm doing and if the motion is repetitive. I always feel the rods but the feeling isn't as painful any more. I'm aware that the muscles have to get used to moving over the metal, instead of binding to living tissue. So there is a strange sensation of "sliding" (not sure how else to describe it) when I raise my arms and all the back muscles are engaged. But it doesn't hurt. It did hurt at 5 months though.

I hope you can get relief in your back. Time is on your side. Just give it more time and your body will repair itself, even when you keep getting more active.

05-27-2013, 10:59 AM
Hi Juliann,

No, it is not pain. If I move my arms in any way, lift my shoulders up, etc. I get what I would call a pulling sensation in between my shoulder blades. It is not painful at all, just annoying. I am also still numb in my left side from my upper thigh to right under my rib cage, where the doctor took out a rib. The numbness is slowly disappearing, it used to be lower in my thigh. I am starting to get feeling back in the muscles where my rib hump was. Those muscles are the most tender to the touch, but bareable. So far I consider myself to be extremely fortunate as far as meds go. I was off all meds about two and a half months postoperative, and I don't even have to take any Tylenol for discomfort.


05-27-2013, 11:47 AM
I don't know if this helps-- but for a long time I would tell my older girls (married) that it felt like I was part of their insect collections (they had to make in Bio 2 in high school) -- it felt like I was pinned in a sense, in my shoulder blade area. Is that the sensation you are talking about?

05-27-2013, 07:29 PM
Susie Bee, I don't think I would say it feels like being pinned. I a sitting here moving my shoulders trying to come up with a better description,but to no avail. It is so hard to explain. Maybe it is just my nerves regenerating or my muscles getting feeling back. I don't know. I guess I will have to ask the doctor if he can explain what I am feeling.

05-27-2013, 07:57 PM
That's ok. It's a tightness I feel/felt, especially when I am cold.

05-28-2013, 02:45 PM
A tightness or maybe a pulling sensation would be a good way to explain what I am feeling. Fortunately it is something that I can live with. It would just be more comfortable without this feeling. My other big concern is sitting at a computer for eight hours a day at work. Going back a week from yesterday. As they say in the service, I am a short timer.

05-28-2013, 08:33 PM
I know exactly the feeling you are talking about and have it as well. There is another thread that addresses this as the bear trap. I am almost two years post op and have that sensation in varying degrees of severity. Not painful (rarely....it can be painful at times) just very annoying. The only thing that alleviates it is lying down or sitting in a super straight back chair with head support. It seems that some post op scoli patients have this and some do not.

My super terrific PT gave me some exercises to help with the tightness. Not sure if I just got used to the sensation, though, or the exercises are helping.

Good luck!

05-29-2013, 01:03 AM
Evelyn, can you clarify - what do you mean about not feeling the fusion? I feel the rods or screws ever time I move, which is pretty darn unnerving and it sometimes hurts but is generally more uncomfortable. I assume my muscles need to toughen up and get used to the hardware?

Sorry for the confusion. I do feel my hardware, I just can't tell if it's a fusion or not underneath. I think (hope) yes because as each month passes it is less painful and less uncomfortable, and I have to think that's because the bone is healing. I do get that tightness between the shoulders, as well. I think it's muscle strain and/or spasms on bad days. It also is decreasing over time.

05-29-2013, 03:16 PM
My doctor said that it was normal and I should do some stretching exercises. Tomorrow is my last pt session so I will ask him for some stretching exercises to do.
Thanks to everyone for your input.