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Thread: Has anyone been to a chiropractor for their neck after their back surgery?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    238

    Has anyone been to a chiropractor for their neck after their back surgery?

    As many of you know, I had surgery on June 8. About 3 weeks after surgery, my neck pretty much "collapsed" and basically my chin sits on my chest. After I wake up from a 8 hour sleep, my neck is totally upright now for about 1 hour. Then it falls again and I have to put my neck brace on. I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old so I am having a very DIFFICULT time. I have a really good friend who is a chiropractor and spoke to him for an hour on the phone the other night. He said the majority of people who have scoliosis have "military" necks where the vertebrae are completely straight instead of having a curve. He told me, and I verified this online, that sometimes after spinal fusion which ends up high (mine is T3 to L3) the neck may have problems holding itself up in a small number of cases (obviously this is rare). I am almost 8 weeks post op and physical therapy is only helping my neck a little. After a session of message, I can hold my neck up for 2 1/2 hours, but how will I ever hold my neck up for 12 hrs a day? My kids will be starting kindergarten and preschool and I HAVE to be able to drive in Sept. My back is fine, it's just my neck that is holding me up. So I decided I am going to let my chiropractor touch my neck. I am VERY nervous about this, but my physical therapist also said she thinks it's a good idea. She said my facet joints in my neck may be locked or something. My chiropractor swore he would NOT touch my back, he is just going to push a few vertebrae in my neck forward (first he needs to see what vertebrae are affected in my neck).

    So my question to everyone is, has anyone seen a chiropractor post-surgery just for their neck? I'm sure 90% of the people on this forum think it's a bad idea, but I am starting to get soooo depressed and need to try something different rather than just physical therapy where I think isn't getting me anywhere. I just wanted to get your opinions.

    Dr. Boachie, when I asked him 6 months prior to my surgery, said I could go back to a chiropractor if I had a neck problem. I specifically asked him because I was currently getting pinched nerves in my neck for the past 5 years where I couldn't even turn my neck to a certain direction and my chiro would always help me with this.

    Just wanted to hear your responses on this. Was also wondering if anyone still goes to a chiro for the neck post-surgery?

    Thanks for your advice!!!

    JenM
    Surgery date: June 8, 2010 with Dr. Boachie
    Thoracic curve: 55 degrees, corrected to 25 degrees
    Lumbar curve: 58 degrees, corrected to 27 degrees
    Posterior-only surgery, Levels T3-L3
    31 year old mother of 2 young kids

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Personally? I would not do this....I've heard of too many mishaps with the delicate neck vertebrae at the hands of chiros.

    Dr. Boachie is a superb surgeon, but he's not great with follow-up if you have any kind of post-op, non-life-threatening complication. I had some nerve damage in my right leg and he didn't have much to say about it until I got pretty assertive with his office. I ended up having a couple of tests, which confirmed that the damage was temporary and would resolve in time (a lot of time, as it turned out -- the leg slowly improved over the next 18 months).

    I would at least have another conversation with Boachie's office before you let someone manipulate your neck.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi Jen...

    Several years after my surgery, I started going back for neck manipulations whenever it got bad. It happens a few times a year. I haven't had any negative complications, although I'm always aware that bad things can happen.

    --Linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Easton PA
    Posts
    182

    JenM

    I am really sorry about all of the neck issues you are having. It sounds like Dr. Boachie may be a great surgeon, but falls short with post-op issues. Telling you it is a rare complication, but offering no resolution is not acceptable. I would call, and keep calling his office until he helps you with this problem. Being a nurse, I call tell you, it is the patients who make noise that get heard!
    Lori in PA, 52 yrs. old
    T54/L72
    Surgery 6/7/11, T3-S1, all posterior, with pelvic anchors
    Gained 2 inches!
    Dr. Boachie, HSS, NYC
    12/10/13 Hardware Removal for infection
    Lost 2", gained PJK!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    424
    Earlier this year, i started having neck pain on the right hand side. I saw Dr H for it and he told me not to have physio or chiro treatment.
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    1,250
    I did chiro treatments for years and years before surgery. It kept me going and helped with pain. During June I was having such awful pain in my hip and leg. I finally went back to my chiro and had him only use the "impulser"--no thrusting/jerking at all. He used it on my hips and also the shoulder and neck area. My hip/leg pain finally got better. He works on my neck with the impulser only. It's hard to describe--hand-held little gun-looking thing that is plugged in. It just is placed strategically and does kind of a quick vibration rat-a-tat-tat. That probably makes no sense. It helps my neck but doesn't last long. It has really freed up my hips and my walking feels so much more natural. He managed to help what the physical therapists couldn't. I hope you find some relief one way or another. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Same here, my Chiropractors kept me going for years.

    I e-mailed my surgeon about my neck last August and he gave me permission to see my Chiro. I went in for 2 visits, and my stiff neck issues were history. I also went last December for 2 visits.

    Chiros also use ultrasound...it might be beneficial.

    Jen
    I would clear this through your Doctor at this time.
    Good luck
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Longbranch WA 98351
    Posts
    4

    Choose a chiropractor with care

    Quote Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
    I did chiro treatments for years and years before surgery. It kept me going and helped with pain. During June I was having such awful pain in my hip and leg. I finally went back to my chiro and had him only use the "impulser"--no thrusting/jerking at all. He used it on my hips and also the shoulder and neck area. My hip/leg pain finally got better. He works on my neck with the impulser only. It's hard to describe--hand-held little gun-looking thing that is plugged in. It just is placed strategically and does kind of a quick vibration rat-a-tat-tat. That probably makes no sense. It helps my neck but doesn't last long. It has really freed up my hips and my walking feels so much more natural. He managed to help what the physical therapists couldn't. I hope you find some relief one way or another. Janet
    That makes a lot of sense Janet. The original activator was hand powered which was very hard on the chiropractors hands. The electric powered ones actually have better control and produce better results. The purpose is to start a reflex in your posture muscles so that you bring your posture back in line with gravity.
    I work closely with a chiropractor and have attended seminars with him. Basically if a chiropractor is manipulating with a thrust he is out of date and a danger to patients in delicate condition; which is all of you that have had spinal surgery.
    My experience is working with client that has rods on both sides of spine and the muscles reattached differently after the surgery so that they were pulling at the wrong time when the client walked. With 5 weeks of interactive hands on movement therapy she was able to walk pain free on her summer European tour.
    Hans Albert Quistorff, LMP
    Antalgic Posture Pain Specialist

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Spring Hill, Florida
    Posts
    358
    I wondered the same thing too. I also have pinched nerve in my neck from a heriation C5-C6. My husband uses decompression for his neck and it works amazing. I was wondering if I had pain if it would work for me to?
    Janet
    36 year young cardiac RN
    old curve C 29, T 70, L 50
    new curve C 7, T 23, L 20
    Surgery June 11, UCH, Dr. Cronen T2-L5, posterior
    Revision December 20 L5-S1 with pelvic fixation
    and Osteotomy to L3 at Tampa General Hospital

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