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My sister had cervical spine surgery two weeks ago.  Stenosis had caused tingling, numbness in her hands that began to extend up her arms.  Pre-op MRI showed direct bone contact with her spinal cord.  Posterior surgery (fusion of 2 vertebrae) was performed by a highly-regarded orthopedic surgeon at a major university hospital.  Doctor said all looked good after the surgery, with substantial room created for the spinal cord.  However, my sister has experienced intractable pain (a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10) since the surgery.  Often the pain does not respond to the narcotics (hydromorphone and oxicodone) and other drugs (Flexoril, Neurontin, acetominophen) she's given; either she gets enough medication to sometimes ease the pain, in which case she's a zombie, or not enough medication, in which case she's in tears from the pain.  Pain is down her neck, across her shoulders, and down one or both arms.  She cannot find any comfortable position to sit or lie down in.  I am terrified that she will be left with this pain for the rest of her life.  Anybody have any thoughts about what could be causing this pain, and whether there is something new that could be done to address it?

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Hopefully your sister is improving now ? I had ACDF performed and sound like your sister. It had been about nine months and I still suffer with severe pain and weakness. Sad thing is I have a difficult time getting up from the bed or chair but once I am on my feet I can walk but slowly at first until I get moving but feel like I am walking out of balance with uncertaintity if I might fall! FIBRO had aggravated my condition after surgery and has left me feeling incapable and disabled to function like I once use to. My severe arm pain is gone but the rest of my body feels wiped out and drained from fighting the all over body pain I feel. My vision had deteriorated since surgery and I now wear glasses. My neurosurgeon said " he did his job and can't cure all my pain " so now I am left recovering from surgery and dealing with FIBRO and depressed day after day. Never knew how much pain a body can ensure until this last year and hope it comes to an end someday . Sure lyrica and pain meds help a tad for a few hours but who can afford these medications for long especially when you lose your job and insurance all because of pain! Ugh- good luck and stay tough because this too must pass eventually.
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This is a very common scenario, You need a combination of things: Physical therapy, massage therapy and medical therapy. Triad of an anti-inflammatory such as Celebrex, a non or minimally sedating muscle relaxant such as Skelexin and a low dose anti-depressent (such a 50mg Zoloft) can be very helpful in getting you some relief without excessive reliance on pain meds. If you need pain meds it is best to take them at bedtime so you can get some quality sleep since sleep will help aid healing.
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I had residual pain 12 months after spine surgery (albeit much less invasive - just a c6-7 microdiscectomy) and after trying a bunch of things (a year of physical therapy, accupuncture) the thing that made the biggest improvement was a type of "deep tissue massage" called Rolfing. Apparently the incision had caused some of the fascia (a thin membrane which covers most muscles) to adhere, which in turn tractioned (pulled on) the c6-7 nerve root. Rolfing has a reputation for being painful, but in my case it wasn't that bad. A few hours after the first Rolfing session, my nerve pain symptoms actually got much worse - and I was kicking myself for letting the Rolfer touch my neck. However two days later things settled down, and a week later I was *much* better than I had been before the Rolfing. It's been three weeks since then, and the positive changes have stuck. I'm quite a happy camper now.
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After spinal surgery. This is a very common to feel back pain, You should continue with massage therapy and medical therapy. You should also consult with chiropractor to get relief from back pain.
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