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History of C5-6 ACDF. Having numbness and severe pain in neck and arm. What am I suffering from?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5931 Questions
Hi. I am a 35 year old female with a history of C5-6 ACDF in 2006. I herniated a disc (no known action caused it) in 2005, and had severe neck pain, right arm pain, right hand tingling, and some right finger numbness. I tried physical therapy, cortisone injections, traction, etc but finally had surgery in 2006 and felt much better for a few years. Over the past few years I have experienced off and on neck pain likely attributed to either a bulging disc or a bone spur post surgery, and a cortisone injection would help.
In the past 2 months I have had constant moderate-severe neck pain, right back of the shoulder pain, right arm pain, right hand tingling and some right finger numbness again. Sometimes I can feel the pain on my left arm also. I have tried gabapentin and muscle relaxers, but they don't help much. I can't take NSAIDs because they could cause my Crohn's to flare up.
Posted Sun, 12 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query

From discription it seems that you are suffering from degenerative disc disease due to which you again developed disc bulge which causes pressure over nerve roots and is the cause of radiating pain, tingling and numbness.

I suggest you to get done a new MRI so severity and level of compression of nerve roots by bugging disc can be determined.

I suggest you to start again with physical therapy, cervical traction and cortisone injections after consulting your spine surgeon.

Hope this will helps you. Let me know if you have any more concern.

Wishing you speedy recovery
Dr Saurabh Gupta
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: History of C5-6 ACDF. Having numbness and severe pain in neck and arm. What am I suffering from? 2 minutes later
Thank you so much! I have been having more headaches recently. Is it possible the spine issue and headaches are related?
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 12 hours later
Thanks for writing back.

It is possible to having frequent headaches with spinal(cervical) issue. It can occur due to intermittent vertebral artery compression by cervical osteophytic spurs .
When you have frequent headache or spinning sensation, do not lie flat on your back. Prop yourself up slightly to relieve this.Take rest. Resting will help prevent attacks of lightheadedness.

Hope this discussion was useful. Please close this discussion, if you do not have any other queries. I would appreciate your reviews about this service.

Wishing you good health...

Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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