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What causes numbness in my arm post two surgeries on my neck?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9077 Questions
I have had two surgeries on my neck, in the last year, to try and solve two problems I have, one around the area of my shoulder blade (pain in left side of upper back, feels like a pinched nerve) and one because my left arm is numb (pinky and ring finger) and there is atrophy under the left thumb on my palm. The first surgery did nothing. In fact, the second surgeon said the first surgery (posterior, no fusion, around C7 - T1) only made it worse. The second surgery (done two months ago) was a fusion at C7-T1, anterior. No improvement in numbness, no improvement in atrophy, still have exactly the same pain in my back. I am confused at this, and unsure what to do. Do I go to another orthopedic surgeon? Do I go back to the second one? I am getting very depressed and need advice. Previous to these surgeries I saw two chiropractors and an acupuncturist. I have had the back pain three years.
Posted Mon, 27 Jan 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Consult a neurologist. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The symptoms that you have are likely to be related to a nerve root compression since a muscle atrophy and numbness is present. The exact level of nerve compression needs to be determined for proper treatment. This can be done by consulting a neurologist for investigations like electromyography ( EMG) and nerve conduction velocity testing. An MRI scan of the area will also be helpful in detecting how much your surgeries have been able to rectify the problem. For a short term relief medicines like muscle relaxants Gabapentin Pregabalin and methylcobalamin supplements can help you. You can also do a hot fomentation in the area for relief. Do get the appropriate medicines prescribed from your orthopedician. I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
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