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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes strange muscle spasms in the shoulders?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Bruno Mascarenhas

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 803 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 18 Aug 2017 in Brain and Spine
Question: I just had C4-5 & C6-7 ADCF- 5 days ago- starting yesterday I began having these strange "shunting" type upper back-lower neck spasm-type "episodes"- primarily if I am moving from sitting to standing position. My body's reaction to the "spasm" is to immediately stick my chest out- which stops the spasm- and I get immediate relief. I say "spasm" becoz it goes from tip of shoulder - up into nape of neck- and down to bottom of shoulder blades in like an inverted triangle configuration, and is almost "electrical"- like spinal cord compression- and seems to cover a certain dermatome area- altho it's not a skin feeling (eg parathesis)- its deep and feels muscular and nerve-related.CORRECTION- my surgery was C5-6 & C6-7. Removing C5 & C6 disc and replacing them with cadaver bone and applying plastic brace stabilizer- fusing all 3 vertebral structures together- with 6 screws.

The shoulders are apparently pinned back for procedure- so different types of muscle pain s could be expected- but this started suddenly and it wasn't until yesterday. Now I can't get up from toilet or reach down and scratch my dogs with a jolt-shock and muscular in sync type event.

And I realize all the conditions you will be required to put on any info you share- but if u can cut to minimum- that would be appreciated- I know a lot- I just want your opinion. Anything I did differently because of it- would not be more 30-40 % due to your opinion- I am the captain of this ship.

I wanted you to know I am PhD psychologist now- but worked as a medical social worker for 30 years- I have advanced knowledge about the spinal cord and all body systems for that matter. I am assuming that the strange unsettling spasm-type-shunting-pain is due to cervical structure impinging a spinal nerve/bunch of spinal nerves. I'm just wanting your opinion as to which one- would it be C5?

does this spasm imply irritation of the spinal cord or just spinal nerves. It seems like it must be a "reflexive" "plex" of muscles/nerves. I would guess C5-6 but my fear is brace screw is impinging spinal cord when I move in certain ways..eg when I put my head forward - like when getting up from sitting position.

Thank you!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bruno Mascarenhas 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please do CT Cervical Spine with 3D Reconstruction Immediately

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Welcome to HealthCareMagic.com I am Dr.J XXXXXXX Anto Bruno Mascarenhas. I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help you.

Sensory Disturbances following Cervical Spine Surgery can be due to various reasons. But, we need to Rule out Compression to the Cord and Nerves.
Hence, an Urgent CT Scan Cervical Spine with 3D Reconstruction is needed.

Without CT Scan, there is no point in speculating the cause
I believe that you are in the hospital.
So
Please undergo a CT Scan immediately

If there is compression, we need to relieve it
If there is no compression, this is probably due to edema and / or stretching and that can be treated conservatively and the problems will settle soon

Hope you found the answer helpful.

If you need any clarification / have doubts / have additional questions / have follow up questions, then please do not hesitate in asking again. I will be happy to answer your questions.

Best Wishes for Speedy Recovery
Let me know if I can assist you further.
Take care.

-oOo-

PS 1 : After all your doubts have been cleared, kindly (a) Close this Question (b) Rate my Replies and (c) Give your Feedback.

PS 2 : In the future, for continuity of care, I encourage you to contact me directly in HealthCareMagic at http://bit.ly/askdrbruno
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bruno Mascarenhas 18 hours later
Thank you for your response- but I am not in hospital and actually never was- it is an outpatient procedure in this country- nor do I have access to MD/surgeon and won't see until August 23 follow-up appointment. What I wanted from you was something I could use to call and get attention. otherwise I will just be told "its part of the healing process" and "you can discuss with MD during follow up appointment".

What I wanted from you was something I could use to get some attention from him- like" "that particular sensation can be/is sometimes attributed to a
T3 myelopathy or spondylopathy.". Is there something like that you could say. I that point I might get surgeon to order a CT scan. So, guestion is- is it like Rhomboid muscle strain and spasm causes upper back pain between the shoulder blades- or is it stenosis of T3 with impingement of spinal cord- causing spasms?.
Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bruno Mascarenhas 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
I cannot point it out without Clinical Examination

Detailed Answer:
Dear Madam

Without Examining you clinically, I cannot narrow down the Possibility.

All I can say in an online consultation is that your complaints require Neurosurgical Consultation and CT Scan Immediately. You can use this opinion to secure an urgent appointment

Best Wishes for Speedy Recovery
Let me know if I can assist you further.
Take care.

-oOo-

PS 1 : After all your doubts have been cleared, kindly (a) Close this Question (b) Rate my Replies and (c) Give your Feedback.

PS 2 : In the future, for continuity of care, I encourage you to contact me directly in HealthCareMagic at http://bit.ly/askdrbruno
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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