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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes shoulder blade pain post a spinal fusion surgery?

i just had spinal fusion of cervical spine c3-c7. having left arm pain near shoulder blade is this nerve pain., now that the spine is fixed month out... what could be causing this pain. have very soft bones.. 1 vertabrae / disc cracked during surgery. had chemo in 2010 think all my bone problems now r related to chemo. i am very fit, eat right , vitamins., etc. have not smoked in 6 yrs. since breast cancer diagnosis. do not drink but an occasional wine.. exercise and walk regularly em very slender.. lost 20 lbs in last yr an half due to pain, wieghed 145-147 could not get under 143, now the weight is falling off. bone density is osteopenia, but obviously neck area was quite diff.. bone density has improved little since chemo, and has stayed a fraction diff.. from original findings say since 2009 or so.. what could be causing nerve pain that is coming into the left arm to elbow... is lidocaine ok to use, and i should ask doc to perscribe..
Fri, 8 Mar 2019
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Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist 's  Response

With the history it appears that there is a nerve root entrapment in the cervical region and the pain is radiating up to the elbow in nature. Also you have Trapezius muscle inflammation at the origin. Due to surgery in the past, there will be changes in the anatomical position of the bones and muscles.

Having a thorough examination and assessment of the bones and muscles will help understand the status. Now you have pain at the spine of the scapula. I will advice you to use the neck collar first and also use hot water fermentation for the cervical spine region and upper back region.

This will help reduce stress of the muscles and also improve the muscle soothing by providing vasodilation effect. Post this you have to do simple exercises for strengthening the neck and trapezius muscles along with upper limb muscles.

Usually in my clinical practice of over 12 years, most patients with such complains are present with muscle weakness, bony weakness etc. With proper examination and guided physiotherapy exercises things go well with them.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Jay Indravadan Patel,
Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist
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