Neck Surgery on c3-4 and next day have neuropathy

by Lisa
(New York)

After my surgery On Dec 3 to c3-4, I was picked up out of bed and then I felt bone move over bone in T1, T2 and then c6-c7 buldging 2mm disk and 7th nerve is innerated and 6th nerve is denervated. both my ears closed and have ringing all the time. My brain shook and my vision got distorted/blurry and then I felt a glove-like effect in both my forearms.

In my 3rd week after surgery trying to heal my neck, I had terrible pains in my head and the more I moved my neck, the worse it got. 3rd to 4th week after surgery, I started having trouble swallowing on left side even soups. I would eat and then get burning in my mouth and tongue from just soup. I could barely eat any food. I started to move my bowels 7 times a day and couldn't keep anything in for nutrition. I would go to the bathroom and then start eating again to feel better. At around 3 or 4:00 pm, the feeling would stop and then come and go. I started to shake in bed and have tremors all over my body, went to 5 hospitals. My body would shake at the hospital and then weakness that I could hardly walk and surely thought I would die. I was getting pain in my frontal ribcage and my stomach hurt really bad. I would feel something going thru a tube in my urinary tract (weakness). I was getting horrible nerve pains down both my arms, pain and burning in my back.

I have pernicious anemia, had my gallbladder taken out at 28, belly button hernia repair, surgery to my collarbone (right) and didn't heal correctly where arm is leaning forward. Had screw removed from shoulder because of pain and then ligaments tightened. Would get stabbing pain on the crown of my head and pain in the mid back in thoracic where scapula is.

I was diagnosed with neuropathy and there are times my neck will spasm alone (where normally my whole spine would spasm, so something doesn't feel like it's connected) and I would go lie down and I would get tingling throughout my body from head to toe and I would feel paralayzed for hours not being able to move. When I could my pinky and 4th finger in both arms felt tight. and tips in my finger in my left hand felt numb and right hand. I have loss of sensation in the tips of my fingers. I feel like my neck is locked where bone moved over bone and my lower neck feels tight. I get pain in my upper arm and forearm when I pick it up feels like it goes numb and I get wrist pain in both fingers.

I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago and after I got up from the chair my upper lumbar or lower thoracic felt like it was going to break in half and then I went to the store to pick up meds and I got throbbing in all my organs from my breasts all the way down to my pelvis. I have herniations in my lumbar and tears on both sides and sciatica is a problem with left leg and then a nerve is impinged in right leg.

Is all this coming from my neck? I get a bad feeling down my arms and legs and nervousness, and upper back pain if I don't take and 0.5 pill of Ativan to relax it. I was also getting where my spine would throb and my heart would just accelerate and beat heavy and fast and I would start to hyperventilate by breathing heavy. Neurologist said this is coming from my neck and my regular doctor said my neck looks terrible but they don't want me to have surgery because of what happened. Do I have any hope of getting this fixed? I would fall meloncholly to sleep and I my brain would tell me I moved my leg, but I never did and other parts of the body. I get painful pulling in my temple more on the left side and I have to go lie down. I can't gain any fat on my body and have having trouble to keeping my weight up to 112 pounds. I don't know what to do or what doctor to see to fix this.

Hello Lisa,
My best shot at this complex history is that there is more than one thing going on.

Clearly you have severe neck problems, hence the neurological symptoms in your arms. They can cause pain, tingling and weakness in the legs too, but it's unlikely. How old are you? Cervical stenosis can cause leg symptoms.

However, it's most unlikely your neck is causing your symptoms in your mouth. Clearly you are anxious, who wouldn't be, so it could be psychological. More likely the cranial nerves are affected, and that is probably the trigeminal nerve. It would not be related to the surgery, or the injury to your neck after the surgery.

The stomach symptoms you mention too are unlikely the be directly related to your neck. But they could indeed stem from anti inflammatory drugs and painkillers.

To be honest, your story is beyond the scope of the average chiropractor. There are specialised courses for chiropractors in neurology, but my suggestion is that you stay with the medical world, even with all it's short comings in your case.

I wish I could be more helpful.

Dr B

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Jun 03, 2014
response to the injury of c3-c4
by: Lisa

Dr. B. thank you for responding. I had a bone shift out of alignment c8, T1 not sure but I can't function without taking an anti-anxiety med that relaxes my muscles. If I don't take it, I am bed bound because the disk that moved to the right causes severe tightness and muscle spasms. If I press on the disk, I get numbness going down my left arm and pain. After my collarbone surgery to my right shoulder 17 years ago, a screw was removed that supported the shoulder and kept it aligned and now after it was taken out, my shoulder is lying lower than my left side. That could be the cause of the slippage as a neurosurgeon just advised me. It feels like the nerves are being squeezed and my neck spasms which I have to lie down on the floor to relieve the pressure on my neck and my heart starts to beat fast and heavy, my back muscles are tight and start burning and then I start to breathe heavy and when it's over, my whole body goes limp and weak. I can't even lift my arms when I get that attack. I practically have almost no use of my arms as I have pain down to my fingers, arms, wrists. I'm slowly losing hope as a neurologist I went to see told me to go on gabapentin, or Neurontin or lyrica meds. These meds only mask the problem and don't correct it and meanwhile, not correcting it just makes the problem progressively worse over time.

It must be depessing, Lisa. Ask your neurologist if a simple traction unit that you use at home might be worth trying. You just lie flat on your back with a collar around your chin and skull for 15-30 minutes per day.

May 15, 2014
Regarding my neck
by: Lisa

The update now is my primary care doctor told me after my surgery that "your neck looks screwed up and you having this surgery didn't do you any good and look what you have now neuropathy".

He doesn't understand that I gave myself a whiplash when I held on to the collar when I was lifted and have a lot of damage to my neck now. Beware, ladies, a doctor will tell you one thing and then tell your husband something completely different. I went to my gastro about when moving my bowels after I eat. She examined me and colon was so tender and painful. I told her without Carafate, my stomach burns + part of my intestinal tract. She said nothing. She is a hypocrite and told me you need to coordinate with your psychiatrist and put you on the right regimen of drugs and taking all these drugs is not good. She asked me if I had blurred vision too and I said yes. Seems like she gathered up information on what is going on with me and feels she can't help anymore. My husband walks in and she tells him I think it would be a good idea for your wife to go into a place to regulate meds. So now because she can't help me anymore due to my circumstances, she wants to put me away. Constantly moving stools has to do with the either cervical nerve impingements or lumbar. Some of them were given to me by her for GI spasms and the Carafate to coat the stomach. The Remeron was given by a psychiatrist in the hospital but the person who told the psych to give that med to me was the regular physician. The psych in the hospital was different from the one that I now have.

Now, I get a bad feeling going thru my arms from the pinched nerves in my neck. I have a jump out of skin nervousness that I can't my body is doing it autonomicaly by itself. It seems when my stomach is full by the afternoon around 4:00 pm or sometimes 5:00 pm, the nervousness stops.

I took the Remeron and my heart seems to get very shallow with breathing and faint. My sinuses close up on as if I have a cold.

Question: Is there any spinal surgeon who is willing to help me in these there any hope for me in resolving these issues. Please comment on this site as my hopes for recovering are fading quickly. If some of those impingement were fixed, I know I would feel better....most definitely.

Hello again, Lisa.

It's a pity your doctor is blaming you for all these troubles, but like I said the surgery and whatever happened when your husband lifted you, is all set in concrete. Let it be. Look forward.

Look to your food for healing. Get off all the crap in your diet, and focus on natural anti inflammatory foods; fruits and salads, raw honey and extra virgin olive oil. Keep the pills to a minimum. They all have side effects.

Keep moving too. The chair and the couch will be your downfall.

Say a prayer; remember God loves you, he's there in all this misery. Seek Him, and you will find.

Dr B

May 14, 2014
about my Neck Surgery C3-C4
by: Lisa

I wanted to also say that I have pain in my rib cage in certain areas and pain in the front rib in a nerve where my stomach is. I remember getting horrible pains to my stomach in January. I think somehow the nerve was damaged. Can they fix that?
Also, I have difficulty swallowing on my left side of my throat. I have nerve pain under my arm pits down the back of my upper arm and thru into the forearm (that must be the median nerve that's affected and probably the axial nerve? I also get pain in my wrists and feels like I don't get adequate hydration or adequate supply of a nerve that provides lubrication to my skin and fatty tissue or oxygen. My arms hurt me very much and I could feel where the bundles of nerves (axons) are bunched together and torn in my shoulder (it's very lumpy). I'm not sure but I think I have brachial plexus. I don't know how I even got all these things but one thing I do know, is that I'm in a lot of trouble and am very seriously ill. I might have the autonomic neuropathy which controls the rhythem of the heart and sweating problems, muscle spasms all over. Blurred vision too. At one point I felt a nerve exit my spine in the lumbar and it hurt terribly. I don't know what can be done for me? Do I even have hope?

Of course, there's hope, Lisa. Keep that central in your thinking. Once you give up, then there's no more hope. Be positive. Easier said than done, I know, when you're in so much pain.

All that arm stuff is indeed probably from your neck. You've had major surgery. Give it some time. Keep moving, go for walks, think about swimming.

Dr B

May 14, 2014
Post surgical injury
by: Lisa

After my husband lifted me and I injured my neck, I felt the bone move over bone in c8 to T1 and the other levels shifted to the right slightly. (I have so much excruciating pain there and my neck spasms, the pain is a 100 rather than a 10). As soon as the bone moved, I got a glove like effect in both my arms and then felt the pain from the 6th nerve go up my left side of neck and both ear drums closed and I get ringing in my ears. I have a prevalent lump in back of the left ear. Then my brain shook and I had distorted vision in each eye (ex. going to the opthomologist and he put those glasses on you to test your eyes). After that I had terrible pains like pins and needles to my head but felt that would go away but it didn't. (The glove like-effect is neuropathy). I then at one point awoke from sleep with burning in my occipital area and it was coming from the 6th nerve. I am 55 years old and I should not have gone in for the surgery. The surgeon told me it was pressing on the spinal cord and it was not, only on the nerve. Reason I went in was because I had terrible headaches hoping to get better, but I was still getting pains to the crown of my head and that is coming from problems with my thoracic. Now my spine is curved to the right because of the bones moving and I have terrible spasms and severe pain. I also had horrible pains to my stomach in a nerve in the front rib cage and I think the nerve got damaged. Also because of my spine shifting to the right, I got out of a chair in the doctors office and my upper lumbar felt like it was going to break in half because of the mis-alignment. After that I felt all my organs throb. I am down to 109.00 pounds and move my bowels after every meal. I can't keep any food in for nutrition to my body. I eat food and I get pain in my chest too.

Hello Lisa,
Only outlook is the way forward. The past is set in concrete and you can't change it; continually thinking if, only, will only make you depressed.

And frankly, unless your husband dropped you, I can't see that lifting should have caused all this trouble. The purpose of the surgery was specifically to prevent this sort of small movement injuring you.

Headaches usually come, if it's from anywhere mechanical, from the upper cervical spine, not C6, or from the jaw joint. Give it a few months after surgery and then perhaps some gentle activator treatment by an activator chiropractor may help with checking the upper cervical spine.

Meantime, a regular, say weekly gentle massage would be beneficial.

Keep your pills to a minimum. That's what's probably upsetting your tum.

Good luck.

Dr B

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