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Cervical fusion



I have a cervical fusion at c4/c5 an c5/c6 with plates. I have good mobility but I have pain (although less) still on my left side. I woke up from surgry with a weak and numb right arm and thumb. I can hardly lift it without the Neurotin medication. I`m currently going to massage therapy and it seems to help. I`ve had several steroid injections which don`t help. One doctor wants to do an cervical epidural injection and I don`t think it will help and don`t see going through something so dangerous. I`d like to know if the massage (deep tissue) can hurt my fusions in any way and what exercises can I do to strengthen my neck without causing damage to the fusion and/or plates. Surgery was july 2005. Thank you, Michelle


Without seeing you or knowing your history, it is difficult to suggest specific exercises or to determine the potential effectiveness of a specific treatment regimen that includes massage. One suggestion would be to see a physiatrist, which is a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation. They are often trained in non-invasive techniques, like the ones you are asking about, and may be able to suggest alternatives to the injection.

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Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati