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Neck dissection pain

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2007

Has anyone experienced pain and stiffness in shoulders after bilateral neck dissection? My husband's surgery was nine weeks ago. He has had severe neck tightness (like a noose or tight collar) and shoulder pain which is worse on the left side. He does physical therapy for range of motion in his shoulders. About a week ago the pain in the left shoulder/arm became significantly worse. The family doctor gave him a shot of cortisone & Novocaine, but that didn't help at all. Any thoughts?



Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2007

Wow! bi-lateral that is intense. I had radical on my left side, only, in April and I have numerous issues with my left neck and shoulder. My surgeon claims he did not sever any nerves, but severely stretched them, and I am still experiencing numbness and dead areas from the removal of the drains 10 days after my surgery. I think one of them was wrapped with a nerve, and when it was pulled out, I have never felt that kind of pain.
Anyway, I would certainly inquire of the surgeon if they severed any nerves. I would also try to use the physical therapy to not only increase the range of motion, but also to strengthen the muscles and build them back up. If you have a "pain clinic" in your local hospital, inquire with them about Lyrica - it is a new, nerve pain control medicine. I was on it for about a month, but one of the side effects is dry mouth and I was having way too much of that with my radiation and chemo, so I was taken off of the Lyrica. It did offer much needed relief, while I was on it. Good luck !!!

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