Neck Pain After Surgery: What Are The Causes and Best Solutions

Normally neck pain occurs due to various reasons like problems in the intervertebral discs, strain or sprain of neck muscles, sudden catch or spasm of the neck muscles, accidental trauma in the neck, fall or hit injury in the neck, and sometimes because of infectious diseases like meningitis.

Neck surgery is also one of the reasons which causes pain in neck. This pain is usually experienced by the patient after the surgery is performed (may be after few weeks, months or even years).

Neck Pain After Surgery
Neck Pain After Surgery

Usually the neck pain is experienced after only few surgical procedures of the cervical spine or shoulder.

However there are cases seen where people who undergo through hernia surgery, gallbladder surgery, laparoscopic surgery, c section or hysterectomy may also experience severe pain in their cervical and back region.

Neck Pain After Cervical or Spinal Surgery

In case person is suffering from severe shoulder dislocation, shoulder joint fracture, collar bone or clavicle fracture, cervical vertebra fracture, cervical vertebra disc bulges or prolapse; getting the surgery is usually advised by the doctor.

In most of the cases surgery is performed successfully without any complications. However in few cases, even though the surgical procedures like cervical spinal fusion get successful, there exist certain minor complications like muscular pain, headache, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, etc.

Among these several post surgical complications neck pain ranks higher. The main reason for the post surgical neck pain is long term hospitalization and prolonged bed resting. Physical therapy and exercises for faster recovery of the surgery also sometimes causes stiffness and soreness in the neck region.

Also Read: Neck Pain Due To Computer Use and Tips for Avoiding

Failed Surgery Syndrome: What Are The Main Causes?

Patient undergone surgery may also suffer from recurring neck pain which is mainly a symptom of failed cervical surgery (also called as failed surgery syndrome, failed neck surgery syndrome or failed back surgery syndrome).

Failed back or neck surgery syndrome is generally a result of wrong diagnosis done prior to spinal or cervical surgery. This usually happens when the surgery is performed incorrectly or at wrong levels and did not actually helped cure the problem for which it was actually done for.

Failed neck or back surgery syndrome may also result in vascular neck pain, which occurs because of the damage done to the nerve during operation.

In case you feel that the pain experienced is increasing (rather than decreasing) it is important to get in touch with your physician to know the cure.

Tips for Relieving Cervical Pain Caused After Surgery

In most of the cases pain and stiffness after the surgery is a temporary problem which may get resolved itself over time. However if the pain experienced becomes chronic and does not go after few weeks it is time to consult your doctor.

Major ideas to get rid of from the neck pain after surgery are as follows:

Intermittent Motion

Keeping your neck in the same position for prolonged time is not a good idea after getting the cervical fusion or arthrodesis. Do ask and get the advise from your doctor or surgeon and try to provide intermittent movement in your neck.

The movement is recommended to relieve the muscle tension in the neck area. Hence you should give slow and steady movement as per the guidance of your doctor. In case if you neck performs any non-recommended movements, it may cause many other surgical complications due to which you may have to experience grave consequences. So be careful in performing any type of neck movements after getting the surgery.


Normally after any surgery doctor advise their patients regarding the maintenance of good posture while performing their day to day tasks. In case of upper body surgery (mainly the neck or shoulder surgery) maintaining a good body and spine posture is highly important.

If one fails in maintaining the proper posture it may result into prolonged spasm of the neck muscles which may finally end in chronic neck pain. Thus it becomes quiet essential for you to maintain good body posture so that you may get the recovery soon.

Static Exercises

After the shoulders or cervical region surgery one should take proper rest and relaxation. And once the operated area get healed properly, the person should start moving the body parts gradually.

Doing static neck exercise to maintain the strength of the anterior and posterior neck muscles is recommended so that faster recovery is possible. In case there is lack of neck exercise after surgery, the muscles lose its tone and stamina which may result in irreversible neck pain.

Also Read: Best Pillow For Neck And Back Pain Reviews

Tips for Avoiding Failed Surgery Syndrome

As such there are few simple ways for avoiding the complications and hence pain experienced due to failed back surgery syndrome problem. Getting proper diagnosis is one of the most important one, as this is the main cause of the problem in most of the cases.

After getting the reports of your X-rays, MRI or CT scan of spine it is best to get a second opinion of another doctor. Also if required get the diagnosis done again so that the actual problem can be confirmed and can be treated through a right surgical procedure.

When the problem is conformed and a surgery is planned, try getting operated through the latest possible ways such as minimally invasive procedure which requires a small incision. This type of surgery is generally risk free and reduces the chance of getting pain, infection or scars at later stages.

After being operated, it is important that you live healthy and stay active. Consider eating healthy foods, doing regular exercises, avoid smoking and alcohol, etc. This all helps in getting faster recovery after the surgery.

To avoid getting the unwanted neck pain after the surgery, once for all enquire for the do and don’ts with your physician or the concerned surgeon. Proceed accordingly so that your operated body part get healed fast without any risk.

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