Upper Back Pain After Surgery

I had my Decompression surgery on December 2nd. I am very well aware that I am still recovering, but I have awful back pain. The pain is mainly between my shoulder blades, my shoulders and down my arms. I had a syrinx as well as the Chiari. It is not as bothersome during the day, but towards the end of the day it is just rediculous. I have mentioned it to my PCP and she said I have knots in my back. OK, but it is not going away. I have been very careful and have used the heating pad everynight for the last 4 weeks!!! I mentioned it to my NL and he wants to see me back next week. I have my brain MRI on Wednesday for the NS's recheck/follow up. It hurts in my c-spine and thoracic spine. I am, unfortunately not having an MRI of that. Any comments are appreciated, especially from post op Chiarians. I am just so tired of my back hurting!

I haven’t had surgery yet, so I can’t speak from personal experience. From my understanding, syrinxs can take several months to collapse after decompression surgery. I have heard of post-op patients that had old and new symptoms for several months after surgery, until the syrinx finally collapsed. So, this may be what’s happening with your upper back pain. I’m still glad that you’re getting it checked out with your doctor. Please keep us posted. I hope you feel better soon!


I had decompression surgery on 9 April. I have the back pain in between the shoulder blades and nerve pain down my right arm. I had these symptons before surgery as well. I had a 20cm syrinx, which according to MRI's taken 3 days and 10 days after my surgery is shrinking. My doctor tells me that these symptoms should get less as the syrinx shrinks. I am seriously hoping this is the case, as like you, I suffer with it at night, which does affect my sleep. I do find a heat pack works. I am due for my six week post op appointment so I will discuss this with my NS when I see him. Good Luck. Bons.

Hello Nicolle! I hope you are feeling better. I had upper back pain for a few months after surgery, but the help of physical therapy and time it went away. I was only able to get one MRI done at the end of my 6 wks and i think it was of my spine and not my brain, my insurance was tripping. I’m still having pain on my upper and lower left extremities! I hope you feel better soon.

After surgery your neck & back muscles have to relearn to work differently. It sounds like you are having muscle fatique. Have you tried any muscle relaxants? I had to have a rebuilt C-spine at the same time I had my Decompression & Crainectomy. My neck and back stay in constant pain. What have you found that relieves the pain? Heat ....relaxation...pain meds? Please let us know how you are doing.

We really care,

Tracu Z.