Neck and shoulder pain

I have had my PM for 4 days now  The pain was unbearable the first 2 days but it has calmed down some except for the pain in my neck and my collarbone. It's hard to turn my neck and it's so painful. The incision sites still hurt but not as bad as my neck. Do I need to call my doctor or am I being hyper sensitive?


5 Comments

It is hard to advise

by Gemita - 2020-01-11 04:28:03

Hello Newly Wired,

I am so sorry you are experiencing so much discomfort/pain.  It may be all perfectly normal for you after only 4 days, BUT I am concerned about the level of the pain and the difficulties you seem to be having.

I would advise (as it is the weekend) to have a word with an on call doctor or visit your local ER/A&E for a few checks just to be safe. At least that would put your mind at rest and you could get treatment if required.  After any procedure we need to be mindful that sometimes things can go wrong and early intervention may be crucial.

I do remember I had a lot of referred discomfort (neck and shoulder side of implant) and I was pretty stiff for a couple of weeks but dont recall having difficulties turning my neck.  

Do you have any "raised veins" or is there any noticeable inflammation, or swelling in the collarbone/neck area side of implant ?  And what about the actual implanted area, does this look swollen or inflamed, to possibly indicate an infection ?

Good luck Newly Wired and please let us know how you get on

Pain in the neck

by Gotrhythm - 2020-01-11 20:59:21

Pain in the neck can be a, well, real pain in the neck. But the fact that it hurts to turn the neck gives a clue that there's probably a spasm. The spasm could be in the neck or the shoulder. I've had a lot of experience with spasms. Unpleasant, sure, but not life-threatening. Not a sign that anything is wrong with your pacemaker.

For spasms I really like those heating patches you buy over the counter. They are much less messy, more comfortable, and longer-lasting that homemade heat compresses. I have found that the brand name ThermaCare patches are eneough better to be worth the extra money.

Take an over the counter painkiller. Whatever works best for you. And slap on a heating patch.

Hope you feel better soon. 

When is it time to hit the panic button?

by Gotrhythm - 2020-01-11 21:30:42

When should you call the doctor?

The big emergency after pacemaker surgery is infection at the site of the pacemaker. Redness, swelling, heat, pus at the pacemaker site, fever and general malaise are danger signs and require immediate medical attention.

The "wires" go straight into your heart. They can be a highway for germs to travel from the skin to the inside of your heart. Treatment should be started as soon as possible.

Whether there is much pain or not, if you have signs of infection, go straight to the doctor. If the office is closed, go straight to the ER. 

Pain in shoulder and neck

by Newly Wired - 2020-01-12 12:58:04

Thanks everyone for the advice. The incision is still covered securely but I do not see any drainage. I do feel the occasional fever in my chest around the bandages the last 24 hours. Thankfully tylenol is keeping fever down. I have put a call into my doctor because the pain in my collarbone and neck has not gotten any better. I am waiting on the on call to call me back. I am having some episodes of SVT right now.  My heart rate was 160+ at rest and then P.O.T.S reared its ugly head last year and now I have Heart block AV (yup that's what I got for Christmas this year) That is what i was dealing with for the last 3 years. I had a Loop recorder that recorded the Bradycardia and my heart skipping about every 3 beat for 10 minutes hence the pacemaker. I didnt have any pain other the surgery site until a couple days ago it feels like someone mule kicked me in my back shoulder and my neck feels like someone is choking me on the left side only it goes up passed my ear to the side of my head. It just doesnt feel like a spasm. I have a very high pain tolerance but this is above what I can deal with. I'm scared mainly because this is my heart being affected I guess and it's making my anxiety levels go super high. 

The advice and stories have really helped me on here. Thanks guys

Fever - hot around the wound

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-12 21:25:56

If it is warm around the incision and/or you have a fever, it's ER time.  The point is not to get the fever under control.  In fact, it's a warning - no NOT ignore.  Infections can life threatening.  You have a direct path from that wound into your heart.  Not something to play with.

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Pacemakers are very reliable devices.