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Chest pain due to compressed cervical nerve root
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Chest pain due to compressed cervical nerve root

In 2004, I had a 2 level discectomy at C4/5 and C5/6.  In 2010, I started having chest pain of unknown cause.  I have been to many, many doctors (I am extremely healthy, except for the chest pain having been evaluated from top to bottom) and have been living on strong painkillers. I have had ESI's, nerve stimulation and all of it with little or no effect.  Now the docs believe that the pain is due to a compressed nerve root at C7.  This may also be related to a rare condition called Cervical Angina.  I am considering having a discectomy at C6/7 to try to address the pain.  It's a bitg surgery and no guarantee it will fix anything.  Has anyone every experienced something like this or even heard of it?  Any inputs are welcome.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yours is an interesting post. I have a similar symptom, I don't know how similar, but I"ll tell you what I've gone through. Back in 2005 I began having very severe pain related to a disc herniation and ostophyte  complex @ C6/7, and severe chest pain and tightening was one of the symptoms. They were considering evaluating my heart, but I had none of the risk factors and was perfectly healthy with the exception of my neck,so we didn't bother.

Anyway, I had an ACDF @ C6/7 and it never really helped that particular symptom. A couple years ago I had another fusion @C4/5, but not related to this particular symptom. I have never really been sure where it's coming from and the Doctors have been no help. I have researched this to death and am familiar with cervical angina. I wonder if the idiot that operated on me missed something, I never really fully recovered from that one. My post-op MRI did show a residual ostophyte, but I was told it was nothing.

I always thought this thing might originate in my thoracic, I have issues there too, as a result of from being fused in the lumbar and cervical. I get severe tightness almost like I'm being squeezed to death and just plan old chest pain, I haven't really found anything that helps, fortunately it's not something that occurs all the time.

Tell me about your pain, it must really be bad for you to be considering another surgery? What was your recovery like from your original surgery? My was pretty bad.

Hope to hear from you
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for responding.  The pain is constant and is not really a tightening pain but more of a deep, dull pain.  I have been taking massive quantities of pain killer for a long time.  

My first surgery went great.  Prior to that surgery, my left arm had been numb for nearly 6 years.  After surgery and some healing time, that numbness resolved. I haven't really had a reoccurence of that the numbness or neck pain.

My story is a little stranger.  In 2009, i had ankle surgery and ended up with a blood clot in my leg.  This resulted in a pulmonary embolism,.  Two weeks after the PE, I was sitting in my office at work and started having chest pain.  I have been to just about every kind of doctor.  I have been to Mayo Clinic.  The primary answer I received was "there's a lot that doctors don't know".  Other than the chest pain, I have been verified to be about the healthiest person alive (cause of all the tests of my heart, lungs, esophagous etc).

My pain doctor has done several diagnostic ESI injections that seem to indicate the the issue is indeed at C7.  My last MRI showed some narrowing and some bone spurs in the area.  The docs believe that there is a  compressed nerve root in there.  They can't say that the pain will be addressed for sure by the surgery but I am at the end of my rope.  I just wish there was some other kind of diagnostic that would help increase my confidence that this major surgery will help.  

I am sorry to hear about your on-going problems.  It sounds really rough. Thanks for posting.  I will be curious to hear if you have any thoughts.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry it took me awhile to get back to you, things have been kind of crazy.

Mayo Clinic wow, you really have pursued this thing. I laughed when I read what you wrote about "Doctors not knowing everything", although I haven't met many that will admit that fact.

Like I said, I have research this thing quite a bit and have read case studies that confirm that Cervical spine disorders can for a fact cause chest pain. My problem is that I have so much wrong with me that's it very difficult to pin down the origin. Mine's primarily pressure, coming from the front and back at the same level, sometimes it wraps around. I think it's probably a thoracic disc problem, I don't even want to think about that.

I wouldn't want to be in your position, that's a big decision, and like you said it's a major surgery. That's why I asked how the recovery was from your 1st one, because a lot of us have had horrible recovery's, and the thought of having to go through that again is not a pleasant one. It's good to hear that your recovery went well and that the procedure was successful. I know that people have successful neck surgery and I personally know people that have, we just don't hear much about that here.

Do you have any idea what you're going to do, are you leaning one way or the other? Doctors aren't any help with the decision?

Thank you for you thoughts, I've come to accept my situation, it could be worse. I chased around for the so called cure for years. I think I'll do better staying away from Doctors and surgeries.

Take Care
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