My husband had a bike accident on Sunday landing on his head (helmet) & shoulder. No Insurance. Went to ER. After several xrays, yes he's got a broken collar bone on right side but excrutiating pain in left shoulder. Finally got a CT and confirmed small linear defect present at C7 involving C6 & C7 joint with a small non-displaced fracture. Disk space narrowing at C5-6, C6-7 with marginal posterior spurring. Moderate post bulging at C5-6, and minimal post bulging at C3-4. ER suggests neuro-surg. After attempts to get him into a NS, and paying $480, seeing 2 Drs that never even touched him, the first didn't even look at xrays or CT I brought with me. He was given a skelaxin muscle relaxer Rx and told to come back in 6 weeks. He keeps having excrutiating pain in upper left shoulder/spine connection, feels like a knot, and has not been able to sleep much. Cannot get another appt with anyone else. HELP!
Your husband definitly needs to see a neuro-surgeon. Are there any teaching hospitals or universitys nearby? Sometimes they are helpful to people without insurance, seeing pts with little or no charge. If not, I would return to the ER, and tell them that your husband needs help with the pain and sleeplessness. Does he have PCP? If so, ask him for help in getting a neuro appt. Good luck. Bless you for trying to help your husband.
As a Canadian I do not truly understand the medical system in the US but I can understand spending amounts of money for at least some knowledge about what is going on and not getting squat...very frustrating and scary.
I assume that because he was not insured money is an issue [same with most of us] and not being able to work only adds to the problem. It sounds from your CT results that your husband has a pinched nerve from a bulging disc; sounds small but it is the nerves which tell our brain that there is pain/damage so the pain is very real only might not be from where your brain is telling you it is. This would explain why your husband feels pain in his left shoulder but no injury/swelling is present.
For over-the-counter medication he needs an anti-inflammatory and for myself (200lb man) extra-strength Advil always works the best (gel caps). Couple this with bed-rest and attempt to keep his neck/back stable and supine. If his muscles continue to spasm then, and this is where you will know that I am not a doctor, when I am in a lot of pain and I need to relax I will have a couple of drinks of beer or wine but not enough to get drunk for you do not want to become dehydrated for it is the discs which lose their liquidity first (before the lack of water in the brain which gives us hangovers) and that is where the problem most likely exists.
Just my opinion and it has worked for me to a point. Anyway, make sure he sleeps on his back and put a pillow under his legs to keep him on his back and straighten the spine; he should be better in a couple of days but if it worsens...well, I just can't see it worsening or the doctors would have been a little more serious [I would hope but some doctors are truly less than others].
Even though I have never tried it I have heard incredible stories about accupuncture for issues exactly like your husbands; give that a try. I know my wife's best friend could not walk for 6 months from pain in her back/shoulder area but after accupuncture you would never know that she had ever had a problem.
Sorry it's been so long since I've read this forum. I've been a little busy and haven't had any time to read. Thank you for responses!
OK 5 weeks later since bicycle accident. Believe it or not husband has been working, but his company has hired me as his asst. I also work FT as a GM at a restaurant 60+hrs/wk. They have hired me as his arms and driver. Luckily, he only works for 1-3 hrs a day for decent wages.
Money is, but isn't a factor. Just when you figure an additional $300/mo to add him to the $320/mo I already pay for my ins, on top of the $58/mo for dental ins, and $1000/yr that I put into a HSA, we both thought about it and declined it.
We don't like drugs so he no longer takes narcotics, and has also recently stopped taking Advil & Naproxy Sodium, and doesn't touch the $300 muscle relaxer. I buy lots of bananas, fresh pineapple, green tea, he has stopped drinking caffeine after 6pm, and tries to eat at least 2 meals/day, including eggs for breakfast. He has most trouble when taking car rides. The adreneline from teaching I think gets him through the job. I have since purchased a $28 Figure 8 brace to put on him b4 taking car rides, to help keep him supported. He took melatonin to sleep, until nightmares started, but sleeps ok now. I think he is getting better and we are going back to the NS tomorrow, mostly to ask questions, are we on the right track? He uses my stability ball to get some exercise, and paces throughout the house. He has started taking his arm out of the immobilzer to stretch it, downward of course, and we've had to treat many skin problems from the braces touching his skin. We put an Underarmor shirt on under the immobilzer, which seems to help with that. Overall, thank you for any thoughts and prayers, keep them coming, but I think he's recovering. Thank God!
A final Merry Christmas. X-Mas Eve we received a $10,000 ER bill. But what are they going to do if we pay what we can? Reposess him? 3 hours, sitting in pain, 2 shots of morphine, a $58 imobilzer, a $9 cervical brace, and a paper RX for the 20 Vicadin, and our insisting, as they were wheeling out the door, there was more of a problem than the 3 pc collar bone fracture, which finally got us a CT. The $386 for the CT & x-Rays, I understand. But $1900 for Drs (which only 1 of the 3 came in to see him) & $7800 for the ER room? Yes, the US has a severe Medical deficit! I am writing my Senator & Congressman, and will forward all to Wash, DC. Jan 20 can only hold hope for the US!
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