I am 65 years old and am 5 years post-op for c5-c6 fusion with plate screws and allograft. I had been unable to raise my head without excruciating pain and had pain radiating down my right arm. No, I had not been recently injured. My symptoms seemed to be a recurrence of a pinched nerve that was successfully treated with NSAIDS 30 years prior. I was promised the surgery would provide immediate relief from my right sided nerve impingement, Relief was not immediate, but took about six weeks. About a year ago, I started to feel a numbness in the tips of digits 1, 2 and 3. Recently, my symptoms have greatly exacerbated. I have a stiff neck, digits 2 and 3 are totally numb. The medial side of digits 1 and 4 are numb while the lateral side has normal sensation. I have hypersecretory GERD and am unable to take most NSAIDS without severe gastric distress (nocturnal emesis of acidic gastric juices). Trial treatment with an old stomach friendly NSAID, Meclomen 100mg qid has not helped. I am returning to my GP tomorrow for followup. Do you think that use of soft cervical collar and adding an oral steroid might be helpful?
Well, it would be difficult to comment on the situation without a detailed clinical evaluation or without knowing the cause of your symptoms. Possibilities that may need to be considered include further degeneration, nerve impingement/ pressure, muscular issues etc. Without a diagnosis at hand it would be difficult to suggest a management plan. While a cervical collar may help, I usually do not recommend oral steroids, since these are usually associated with less of relief and more of side effects. Local injectable steroids may be more beneficial. I would suggest getting this evaluated by your treating orthopedician for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
Hope this is helpful.
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