First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.
The symptoms that you describe are consistent with a radiculopathy (pinched nerve). I do not know the extent of your diagnostic testing at diagnosis, but I would suggest an MRI of your cervical spine, and an EMG (nerve-muscle test) to establish your current state of affairs and to evaluate if there has been change/progression since the accident. Many radiculopathies are helped with conservative approaches such as physical therapy and temporary pain control, but some cases with require surgery or other intervention to relieve the pressure on the nerves (an thus relieve the pain). Many academic centers are able to conduct this analysis well, but if you are interested in the Cleveland Clinic, I would recommend the Dept of Neurology, Main Campus at 9500 Euclid Ave. Cleveland OH.
I hope this has been helpful.
trust me....... go to the one in cleveland. if you go to the mayo, go to the one in minnesota. the cleveland clinic is a bit easier to get in to than the mayo. do research on who you want to see (in your case the spine center's best neurosurgeon) and have your MD give you a written referral letter which you can fax to the clinic when you schedule.
This is a very delicate problem, not easily amenable to internet advice. The reason is, that the wrong advice could lead to paralysis. Nevertheless, you have a syndrome that is often treated in a less than "common sense" manner. "Common sense" tells us that to move into the region of pain causes damage and we should restrict such movements. In the case of a subluxion injury, this usually results in a progessive reduction in range of motion, until finally you end up with a "frozen shoulder". And the pain gets so bad you want to end your life. Often, the solution is to have "range of motion" exercises through the limits of pain, under supervision of a physician. Axial traction several times a day is a must, and failure of your physician to provide you with an axial traction device bothers me. It suggests a lack of familiarity with the correct treatment. You also require anti-inflammatories, or the swelling will NEVER go down. Traditionally, the anti-inflammatory of choice was prednisone (a hell drug) followed by 800 mg of Ibuprufin twice a day (also hell on the liver). This plus HYDRATION, top include extra quantities of fluids and electrolytes. Then there is hydro-therapy, best accomplished by a good spa, where you go from hot baths to cold baths to saunas. The more the cartiliginous structures become "mashed" the less liklihood for recovery. The axial traction harness (you don't need the water bag) permits them to recover. Commonly axial traction is applied from three to twelve minutes three to eight times a day initially. You do this in your home, or stop the care and use a convenient tree or fence to utilize the device, which sells for about $35. Sometimes the pain specialist will manipulate the head through the limits of pain, but this can be dangerous, and should only be performed by a physician. The good news is, properly treated the pain can sometimes entirely disappear. The bad news is nobody can understand how much pain you are in and often a psychiatrist is recommended, which is inappropriate. Morphine and oxycontin are not very helpful. I suspect it has to do with a unique set of pain receptor sites. If you use oxycontin you will soon find yourself addicted, and the dose increasing every day. Neverthleless, oxycontin is useful in the short term while exercising through the limits of pain. There are several reasons why the problem gets worse, and the mechanisms are mostly speculative. When the body senses an injury, repair materials are often deposited inappropriately, which decrease the space through which the nerves thread. This causes pain. The energized nerves become further inflammed, which sends a signal for more repair material. So stopping the inflammation is a must. A cervical collar is generally contraindicated, because it decreases muscle tone, except for the short term immediately after the injury. Good luck.
note: care giver may be correct in that your problem may be correctable w conservative measures. this is why i recommend going to the best mds possible if you ae going to go. your chance of unnecessary surgery is minimized. they'll tell you if you don't need it and they won't do it unless there is no choice. i agree with caregiver also in that stretching/exercise is a must.
I feel so sorry or rather empathetic with you. I too suffered an Auto accident since 2001, and ever since, my life has never been the same. I sustained Herniated and Bulging Dics in the three major regions of my back. I have bulging dics in the C2, C3, C4, C6 and C7. Then I have herniated discs on the T6, T7, T8 and a few more. Then in the lower back I have herniation on the L5/S1. My symptoms are peppery burning 24/7, then the pain which progresses from dull and escalates to really severe. We are talking of a scale from 0-10...I am suffering at starting at level 5 first thing in the morning and eventually work its way up to 8-9 and if I don't drink pain killers it goes up to 10. I must say that I have been to hell and ever since lives the court yard of there. Both of the survatures of my spine is altered due to the injuries.
Can you imagine the embarrassment I face in public when I am sitting for instance in an airplane. I have to shot up straingt, then bend forward, then push my waist and pelvis forward so frequently, I swear people watching me must be thinking I am possessed. So, what do I do? I have no choice but to take my pain medications in order to tolerate any journey. I am an RN, and many doctors offer to have me go on diability, because my MRI, CT scans and pelvic and neck X-Rays tell the whole story and explains my clinical symptoms. However, I have worked for 18 years and absolutely refuse to give up my profession. But at the same time, I am suffering to do my job, and I suffer wrist drop, pain and parasthesias, which radiates down both legs and pelvis. I have been to the Neurosurgeon, and he prescribed Vicodin, which helped the pain, and makes me feel much better and allows me to lead a productive life. But like all else, that has it's setback, and I am very afraid of addiction so I stop taking that and try to live on Advil, Tylenols, and Ibprofen, Soma for the sever back muscle spasm in every region of my back. I am sick of the cervical traction-water bag, and sacral-lumbar brace.
I have been to numerous Chiropracter, and because of my injuries they cannot do adjustments, so I am at a loss, distressed and saddened about the fact that I am going to have to live like this for the rest of my life. I have now accepted, but what worries me is the fact that the injuries and clinical symptoms are so subjective, I am so embarrassed and feel ackward at the doctor's visit. I feel sometimes that they give me all these opinions, that I am confused. In the mean time, I cannot spend a day with out laying down, and taking breaks to stretch my back. The surgery of cervical decompression that I was pursuing with my Neurosurgeon, I refused after He tells me of the many risks, and that I probably will not be able to do my job anymore. The invasiveness of the surgery is so intense, I am not willing to take the risks. Then I decided to enroll in pain control, because thak God, I can still walk.
The Osteopathic Doctor wants to do manipulation under anesthesia, and I don't like the idea, because I can walk now, and try to deal with the pain. But any manipulation under anesthesia does not seem right to me. DOES ANY ONE KNOW FACTS ABOUT THIS PROCEDURE? IF SO KINDLY SHARE, SO THAT I CAN READ AND RESEARCH THE PRO AND CONS OF IT ALL?
I also have an HEMANGIOMA AT THE T4 BODY, ON THE MRI FILM, it seems like the size of a Nickel. I also experience a lot of pain in that region of the spine. But I am willing to live with what helps me for the pain. If I ever get worse, say for instance, paralysis, or have to take radiation, What other choice do I have?
Well, it has been nice to talk about myself on this forum, it is new to me, I did not know of its existence before. So, I find it interesting to be able to talk freely to each other without being judged by others about our suffering. Only those who have this condition can accurately describe the bad feelings from day to day. I empathize with you all, and I wish all of us better days ahead of us. Please continue to share information, and details to treatments, so that others who read them can ask their doctors about them. Have to go...my pain is starting up again despite the fact, that I practically live on the pain medications. The Neurontin 600mg daily is helping to make the pain go down to an ache which is bearable. Bye all.
Oh! I forget to mention that I am currently taking Acupuncture. It is helping somewhat, but I noticed that the pain migrated to other parts of the back. All my muscles seem to be hurting. Has any one taken Acupuncture? What are your experiences with it? Kindly let me know? Well, this is all for now, everyone that read this. Usually, I still have to take the pain medication. Now I have wrist drop. For instance when I am typing this response, my wrist will drop and seem to have a life of its own. Well see you all.
Please get a massage if you can stand it. I'm not sure why you don't want surgery....many, many people have put their lives back together after surgerys. Chronic pain wears and dulls you and makes you more depressed than you even think. While I admire your tenacity, I think you should find the best doctor and go from there. I've seen many of my family members do very well with surgeries of the neck and back. My father put his severe spinal stenosis problem off and suffered needlessly for years....when he had other medical problems come up, he ended up dying in extreme pain from the stenosis and surgery was no longer an option because of the blood clot he had in his lung. It wasn't that big but because of the blood thinners they wouldn't do his surgery. Don't let fear make the problem unmanagable is what I'm trying to say. Good Luck!!
This sounds disturbingly similar to the symptoms I have recently started to experience, (i.e. right hand numb, burning/scalded, sensation 'below the skin' while it feels like I'm wearing a leather glove, etc.) While it sounds like the centers mentioned above are specialized in treating herniated discs, I am curious as to whether anyone on this board knows of the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Florida. No, I'm not advocating this place, but I have looked it up online and it seems to present a viable option for those of us contemplating spinal surgery. Has any other physician on this board considered arthroscopic or laproscopic surgery to remove disc herniations in the cervical spine? Is this an appropriate alternative to spinal fusion or multiple rounds of PT/meds/manipulation? Or, is this too good to be true?
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