Neurology Expert Forum
Neck Pain
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Neck Pain

I have been told that there is nothing more that can be done for me.  But I don't believe that can be true.  Even if nothing can be done to fix my pain, isn't there some way to manage my pain better so I can return to work?  

THANK YOU MED HELP AND THE DOCTORS VERY MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!

1994
July-neck pain of unknown origin. Tests revealed a disc problem at C6-C7 and the disc was removed in November.  No fusion.  Within 10 days of surgery, I returned to my normal schedule of working 10-14 hour days six or seven days a week, including extensive travel.

1996
January 16: Rear-ended.  Felt burst of pain at left base of neck.  Think I blacked out momentarily.  Shaking badly.  But because the pain was just a burst, I thought I was OK.  I  contacted my neurosurgeon's office  and was sent for a neck x-ray, which showed no fracture.  Within 24-36 hours of accident developed severe neck pain in left side of neck; head tilted and turned far right.

Feb - Aug:  Because the neurosurgeon said I had whiplash, I turned to a D.O., who treated me with heat and small manipulation (no cracking of neck). She also referred me for acupuncture, massage, and rolfing.  Nothing helped except that the D.O. would give me shots of pain killer in my neck and shots of torodol (spelling?) for the headaches.  These gave me a couple of hours of relief.  Weight dropped from 116 to 90 lbs by June 1996.

May 1:  MRI of neck - protruding disc at C5-C6, slight impingement on spinal cord.

June:  On the advice of my doctors I stopped working.  The neurosurgeon put me on darvocet, told me not to read, watch TV, drive, etc. and prescribed 3 weeks of daily physical therapy.

For several months, I had been having incidents where I felt I might pass out.  It was like blackness coming over me. In late June, I passed out after I got home from physical therapy.  I experienced a couple more such episodes after physical therapy and physical therapy was discontinued.  Brain MRI -- I was told it was normal; however,  EEG showed a spurt of abnormal activity in right front. A second EEG confirmed the burst.

August:  Myelogram/CT Scan.  The neurosurgeon then told me surgery was an option.  I was in so much pain, I was willing to try anything, and since he offered no other suggestions and none of my other doctors had any other ideas, I agreed to surgery.

October 24: SURGERY: As I understand it, the doctor enlarged the left side foramen at C4-C5, C5-C6 and C6-C7 and did "nerve releases."

Complications --Very low blood pressure and lost 500 or 600  cc. blood. When I regained consciousness, I could not find my left arm when I reached for it with my right hand.  I could not move my left arm.  I could wiggle my fingers and move my wrist a little, but had no wrist strength.  If my arm was not supported it just flopped; dangling in front of my body.  My neck hurt a lot.  I have a long scar running down the back of my neck.

November: EMG, which showed nerve root damage at C5-C6 and C4-C5; neck x-ray to check foramen, which I was told was normal.

December:  Physical therapy evaluation.  The physical therapist expressed surprise that my shoulder had not subluxed.  As I understand the results of her evaluation, the majority of my shoulder muscles were not functioning.

1997-1999

1997  Physical therapy - primarily focused on range of motion and strength of arm and shoulder and working with hand.

I fell twice during early 1997 - lost my balance as the result of stumbling over/into something.  The first time I hit my head on my treadmill and was diagnosed with a slight  concussion.  I don't remember whether I went to the doctor after the second fall. MRI neck and upper thoracic spine.  Finding: no change from presurgical myelogram/CT scan. Tried a TENS unit on my neck, but it really aggravated neck pain. I was given the following medications (that I can remember)  in various combinations and dosages during 1997-1998:  Neurontin, Roxicet, Ultram, Zoloft, Trazodone, Florinef, Duract, Demerol, Valium, Baclofen, Darvocet, Percocet, Laclulose.

Aug. 98  Moved to Oregon.  I hoped to find new doctors who would take a fresh look at my problems and to attend school as sort of self-vocational rehabilitation, because I was not receiving professional help. As of August 98, I was on the following medications:  Tegretol, Zanaflelx ,  Prevacid, Synthroid, Cycrin, Estropipate, Propoxyphene-N 100 W/ APAP 650,  Senacot-S.

Feb-Oct 99 Treated in OHSU pain program. Tried Neurontin (again) - I could not tolerate it (again); could not stay awake, memory problems. Tried Nortryptiline - allergic reaction - shaking, mouth ulcers, stomach. Physical therapy - aggravated neck pain to the point where I could not even get up. Three nerve blocks done without anesthesia to determine if I was a candidate for deenervation.  May - began taking Oxycontin 10 mg. twice a day.  It took me a couple of months to be able to tolerate Oxycontin - made me feel unpleasantly out of focus, upset my stomach, and I would fall asleep about one to two hours after taking it. As a side effect of the Oxycontin, my intestines have stopped functioning without 3 or 4 Senacot-S and Super Dieter's Tea daily. I am extremely fatigued.

June - deenervation of nerves on left side of neck at four levels. After about 6 weeks, I noticed that the pain in the top part of my head had improved somewhat and that I was having less difficulty with blurred vision. However, neck pain was not better.  (The procedure was not supposed to help my left hand and arm pain/hypersensitivity and it did not.)  I was also warned that the relief provided from the procedure might last only a year. After deenervation,  more physical therapy which exacerbated my neck pain.

Misc.  I have been evaluated for RSD - the doctor concluded that I did not have RSD.  I have received psychological counseling throughout this ordeal.

Current Status

NECK

1. Unremitting neck pain.  When I sit for more than 20-30 minutes, the pain begins to escalate.  The worse the pain, the more my head turns involuntarily to the right. There is a point of stabbling pain in the mid-left side of my neck and the pain radiates up my jaw to my left eye and temple.  I also have pain at the area where the burst of pain occurred at the time of the accident.  Sometimes I feel the pain in my teeth and tongue and it feels like my throat is constricted.  I cannot wear necklaces or turtleneck - things touching my neck irritate it.  In addition, I cannot wear articles of clothing with straps, because it makes my neck and shoulder/arm pain worse.

2. Pain across the back of my head, with swelling in the ocipital area.  The worse the pain in the neck, the worse this pain is.  No one has ever explained why the swelling occurs.

3. Extremely limited neck mobility.

4. Pain in left arm and hand increases as neck pain increases.

5. I still have headaches in the top of my head and since the beginning of this year they have been getting worse.

6. I have difficulty concentrating and memory problems.

7. I do not sleep well, because I cannot get my neck comfortable or because I disturb my sleep by moving to a position that bothers my neck.  I am constantly fatigued.

8. My appetite is poor or non-existent.

9. I have low back pain when I sit; it is like the neck pain radiates down my back.

10. Activities: I can manage about two hours of activity before I have to lie down for four to six hours, but I cannot sit without support for my head and neck for more than 20 minutes.  Thus, I carry a highback ObusForme seat back in my car to use at school and other places where I must sit.

My two functional hours include dressing, etc., meal preparation, housework, bill paying, seeing doctors, attending class, and occasionally walking my dogs.  Consequently, if I have class, that and getting dressed are the only things I will be able to manage that day.  I rarely clean my apartment; I cook only the simplest of things, and I paper trained my dogs so I would not have to walk them.  I do not go to movies, concerts, the theater, church or out to eat.  I avoid shopping, using the Internet for most purchases including groceries.  I avoid car trips of more than 20 minutes and find riding the bus to be too painful because of the jolting.  Some days even the impact of walking hurts my neck.  If I try to sit at the computer for any period of time and type, it exacerbates both the hand and neck pain - my head turns to the right making it very difficult to type because my body must face the keyboard while my head is turning away from that direction.

LEFT HAND, ARM & SHOULDER

1. I have limited mobility of my left shoulder, and it is still weak.

2. My left arm, hand, and shoulder have areas of hypersensitivity and areas of "numbness".   My left thumb and pointer finger, the back of the hand, and the palm are very hypersensitive - I cannot stand to touch paper, cold air and cold water are very painful, folding clothes is very painful, touching cold metal or cold dishes is very painful. Typing is very painful.  For some tasks, I can reduce the pain and hypersensitivity by wearing a Jobst compression glove. However, this is not practical for other tasks.   My left hand has shrunk, and it generally feels like there is electricity running through it or that it is being bombarded by sharp things.  There is also a loss of sensitivity - for example, if I have several things in my pocket, I sometimes cannot tell what an item is by touch.

CURRENT MEDICATIONS:  Oxycontin, Valium, Advil (take 4 at a time), Prempro, Propandol (for tachycardia which I developed sometime after the accident); Synthroid, Celexa, Senacot-S (3-4/day) plus Super Dieter's Tea.  I wear a Jobst compression glove on my left hand.
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Diane:

I am sorry to hear of your multiple problems.  I am not sure if there is anything that I can do over the internet.  It seems that you have tried everything and most pain medications.  As you have probably been told, surgery is always the last option for spinal cord induced pain.  Obviously, this is because once surgery takes place, the procedures are usually irreversible and the damage is the same.  We often hope that the surgery can make things better and in most cases, this is what happens.  But, there are cases when the pain is only made worse, and the defects due to the surgery remain and are also a problem.  There is little to suggest, but only to begin the process of trying to regain small victories of functionality.  Your life must become one of small victories of gaining more time to do things, if only for 10 minutes more a day.  The mindset of trying to live with the pain and most importantly through the pain must be taken.  I realize that you already know these things and are doing them.  But, I am just trying to help you realize that there are things down the road that we know nothing about, new discoveries in spinal cord pain, life high points, etc.  You can't do these things alone, you need a good team of support, health professionals like PT, rehab, and some loving pets.

I am sorry, that my help is only in words.  I do wish there were things to tell you to do that would make life normal again.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
29 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Diane,
I'm sorry to hear about all that you have gone through.  I can relate to you because I have most of the same symptoms as you.  I had a car accident in July 96.  Since then I have had all of the problems you have with the exception of the turning head.  Most of my doctors have given up on me.  It's extremely frustrating.  I just found out that the anterior cervical diskectomy I had in Nov 97 is incomplete and that the part of the disc the surgeon left in is now herniated.  I'm supposed to go back to the neuro-surgeon on the 20th.  what bothers me more than the pain is my memory loss.  I feel brain dead.  I can't remember the simpliest things anymore.
I have found a really good chat forum if you're interested.  The people there all have spinal problems.  There are no doctors to answer your questions, but people who have been there. It is
www.neuro.mancer.mgh.harvard.edu
then go to Spinal Disorders.
Hope this helps.
You can also e-mail me at ***@****
Take care and Good Luck,
Barb
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thanks for your comments.

CCF Neuro MD
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HELLOW I HAVE A MAJOR PROMBLEM. I HAVE PAIN IN MY SHOULDER RIGHT AND RIGHT ARM.HAND.HAD MRI DONE SHOW 2 PULDGING DISK C-5 AND C-6
I HAVE BEEN TO A LOT OF DOCTORS AND HAD A LOT OF TEST DONE. THE DOCTORS KEEP SAYING THEY CANT FIND ANYTHING ON ANY TEST THATS BEEN DONE. I DO HAVE CTS AND DISQURIVENS DIEASE.BUT THE DOCTORS WILL NOT SAY THAT IS WHAT IS CAUSING MY PAIN. BEEN TO PT FOR ABOUT 4 WEEKS. NOTHING IS WORKING. THE PAIN IS SO BAD AT TIMES I CRY. THE PAIN MEDICATION ONLY HELPS A LITTLE BIT. I ALSO HAVE PAIN IN MY NECK. IT HURTS TO DRIVE CLEAN HOUSE OR TO DO ANYTHING. I WAS A ACTIVE PERSON BEFORE THIS HAPPENED.CANT FIND A DOCTOR THAT WILL TOUCH ME BECAUSE OF ALL THE TEST I'VE HAD DONE AND NOTHING SHOWS UP. I'M AT THE END DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. THIS IS WORKERS COMP INJURY.THIS HAS BEEN REALLY HARD ON ME BECAUSE ALL I WANT IS TO BE FIXED.DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTION WHAT IT COULD BE.I HAVE NUMBNES IN MY THUMB INDEX AND MIDDLE FINGER PAIN THAT GOES UP MY RIGHT ARM AND SHOULDER NECK HURTS ALL THE TIME DULL THROBING PAIN AND DO HAVE SWELLING. NECK POPS ALL THE TIME AND SOMETIMES PAIN IN MY RIGHT LEG. MY SHOULDER ALSO CATCHES SOMETIMES LIKE WHEN I'M REACHING FOR SOMETHING. PLEASE RESPOND NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET THANK YOU PATRICIA CHAVEZ MY EMAIL I ***@****
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Dear Patricia:

I am not sure what to tell you.  Without examining you and seeing the films, I can't make a comment.  With completely normal tests it is difficult to support a worksmanship comp case.  Your only alternative is to get a second opinion from another neurologist or neurosurgeon.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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DO YOU THINK IT COULD BE THE CARPAIL TUNNEL SYNDROME THATIS COUSINGMY PAIN.EVERYTHING THING THAT HAPPENEND AT WORK STARTED WITH THEE THUMB POPING IN AND OUT OF PLACE THEN MOVED UP MY ARM AND INTO MY SHOULDER . I DID A LOT OF HEAVEY LIFTING AND COMPETIVE WORK WITH MY HANDS. CANT UDERSTAND WHY THEY CAN NOT TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON.I READ THAT CTS CAN SHRINK THE MUCLES IN THE NECK AND SHOULDER. THEY NEVER DONE AN MRI OF MY ARM. THANK YOU FOR ANSWERING BACK I WAS HOPING FOR SOME KIND OF HELP JUST TO EASE MY OWN MIND
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Hello! I only have a question to ask, as I am currently seeing what seems to be a very good doctor. If he doesn't know he wants to send me to a specialist to find out for sure, then he sends me a report on what he finds. The question I have pertains to one of his most recent reports, it says that I have a "hardened disk" in my neck along with a bulging disk and several deteriorated disks. I have SEVERE PAIN in my neck and back because of this, could you explain a "hardened disk" for me?   Thank you,  Sam
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Hi Patricia--I just read about your problem. I too worked in factory and did heavy lifting and repetitive motion work. I had pain in my shoulder working its way down my arm. I was treated for tennis elbow with no relief and finally had an MRI done that showed herniated discs at c4-5, c5-6 and c6-7.These were caused by the repetitive motion but I had a hard time proving it although I won my case in the end. I also had trigger finger previously and have carpal tunnel also. I had surgery to correct the trigger finger(which it sounds like you have in your thumbs) The pain in your thumb and index fingers sound like they are stemming from the carpal tunnel. The pain in your neck and shoulder, radiating down your arm to your fingers sounds like it is coming from the bulging discs for sure. Those were the exact same symptoms that I had! It is difficult to get anywhere with a comp. case but it can be done and the doctors don't like to deal with them until they are settled but if you are persistant you can get treatment. I know exactly what you mean about the persistant pain because I have been there.I wish I could say that there is an easy way out of this but there isn't. You just have to be persistant. You probably have a long road ahead of you, as I did but keep going until you get some satisfaction. I hope you can find a good doctor to help you .Take care---Debbie
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I WAS TOLD I HAVE A BONE SPUR ON MY 7TH CERVICLE DISC AND WILL HAYE TO HAVE SURGERY BECAUSE IT IS PRESSING ON A NERVE I HAVE PAIN IN MY RIGHT ARM ALL THE TIME MY QUESTION WILL THE PAIN BE GONE AFTER SURGERY?
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I am 33 years old and have been having a stiff neck since May, 99.  It is getting progressively worse where I have had some numbness and pain down my left arm.  This worries me because I have suffered with some arrythmias because of a congenital problem around the apex of my heart.  My cardiologist assures me this is not causing the problems.  I have been on anti-inflamatories, muscle relaxers, pain pill, anti-anxiety medications and a medrol dosepak (medrol did seem to get rid of the pain & numbness down the arm for six weeks).  However, it has returned and the stiffness and pain in my neck is getting worse.  I had an MRI which basically came back normal except for a narrowing of C6-7 (which I do feel almost a shocking sensation when I pick things up in that area). The pain is not in that area though.  It is in my shoulders mostly and when it is real bad, it is down my left arm.  My orthopedist feels he cannot do anything for me and maybe I should get a second opinion.  He believes it to be stress related except when I complain of the pain and numbness down the left arm. I have had tension in my neck before and this doesn't feel the same.  It almost feels like my neck and the muscles in my neck are going to lock up on me.  He recommends getting a second opinion, but doesn't know what they will be able to do for me either.  Should I see another orthopedist or a neurologist.
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Hi Tonya-the pain and numbness in your arm could very likely be coming from the problem with C 6-7. I would recommend finding a very good Orthopaedic Spine specialist and get his opinion and go from there. There are a lot of things that can be done to help you-I know -I have been there. Good luck!  Debbie
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Since I can't post a comment myself, I will try this.
I am a 47 year old male 46 months out from C5,6,7 fusion with a titanium plate. Have suffered constant, intense, sometime debil-
itating pain since.
Because this was a Work. Comp. injury, there have been many delays in treatment. Since the May 1996 surgery, I have had 4 MRI's, 2 bone scans, epidurals, weeks of PT and nothing has helped.
I was sent to a new Neurosurgeon(who operated on my lower back in 1999) who took one look at the films and told me that the fusion at C6,7 had not taken, and that surgery is the only way to fix this but the odds are 50-50 at best that it would work.
I had decided to go ahead with the surgery. However, W.Comp. sent me back to the Dr. who did the surgery in the first place.
He hasn't seen me in nearly 3 years, telling me that he could do nothing else for me and that we fixed 2 of 3 problems and 2 of 3 isn't bad. Needless to say I did not want to deal with him but I was forced to.
He told me that you can't tell from an MRI if a fusion didn't take(a radiologist I know disputes this) and that we need a bone scan. It showed increased uptake in right facet joint at C1,2; mild increased uptake at C6,7 and increased uptake at the left acromioclavicular joint.
I had a nerve test done before the bone scan and it showed problems at C6,7 also.
This Dr. told me that I could get the C6,7 fusion redone and it may help, and he also told me that because of the previous fusion, the ares above and below could be injured because of the strain at C5,6,7.
Work. Comp.  will not authorize further treatment because they feel that the problem at C1,2 is the reason for the pain and the Dr. told them that he doesn't feel surgery is needed, even though he told me otherwise.
Can the problems at C1,2 and the acromioclavicular joint come from the stress of the fusion at C5,6,7? Four years of red tape,
dealing with insurance and Work. Comp. and the pain is about all I can deal with.               Thanks
                               Danny Duncan
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Addition to previous comment, perhaps MD can respond.
Just read report on latest MRI, 45 months pos-op.
Findings are: Significant artifact produced by fusion at C5-7,
straightening of the normal curvature of the c-spine with posterior spondylolisthesis of C4 on C5 w/ absent disk signal from C4-5 to C6-7.
Is an alteration of normal curvature of the C-spine normal, can this be causing my constant pain and can degenerative spurring on the posterior aspect of C5-6 and C6-7 have been caused by my previous fusion at C5,6,7.
Also, in  laymans terms, what is spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis?
                                        Thank you,
                                         Danny Duncan
                                        ***@****
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My sister,75,has been diagnosed as having 5 crushed vertebra and osteoporosis.  A cememning operation is being suggested.  Her pain is severe.  What is cementing and does it have a good chance of helping?
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Dear Walter Boone:

When a patient is not a candidate for surgery, sometime a procedure to use a specific type of glue can help patients with spinal cord problems.  The glue will help stabilize the column and help to stop progression of the problem.  The extent of your sister's problem would suggest that although the glue might help, there may not be a full recovery.  The physician taking care of your sister should be able to tell you more.

CCF Neuro MD
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I AM A 41 YEAR OLD WOMAN WHO HAS A MAJOR HERNAITED DISC AT C5 C6, PRESSING ON MY SPINE, I HAVE HAD IT FOR 2 YEARS, I HAVE DONE THE FOLLOWING, 2 NERVE BLOCKS, SHOTS IN THE NECK, REHAB, PHYSICAL THERAPY, CHIROPRACTOR.  NOW DR IS GONNA TRY A FACET NERVE BLOCK, THEY HAVE RECOMMENDED I DO A FUSION BUT I AM TOO SCARED, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN TRY?  aND HOW SAFE IS IT TO OPERATE?

THANK YOU,
DONNA
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Dear Danny Duncan:

Sorry to hear of all your problems and the additional headache dealing with worker comp.  Spinal stenosis is where the spinal column where the nerves are running is narrowed.  When this is severe, it causes compromise of nerve functioning down stream of the stenotic area.  Spondylothesis is where the vertebrae slide out of alignment due to various etiologies, the sliding can be either posterior (most common) or anterior.  The sliding can cause the normal curvature of the neck, thoracic, lumbar region to be abnormal (depending on where the vertebrae is out of alignment).  Anything is possible in medicine, and certainly problems in lower vertebrae can cause problems upstream.  Whether yours did or didnot I can't tell.  Likely the curvature is not causing problems with pain, but the boney changes might be, again, without seeing the films I can't tell.

Sorry, I am not helping you much.

CCF Neuro MD
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Dear Doctors,
I'm hoping you can help educate me to make a major decison.  First of all I have major neck problems, I'll try to keep this short.  I recently had a current MRI done on 3-22-2000 and the findings wern't very good.  At the level of C3-4 I have bilateral severe narrowing of the intervertebral foramina, right more than the left due to the combination of the uncovertebral and facet hypertrophy.  No focal herniation is seen.  There is nerve root compression especially on the right side.  There is mild centeral stenosis.
C4-5 There appears to be a chronic central focal herniation.  There is some osteophyte formation but there appears to be clear protrusion of the disc beyond the bony margins especiallly on the sagittal views.  There markes flattening of the cord with severe central stenosis.  There is severe narrowing of the intervertebral foramina bilaterally with bilateral nereve root compresion.
C5-6 Note is made of a right paracentral focal herniation.  Again, there is severe cord compresion and central stenosis seen with severe uncovertebral and facet hypertrophy especially on the left side.
C6-7 Note is made of a central osteophyte causing flattening of the cord.  There is intervertebral narrowing on the left side with compression of the nerve root.
My dilema is this.  I have seen two neurosurgeons in the past 3 weeks, both gave me pretty much the same answer, surgery.  I'm not real sure what the name of the surgery is  but it involves a fusion for c3-4 and c4-5, with the plates and the screws.  Also taking the bone from my hip.  The second Doctor recommended that I have a myelogram done first to see what else is going on behind the disc.  He said something about harding or calsufication?  He also said I really wouldn't need any type of rehab afterwards.  The other Doctor said I would have a lot of theorpy to attend.  I'm confused about that.  I also want to know why they are not addressing all my disc problems and only the two worse ones. Should I contact the first Doctor and ask to have a mylogram done first or not.
Thank you for your time and knowledge, I'll appreciate any advice you can offer me.
Sincerley Michelle  
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have severe neck, shoulder, arm pains.  I have had xrays, CT, MRI, etc, etc.  I have couple small bone spurs and some narrowing at C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6 but docs say not enough to cause the pain I'm in.  Now I have gone to a Neurologist and he has determined this is "Parsonnage-Turner Syndrome".  From what I could understand from him it is some kind of muscular virus that can be treated with predinizone.  I can't find anything on it on the net.  He said this was a farily new diagnosis.  Can you tell me anything about this new? syndrome?  I just started taking the pred but no results yet.  I am female, 55 yrs old, active and am having blood work done for everything from Polymyalgia to MS.  HELP!
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have severe neck, shoulder, arm pains.  I have had xrays, CT, MRI, etc, etc.  I have couple small bone spurs and some narrowing at C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6 but docs say not enough to cause the pain I'm in.  Now I have gone to a Neurologist and he has determined this is "Parsonnage-Turner Syndrome".  From what I could understand from him it is some kind of muscular virus that can be treated with predinizone.  I can't find anything on it on the net.  He said this was a farily new diagnosis.  Can you tell me anything about this new? syndrome?  I just started taking the pred but no results yet.  I am female, 55 yrs old, active and am having blood work done for everything from Polymyalgia to MS.  HELP!
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Avatar_n_tn
My neck is very stiff and I can't turn it very far in either direction. I have had an MRI but no answers to my problem.  I had to stop golfing my neck is to sore. I have a problem driving now because I just can not turn my head at the corners. Where do I go to get some help? ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Get a big gun.Shoot yourself in the ******* head,Pain is gone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I so feel for you, I have not had the probs you have had.  I "sprained" my neck 20 years ago, along with really bad physical therapy then, I suffer everyday.  Chronic pain and alot of times an inability to physically get up out of bed.  I have had recent physical therapy.  The therapists figured traction was a cure all, so I was willing to try anything.  Traction resulted in a bright flash in my eyes, head, violent nauseau and vomitting, and weakness in my left side very severe.  The MRI has shown a bulging disc at C4-5 and nerve compression at C6-8.  The docs "aren't that excited about it" so I continue to be in terrible pain.  I have been on relafen, celebrex and now going to lodine. I was also prescribed Paxil for some unknown reason, which I quit taking right after the news article on a tv magazine show.  I have had no relief and am so looking for a cure. Or at least to wake up one day, just one is all I ask, to be pain free after 20 years, I wish it could happen.  I so wish that you can get better, if so let me know, I will try anything.
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hey
I need 7 names of CERVICLE BONE so pls can u find it.....
thanx see u later
waiting for yur reply
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Hi, I am researching always to better my upper and lower back pain situation. I have had several injuries. Auto accident causing severe head injuries at age 16. Low back disc surgery at age 19. Constant head and back pain since. Age 30, concussion from bomb blast. 8 gun shot wounds. Billroth 2 stomach surgery and duodenum bypass in 1987. Chronic kidney stones and now gall stones too. Stomach and intestinal bleading. Required 9 pints of blood in July of this year. And for past 3 years according to daily diary, long term memory loss. Todays symptoms are severe headache, loss of ballance, blurred vission, tingling in fingers of both hands, neck pain, low back and traveling down right leg pain and stomach pain on right side, nausea, sleeplessness, confusion at times and no appetite. Present meds are Tylonol 4, 4 x a day for pain control, 30 mg of prevacid 2 x a day, for stomach bleading, Atenolol 50 mg 2 x a day for blood pressure, B 12 1000 mg injections one time a week and a host of daily vitamins and nutrients to prevent malnutrition. Therapy treatment is electro accupunture along vital meridian points daily. I am no longer able to function and earn a living financially. Is there any more I can do in any area. It has become a total hardship for my wife to care for me and I would like to do more to help myself. HMO insurance does not cover a lot. SSI disability insurance very low. Any advice in any area would be much appreciated. Age is 59 and worked as International Private Investigator to age 56. Many job related injuries.         Thanks, Don Huard
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And I thought I had it bad!  My story is starting what appears to be a happy ending.  I had my first fusion at the C6-C7 in 1992; I was convinced it was related to work (I came home from a business trip with a "crick" in my neck from lifting heavy boxes.  However, the neurosurgeon would only say that the disc herniation itself "happened in the middle of the night" so there went all possibilities for a fair settlement.  I had been required to do all of that heavy lifting etc., because my supervisor at that time was an ignorant tightwad who forbade me to hire a crew to help set up our display booth at a medical show.

My first surgery turned out fine.  My son was born in Nov the next year in a C-section with epidural block and I had no problems then either.
I had been putting in a lot of hours at work (computer work and some walking around--but no longer working for the ignoramus.  I wasn't very surprised when I had a second disk herniation at the C5-C6.  I recovered just fine from that surgery too.  In mid-1995, our offices were  moved from Denver to Boston, so I took my severance pay and started my own freelance business.  I was working a lot of hours again in front of the computer when in early 1996, I started to have tension headaches.

I knew there weren't migraines--I'd experienced migraines in college, plus I've worked for many years in some type of health care research and marketing.  I took Tylenol, Advil, then moved up to Ketopren.  I had to stop taking OTC anti-inflammatories in July that year because I started to get sensations that food was stuck in my throat because swallowing was difficult.  A GI specialist found out I have gastric reflux disease.  That was when I started taking Vicodin, a low dose only "as needed."  

My headaches became progressively worse and I started to search for someone, anyone, and anything that would help.  I also started to have those symptoms I know so well by now--ting;ling and numbness in my right arm and hand.  To make a long story short, I met lots of people and tried many drugs, as well as some nonconventional stuff (acupuncture, neck manipulations by a DO) and the crowning last touch was my experience with facet joint injections.  The orthopedic surgeon who did those was convinced they would help and the first session (done at the hospital, under sedation) on the left side of my neck went fine.

Three weeks later, I went to the hospital again, where I was prepped and ready to go for shots on the right side of my neck).  When the doctor started to apply the needle to the right side of the back of my neck.  A strange thing happened--although I was sedated and had had successful left-side injctions, the muscles on the right side were in a spasm so hard that she bent 3 needles before she decided to stop.  It hurt like hell but I could speak lucidly because of the sedative.

At my next appointment, the orthopedic surgeon told me that the only thibng left to do was to go to the Denver Pain Clinic and have an epidural morphine catheter.  Of course she didn't recommend it because it was very risky.  I got the message--she didn't want to see me again because nothing she had helped the pain.  At least she had the decency to order some tests to find out why my neck muscles were so stiff.  She diagnosed chronic degenerative disc disease in my cervical spine.  The MRI showed a "slight" protrusions into my spinal cord, from both a herniated disk AND a bone spur at the C4-C5.  In her opinion and that of 2 additional surgeons I saw, the herniation and bone were so small and the perceived compression on my spine was so slight that they did not explain the pain I was in.

Between Nov 1997 and April 1999, I made a second round of the usual (PT, massage, hot tub at the rec center), plus a pain clinic and different combinations of muscle relaxers and analgesics.  The pain clinic would have made me laugh if I hadn't been so angry about the non-treatment I received there.  The "psychiatrist" there came up with his own story, which was that I hurt because when I was a little girl my parents wouldn't spank me when I was sick.  He also questioned me as much as he dared about my sex life, then dared to recommend more sex in different room of my home, because then my brain would be flooded with serotonins and my headaches would get better.  What a smarmy jerk.  The therapist I was seeing for depression therapy agreed that he stepped over the line, and that herniating spinal discs was extremely difficult to do by psychosomatic means.  I was at the end of my rope.  I was forced to quit my freelance business, which I loved most dearly after my husband and son.  The tension headaches were terrible, and I started to lose my grasp with my right hand.   The pain clinic hadn't helped one bit--besides that psychiatrist, the physical therapist joked about how weak my right side was even though I'm right-handed.

My whole family was suffering--I couldn't cook, clean, do laundry, nor drive longer distances because of the effects the medications had on my sense of perception.  I hated what my life had become.

Then, as they say, God opened a window after closing a door.  My mother, a nurse, told my aunt in TX, also a nurse, about the terrible time I was having.  My aunt is a scrub nurse for an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spinal surgery.  And this doctor said he wanted to see me!

When I first met Dr. Sazy, I turned over my purse on the shelf in the exam room, pulled out all of the prescrition medicine bottles, and told him I was there to find out if I really had no option other than pain medications and muscle relaxers.  One of the teests he ordered was a 3-D CT scan.  Dr. Sazy and those tests changed my whole life.  The scan showed a bone spur and herniated disc at the C4-C5 space, and they were causing such compression on my spinal cord and nerves that Dr. Sazy told me he was surprised that I wasn't taking more pain medications.
I remember asking Dr. Sazy "So I'm not an addicted, drug-seeking hypochondriac?"  He laughed and said if anyone called me that I could spit in their eye and walk away.

It took 16 months of fighting with the insurance company, but I did win and I am now about 7 weeks post-op.  Dr. Sazy removed the herniated disc, used bone tissue from my hip for the fusion, and also installed a plate and pins.  It is been 4 weeks since I had to take any pain medication.  I feel fine, but still need a 2-hour nap even though I'm sleeping well at night (narcotics interfere with REM sleep), better than I have in 3 years.  I'm restoring the strength in my right arm and hand (which WERE very weak because of the nerve compression from the disc and bone spur.  So even those "experts" at the pain c;linic missed obvious clinical signs of nerve compression.  

I don't know if it's OK to recommend specific physicians on this site, but at the very least I would suggest is that everyone seek treatment for the daily pain from a chronic pain management specialist, and get second and third opinions from orthopedic surgeons who specialize in spinal surgery.  Having a supportive primary care physician is also essential.

Dr. Sazy checked the other 2 fusions in my neck, and found that they are stable.  He thinks that with the extra support from the plate and pins, I may never need another disc surgery.  At the very least, our goal is to lengthen the time between surgeries from 3 years to 7 years.  Every day now I feel better.  I used to think that only neurosurgeons could do decent work with degenerative discs, but seeking treatment with Dr. Sazy opened my eyes to how the perspectiveand training of an orthopedic surgeon could find alternative types of treatment.  AAs for my 2-hour naps, my primary care doctor explained that I am recovering from several things at the same time--4 hours under anesthesia, 3 years of taking strong drugs, and the emotional exhaustion from fighting my insurance company.  

At this point, I am recuperating and waiting to find out how I help others by applying what I have learned over the past 5 years.  

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In my c3 and C4 I just foud out I have a bugling disc .  What is the treatment for it.  I was his by a semi in January and am now having problems.  When the accident happened I had gotten a x-ray done and my C3 and C4 were inverted so I dont know if it hasnt healed or not or it it will.
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Comment By: PATRICIA CHAVEZ on Thursday, March 16, 2000



I HAVE A MAJOR PROMBLEM also. I HAVE PAIN IN MY SHOULDER, left AND left ARM, numbness left HAND. HAD MRI DONE. SHOWs disc degeneration DISK C-5 and spur.
THE PAIN IS SO BAD AT TIMES I CRY. THE PAIN MEDICATION ONLY HELPS A LITTLE BIT. I ALSO HAVE PAIN IN MY NECK. IT HURTS TO DRIVE, work, sit OR TO DO ANYTHING. I WAS A ACTIVE PERSON BEFORE THIS HAPPENED. NECK and left shoulder HURTS ALL THE TIME. DULL THROBING PAIN AND hand numbness. NECK POPS ALL THE TIME AND SOmetimes wakes mee from sleep with a stabbing pain. MY SHOULDER ALSO CATCHES SOMETIMES LIKE WHEN I'M REACHING FOR SOMETHING. No strength in left arm.
PLEASE RESPOND NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET!
Surgeon appointment Nov.27 to look over MRI with me.

THANK YOU,
Bryan Siddell
***@****


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I'm a 17 year old girl. I was in a car accident January 15 2000.At first i didn't have any pain. When i got home that night I started to have a sharp pain going up my neck. I thought it would go away.Two days later I went to the ER with pain so bad it put me on my knees.They did an X-ray and CT they both came back normal. They told me to go home and take a motrin and the pain would go away.It is now Ten months later they did a DMX and found lorn ligements,2 bugling disks at C4-5,and 2 hernaited disks at C6-7.An EMG was also done they found sever nerve damges at several levels of my neck.I have been through facet nerve blocks,chiroprators,CT'S,MRI'S,X-rays,DMX'S,EMG,and anything else they can stick on me or in me.
  
     I am having things where i can't see,feel,talk,and i start to shake really bad this happends when i move my neck the wrong way!I get headachs that won't go away for weeks at a time.
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A related discussion, Pain in neck then arm was started.
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A related discussion, Neurological or Pschycological? Pls Help was started.
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A related discussion, pain in neck with other aches and numbness was started.
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