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cervical disc protrusions
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cervical disc protrusions

Hi I'm 33 yrs& have 2 disc protrusions seen onMRI at C5-6&C6-7 both broad based and on the left compressing the corresponding nerves & creating a "severely narrowed neuroforamina".  I have osteophytes that have formed around the area too, and the discs themselves are quite degenerative. I was in an MVA 5 years ago when the neck pain started immediately and over the years progressed into the L arm and thumb,index&middle fingers. I have numbness on&off,spasms,muscle twitching and stiff neck and occasionally both arms are uncoordinated and weak & very bad blade pain.  Reflexes are intact. I've tried for over a year everything conservative & I haven't been working either& nothing has helped it. Most recently another MRI scan showed the discs have not reaborbed at all.  I have about a week of manageable pain and then another of severe pain with numbness etc...My questions are is the twitching in my left arm and sometimes my left thigh related to my neck problem?If my nerves are so compressed why don't I have non-stop the extreme pain and numbness, weakness that I experience about every 3 or 4 days? Wouldn't it be constant?If I leave this for a long time can this cause permanent pain & numbness?  I read about cow bone being used instead of cadaver bone or my own bone, do you know if this is just as successful in a fusion?  I need help deciding whether or not to just take the step towards surgery because it's been so long would I still notice improvement if I go for surgery after this long?  If a disc hasn't reabsorbed in over a year will it ever? Thanks for your time and expertis
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1.For the muscles in the arm - yes. Fasciculations or muscle twitching can be caused by a pinched nerve due to irritation of the nerve fiber. But it's unlikely to be the cause of the leg twitching.
2.With overexertion, certain movements, or changes in position, you may be further compromising an already narrowed canal or space where the nerve travels through, thus causing intermittent pain.
3.Yes, permanent damage is a possibility depending on how severe the foraminal narrowing is and how long you've had it.
4.You'll have to talk to the surgeons about their own particular experiences with different types of bone grafts. Here at the clinic we use cadaver or the patient's own bone.
5.Usually if conservative management for a 6-8 week period has not helped, the foraminal narrowing is severe, and the patient is symptomatic (weakness is the biggest symptom we look for) then we recommend surgery as it's unlikely that it will get better on its own (again,this is if the patient has significant weakness and we've taken all the variable into account). And yes, it's possible that your symptoms will not completely go away after the surgery.  The only thing we can tell patients is that surgery would theoretically prevent further damage. Good luck.
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I had the similar symtoms (symptoms) but worse.  The first of Sept. I had a cervical diskectomy with fusion (3 levels)I am doing great! I am so glad I had it done.  Your symtoms (symptoms) will slowly go away but it takes up to 2 years for the spinal cord to heal, mine was compressed for a long time.  The only limitation I have is looking up and down but it's alot better then being in pain. I would do it over again if I had to.  You need to find a good Neurosurgeon and start there.
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I too am having almost exact symptoms...  The pain and weakness are increasing greatly.  I am droping things all the time.  Went to ortho doc and am going to PT, but my R shoulder is "drawing upward" and forward and won't stay down.  When lifting something, as in a pot off the stove, it seems to weigh 3 time as much when spassing it to my right hand from my left...

I have the numb tingling too...  I'm an artist and am afraid I'm losing my art hands rapidly...
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Does anyone know of a good Neurosurgeon. I have been told
I need a fusion of C3 through C7.  Thanks.
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Post again whereabouts you live and maybe then someone will read your post and let you know about a good neurosurgeon in your area.  Good luck!
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It does not matter where he is, I will go there.
I just need to find the best Neurosurgeon I can.
Thanks.
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Hi again, I was told that Dr. Benzel is great spine surgeon who comes highly recommended at the Cleveland Clinic.  I don't have his address though, just his name.  Good luck!
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Hi again, follow this link to Dr. Edward Benzel any other CCF doc's.  www.clevelandclinic.org/fhc/staff/solonstaff2.htm#benzel, perhaps you'll be able to choose another doctor from here if you need other areas of expertise beside spine
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I found the address /telephone number for the Cleveland Clinic.  Perhaps you can contact them directly to get his or another's telephone number and adress:
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland,Ohio   tel (216) 444-2200, again best of luck!
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There is also a toll free number if you are out of the area !!! 1-800-223-2273
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If you're considering surgery you may want to read this artical first, www.mindyourpsandqs.com  Best of luck, Darlin
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HI, I had a neck injury about 9 yrs ago, and have had pain in it and tingling down into the left arm into the pinkey and inside of the ring fringer on left hand, Over the time Ihave had once in a while as burning or stinging in the lower part of neck,between and across the back of my shoulders and down the back of my arms. the right also has the same but not near as much or as frequently as the left. the burning and tingling is getting to where about anytime and alot of positins seem to make this conditin start, in the middle of the night and in the day time.I was told by a regular GP MD that it sounded to him like a pinched nerve or cervical disk problem,, what short of surgery can be done for this, to give  relief, as I am not getting any now and it is getting real painful.
Thanks fo any help
Ralph1947
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Avatar_n_tn
you would have to start off to have a cervical MRI scan to see if indeed you do have a pinched nerve. Sounds like maybe C6-7 or C7-T1 level.  If you've confirmed the diagnosis and have tried all conservative therapies, including rest, muscle relaxants, physiotherapy etc... then surgery would be the last resort most probably in the form of a cervical microdiscectomy and fusion.  You can search this site for other similar posts about similar problems,but try to get an MRI scan done of the area or an EMG nerve conduction study to see what's happening with your nerves.  Good luck with everything
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you would have to start off to have a cervical MRI scan to see if indeed you do have a pinched nerve. Sounds like maybe C6-7 or C7-T1 level.  If you've confirmed the diagnosis and have tried all conservative therapies, including rest, muscle relaxants, physiotherapy etc... then surgery would be the last resort most probably in the form of a cervical microdiscectomy and fusion.  You can search this site for other similar posts about similar problems,but try to get an MRI scan done of the area or an EMG nerve conduction study to see what's happening with your nerves.  Good luck with everything
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Your symptoms sounds EXACTALLY like mine! I have had pain and discomfort for over 5 years!! My doctor has finally ordered a MRI of my cervical spine which I will have done this Friday.  The discomfort and pain in my neck, upper back and shoulder blades has gotten to the point where it is unbearable at times. My neck feel so stained and achy that all I can do is lay down or rest it against something. It feels like a thousand pounds sometimes.  I get incredibly sharp pains in my neck and upper spine area and such aching and soreness in the shoulder blade areas, my left side is the WORST but it also affects the right side as well. I get the tingling down the left arm and twitching in the fingers, they just involuntarily move on their own. I had a EMG nearly three years ago of the left arm and it was normal--I am wondering now if this isn't nerve problem coming from my neck.  I have never had a serious accident but I was in a profession where I had propped a phone to my ear with my left shoulder for several years..I wonder if this could of caused a problem.  I know its unbearable and not alot of people understand.  It is very frustrating.  I am a 34 year old female and other than this problem very healthy so it is quite depressing to be in this condition.  My doctor ordered me a prescription of Neurontion 300mg 3 times a day a few weeks ago and it HAS helped alot of the pain and aching--it comes back when the med wears off but it is making everyday life more bearable.  Any feedback or experiences would greatly be appreciated! Thanks~
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sounds like you may be on the right track in terms of a neck problem.  Certainly the position you held your neck on the phone could have predisposed your neck to bulging discs, perhaps compressing a nerve.  Your MRI scan should delineate the problem and you can take it from there.  Shoulder blade pain could be a referred pain from a nerve being compressed in the neck area, as many people have this along with the pain your experiencing in your hard and neck.  Also muscle twitching can be caused by a compressed nerve too.  Good luck with the MRI scan and if indeed it shows a compression of one of the neural elements ie. nerves, spinal cord, then you should be assessed by a neurosurgeon to see if you'd be suitable for surgery following all conservative therapies already tried (muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, physio, rest, no heavy lifting etc.)  In the meantime, take it easy and no heavy lifting ie. no more than 10 lbs and wait to see what your scan turns up.  Good luck
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Thanks for the information, my
MRI's are on the way to The Cleveland Clinic.
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Hello! Thanks so much for your insight--I'm sure as you know this is a very trying time--One goes through the pain for so long and at times it "eases" up alittle then it is back full force--It does makes sense that is flares up when it is aggrevated more by activity or what one is doing. I have tried the rest, muscle relaxants, PT, no lifting, using a headset at work (which COMPLICATED my job SO much more cuz I had to keep taking it off and on....). I have a high pain tolerance but when I find myself in my Doctors offices crying I know its time to do something. Sometimes the neck area, upper part of the back and shoulder blade areas are unbearable to touch, shoot I can remember shower water making me hurt. Its ridiculous.  I'm looking forward to the scan even though I am scared...Another thing I was wondering if you or anyone else interested in has heard of is unbearable pain on the scalp?? A few weeks ago I had a miserable totally untouchable pain on my scalp, I couldn't wash or comb my hair! It can from one specific point and the pain spread down and around the area. It burned so bad. I went to the doc and he said it was some kind of neuritis and put me on a Prednisone Pack--the pain did go away in a few days after I took that...could this be connected?? It was SO weird. Insight from others who experience symptoms like this or who "have been there" are SO helpful. As I said earlier some people just can't relate...some docs even can't relate. Thanks for listening and your words! They are very much appreciated!
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Hi, glad we were able to share thoughts.  The only thing I can think of about your scalp pain is occipital neuralgia.  When my neck was flaring really bad, I had the back of my head (occiput) and very bad pain shooting up the back of the scalp to almost the top of my head.  Sometimes like you I couldn't touch it.  I went for occipital nerve blocks with local anaesthetic and cortisone and this seemed after about 4 injections to settle down but now that my neck is flaring again, I find it slowly coming back.  I also have flushing of my face on and off really bad or my left ear (the left side of my neck is the bad side) but no doctor said whether or not this could be related.  I feel it might be since it coincides with bad flare ups.  Like you, once it settles down I say no to surgery but when it flares, its like "take me now"!  Anyway, good luck with your MRI scan and post what turns out.  Good luck again with everything and I hope all works out for you and you get some needed pain relief that we all need!!! :)
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your very welcome, good luck with the clinic, I'm sure you'll be able to get some help there!  Best of luck again!
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Hello again! Sorry the misspelling of your name the first time--fingers are faster than brain sometimes!  I relate to your symptoms and feelings SO much! I know the feeling of "TAKE ME NOW" when the pain is bad. Its like NOT a great quality life living like this and I'm sure it makes it hard for our families.  Do you have pain in the spine just below the base of the neck?? I'm not sure where the C6-7 is exactally located but I KNOW I have nearly constant severe sharp shooting back there just below my neck. My neck constantly feels like I need to rest it or it needs to be PULLED upward. Its not a nice feeling.  I will keep ya posted on the MRI--I want SOMEONE to find something that is causing this.  Ya started feeling crazy when you tell someone how you feel and they don't understand. That is why these forums are so helpful. If anyone takes Neurontin for pain I would love to compare with you--what does it mean if the Neurontin DOES help(still feel slight pain and discomfort during day BUT not as bad)--when it wears off the pain is there put as I understand it the Neurontin is for Nerve pain--would this be suggestive that there IS a nerve problem?? I don't understand some of this..... Thanks again for your communication.  ANY more info or advice is appreciated.
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Hi there, I don't take Neurontin but my mom actually did for a while for severe leg and feet burning that ultimately was caused by severe lumbar stenosis which she had surgery for 2 years ago with good results, so I believe Neurontin is only for nerve pain.  A neck problem sounds like that could definitely be your problem.  The C6-7 level would be almost around shoulder level to the base of your neck.  Other than C7-T1, it's the lowest of the cervical spine. I have sharp pain there only on and off.  The majority of my pain is in the shoulder blade, left arm down to the fingers, actual shoulder, trapezius muscle and headaches and general neck pain.  It really sounds like to me that this may be the cause of all your problems and I'm curious too to find out your scan results.  Keep us posted. Good luck again!
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Hello! Well I got through the MRI--I was pretty nervous but really it was not as bad as I anticipated. My mother in law suggested I put a washcloth over my face and I think that helped alot. My pain and aching in the shoulder and upper back area seem to be getting alittle worse even on the Neurontin, at first it was helping alot but now it is wearing off sooner I think. Do you still have pretty good range of motion with your neck or is this bad?? I can move my neck pretty much any way and it seems the docs seem to think if you can MOVE your neck you are not so bad off??? It hurts more when I move it to the left but mostly I can move it pretty okay.  They previously detected a bulging on my T-4 vertebrea and an osteophyte on a CT but my PCP said he did not think that would cause me any pain.....How can they be sure?? SOMETHING is hurting! I will be glad to get the MRI results back--my neck feels like its just gonna give out! The aching in the left shoulder seems to be going in the back of my left arm.......I'll keep ya posted. Hope you are feeling as well as possible!
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I had an anterior cervical fusion on Aug. 21, 2002. I too, experienced major pain, numbness and burning sensation in my neck and L and R arms. More in L than in the R. My surgery went very well and a bone from my hip was used instead of the cadaver. In 2 - 2 1/2 weeks after surgery, my hip seemed to be healed and I have had no problems since.  My neck seemed to be healing very well. My husband and I took a trip out west (over 6,000 miles) and the riding was not good for the healing, I guess.  I started back on the pain pills and have gradually gotten worse ever since. I have had multiple MRI, CAT Scans and cervical X-rays before and since surgery.  (11 to be exact) I saw my doctor again about 10 days ago, and he says that the bone plug is in place but there is still a lot of movement and my neck is not healing at all! I am now on Neurontin (twice daily), Anexia (3 times daily) and Skelaxin (3 times daily and when I'm not drugged to the max, I feel like someone has hit me in the back of the neck with a ball bat.  My arms a extremely weak, numbness in both arms and hands. I have never had so much pain in simply washing my hair. My doctor says he's not sure what to do at this point. He says we can either redo the surgery or wait a little longer to see if it is ever going to heal. In 4 days it will be 6 months since my surgery, how long is the healing process going to take? My last X-Ray showed 2mm subluxation on neutral view, 3mm on flexion and 4 mm on extension.  What in the world is going on in there?  I am at my wits end. I want my LIFE back and right now see no light at the end of the tunnel. I will see my doctor again in 2 weeks and he says they'll do another X-Ray then but may wait another 4-6 months to see if is actually going to heal. What is up with that?  That is one year of my life and I'm not young anymore.  Anyone have any ideas or similar symptoms?  Please let me know, I'm desperate!!!
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I have been dealing with neck pain and upper back pain for a couple of years.  I have been diagnosed  cervical spinal stenosis. I have severe mutli-level cervical spondylytic changes,
with congenital narrowing of the central canal from C3 through
C6.  I have been treated conservatively for 2 years.  I have had
to scale back a lot of activities because of the neck and back pain.  My primary question for everyone has to do with burning,
tingling and numbness (only slight) in my feet (both).  Can anyone out there give me any indication that the symptoms with my feet are related to the cervical spinal stenosis.  I have had
an EMG of my feet, which was negative. The neurologist does not think that the burning feet is related to my neck, but I would like to be sure before committing to surgery on my neck.
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I got a short report in the mail from my PCP today concerning my MRI--it says, "Your MRI of the cervical spine shows a bulging disc at the C5-6 without any evidence of definate hernia"  It does not give any other specifics, does the "without any evidence of definate hernia" mean IT COULD be and they are NOT sure?? I live in a very rural area and these open ended reports scare me.....I go to my works comp. doctor on Friday, he is a Orthepedic doctor, I had symptoms back in 2000 and saw him and he did an EMG, PT--didn't help--symptoms MUCH worse now and comp. does not know if this will be considered work related...Crazy cuz in 2000 it was!!!!????  I'm confused, scared, hurting very bad and BROKE!! What do I do next...I should see a neuro...I would believe. I hate being in the mercy of my works doc and not knowing if he will handle this the right way. I am miserable and know work will only make this worse....is there a surgery that will help this before it gets much much worse...I don't think I could handle much more to be honest. PLUS I have the fear of since they are already bulging WHAT IF I was in an accident of something and they herniate BAD could it paralyze me?? I mean there is ALREADY a problem there! What are we to do?? Who do we trust???????  I guess I will get more specifics when I go Friday and the next Thursday I will go to my PCP--he has me off work right now but I wonder what the comp. doc will do?? I just don't want to get worse...I just want the pain to stop. :(  Any comments would be appreciate or suggestions from you who are there or have been here! THANKS!
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Hi, I know exactly what you are going through. Been there, done that! I am 51 now and experiencing the pain, numbness and all that goes with ruptured, herniated, bulging discs whatever you want to call it. It all means basically the same thing. I had a lumbar laminectomy on L4/5 in Dec. 1982. It took me 3 years and 8 doctors to figure out what the problem actually was. Now I have and always will have permanent nerve damage in my L leg. It's not bad but it's there nevertheless. (Mostly weakness) I know that medicine has come a long way since 1982 and I, for one, will never suffer the way I did then prior to having surgery. In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to have major nerve pain with all the new meds out there. I have a wonderful doctor whom I trust with my very life but I had to really express to him how bad my pain was before he wrote a script for something that actually took the pain away. You just have to be very careful that you don't get addicted to the drugs and that just because the pain is gone, you don't overdo it. It's easy to do when you don't have that nagging pain. My neck hurt so bad that I just wanted to throw up and I did not want to go through what I went through back in the 80's. I refused to go through that again. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you don't speak up, who's going to know how you feel or what you want? It's your body and if you want answers, don't stop until you get them!!! I am going through some major problems with my cervical spine now but I placed a call to my doctor yesterday and left a message for him to give me some answers or I will seek out another neurosurgeon real soon. I hope to be hearing from him by the end of this week. Good luck and God Bless.
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Sorry to hear of your problems.  I know it is miserable to hurt. Your words were very comforting and helpful to me! I am definately at the point in my life and PAIN that the docs WILL hear me.  Two and a half years ago I went for help and it took this long for them to FINALLY to an MRI.  Alot of suffering has went on during that time, most days I was taking 16-20 Ibuprophen a day for pain. The Neurontin is helping but the ache is constantly there. I get such SHARP pains in the neck area.  I'm finally getting some answers and they may not be the BEST ones BUT it is easier to deal with when you have a road to go down.  I sure hope your problems get the attention they need, you've been through TOO many years of pain and suffering! I just can relate SO much and it does hurt me for others!  Well, need to get these bones moving and my son to school Thanks for the note, God Bless!
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Hi, just wanted to let you know that sometimes MRI scans do not show up all the problems.  If your scan is showing a bulge, this just means the usual wear and tear of the intervertebral discs, which all of us get I'm told as we age.  But sometimes the MRI scans miss far lateral herniations. I believe this would have to be looked at with a cervical myelogram where they shoot dye into your spine and look at all the nooks and crannies where the nerves run through and possibly followed up with a CT scan post myelogram. This would be something an ortho or neuro doc should order.  Might be worth mentioning this.  I remembered when my mom went for lumbar surgery they found 2 cysts in the spinal canal and only 1 was seen on MRI, so things are missed.  Good luck again and hopefully they won't stop just at an MRI scan since you're still in so much pain, and it's not all in your head!  Best of luck again
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I can't seem to post a question as it is so very busy, but read your submission and there were some similarities and have hopes that a Neurosurgeon may respond with a comment.

I have had 2 laminectomies-1 at L5-S1(75% removal); 1 at L4 (85% removal) and 3 discectomies at L4; right shoulder surgery
(Arthroscopic acromioplasty, distal clavicle excision, and repair of the partial tear, rotator cuff, right shoulder); MOST RECENT-cervical foraminotomy C5-C6 (see info below); left shoulder surgery (Arthroscopic acromioplasty, distal clavicle excision, and repair of the partial tear, rotator cuff, left shoulder).(I will try to explain below my problem without going in depth. I tried all conservative treatment for almost a year.

I was injured 4/27/01 with a possible rotator cuff tear. I was referred to an orthopedic specialist and insisted that it was my neck, not my shoulder. MRI film confirmed:
Cervical spinal stenosis with left C5-C6 foraminal stenosis. There is also evidence of moderate left disc buldge.

I had surgery 5/14/02 and the operative reports explains:

PREOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS:
1. Cervical spinal stenosis with left C5-C6 foraminal stenosis.
a) failure of nonoperative care.

POSTOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS:
1. Cervical spinal stenosis with left C5-C6 foraminal stenosis.
a) failure of nonoperative care.

PROCEDURE:
1. Posterior foraminotony and nerve root decompression, C5-C6, left side.
a) Use of the operating microscope.

DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURE:
She was taken to the operating room, placed under satisfactory general anesthesia, and the Mayfield tongs were applied in order to bring her up and into a sitting position. Once we had her adequately supported, routine prepping and draping were carried out. Appropriate monitoring was obtained, and we went ahead with an incision over the palpable C5 and C6 spinous processes. With the localizing X-ray identified C5-C6 level, exposed the facet, and with a high-speed bur, took down the lateral portion of the lamina and the medial portion of the facet giving us access into the neural foramen. We found an impressive degree of debris and hypertrohied ligament and capsule within the neural foramen, and there was also osteophytic projection off the C5 pedicale. Using the small Kerrison and the Carlens surettes, we were able to adequately decompress the C6 nerve root, and satisfied with the decompression, we carried out irrigation, placed some thrombin-soaked Felfoam over the nerve root, and then carried out the routine closure. She tolerated the procedure quite will and there were no complications encountered. (It goes on to tell about the antibiotics and transport to recovery). "She was transported back to the recover room where she demonstrated an intact neurologic exam.

I had left shoulder surgery 9/05/02:
OPERATIVE PROCEDURE:
Arthroscopic acromioplasty, distal clavicle excision, and repair of the partial tear, rotator cuff, left shoulder. (I won't go in-depth)

On 12/02/02 I had to go in for shoulder manipulation as I had severe adhesive capsulitus. I have about 65% rotation and 45% laterally.
I still have one adhesion that is holding back movement.

I have been having severe pain laterally at the neck, nerve pain and burning with numbing and tingling in my arms, forearms, and all fingers. A new MRI was done in January which read (I will type only the C5-C6 info:
Examination of the C5-6 level shows left lateral uncovertebral osteophytes. However, there is also evidence of left posterolateral decompressive laminectomy. There is also evidence of moderate center disc buldge. There is no spinal or root canal stenosis. (everything above and below are normal)

My doctor wanted to do a fusion and was scheduled March 11th, but after my appointment last Thursday, he said that he doesn't feel comfortable doing a fusion. He feels that the nerve pain in my arms will stay there and its something that I may have to live with; no referral to anyone, but did re-prescribe another script of Neurontin which I have been taking since November. I cried all the way home, came to my senses, and called a called a neurosurgeons office for a comference and second opinion which is this coming Tuesday. I live in a small town and have plans after this appointment with my local Neurosurgeon to travel to Spokane, Washington (2.5 hours away) to see one who may be more advanced in new procedures, etc. I am hoping that a good neuro will see something in the films that the ortho cannot. What are your thoughts?

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My dear I have your symptoms but with chronic pain all of the time, a year ago it affected my left leg on the same side as my weak arm and hand. Then bladder problems. These symptoms over time become myelopathy. Cervical Myelopathy does affect your lower back and leg from the problems in your neck. Especially when flexing of the neck. What you experience for a few days I experience everyday. Rather than ignore the symptoms and hope they will go away, as I have over the past 14 years, go straight to the top and ask for opinions, you cannot have enough opinions. Some Neurologists will prefer conservative methods, others surgical, once you are armed will as much information and opinions as you can get, then you can make an informed decision about your way forward. If you have some hand tremor as I first had some years ago, this developed into Parkinsonism, all part and parcel of the myelopathy. My mistake was seeing an Orthopaedic surgeon, a Neurologist and a Neurosurgeon will give good advice. Here most operations of that sort are now done anterior rather than posterior. In Turkey a study of these types of operations found that some 2 years later the best results were from anterior surgical procedures. But there is nothing wrong with having a second or third opinion. Here they try to avoid surgery at all costs which leaves time for the development of myelopathy or similar longterm disabilities.
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Lhermittes sign - paresthesias or leg weakness is exacerbated by neck flexion.

Motor neuron signs lower body - hyper-reflexia and frank clonus in lower extremities.
Decline in ability to walk - ataxia.
Loss of lower extremity proprioception.
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I am SO frustrated! My MRI show a "bulging disc" at C5-6. I had to go to my works comp. doc who is an Orthopedic doc and he says, "oh this isn't bad--I'm sure a Neuo wouldn't touch it unless of course he needed to make his Mercedes payment" I for one felt he was being very tacky.  He does NOT think my TERRIBLE should blade aching and hurting is at all from my C5-6 he says that is "muscular skeletal" PROBABLY--its been this darn way for 3 years!!!  At my work I constantly propped a phone with my left shoulder while I typed, wrote, answered call lights ect........I NEVER EVER SWEAR ON ANYONE OR ANYTHING I LOVE DEARLY had ANY problems what so ever with my neck or shoulders hurting until several years after I started this job. The ortho says "its degenerative" I said "A BULGING DISC THERE?? I'M 34 YEARS OLD FOR PETES SAKE!!"  He has me off work till I get an EMG done of both arms--he did find a deficet in my left arm--then he wants to see me again. He bluntly say he expects to find NOTHING wrong with the EMG--he said next he would recommend pain clinic for epidural shots in the cervical spine area!! HELP!! Is this a proper method of procedure?? I asked about a myogram and he just said that wouldn't show anything more! I was in tears, I HURT--I feel the terrible ache, the tingling fingers, the jumping fingers, the twitching muscles in the left arm, the shooting sharp pains down my spine. SOMETHING isn't right. Neurontin HELPS but leaves a little out in left field......I would with this doc when I DO work so I am really confused.....I don't know what to think or do! ANYONE help!!!!
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Hi again,

I read your latest message and I feel soooo bad for you. I know right now you are feeling pretty helpless and maybe even feeling like maybe it's all in your head. Don't feel that way! It's not all in your head and if you get no compassion from your workers' comp. doctor than that, request to see someone new. I am telling you from past experience, if you don't pursue this and keep telling the doctors that "your pain is real" then they will not pursue it. About your EMG....I had one done in June of 2002 and the doctor said that I had very mild carpal tunnel and nothing else. Boy, was he wrong! So that goes to show you that some tests do not reveal the problems that you are experiencing. I have to tell you, once I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he told me that I had a little arthritis, but other than that there wasn't anything else wrong with my back. He told me to go home and take 18 aspirin a day. I actually laughed at him as I walked out of the room and just shook my head. Less than 1 month later, I was having back surgery by the best neurosurgeon in Michigan. I just kept going to doctors until I got to the top-notch surgeon and he fixed the problem.  

I am going to that same doctor now. (He's 73 years old.) He just gave me a referral to another neurosurgeon at his office. If he gives me the same diagnosis, then I will go with that. Above all, you have to find someone that you trust and you believe in what they tell you. As for your workers' comp. doctor, he's a real jerk and I'm not so sure that I wouldn't tell him that. He's working for the company, not for you!  Good luck, I hope you get some help soon. God Bless.

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Your words are like healing to my soul! Thank you! I am trying to keep the faith and I WILL stick with this, I know something is wrong. I am an intelligent person who is NOT looking for "as easy way out" I want to feel better and I don't want to get worse. Thanks you for  your encouragement. I am also from MICHIGAN!! If you don't mind I would appreciate knowing who is helping you out, I am willing to go about anywhere to get answers. I don't want a bandaid on something that is going to get worse, I am taking Neurontin every 4 hours now so that is getting me through the day but I can't do that forever. You seem like an angel of mercy and I do appreciate your advise! Thanks!!
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Hello, I am new to this forum.  I am in my early 40s and am an RN.  Two months ago I was injured at work repositioning a patient.  According to my MRI, I have spondylosis, loss of the normal curvature from C3-6, flattening of the anterior epidural space at C3-7, two bulging discs at C3-4 and C4-5 and two protruding discs with moderate compression at C5-6 and C6-7.  I have constant pain in the back of my neck that radiates down my left arm and numbness and tingling in the fingers of my left hand.  I have had PT, traction and one steroid injection so far.  I have been on a Medrol Dose Pack (oral steroids) and currently I am taking Darvocet, Flexeril and Vioxx.  To date nothing is working for me.  I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon in April.  I am trying to educate myself on my condition by reading and doing as much research as I can so I can make wise decisions.  If anyone has been through what I am experiencing, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Thanks for reading this post. d.
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hi...i had a car accident in 1998 and have been dancing jazz for many years and was recently diagnosed with bulging discs- C45, C56.   i have been incapacitated and honestly reading these postings make me feel better because NO ONE understands the effect this is having on my life.  I am EXTREMELY active, working out 6 days a week, dancing, swimming, running, etc and now i can do nothing. can't even sleep at night.  but i was wondering, has anyone found a good pillow for support?  laying down at night gives me tingles and numbness.  it's worrisome. thanks.
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About a week before Christmas I had a stiff neck. Well this stiff neck was so sore that the pain went down to my right arm and ended at the elbow and felt kinda numb. Well it is now March almost into 3 months my neck is still sore the bone in my neck and the pain goes down between my shoulder blades. I went to a Chiropractor Friday she realigned my back and neck and I'm still in a constant nagging pain.
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i hope that i got the right person. i had a buldging at the c-5 my doctor said that it did'nt beleave that would be the problem. i tell you i had such bad pain in my neck and down my arms along with numbness,tingleing and across the shoulder blades, best thing i can't tell you is don't give up. i went to a nerial surgen and had a fusion done, two weeks later i was back to work, sorry bout the miss spelling.
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Hello! I believe caynetina had these symptoms also but it was my doctor (an orthopedic surgeon who is the hospital I work fors Comp. doc) tell be that the bulging disc WOULD NOT cause ANY problems in the shoulder blade areas that are TERRIBLE for me. He also said, "an Neuro would NEVER touch you unless he needed to make his Merdedes payment" I was so upset. I also have a bulging at my T-4 with an oseophyte, that area is also so sore nearly ALL the time I can not even tolerate a back rub. Neurontin is helping, the tingling, twitching and pin and needles comes and goes in my left arm but it has progressively gotten worse over 3 years. I know I hurt, its so upsetting to hear someone say "that SHOULDN'T BE CAUSING IT!"  I asked, "WHAT IS?"  He said he would assume it is something muscular-skeletal?? But does that sound like a comp. doc or what?? I'm NOT concerned about money AT ALL, just feeling better. I WILL go for a second opinion after the EMG's of both my arms are done. That for the comments.
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Cyndie and smalltowngirl - I understand your frustrations, you are both doing the right thing by searching for better opinions, ortho surgeons are no use with these problems, neurologists need to be seen, MRI's of the spine and head need to be done, and then if you are still not happy with the prognosis - then other neurologists have other ideas, and other procedures, when I worked in the hospital I found that there were good doctors and not so good doctors, those who would look further than their noses. The frustration is that no-one can feel your pain but you. For awhile I used to describe my neckpain as sciatica type pain, why! because I had sciatic shooting pain in my leg for years, now it is just weak. A doctor told me not to describe it that way because who I was describing it to would assume I was talking about my leg not my neck. Hey! why would a doc assume I'm talking about my leg, that was the best way I could describe the pain (one of the types of pain) in my neck. Keep searching for your answers and options.

Also osteophytes are painful especially when encrouching on other areas they should'nt. I've read they're smooth but they feel like broken glass to me. I think we should invent a capsule to put people in where people can experience various types and levels of pain and then we may see some empathy, instead of being treated as if we are all fruitcakes.
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Your comments were like music to my soul. It is SO frustrating! All of us here I am sure KNOW that! I DO work at the hospital where the ortho (AND he is the comp. doc) work. I am the unit secretary there SO I KNOW how he operates and acts. He is not very compassionate. He has always been friendly and stuff with me but he has to be cuz I do alot of his leg work at the hospital. ANYWAY--he just seems to KEEP going back to it being in my wrist, he squeezes it to see if there is tingling or anything...WELL NO!! When I lean my head back or stretch at times like in a chair with my back against it THAT is when it tingles--I get the electrical feeling down my arm (Left mostly) and pins and needles in ALL my fingers in that hand. I'm not sure what these EMG's of both arms is going to show--they did one of just the left a few years ago and he said it was "relatively normal"  I DO hurt, I am miserable alot of the time, at 34 years old no one wants to feel this way.  The pain comes down from the neck to about the T-4 area where they say there is a bulging disc and an osteophyte (bulging disc at C5-6) shown on MRI as well. Ortho says he expects to find NOTHING on the EMG and we'll do pain clinic. I don't think so. I WILL go on, I will get second, third, forth--whatever it takes opinions. They don't feel what I do and I don't see "just letting it go" so that when I am alot older I am totally incapacitated.  I like the idea of the "mini" doc capsule thing, we are NOT NUTS.  Maybe they are..........My hope is there is GOOD docs out there who care, well I KNOW there are I just have to find the one for me. I hope and pray you all do for yourselves as well. Thanks for listening and have a wonderful day! My prayers to all!
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I already had the disc surgery to repair my ruptured disc and the disc cut into my nerve giving me nerve damage. Now it has been a little over a year since the surgery and I'm still having pain in my neck radiating down my left arm causing my fingers to go numb. I have done 6 months of therapy and went back to work only to be out again and back in rehab. Is there anyone out there with similar problems? Is nerve damage permanent or can it be fixed? My nerve was severed from the ruptured disc. The neurosurgeon said that he repaired it. Is it possible to repair a severed nerve? any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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I had drisc protrusion on C5/6.Had cervical fusion.Symptoms have gotten worse,plus have other symptoms.I went to a chiropracter after the surgery.He took x-ray of my neck,he said when they done my surgery and put the plate and screws in my neck that they locked my cervical spine curving the opposite way it should be going.He told me that the pressure from my neck is causing my hips to go out of adjustment.I still have the burning,tingling,swelling in the neck and shoulder area and spasms.Could this be possible and what can I expect in the future,could it get worse,cause more doamage and pain?
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