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C3-4 and C4-5 bone spurs, bulging disc,  and severe stenosis

Jan 05, 2008 - 10 comments

I have seen 2 neurosurgeons in the past 3 months. I have had x-rays that showed cervical degeneration, an MRI that showed bone spurring and a bulging disc with a mass effect pressing of the exiting nerve roots, and a CT myelogram that showed signficiant stenosis of 70%. After the CT myelogram I went back to my neurosurgeon and he said that he wanted to let the bone spurs to grow more because of my age. I was very frustrated by this because I have been dealing with this for a year now. He then wanted me to have a nerve conduction study because he though that I might have carpal tunnel syndrome or an ulnar nerve problem. That test came back normal. I have severe neck pain and it radiates to the left shoulder and left collar bone. I have also had 2 trigger point injections in the bicipital groove and on the scapular bone with no relief. Can someone please help me understand what I am supposed to do now????

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Avatar universal
by boldsojah4christ, Jan 06, 2008
yeah im going threw the same thing 2 lower disc are slightly buldging that can cause severe pain when pressed against the nerve tissue.that radiates now 2 both of my legs and feet.GOD have mercy on us please! have you thought about steriod injection or surgery?

Avatar universal
by AGJ123, Jan 06, 2008
The neurosurgeon does not want to do surgery because of my age. I have had trigger point injections that did not help, but I have not had any steroid injections.

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by dontbelieve, Feb 26, 2009
dont know if this is still an active post but...I am in almost the exact same boat as you. I have had severe neck pain for the last 6 years and am at the same impass with the nuerosurgeon that he wants to let them "build up" before surgery and I dont. I want to be rid of the pain. I have been put on so many types of pain medication and seen several "specialists" for this over the last 6 years but none until this one found the actual problem. I do not take pain meds anymore as my tolerance for them is unreal so I have to take alot for them to work anymore. I too have had trigger point injections ( painful bastards) and they gave me no relief. Of course every doctor wants to try it far 3 different docs have given me trigger points to no avail. I tell them everytime that they dont work but they still insist and the last one said in order for insurance to see that I was willing to take the nessecary steps we would have to try them again...great now my  insurance company needs to cause me more pain before they believe I am in pain...

I have however recently tried the steriod injections. This is an epidural injection. It has seemed to work although they do not last very long for me they can last up to 6 months and beyond depending on how your body reacts to them...everyone is different..however heres the roadblock I ran into with them just today.

I called my doctor as instructed to get an injection scheduled, they told me to call them once the pain came back, and instead of being given an appointment they want to do a follow up consult and to make it worse my appointment is a month away. Something to talk to your doctor about if you go this route.

Also was wondering, I am 34yr old male and this nuerosurgeon told me the same thing because of my age he did not want to go into the surgery yet...I do not understand that. When he told me this I kinda thought he was pushing me toward the injections and thought that was an easier way to do it. But now that I read there are others being told the same thing it makes me curious....

Anyway thought I would give you a little info...

Avatar universal
by Angie24240, Apr 02, 2009
Hello, Don't Believe,

Given you've shown your willingness (6 years) to try the injections and continued symptoms, I'd suggest you seek a second neurosurgical opinion.  I had back surgery two years ago for L4-5 bilateral ruptured disk and feel fabulous.  Then last year when I started having C3-4 symptoms (bone spurs, stenosis, degeneration diagnosed) I went back to the neurosurgeon hoping we'd go right in and fix my neck like the back.  Unfortunately, I was given the same recommendation as you - show your willingness to try other options before resorting to surgery.  I agreed to the injections (first one tomorrow) but have remained adament (sp?) that I absolutely am not receptive to risking permanent nerve damage (like I have with my left leg, although I'm pain-free, thank God!!) given the level of symptoms and pain.  My neurosurgeon agreed to revisit the surgical options if the injections are not successful.  You've obviously "been there done that," so ask anyone and everyone for recommendations, and choose who seems to have the best track record, taking into consideration not only their surgical record but also, and just as importantly, their "bedside manner."  Best of luck, I truly feel your pain and frustration.  Sincerely - TucsonAngie

Avatar universal
by padawamedic, Oct 04, 2009
Anyone have an update on their current condition, i have c3-4 spurs, Degen disc et. and neurosurgeon recomends surgery.  He thinks i will get temporary relief from shote but not long term, I am 35 and probably in better shape to have surgery now.  I dont want it, but i am also having really bad chest pain/reflux esophageal spasms which i think are related to the c3 issue and definitely made worse by constantly dwelling on the pain and giving myself more anxiety.

Avatar universal
by kranth813, Nov 04, 2009
I wish that my doctor was recommending surgery. I previously have had a fusion at C5-7 and now I too have bone spurs at C3-4-5 and have seen numerous doctors. I have been in severe pain in my left shoulder blade area that runs all the way down my left shoulder and into my hand. I have had trigger point injections and two cortizone injections in my low neck (C7) and two cortizone injections in my shoulder, all to no avail. The last doctor said that C3-4 -5 will not cause arm pain, but I am wondering about that. The pain pills no longer work, the Neurontin does give some relief though. I wish all of you good luck, because I know what it is to be in constant pain. By the way, my nerve conduction study was normal.

Avatar universal
by dubby88, Dec 10, 2009
Can you stand one more post on this subject.
I have a large bone spur at c6-7 and smaller ones on c4-5. The large one is pressing on my esophagus so I'm have trouble swallowing and I feel in everytime I move my head. I've been to a nerosurgeon and a regular surgeon because they might take out my thyroid also as I have noguls on it.  The nerosurgeon said he would work with the thyroid surgeon and fix the spurs while they have me open, but now the thyroid surgeon says that it might not be necessary to remove my thyroid at this time maybe later,so now I dont know if the nerosurgeon will do the spur or not. I just had a thyroid scan done this week and go back to the doctor next week to see if there is any change in the thyroid or not at this point they will tell me if it needs to be taken out.

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by pebbles1965, May 14, 2010
look i got those shots 10 injections from one shot at a time in my neck and 2 weeks later  and they didnt work and had another mri  ct scan and come to find out he was hitting in the wrong place and had the nerve to admit it

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by pebbles1965, May 14, 2010
2 weeks later in my back shots never worked untill he admitted he was injecting in the wrong spots and finally it worked pain free for 30 days wonderfull i told him that the doc, and its like he started all over again and it no longer worked so he sent me to the surgen i ask about therapy  times no answer and after the surgery i read where i cpould have tried therapy first now look where i am , very unhappy same problems but worse cause i cant eat very frustrating   pebbles

Avatar universal
by scottilove, Feb 01, 2011
well im scott, we had 5in of snow fall here abt 4 weeks ago & one nite i was walkin 2 my truck frm tha house & fell down & landed on my neck on tha ice it was tha next nite that i started feeling tha pain in my neck & head then afew days later my upper body was killin me i started havin bad headaches,ear aches,chest pains & weakness in my rite arm pain & in both shoulder blades cudnt hardly hold anything in my rite hand or even hold it above my head then it got to where it was hard keepin my head up so i woke up 1 morning & cudnt fill my rite hand that scared me so i went to tha ER tha doctor came in to look at me then told me that my rite arm was very weak & that i was havin a hard time tyin2 keep it above my head so he wanted me to have sum xrays done then ctscan well after all that was done he came back into tha room & told me that i had a severe stenosis of c3 & c4 that was causing my pain & weakness that i needed surgery ASAP.i didnt thk it was that bad bt then i thought abt it i dnt have any ins, so how was i gonna pay for this cud i wait & tha doc told me that it cudnt wait it had to be done now so he gave me a shot & sum meds to take hme then i was to c a neck&bone doctor tha next day well lol that doctor told me after been there an hour he came in looked at me told me there was nothing wroug wt me that all i needed was rest for 3weeks no lifing no workin that i should be better by then bt if i was still in pain to come back & he wud send me to therapy ok if theres nothing wroug wt me why send me hme for 3weeks i didnt understand why tha ER DOCTOR told me i needed surgery ASAP then tha neck DOCTOR tellin me another tale told story i thk it was cause i dnt have any ins, aint no doctor gonna wanna c or work on me wtout any so im at a cross road nw its almost been 3weeks what should i do im still havin neck pain sumtimes i have chest pains bt nt all tha time i do bump into walls at times to bt & i still have bad headaches everyday & nite my ears ring at times bt i dnt have pain down my rite arm anymore jus alittle weak so jus need sum tips on what to do wud really help thx scott,

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