My problem started in January 2007 when I began to experience excruciating pain in my left shoulder blade area and could not turn my head left or right without it getting worse. I didn't know what to do and could not do anything especially drive my car without crying from pain. I went to a chiropractor because my brother swears by his, and got some relief, but not a lot. He kept insisting I needed to have an MRI so I went to my primary care doctor who agreed.
After having the MRI my PC told me I have a serious herniated disc in my neck and to see a surgeon. I went to an NS that was highly recommended to me and has a great rep. She agreed with the PC and informed me I have a congenital fusion of C5/6 which is why C6/7 have degenerated. Unfortunately,all she did was give me pain meds and tell me that I will need surgery in two years. The pain meds didn't work, so I waited it out, the pain went away, but the tingling in both arms persisted for another 2 months. Then I had no symptoms. This whole thing ended about June 2007 - 6 months later.
Fast forward to June of 2008. I woke up one morning and noticed the outside of my left are was numb and slowly throughout the day I lost use of my left hand. Because I had no pain, I thought it would go away, and it didn't. I returned to the same NS and began a serious of tests, another MRI, Mylogram CT, EMG. I was told the disc degeneration had quickly progressed, I have bone spurs now in the foramen, air bubbles in the bone, and an area where the disc is protruding into the spinal fluid. However, the NS said that the films didn't match the symptoms so she was not convinced surgery would fix my hand and she didn't want to do it based on hoping it would fix the problem. I waited a month not knowing what to do, and miraculously, most of the use of my hand returned.
I decided to go for a second opinion because I was afraid it would happen again and because I have weakness now. The 2nd NS said that if I had walked into his office with my hand in that condition he would have had me in the OR that same week. He insisted I have at least 2 Cervical Epidurals even though I was not in a lot of pain.
I The injection made me sick to my stomach, and I have had pain in both my arms, my neck and shoulders ever since. I feel worse than I did before the shot and it has been two weeks. I called the Pain doc to give her an update and said ddidn't want the 2nd but she insisted that the NS would not consider the surgery until I had at least 2.
I was terrified for the first shot, but afterwards, though I was lightheaded and nauseous, thought it wasn't so bad. However, now that I have felt worse since the first one, I am really scared of this second one. How much worse can it get? Has anyone had the same results from a Cervical Steroid Injection?
I don't understand why I have to put off the inevitable. Not that I really want to have surgery, but I know it has to be done. So I am going this afternoon for the second one and keeping my fingers crossed.
I would appreciate your thoughts and support. I am very curious to know if anyone has had a similar experience.
I apologize for the long story, but felt it was necessary to share. I hope to read some postings very soon.
A friend in need,