Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Is life as I knew it over? Will you tell me?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I’ve been reading all kinds of things on these message boards, but now I need to post my story. I need support and direction from somewhere and I am pooped and overwhelmed with what to do and what I am told by the professionals. It’s unanimous for surgery, and they say the sooner the better, but no immediate concerns...whatever that means, but it scares my butt!

The Story of Chris in a nutshell:

Years of deal able issues have led to this last 8 months or so of constant shooting pain down my arm that I am going crazy trying to accept and live with, but I just can’t nor do I want this quality of life.

Been to PT where they tried the DRX9000 which wasn’t helping which was a bummer because it did work on my back several years ago and I’ve had very few problems since.

So they sent me for another MRI, my second in three years. They said my spasms were too strong and they wanted to get the inflammation down so they sent me to a pain mgmt clinic for injections. I had three sets of several steroid injections. Didn’t work, so they tried a block and nerve freeze thing, that also had no relief.

So they prescribed Lyrica and bumped up the pain medication to Oxycotin which freaks me out, but it seems to give some relief and I was able to sleep the first time in 3 weeks.

Just this month I finished my second round of PT with home traction 3xday. The therapist said he doesn’t believe in surgery, but he would do it in my case and said it’s just not worth it to go on that I should have some relief by now so he ended my treatments 2 visits early.

The last thing I’ve had done was an EMG study where there was weakening in my bicep and somewhere else. When The Dr. finished doing it, she said “you are at the end” you have minor damage to your spinal cord, your bicep is effected and you have tried everything. She said I should get surgery sooner than later to prevent more damage which may not be reversible. She said, “no more messing around you should make an appointment and get this done”.

Now my dilemma is should believe all of them and go this route? Or can I just become a drug addict and deal? I haven’t taken more than the prescribed amount, but I know how addiction works and am very aware. I cut back and suffer so I don’t build up a tolerance.

Should I seek out other alternative treatment? I have to rely on my insurance covering most of these bills so I can’t go anywhere out of State. The best neuro is 4 hours from me and I don’t think I could drive myself; because driving amplifies the pain too much. I’m just so tired of faking happy to everyone, I want to throw something at someone and I’m becoming a real bitch and mean spirited.

Here is my MRI info:
MRI C Spine WO Cnt (12/12/200808:36)
(Status: Final)
Cervical spine MRI examination, 12/12/2008.
Clinical History: Neck pain with radiculopathy.
Discussion: Routine cervical spine MRI examination was performed. Comparison 7/29/2008.
Alignment of the cervical spine is unchanged with reversal of the normal cervical lordotic curvature centered at C5-C6 there is no cord edema appreciated. Vertebral body height is maintained. There is moderate disc space narrowing at C5-C6 and C6-C7.
At C2-C3, there is no significant abnormality.
At C3-C4 there is right greater than left posterior uncinate spurring partly effacing CSF ventral to the cord without cord compression. Mild to moderate right neural foraminal narrowing, unchanged.
At C4-C5, there is moderate right-sided neural foraminal narrowing from mild, right greater than left uncinate spurring. No cord compression. Patent left neural foramen.
At C5-C6, there is posterior disc osteophyte complex effacing CSF ventral to the cord with AP flattening of the cord. There is mild facet hypertrophy. There is moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, right greater than left.
At C6-C7, there is posterior central disc extrusion with slight
superior and inferior migration of disc material relative to the
disc space spanning a craniocaudallength of approximately 1 em. This extends posteriorly approximately 3 to 4 mm. There is focal indentation of the ventral spinal cord without cord edema. There
is left posterolateral disc bulge which abuts the left ventral
spinal cord. There is severe left and moderate to severe right neural foraminal narrowing. Overall, there appears to be very slight decrease in size of the disc extrusion since the prior
study, although any change is minimal.
At C7-T1, there is no significant abnormality.
1. Stable alignment of the cervical spine with mild reversal of the normal cervical lordotic curvature.
2. Degenerative spondylosis is most advanced at C6-C7. There is posterior disc extrusion at this level which may be minimally improved since the prior study. Varying degrees of neural foraminal narrowing, stable, as described above.



  • I'm sorry for what you are going through and you have legitimate reasons to be scared. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what to do, or what the outcome will be. It sounds as if you've had all the right tests and done a lot of what's considered conservative treatments.
    Have you talked with an ortho? Have you talked with PM doc. It sounds almost as if you need to talk with a few more specialists about the results of what you've had done so far.
    Every doc will see something or say something different. I agree with them saying you don't want permanent nerve damage. I have it, wouldn't wish it on anyone.
    How unstable is your spine is one thing I didn't hear in your post. Might be a question to ask.
    The only advice I can offer is for you talk with enough proffessionals to know exactly what you're dealing with. So, maybe you should gather up all your tests results and make a few more appointments.
    I have films from all MRI, Mylogram CT scan, nerve studies and when I talk with a new doc I take them all. The hosptial will either give or loan them to you. I didn't have to pay for mine.
    Maybe after you talk to a few more docs you can make a plan that you're comfortable with.
    Until then, take the meds. There is no reason for you to suffer. If you find something that works whether surgery or some other form of treatment you can address the pain meds then. Docs do a pretty good job of stepping you down and it's not that bad.

    Love and prayers, try to stay calm and keep your head clear while you think about what to do next.
  • Anything moderate to severe is something to take note of. Second opinion from another Neurologist might help you feel more comfortable with your getting surgery. Don't worry about dependency on meds you need them! I hope you feel more comfortable with your decision but the EMG showed some problems and that will be discussed with your Dr. and his plan for your treatment including surgery. I wish you the best and we'll be here to support you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am planning on being more agressive and get in to see the NS. He is back logged for a while I have heard, but I am going to book it regardless. Please stay in touch and again thanks
  • They have said I am stable thus far, but at any given moment I may cause further damage, so I am listening to them and everyone. Only a few friends that really dont understand the magnitude are telling me to wait or try anything else rather then surgery. But I am going to listen to the professionals and do exactly what they say and get in to see the NS asap. True thanks, Chris
  • I know how you feel Chris it took me several 2nd opinions to decide on surgery. I also was so scared to get hooked on meds that I tried to go cold turkey and would just end up in worse pain. Charry is right it you need the meds take them! Trust me I have learned that lesson. I wish you the best with whatever you decide.

  • I agree that your problems needs to be addressed so you don't risk permanent nerve damage. I am usually cautious when it comes to back surgery because I have been through 2 that didn't bring me relief, but in your case I believe that the nerve needs to be decompressed soon. Don't worry about dependency on meds too much because studies show that patients who take narcotics for chronic pain have a very slim chance of becoming addictive. As long as you take it as prescribed you should be just fine. A lot of us have taken pain meds for a long time because it helps us function and there is nothing wrong in doing that. If you have surgery, I hope it goes well and that you recover well.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey 1mind711,

    Listen to your Dr's, ask lots of questions, get your answers, and don't look back. Just be positive and move forward. You will do well!
    Take care,
  • Ask your doc if you can try the Posture Pump because once your curve is gone DDD will set in.
Sign In or Register to comment.