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)
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.