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I just don't know what to believe or do any more

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello Everyone.

According to my MRI and my doctor. I have disc sapce narrowing at c5-c6 and c6-c7. There are bony spurs at both, and these indent and narrow the theca, but not the cord.

For months, I've had,neck pain and stiffness, arm pain, shoulder and upper back pain, burning, pins and needles, limited neck movement (side to side) so cannot drive safely. I get those dreadful 'electric shocks' if I move my head at times. Grinding and creaking when I move my head.

The Neuro surgeon says it's not bad enough for surgery, OK, I can live with that.......... But now, the Neuro and the family doctor, say that the pains, pins and needles, electric shocks, and stiffness, cannot possibly be because of the bone spurs or oseophytes, whatever they call them.

I am not a nut-case, nor am I imagining these awful sypmtoms, the family doc keeps dishing out Neurotin and morphine............which, since they say that my symptoms cannot be to do with the bone spurs and disc narrowing......I wonder why they keep giving them to me?

I have been referred to a Pain Managemtn Clinic, which I go to for the first time on Monday.

How can they say that my symptoms are too severe for the bone spurs to be causing them..........it's my neck, I KNOW what hurts and when.............I just don't know why any more.

I'm pinning great hopes on the Pain Management Clinic on Monday, I just want to be able to drive and feel like normal again.....Bloody Bone Spurs or not !




  • Scully, I am in the same predicament. Of course I was told that I am too young and i can handle the pain. I hope the pain management doctor helps you.

    I called mine this morning because I am having severe headaches. I was told to continue to take my Tramadol and come in and see him on Tuesday. My headaches are so bad that they make me cry. I have a three eight pound boys, a tubal, my gallbladder removed, an ERCP ( removed a galled stone from my liver duct), a vaginal Hysterectomy, and my left ovary removed. I have only cryed with my gallbladder, Nerve pain, and these stupid headaches. I can handle some pain, but they act like it is nothing. Next time it gets that bad I am going to the ER.

    Question- How do you put your information at the bottom of your posts?
  • except my MRI said I had spinal cord compression moderate at C5C6 and mild at C6C7. My C5/C6 show bright white on the edges and was noted as bone wear. I have the spurs too.

    I don't understand how you can have thecal sac being pressed and not the spinal cord. I thought the thecal sac contained the spinal cord??? I've been trying to brush up on all the physiology of the neck and head so I can be intelligent.

    I've had the exact same symptoms as you do. I've been seeing a chiropractor, 8 visits so far. He's helped a little with the soreness, but I'm still have buzzing and shocks and the deep shoulder ache. He's also made my headache go away for the past two days. I'm not totally convinced it's a miracle yet, but anything to the good is better than I was. To add to my story, I've had a fusion last July on L4/5 and then revision to add hardware on L3/4/5 in December. I thought everything was related my fusion, then the xray and MRI showed it wasn't. My current NS brushed me off with a steriod pack and that's why I went to a chiropractor.

    Don't cha wonder how they can take the MRI or xray and make a concrete statement about them? You are laying down for the MRI in the perfect position. What happens when you turn your head or lean back and look up? They can't tell me that the MRI would be entirely different in those positions. We go all day and the muscles tense up causing things to tighten up and spasm.

    Don't give up if you continue to have the same symptoms. See another NS or Orthopedic spine doctor. I know how you feel and you can't live like that. I'm still in pain too and wondering whether I should see a NS now or wait and see on the chiropractor. My husband really thinks I should see a different NS.
  • Thankyou for your thoughts. I've had 2 c-sections and a gall stone stuck in my bile duct too, so I know how bad pain is as well.

    But, when a surgeon tells you that 'Yes there are some problems with your cervical discs, and you have bony spurs too.and then tells you that these cannot be cauing these sypmtoms.............it all goes kinda nuts and confusing.

    To add you medical history, go to My account and then edit, and then scroll down to 'signiture' and put it all in. You have some family information on yours already, but if you add all your medical stuff, then others can see your problems and be able to advise and help you more.

    Thanks for the good wishes.

  • Thanks for your post. And I agree, they just sometimes seem very dismissive and make you think that you are some kinda whimp or freak !

    I really believe they seem to treat the MRI rather than the symptoms. and I know they are doctors and specialise, but at the end of the day. It's my neck and pain !!!

    I am keeping my fingers crossed, that my first visit to the Pain Clinic, will at least give me some insight or reassurance that I'm not imagine-ing all this stuff...it hurts like hell. as yes as you say..when the muscles join in and add to it....it's hell-fire and brimstone some days huh?

  • Lori, I can't figure out why they would tell you that those symptoms can't be caused by your neck. I had those symptoms and had to have major surgery! It's a crock...I'd find another surgeon/doc, someone who specializes in the spine. At the point you are, it might be possible to manage your symptoms with PT, but you need to find a doc to tell that.

    I've read so many times on these forums stories like yours where a doc is just blowing off someone with spinal issues. Why are they even doctors? If they can't do their job, perhaps they should change professions. I wonder just how many people end up with permanent damage due to the negligence and indifference of a lazy doctor? It really ticks me off! (Can you tell?)

  • I hope Monday that you find out more too. I sit for my job 8 hours a day at a computer too. I have so many things around me, a back cushion, a heating pad, a cold pack, and I have brought my tens unit into work some days. I have made one change that seems to help a tiny bit with my neck so far.....to raise my monitor up on a paper box...so about 12 inches. I have a work table that is still higher than it should be for my computer and keyboard so raising the monitor up has helped my posture I guess? The bottom of the monitor is even with my neck, something like that.

    I've also tried to be aware of looking down so much and trying to walk straighter. I'm a supervisor so my team members have been doing this too after hearing about my problems. We were all talking about how weird it felt to walk upright and straight...not natural feeling...so that shows how humped over we all are....programming. I have had tons of stress with my job and have only been back full time for about 3 weeks now. That doesn't help at all to feel like crap. I am still rubbing my neck all the time and I have one spot that feels like it itches, but it's nerve pinches. It's miserable. I had almost thought about filing for LTD on my neck if it didn't get better, just due to having such a hard time working everyday.

    Good Luck on Monday! Let us know what happens.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    It is so very frustrating to know that you are in pain, yet you are being told that what you have shouldnt be causing that much pain and surgery really is not even being considered.
    Many times, I think that is more difficult to handle then when a doctor tells you that you have some very bad discs, pressing on the nerve root and you need surgery. At least then you have a reason why you are feeling the pain.

    MRI's are not the end all to spinal problem tests. The MRI is used to hopefully identify a problem or help trying to isolate one. Movements, even slight when you are going through the MRI can cause the images to be blurring and hard to read, thats the reason for being perfectly still

    Finding the root of the problem that is causing you the pain is somewhat like a puzzle. You need help from different areas in resolving this. Still probably the most critical piece here is having a doctor that is willing to work with you, go through various diagnostic tests to find out whats wrong.

    I still believe NOT knowing something is much more difficult then KNOWING something. At least when you know whats going on, you have something to deal with.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I've quit going to the doctor for the same reasons. The NS I went to said she is afraid to do surgery on my neck because of how bad the arthritis is above and below the bad discs. Well, I guess that means I just have to live with it? I tried to get a referral to an orthopedic but they said they don't give referrals and my primary doctor said he can't refer me because the NS has all the notes....so I just don't go back?? I wouldn't go back to the same NS since they sent me for a myelogram that has caused all kinds of new lower back problems and when I called to tell them about it all they did was tell me to call my PCP! Who still won't do anything to even see whats causing it. Sorry for all the whining when all I really meant to do is say I know how you feel.
  • We are all here for support and to vent. Just let it out. All of us is either here or been here before.

    I would suggest that you find a different doctor. PCP and NS.
  • If you live in the US, you are entitled to copys of your reports. You fill out a form, and they have 30 days to provide them. I believe it's part of the HIPPA rules. Be assertive, tell them you want them now! Then you can go to a new neuro, or spine specialist. I always get copies of MRI's, EMG'S, and any other dr's reports. Good luck.
  • Hi there,

    I saw my MD for my MRI results today; he said I have a moderate protusion of C6-C7 indenting on the thecal sac, but not on the spinal cord. He also said I have bone spurs causing spinal stenosis.

    Our plan: another round of ESIs and follow-up MD appt in 2 months.

    He stated he may need to remove the bone spurs to allow for more room of the spinal nerves.

    At this point, I am in constant pain, so he is upping my Neurontin. I have been dealing with this for months and I am so frustrated with the burning pain in my arm and neck. I can't drive due to limited ROM and I can't work due to lifting restrictions.

    Right now, I just want to get better and get on with my life.


  • Thank you for your post. Our MRI's do look similar huh? I find that if I double up on the Gabapentin at night, it does help me to sleep. And the Buprenorphine patches work pretty well too.

    The arm pains and the arm 'deadness' is not improved, I had EMG tests done and I'm trying to chase the results of those right now.

    Like you, limited ROM prevent me from driving safely, so I cannot even get to work, let alone sit at a PC for 8 hours a day. The drugs mean I can't think straight, so I'm pretty useless right now.

    I hope the Meds work for you now they've been increased. And we sahll both have to look forwards to getting our respective lives back on track !

  • Did you meet with the Pain Doctor to day? If so how did it go?
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