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I hope someone can alleviate some fears for me

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I just found this blog and I'm thinking some people here might be able to give me some insight.
I have spinal stenosis and have already had 2 cervical fusion on c3-c4 and c5-c6. About 10 years ago I partially herniated c1-c2 but the NS didnt want to do the surgery for sevearl reasons.. The main on he said was the risk of dyphasia after fusing that area. Recently I have started having severe pain in my right arm and shoulder. Its anywhere from a dull ache to a roaring agony. I have a doctors appointment on April 6th and I am scared to death that he is going to say surgery again. My questiojn.. has anyone had c1-c2 fused and if so was there any dyphasia afterwards? I am a chef by trade.. dyphasia would take a lot of steam out of my professional sails. I appreciate any insights. I am also open to prayers that its NOT a surgical problem and just a pinched nerve maybe... Thank you all and best of luck in upcoming procedures and healings. :)


  • On thursday they are going to do an epidural to relieve the pain. Also have a pinched nerve in right leg due to a recent hip replacement. Long story short my pain is down from 6-7 to a 2. Who should I counsel? Need advice real soon?
  • Hi chef,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health, you will find a lot of members going through the same issues as you are. May I suggest that you google the c1-c2 nerve and you will find a hoist of entries or use the search function at the top of the page. From what i can see arm pain and shoulder pain the radicular symptoms you are describing are pointing to other levels of the spine. But i'm not a medical professional and i can't say those pains are coming from your spine. Your health care provider should be able to determine with a exam and some films as to what is causing your pain. I notice that you have already had levels fused. Do you know if those areas actually fused all the way? Are these symptoms you are having anything like the symptoms you have had in the past? You may want to check out the video on radiculopathy as well. In the faq section located at top of page is a link of 38 questions to ask your spine-surgeon and another link to questions on preparing to meet with a spine specialist. Anyway good luck and welcome to spine-health and keep us posted on the april 8th appointment.
  • I don't know any answers about C1-2, but certainly any lower levels can contribute to arm and shoulder pain. I know it's hard to wait for an appt when you are hurting, but April 6 isn't a long time as these things sometimes go. Some of our members wait months for an appt! And then for MRI's and other tests. Sit back, whip up a batch of brownies, and read the articles and links as suggested above. Please let us know what your dr has to say.is he a neurologist/surgeon? Probably best for cervical areas, in my opinion. Good luck.
  • Can I have a brownie?

    Oh, sorry - I'm wondering if you're having muscle spasms. Have you tried muscle relaxers? How long ago did you have your ACDF? I'm also anxious to hear what your NS says, so please keep us posted.

  • Thank you for the warm welcome. I am really glad i found this blog. I had NO idea that this sort of condition was so common. I was feeling like the universe had singled me out to pick on..lol.

    I was in huge pain this morning in my right elbow when I first woke up. I had to see my eye surgeon early because I just had cataracts removed yesterday and he needed to do a post op. I'm happy to say all is well with that. After being legally blind for over a year..I can see with both eyes almost perfectly :)
    I stopped by a local walk in afterwards because the elbow was just killing me. The doc there says I have tennis elbow and thats where the pain is coming from. But he didnt do any x rays or nuro yesys at all either. Shot me with some pain killer that did nothing for the pain, just made me loopy. And gave me a script for some steroid I cant even make the name out on.
    Yes.. both of the previous fusions were fully healed properly. I had an excellant NS at the time. The first one was in 1995 and the second was 1996 almost to the exact day of the first...lol. I cant honestly say that the pain is similar or not.Its been so long. but I do remember that it first started in my left shoulder and arm. I dont remember it ever becoming as severe as it is this time though.
    Thank you for your reply and I wish you all the best in total good health. :)

  • I cant make brownies to well.. but i did make an awesome triple chocolate cheesecake earlier.. will that do?? :)
    I know.. the 6th isnt very long of a wait. But you know how it is when you're in severe pain and very worried.. you want treatment and answers NOW.lol
    Luckily I live in Montana and even though its the biggest city in Montana its still small, maybe 125k population. So i guess tyhats how i got in so fast. the doc I see on the 6th is just a regular MD. he will have to make the call on an MRI or sending me on to a NS. I feel bad for anyone that has to suffer thru this kind of pain and worry for months!!!
    Best wishes sent your way. i hope everything works out for you. :)
  • Would you settle for some triple chocolate cheesecake??? Its my own recipe and its goooood. I'm a single man and I get to have it all to myself :D
    Yes I do have occasional muscle spasms. Sometimes in the elbow and sometimes in the shoulder blade area. More intense in the elbow though.
    My first fusion was in 1994 or 95.. cant really remember and the second one was a year later.I was given a script for Flexeril the first time I went to the walk in clinic. They did nothing. They also gave me hydrocodone.. taking the 2 together was about as effective as an m&m and a chocolate chip.
    Best of luck and warmest wishes with your recovery. :)
  • Your quit welcome. I hope you enjoy the site very much. You are not alone in this. I thought the same thing before coming here never knew anyone with a cervical fusion. I looked this video up for you maybe this will help with the radiculopathy. Also here is a chart that does about the same thing. I as well was diagnosed with a something in the elbow while steriods gave some relief it was very temporary till they were off. But lets hope for the best and maybe that is what it is. Keep us posted.

  • Thanks for the video.. it reminded me of a few things i had been told.
    I'm not so sure I even want to take the steroids. I had cortizone shots way back in the 90's and thats what caused the cataracts i just got rid of. I'm not in any hurry to get those again.. but then again..if it helps the pain right NOW.. it might be worth it. SIGH. Can I just go back to being 12 and not having to worry about all this..lol
  • I also have pain in the same areas as you, but I had my surgery last November on levelc5-6. I am still recovering, but a recent EMG is giving my Dr signs of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I go to physical therapy twice/week, and take Oxycodone for pain flair ups and Morphine Sulfate extended release every 12 hrs to control pain...those do NOT help my pain, eighter. I don't want to get higher doses or more narcotics...I am curious to see what your Dr will say...keep us posted.
  • I want the cheesecake for myself!!!! You know chocolate is one of the basic food groups, right? Do you live in Billings? I had a friend who lived in Helena, went to visit, what a beautiful state. I'm first in line for a full body transplant, but going back to being 12 wouldn't be bad either. I took steroids awhile back after my sinus surgery. I was awake, literally, for 3 days!! Could not sleep. Tapered them off after 5 days, and it was still a week before I slept over 3-4 hrs a night. Not fun at all. Have you tried heat or ice for your elbow? Lots of people like ice, but I do better with heat. I'm glad your eye surgery went well, and you can see =D> What a blessing that must be for you. Maybe you could call your dr and put your name on his cancellation list. Expain that you are really in a lot of pain, and need to get in sooner if possible. Take care, and let us know how you are doing.

    You can overnight me the cheesecake :D
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    Check the various tabs at the top of the Spine-Health page and you will find so much that is offered here.

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    Having been through cervical surgery before, I am sure you are aware of the precautions, the brace, the recovery period, etc.
    C1/C2 is not the most common of cervical discs to have problems with. This would just add to the surgery and fusion you have already had. I would have to imagine that having surgery and fusion from C1 down to C5 would limit movement in your neck. Looking at dyphasia, since I wasnt aware of this, I would have to believe the risks are low for that, unless you had some pre-existing situation.
    My son is a chef and private caterer and I know just from the times I've worked with him, that having restricted movements in your neck makes doing your work that much harder.
    Find out your options when you discuss all of this with your doctor.
    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
  • WOW!!!! Those are some hard core narcs and they arent helping with the pain?? Thats terrible!! I will keep positive energy flowing your way for a speedy and full recovery and ease of the pain.
  • I'll make a cheesecake especially for you!! And of course chocolate is a food group. There are 3 basic food groups: Red Meat..Chocolate.. and Pepsi.
    And yes!! Having my sight back is a huge blessing and one I am thankful for every second. It is truly amazing how a lot of us take things like sight and hearing for granted when everything is working right. But when you start to or lose them..its a horrible experience. But I will say this. Being basically blind for a year and having to always rely on someone else to read my mail to me, help me shave, tell me where the curb is.. etc etc. It took away a lot of arrogance and I have a whole new appreciation for everything now. So in that regard..I am doubly blessed :)

    I am on the cancellation list at the doctors. They dont really seem to care what kind of pain I'm in. I know I am not their only concern.. but sheeeeeesh.
    And the pain is mobile again..its moved from my shoulder.. to my elbow.. and NOW its just in my forearm..I'm so confused...lol
    Oh.. Yes..I live in Billings. Montana is a very beautiful state. I walked out the back door this evening and there were 6 white tail deer in the yard.. I'm a sap..I love that kind of junk :)
  • Twisty! I believe this sight will help you a lot. I find it to be very supportive. It's like we are a big family.

    I am a huge chocolate fan. I would also love a peice of that cheesecake! My mouth is watering! =P~

    What is even better about it is the deer. I am a Kentucky Girl. I have professional job, but I love to hunt deer and Turkey. Actually Youth Turkey season opens this weekend. My husband is going to take my seven year old son while I take my nine year old son to Knoxville, TN for a baseball tournament. Sorry, just making conversation! (8)

    Let us know how everything goes with the doctor. I hope it goes well.

    Wish you the best of luck! :P
  • I agree.. this site is fantastic. I have found som very usefull and interesting information so far.

    I'll make amdeak with you.. you send me a nice young turkey to smoke and I'll send you a cheesecake ;)) Wild turkey is soooo much better than farm raised. I've never been turkey hunting but I have plugged a lot opf pheasant and those are tasty too.
    I hope your husband and son bring some home for you. And your other son did weol in the baseball tourney. :)
  • Yes this sitre is very helpful. I am so glad I found it. And thank you to all of the mods that put in the time and effort to keep it running.
    My NS told me that a c1-c2 herinationisnt very common. Leave it up to me to be an over achiever in the worst possible way..lol.
    Did your son go to a culinary school? I went to Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon. Great school but soooooo intense. I thought boot vamp was bad.. some of the chef instructors made drill instructors seem like den mothers..lol
    Yes.. the fusions in my neck and the degenerative disc diesease in the lower lumbar makes working in my field a challenge a lot of time. I dont do much of the actual line work anymore because the body mechanics are all wrong. I stick to expediting and making the daily specials, soups and sauces. I can take a little extra time to make sure I move properly doing those things.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    Sometimes I believe that in the field that you are in, on your feet for so many hours and bending over or looking at one of your works, that cervical issues can really become a major problem.
    As far as my son, he graduated from the French Culinary School in New York City. Then he did about a 2 year term in Tuscany, Italy. He was one of the instructors as a cooking school. But there he did learn so much to hone in on his skills.
    Many people do not realize how much physical and mental demands on placed on Chefs. People think of it as a glorious job, just like the Emerils, Bobby Flays, etc.
    You know more than others how much time, how many hours of long hard work you needed to do , just to get to the position you are in.
    So, from that regards, my hat is off to you. (well, if I could borrow my son's Chef hat, that would be better)

    I was surprised about the C1/C2 problems. From reading other members posts and just reading medical journals in general, I've always came away with the conclusion that
    C5/C6 and C6/C7 are the most common cervical discs to have problems.

    Considering you have been a past patient of cervical surgery, I am sure you want to make it 100% sure that there are not other treatments you can go through without having another surgery.

    Good luck, hope things turn out the best for you
    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
  • All right, all of you, step aside before I knock y'all over racing to the cheesecake. :D

    Chef-I was originally diagnosed with "tennis elbow" too. It took close to a year to get to the real problem. I do hope your doctor is able to bring you some relief. Let us know how it all goes.
  • Are you sure there are still 6 deer, or is one now in your meat locker. You got two of the 3 food groups right,chocolate, and red meat. But the third is COKE :D I hope we are helping with your pain, even if it's just a few minutes relief by taking your mind off of it. My friend from Helena and I went to Billings for the PBR (bullriding) event. We also went up to the Little BigHorn, and the site of Custer's battle. What an amazing place. Really spooky, I can see why the indians consider it Sacred Ground. You can almost "see" the history alive there. Just think, only 4 more days until your appt. Even if they have to do more testing, your dr should be willing to give you some pain meds to help you. Take care. From the sounds of all the growling tummies, that's going to be one mighty big cheesecake :))(

  • OOPS!!! I made a typo before.. What I meant to say was my NS told me that c1-c2 ISNT very common. I male a lot of typos..I try to catch them but some manage to slip past :)

    LOL.. you are SO right about peoples misconception about a chefs work. Most chefs work on salary and by the time you figure out the hours worked compared to the money made you start to wonder.. ummm..ok... isnt there a minimum wage law thats being violated here???? And yes!! The is a ton of stress involved but I am kind of weird. I function better under stress than I do if everything is calm. Dont get me wrong..I love my work.. but there are times when I wonder if i shoukd have become a cowboy instead.

    Tuscany Italy!!!Impressive. Talk about an excellant place to learn the 'old style' of Italian cooking. I have all the Touch of Tuscany cookbooks. Italian is one of my specialties.

  • Now Now.. no pushing.. Theres cheesecake for everyone..lol
    Wow.. I'm sorry to hear it took so long for your problem to get fixed.. that must have been a pretty long year with that kind of pain. Its only been 2 weeks for me and I'm starting to get very annoyed..lol
    I hope everything is better now and you are pain free :)
  • LOL.. that was to funny because when i first seen the deer in the yard i went in and told my room mate, Joy about them. She grabbed her digital camera and went racing outside. She's whistling to them and trying to get them to come nearer saying come here little babys.. aremnt you cute?? and I'm standing there saying.. Come here little babys.. its time for dinner!! =P~ arent you yummy?? She didnt seem to appreciate the humor.

    I have been to the Battle of Little Big Horn too. All I can say is Custer was an idiot. I stood tight where he did and looked at the painting of what he would have seen. My thoughts would have been.. Uhhh... I dont think so.. Lets go fishing. I agree that the ambiance there is amazing. I hear that on Halloween they have a midnight hay ride thru the battle ground. THAT would be an experience . I'm planning on being there this Halloween to check it out.

    I think I know why my elbow hurts so much. Its making all these cheesecakes..lol.. But thats ok.. the group here is well worth it. :D
  • You all can have the cheesecake - I don't like it. Odd, I know. HOWEVER, Chef, I could use something with both chocolate and peanut butter in it. Whatcha got? :-)

    Are you feeling better about your situation? As you can see, if you post anything about food, you're bound to get a ton of responses.

  • You dont like cheesecake??? Hmmm.. ok.. do you like Reese's peanut butter cups? I have a pie thats just like one that I came up with. it taste just like a reese's but better because its a lot bigger :)

    Been sitting here for an hour on the phone with ask a nurse.. been on hold.. my arm is killing me and my hand is so numb its all but useless.
  • Welllll.. Today I was taking a bath and when i tried to get up my legs went very weak. I had to use the towel rack to pull myself up..My legs were shaking like a new born calfs they were so weak. That totally freaked me out. I got dressed and went outside to have a smoke. Going up tye stairs was a chore. My legs were all shakey and I had to use the handrail to get to the top. I tallked to a friend and she suggested I call Ask A Nurse and see what they thought. So I did.. took me 3 hours to finally get thru to a nurse. I told her the whole story about when it started.. my acdf problems in the past and when i told her about the weakness in my legs she said.. Oh No! And then told me to get to the ER immediatly. My friend took me and the doctor there told me that I have a severe case of tennis elbow that is causing the terrible pain in my arm and that I apparently also had an inflammation in the cervical area that was compromising a nerve root. And that is what was causing the numbness in my hand and weakness in my legs. I asked if he was sure it wasnt a herniation and he said it could be. But even if it was it was still around the nerve root and that there was no indication of spinal cord compression. THAT was a huge relief to hear!!! Gave me a huge shot for the pain and a script for steroids to take away the inflammation. Told me to follow up with my PCP on Monday anyway and my pcp could set up PT and the meds I need to try to fix me without surgery, At least I now know that the cord isnt veing damaged....that is a huge relief :)
  • I'm sorry to hear your having some weakness in your legs as well as arm pain. I can relate to the terrible tennis elbow. I had pain and numbness 2 years ago again after lifting someone. I was on anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. I went to physio and for the first time instead of just getting treatment to my arm she gave me ultrasound at the base of my skull and my cervical spine and did this wonderful traction with me laying down with my head in her hands and she gently pulled at the base of my skull and released my neck. When she was doing the manual traction my arm pain and numbness almost disappeared. After a few of those the arm pain was better. I still have numbness in my left fingers but still able to type. Anyway my problems now are lumber sacral and this just reminds me to ask my Dr for an MRI of my neck. My leg problems are resolving I'm sure with time and the epidurals. I go again for my 5th epidural and facet joint injections.Good luck with seeing your Pain Management Dr and hope it helps including physio. I'll take a slice of the Reeses's pieces pie. I love PB. :))( 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 hope the epidural helps Thursday for you. I've had steroid injections for the epidurals and they've helped. I also have had facet joint injections that have provided relief. Good luck Thursday Charry
    PS To post where more will see your post look to the column on your left where it says forum topic or create content or post. Then you'll get more replies.
    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
  • No, I hate to admit that I don't like cheesecake, hot dogs or root beer. Sounds like I wasn't born in America, but I really was. Really.

    Yes, please, bring on the reese's pb pie. YUMMY!!!

    I can't believe that it took you three hours on ask-a-nurse. That had to hurt. I'm very glad you went to the ER and got some good news. Now, just get that confirmed with your doc and it's on to conservative measures.

    Hoping you're having a pain-free day, Chef.
  • Charry, I get ultrasound and manual traction @ pt, and I believe it is called myofacial release...but I have been hurting even more from this type of treatment. I get bad pain, especially around my left side of the neck/shoulder. I wonder if this is because it is causing my muscles to aggravate??? Just interesting to see that it makes you feel better versus me worse!!

    Chef: I'm glad you went in to the ER to get checked out. You never know what is going on when you get those strange symptoms. Take care,
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