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Unable to get a diaganosis

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had a rear end collision at 80Km per hour in 1996 which at the time was told by a GP that it is whiplash and will take a couple of years to correct itself. After two years the pain had got worse.

I went to see a chiropractor after getting no help or tests done through a GP. The Chiroprator did a exray and found that my neck was now curved the opposite way to which it should be and I had lost the natural curve in my back (almost straight) and slight scoliosis.

I have since been to see several neurologists and pain specialists. I have had CT and MRI scans. The MRI found a dumbell lesion on C6/C7 (Left Side) which they said could be a neurofribroma. I have also had nerve tests which have all been normal.

The pain specialist then acrried out Facet joint injections and two rhizotomy's on C5/C6 and C6/7. Which lessened the pain for a short time.

I have constant aching pain in my lower neck and numbness and tingling down my right arm which was just through to the little and ring fingers and now is also through the thumb, index and middle fingers.

I have also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as well. Currently I am on strong pain killers.

I have now been referred to another neurologist to repat all of the scans again. I have been told to make sure I ask to have the dye used this time.

Does anyone have a similar story that would be able to offer me some advise on treatment they have had or any advise in general.


  • Hi Barry,

    Welcome to spine-health. Sure looks like you have been through alot. Look around here and I think you will find some useful information. One particular thing you may want to look at is the video on cervical radiculopathy. You can find that under the video section. The video highlights exactly what levels cause what pain into the arms from nerve compressions.

    Seeing a nuerologist is a good idea. What I think you should also see is someone who specializes in spines, such as a orthopedic surgeon. Just make sure that is all they do. They know exactly what they are looking for in those films. I'm not saying you need surgery, but they can get closer to a diagnosis. Not everything always shows up in films and since they are used to seeing the films and what they speculate on and then opening someone and seeing the damage for real, they know what doesn't make since more on the films. Another thing that maybe helpful is a myelogram it is i bit more detailed. Also the position they have you in during the test they can see any instability as well.

    As far as the Emg nerve study goes, they are not always that accurate. They often give false positives and false negatives and even though it didn't show up there doesn't mean you don't have any nerve root compression. Just means that you didn't have any nerve damage at that time.

    Just wanted to stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Hang in there maybe this nuerologist and round of test will get some answers. If i can ever do anything don't hesitate to pm me. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Welcome to SH :H I'm sorry you're having a lot of pain. Perhaps one of your doctors may recommend a diagnostic test called a discogram (not Saturday Night Fever related :D ) It is an invasive procedure where provocation is used to find the disc that is the pain generator. You can look up more details about discograms on SH. Only your doctor can determine if this is appropriate in your case. Take care and I hope you feel better soon :)
  • I take lyrica and cymbalta for the nerve pain in my leg. If the lesion is touching or compressing a nerve you'll have symptoms in your arm and hand. Also guarding that part of the neck your muscles will take over on the other side and cause spasms. I had whiplash and have a hyperreflexed neck curve and only valium helped me for 9 months. I still have numbness and pain in my elbow but my lumber area is where the pain is at right now. I also found a 2nd pain management Dr that helped more than the first. I hope the next NeuroSurgeon will help you. Are you on nerve pain meds? Narcotics only take away the neck and arm pain but lyrica, cymbalta, neurontoin or amitriptyline help the nerve pain. Good luck with your treatment. 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
  • Thankyou all for your information and kind words. IU will loiok in to all the information and let you know what happens once I have seen the doctor on the 10th September
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