Too make a long story short, I was in a bad car accident and went through a windshield when I was 14 years old and am now 50 years old.
In 1998 I had bad right arm pain and couldn't lift 2 of my fingers when hand was flat and couldn't lift arm more than a foot or so from hanging down by my side, also had neck pain.
Saw 3 different Dr.'s before seeing a Neurosurgeon who told me I had a bone spur poking my nerve and needed surgery. He also told me it was a good thing I came in when I did or I could have ended up losing the use of my right arm. I had the surgery to remove the bone spur which included fushion of the c-5/c-6. After a LONG recovery wearing a neck collar for 3 months and then many more months of limited activity, all the feeling and movement came back in my right arm, no pain, and all seemed to be well, I was so relieved.
NOW, all these years later my left arm aches horribly, shoulder and neck are very painful and I have numbness in the little finger and part of my left arm. I am left handed so this is been a real serious issue for me.
On the days I work, usually 4 a week, it is all I can do to get up, shower and go to work, when I get home I am in so much pain that I can do nothing else. I feel so fatigued and am in so much pain in neck, shoulder, and arm.
I have seen my doctor who ordered an MRI that shows multiple bone spurs and mutltiple bulging disks above and below the fushion and said I needed to see a specialist. So I had an appt with a ortho spine specialist who says I need pt and possibly steroid injections. I did pt last time, which ended up being a total waste of time and money before the surgery in 1998. So, I am seeing a neurosurgeon for a 2nd opinion on Aug 14th (unfortunately for me the Neurosurgeon who did my surgery in '98 has retired). My main problem is my medical insurance has a huge deductible, $5000, so I am trying to be very careful as to not incur huge medical bills, that's why I chose not to do the pt and get a 2nd opinion before starting any therapies.
After finding this forum and reading many of your posts I am getting more scared and anxious. The numbness in my dominant hand and arm are my biggest concern. Does the numbness mean I am getting permanent nerve damage? If not, what would be the symptoms of permanent nerve damage?
This pain has been getting worse for the last year or so and is now unbearable enough for me to seek medical help for it. I have been on pain meds and muscle relaxers for quite sometime now and of course I know the meds will never take all the pain away, but, I have to take 2 Norco 10/325 mg to even have some relief. I am also concerned that I will never be able to return to work even if I do end up having surgery. From what I've read on hear sometimes the pain doesn't go away after surgery. Now, my left leg is also having spasms and aches occasionally, can this be from the cervical area too?
If Dr. says surgery is inevitable and I feel I can not afford it right now, will I be risking permanent nerve damage? I am getting the impression that once you have the fushions it leads to more problems down the road in the vertebra and will want to put off a 2nd surgery as long as possible.
Sorry this is so long, I am nervous about the outcome of my neuro appt next week and it seems the more I read the more anxious and scared I get.