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New Guy - Pain and Frustration. . .HELP Anyone

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in New Member Introductions
I have cruised past your Forum many times and found helpful hints. But now things are very serious and I am beyond frustrated; ready to blow my head off.
I have had the typical Cervical/Neck pain for years but just last year started affecting my ability to do my job by working at a computer. Pain became worse and radiated down what seemed like the middle of my shoulder in my back just at the base of my neck then into my left shoulder, arm and hand leaving last 3 fingers numb. I fought this for a year before seeing a doctor.
First did not know the pain was from my neck. Just thought my back was tired from 40 & 50 hours a week at my computer but then when it was so bad I missed work I saw doctor and then the typical Test MRI, CT-Scan and X-Rays showed 3 herniated disc at C5, C6 & C7 with 5-6 being the worst according to Neuro-surgeon.
Was presented with options of A. get a full Fusion of 3 vertebra or B. try new Medtronic’s Prestige Disc Replacement at C5-6 to avoid long and painful recovery. And since my condition was borderline meaning usually Disc Replacement surgery only allowed if only there is only One ruptured Disc involved. I had 3: C4-5, C5-6 & C6-7. So the doctor told me that if the Replacement at C5-6 did not work we could just go ahead with the Fusion of C4 thru C7.
I chose the Disc Replacement which worked very well for 2 weeks, but then I had a very hard fall hitting the floor at my home which was a ceramic floor and causing a whiplash affect on my neck. From then on the pain has been going down both arms but mainly my right. Totally opposite from before surgery.
Now 6 weeks post-op disc replacement and pain is in both shoulders and arms and both hands have numb fingers that switch around depending on movement of my head. My hands do not work well at all; both go into spasms all day long like a painful cramp causing my fingers to be forced into my palms.
I have seen my surgeon twice for follow-up making my complications very clear and begging for stronger pain meds and any other meds that might help me be able to relax in a chair and allow me to sleep. He provides standard meds but no real relief. I am sent for all the typical follow-up Test MRI, CT and X-Rays but the Disc Replacement makes the films hard to read if not impossible.
So after another week gone by I am ordered to go through a painful Mylegram with CT following. A Week later in the surgeons office and told that he can not see any reason for why I have pain on my right side; it should be on my left side according to the Test Results. I remind him of our first conversation back in June when we discussed the pros and cons of Disc replacement and Fusion and my choice of Replacement over Fusion because of the pain on my left side caused by 3 herniated disc at C5, C6 & C7 with 5-6 being the worst and my willingness to go through the fusion of all 3 if this failed.
I told him this pain which is much worse than before and goes on in both sides of shoulders arms and hands all the time make me ready to go ahead with the Fusion of C5-C7 going through the back of my Neck with Rods and Screws as he said at our 1st meeting, but he now says no.
He wants more Test to show a good reason to perform the fusion on me. Now I am beggining to think he is avoiding admitting this Disc Replacement was a Failure and needs revision surgery to make my problem right. This Medtronics presitge Disc Replacement has not been released by the FDA but less than 2 years and any and all repairs or additional surgeries must be reported to the FDA.
But there is no loss of face here for my surgeon, nothing his fault. This was the plan we documented together before there was a first cut. I'm just guessing and now asking all of you. What do I do from here?
I am scheduled for Injections next week and then see my surgeon 6 weeks from there. To last 6 weeks with this kind of pain in my neck, shoulders arms and hands makes my want to get a gun and end my pain for good seriously.
I am no stranger to pain. I have had 20 right knee surgeries 3 replacements and one replacement on my left that lead to a MRSA Infection and Amputation above the knee 2 years and 17 operations later and have had 4 surgeries on my lumbar fusion of L3-S1.
So I understand pain and can take it but this kind of pain from pinched nerve roots and spinal cord compression is much worse that what I have experienced before or at least the pain medication worked and it did not last all the time and make me want to scream at every movement.
Now I have learned all the terminology and understand what I need but I am faced with a Neuro-Surgeon who does not want a Failed Disc Replacement on his record reported to the FDA so he will not agree to help me out. How do I find another surgeon when only so many in this small area? And how do I convince the new doctor I am not just shopping for surgery for the fun of it? I am dieing of pain and losing function of my arms and hands that could be permanent damage.
I just want the best repair possible to my neck so I can get on with life. Please help. I am 51 year old man in northwest Florida with a Failed Cervical Disc Replacement and ruptured disc above and below C5-6.


  • you are having trouble. you may have tear in disk that isnt showing on mri...i'd talk with surgeon about discomgram which shows more detail.
    how about asking medtronic if any other surgeons in your area?
  • So the new imaging studies showed that there is now spinal cord compression? Or was that from before the surgery?

    Have you expressed to the neurosurgeon just exactly how you feel on a daily basis and how you feel like pulling the plug?

    I agree with Pete that it might be helpful to contact Medtronic. Explain to them what you did to us, about falling and the onset of all these new problems since. The company doesn't want to see a failure either, but in all the reports it will show as "pt fell 2 weeks post op ADR".

    Also contact the patient advocacy office at the hospital where the surgery was done. They should be able to assign someone to assist you.

    Keep good detailed logs of everything that has happened, everyone you have spoken to, dates, times, responses etc ...

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry you are in such pain and getting no relief.. ~X( please keep trying... a good pm would be of help to you perhaps.. :? good luck seeking pain relief! :D Jenny :)
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    "C" and Pete have great suggestions. I know that here where I live, there's a spine center that specializes in fixing bad spine surgeries in addition to the normal diagnosis and treatment.

    It's unreasonable that you have to keep going on with this problem - if your present surgeon won't do anything please try to find someone who will. There have been posts before about the problems that plague patients when the surgeon has too much of an ego and I hope you're not another victim of that.

    As they say, the squeeky wheel gets the grease, so go back to your doc and squeek as loud as you can. If that get you nowhere with him, I hope you can find another surgeon that will take care of the problem.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
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