Hello I am trying to find out if anyone has a similar condition as I or can help answer some questions for me.
I'm a 34 F no know trauma, other than minor whiplash 9 years ago. Born with congenital fusion of c2-c3 June 2009 trying to resolve frequent headaches had cervical mri and discovered the followings:Findings: The C3-C4 level shows a pominent left paracentral disk herniatio, producing significant encroachment upon the left anterlateral aspect of the cervical spinal cord at c3-c4 and also upon significant encroachment upon the exiting nerve root on the left at c3-c4. Immediatly referred to Neurosurgeon who disagreed with the radiology report and told me I am not a good candidate for surgery at that point. Ordered home traction and PT, PCP managed meds which consisted of pain meds, anti inflammatory and muscle relaxers for tapeise muscles shoulder pains, after 9 weeks of PT with traction, electrostem, Ultrasound as well as excercies and home traction no relief, meds were also in effective. Neurosurgeon still says no surgery so PCP says no need to him anymore referred me to a Pain Management dr. Have since had 3 epidural steriod injections first one offered relief in the arm numbness and some of the pain the 2nd he also did trigger point injections into the muscles on top of shoulders, some relief for about 6 days but shoulder muscles sore for 3 of those. pain increased to above that of my initial visit. Yesterday had my last injection (3) for now and really hoping for 3 to be the magic number. I am very active and fear the narcotic pain medications. I myself have never had any addiction issues but I have family memeber who suffer with alcholism and others who have drug related addiction, so I'm very leary. I'm taking Lortab 5/500, naproxen 500 2x day, zanaflex 3x day and notriptaline 2x25mg at night..Does not seem to be working at all but again I fear stronger narcotics.
I'm not sure if doctors post here but I was hoping someone could clarify this for me. I was told that the c2-c4 vertabrates control 50% of the motion in the neck. With this said I can then understand why the nuerosurgeon is really reluctant to fusion surgery as the c2-c3 is already fused and in my opion has naturally increased the load on c4 causing the disk herniation. Second question for anyone is as a very active person who works on the computer all day and has alot of responsibility and people depending on me, is there any pain medication and muscle relaxer combination that has worked for you that you've been also able to function on without feeling too loopy to drive or work? I'm 34 and where as that is no spring chicken I really feel frustrated that no one seems to be offering me any other options than pills...and I can't quite grasp why surgery is just so extremly last resort. Keep in mind I did search for and choose a conservative doctor but I feel like I'm not being told something about my condition perhaps I'm looking for something that isn't there. I think my dr's are looking at the typical cervical herniation condition but I believe with the level above the herniation being fused that the herniated area is unable to rest and this is the cause of my unresolved pain relief, but they all seem to just see inside the box or if its a horse dont look for a zebra type mentality.
Apologies to those who have read this far for such a long long post but I wanted to fully explain my situation.