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Lyrica has failed me Neck still hurts what do I do next??

libby724llibby724 Posts: 107
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'll try to keep this brief but bottom line is had my surgery a year ago was doing OK till about October then the pain was back had a myelogram/CT Scan and it shows I am fuse and all my hardware is in place but it also says:

At C7-T1 level there is a right paracentral herniation of the disc slightly encroaching over the ventral aspect of the cord with mild flattening. Minimal degenerative anterolisthesis of C7 in relation to T1 is seen. There is moderate effacement of the left foramen and the left exiting C8 nerve root, suggestive of left sided foraminal disc protrusion superinposed by uncovertabral hypertrophy. Moderate left sided foraminal narrowing is present.

Tried Lyrica didn't like the side effects also tried neurontin before and had bad luck with that too. The surgeon has stated that above is not bad enouuh for surgery yet. So he has turned me over to my primary care. My question would be what do I do next. I have pain on the left side of my neck and left arm almost every day last night it was brutal. I don't know where I should go from here. Should I ask my Dr for a referal to Pain Management or should I try other medications (any suggestion). I am just frustrated because I suffered for 9 years and I thought this surgery would be the end of it where it looks like it was just the beginning. I don't want to have to live with this pain I just can't. I see my Dr on Tuesday any suggestions thanks......


  • Howdy Libby,

    Personally speaking, as it seems you are describing adjacent level degeneration or disease, I would seek another opinion. Mind you it might result in the same opinion, but at least you can see what another NS or Ortho has to say. Me, I had GREAT results from the C5/6 fusion, but just over a year later, zing out goes the C6/7 - whelps...now here I am 6 months later, and the C7/T1 is having issues. A "small" protrusion or hernia" might not be much on an MRI, but it can be bigtime for people! My lower level hernia's weren't that big, but the pain and symptoms is what my surgeon and I agreed upon needed intervention.

    Between the "sac and the cord" is fluid. That fluid keeps the cord happy, compress it (which it sounds like is going on with you) and that can for many equal pain!!! See about getting another opinion or getting referred. I hope you find some answers that help you, as pain (especially nerve related IMHO) is a bit@h.... Please keep us posted. *HUG*

    One final nibble. Was your MRI recumbent? If so, you might want to see if you (if in your area) can get a positional (stand up) MRI. It is great for the doctor seeing your spine in the positions that cause the pain. Take care.....

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Actually I have not had a recent MRI at least not since my surgery maybe that will be the next steps That report was from my November Myelogram/CT Scan.
  • Greetings Ms. Libby!

    Nodding, I would see if your GP or NS, and hopefully they let you get an updated MRI - positional might be the best. CT's and such are good, but the MRI seems to give the best "picture" when it comes to spine issues - at least in my opinion.

    When I had symptoms a year and a month after my last fusion, my NS (even though symptoms he nailed it) sent me for a positional MRI. The hernia that didn't show on a "regular" MRI, was showing bigger than dirt! Now I am possibly having another "adjacent" level go - C7/T1. I will go through the insurance (required) PT and then another MRI to see what is going on. No biggy. I feel like a whiner to my NS when things happen, but so far he has been good and caring with me.

    Let your GP or NS know of your symptoms, and hopefully they will set you up for an MRI. You are symptomatic, hopefully they can find out what the issues are. :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • If i were in your situation i would be asking for another surgeons opinion and if you don't like it then find another one that you can trust.It sounds like you going to be in constant pain until you finally have that surgery if your spinal cord is involved. BELIEVE me i had spinal cord involvement in three levels and was in constantly debilitating pain for six years .Nothing got completely rid of the pain until i finally had surgery. My surgeon saved my life. The longer that your cord is impinged the more chance there is of having permanent cord damage.Have you had an emg done to find out if you have nerve damage?
  • I went to the Dr yesterday and she was kind of ticked that the surgeon kind of pawned me off on her but she thinks we should try some non surgical methods first and I really don't want to have more surgery so I am willing to try. She put me on amitriptyline and I am going to try that and she is referring me to a pain management Dr to hopefully try some cortisone shots and she thinks that may calm it down. The pain is not normally unbearable but I have my days so I am willing to try anything else but surgery for now!
  • Good Luck Libby!! i hope that the injections give you great and lasting relief! I also agree with the suggestion of any upright positional MRI, and I am looking into one for myself. I don't know what level of pain you are at, but I can tell you that I got the best relief from the Fentanyl pain patch, because it releases constant, hourly doses of medication. I supplement with topomax twice a day to help offset nerve pain and to help keep from increasing the dosage of the patch, diclofenac for an antiinflammatory, and flexeril for a muscle relaxant as needed. I hope that this might help you to give you possible questions to ask your PCP or pain mgt dr. My levels include C2/3, C4/5, C5/6, & 2 in the T spine.

    GOOD LUCK &, I wish you all the best!!

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