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Severe Pain C5 and C6

Monica LynnMMonica Lynn Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was admitted to the hospital on Thurday after MRI did indicate severe problems w/c5 and c6. I am having spasms, numbness in right arm, and severe tingles in right hand w/continue numbness in right thumb. There was talk of surgery for Friday. That did not happen, I was awaiting insurance approval. I was sent home on Saturday, still awaiting insurance. I was released w/no pain medication and told when ins. approved to come back. Ok...so I am in a lot of pain, anything I can do at home to help me? If I walk the arm is numb, I can only lay on my back.


  • Hi Monica,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. You will find many here that have or are going through the same things as yourself, including myself. The one thing we truly understand is the pain you are talking about with the arm. To help your arm pain you might try walk holding it over your head. Also when you walk around try a hoodie or something to that nature that you can let your arm rest in and it is not pulling down from your shoulder. Do you have a primary doctor? If so I would be on the phone in the AM and let them know you will be following through with surgery, but in the interim you need something for the pain. More than likely a muscle relaxer is going to be your best friend.

    As far as having surgery do you know which surgery you will be having? My guess is that it will be ACDF=anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Do you know what type of bone grafting material they will be using? Typically we see three types allograft(your bone), autograft(cadaver bone) and or a synthetic material. If you are a smoker or have any other major health issues I would discuss the possibility of non-union. You can also go to our video section and watch the video on ACDF it is animated so not to gross to watch.

    Hopefully your insurance will call soon. In my experience some insurance companies won't approve surgery till all conservative treatments fail. They have a protocol they are following. Now the exception to the rule is a cord compression, in some instances. Keep us posted on what happens and i do hope you find relief soon. If there is anything I can do for you, don't hesitate to pm me. Once again welcome to spine-health.
  • Not sure if I could help, but non medical stuff I do is use a soft collar during the day...I used a neck heating pad for awhile, then I ice my neck as well and that stuff helps for a bit. Moving usually helps, but since I am not as severe as you, not sure if that would be probable now. If you can get someone to massage your neck and shoulders that could help too.

    A tens unit would help, but you need a prescription for.
    Also a good memory foam neck pillow might help as well.

    Sorry I cant be much help.

    Hope it works out for you.
  • I hope you have called your doctor today.

    If not, you really should call your primary care physician (PCP) and see about getting some pain medications. I believe they can call into your pharmacy either Tramadol or Hydrocodone. Those are two that I was prescribed before my surgery.

    If they are looking at a fusion type of surgery (ACDF), they should not do any NSAID type of medications. Ibuprofin (sp?) is what I was told can delay bone formation for the fusion. They might even prescribe some medications for the muscle spasms. I was prescribed Skelaxin for my spasms before surgery.

    Your doctor knows the best about what medications can be used. It cannot hurt to ask the doctor for pain medication. You will be no worse off if they say no.
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