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when to say when

fallguy60ffallguy60 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This is my first post but i've been lurking for a while.A few years back i fell at work and herniated two cervical discs.One was inpinging my spinal cord the other was not,A year and a half ago i had a single level fusion.Still had pain in my neck and shoulder after fusion and to this day. The surgeon released me anyway. Ive been back to work for about six months now,im a mechanic ,i have missed a lot of work also becuse of pain that has gotten worse since returning to work.Got a new symptom of burning and numbness in hands that comes and goes. New mri shows nothing new.one fused disc level and one disc still almost on the spinal cord.ive had one steroid injection that seemed to decrease pain for a few days untill i started back to work.well im set to get another injection,then its off to see a surgeon.When do you continue to seek a surgical soulution and at what point do you say i will live with the pain.Im curently on fexeril and hydrocode three times a day.Can i take this stuff the rest of my life.Im fifty years old.Do i go back to the same surgeon.My hardware was a cage with my bone marrow with some kind of cement like stuff.thanks


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health fallguy. Have a look around and you will run into many facing the same challenges as yourself including myself. Surgery is such a difficult choice to make and for many it just doesn't resolve all the issues. At this point and time if I was in your shoes I would seek another opinion. You may not be a surgical candidate at this time, but then again it is possible you are. Have you had a emg study sense the first surgery? When the last MRI was done did they use contrast? Some other forms of imaging may help, such as a, myelogram.

    As far as taking the medication for life time is someone monitoring your liver and kidneys while on these meds. Myself I have been on medications for 3 years now and those are standard test we do. I would also discuss that with the prescribing doctor. I personally don't know the long term effect of those meds, but I would be discussing that with the doctor prescribing.

    You might also want to check out the video here on cervical radiculopathy and see if the level that is still bad matches your symptoms.

    I just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health and if I can be of any assistance don't hesitate to pm me. Keep us posted and once again welcome to spine-health. Take care.
  • Thanks for the welcome.Ive yet to have a emg,Last mri was with contrast.My pm doctors opinon is i have a disc injury&rue.Im going to get a second opinon at some point as this plays out.
  • You shouldnt wait too long for that opinion. If the disc was almost on the cord thats bad. I'm not sure I understand how you had a fusion but only one disc fused. The idea is to join two discs together to make them stable. So does that mean you didn't fuse? Find another surgeon to get some answers. Then you may need a new ortho since surgeons usually won't diagnose conditions.

    Now for the practicle stuff. Being a mechanic is going to be hard on you no matter what. Even with the best fixes you should think about what else you might want to do. 50 is too young to stop work. At lesat for most of us. So give this some serious thought. Accepting our new reality is the first step toward happiness.
  • Thanks for everyones comments.My injury happened about three years ago .The first mri report was disc bulge at 4/5,herniation at 5/6 and 6/7.Finaly saw a ortho surgeon,a year later.His eval was to fuse 5/6 ,and this would do the trick.5/6 was the disc that was impinging the spinal cord.6/7 was just at the spinal cord.I have tried to keep working but i think it is time to think about another line of work.This is hard to accept but it is what it is.Im hard headed and just allways thought id get back to my old self.This board has been a lot of support.Knowing many have been in my shoes and many in far worse shape.
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