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C5 C6 have no disk between, need answers

DelaneyDDelaney Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had sudden dizziness, ear, throat pain and ringing in ears, like two tea kettles. Went every dr.. nothing wrong. Today had 3 MRIs Ct and xray. dr comes in for 30 seconds. Tells me I need surgery, never said for what. Had to ask.
Told me he would go through throat, be in hospital overnight. I asked if that would take away the severe ear pain and ringing,etc.. He said "I don't know"!
What to do, help me please.
I have been in constant pain since July 6. Never ends not once not ever. Ringing is driving me crazy. Not one dr. offered a muscle relaxer. Just tegretol and neurontin which made me not know where I was.
Has anyone had neck, throat and ear pain and ringing from cervical disk problems.
I want a second opinion but, a dr has to make the appointment. Aww, please help. Will chiropracter help me? Muscles are like rocks, and not from use believe me.
I appreciate any help with all my heart. I cry all the time. I did have 3 facet injections and 3 epedurals 3 weeks before my ears got so bad. thanks.


  • Delaney,

    Sorry to hear you have all that going on. We aren't doctors on here, we are patients as you know much like you. His "I don't know" is probably the most truthful thing he could say. Many of what you describe normally aren't associated with that level. If you have issues such that surgery is on the table, I would stay far, far away from the chiropractor.

    I would call this doctor and ask for a full explanation as to what is going on, and too if the C5/6 is the issue, or is there more? It seems awfully unprofessional to me that a doctor would pop in, say you need surgery, and then nothing for details after that? It sounds like he wants to maybe do a fusion? I would call. Surgery, especially spine surgery is very serious.

    You need to be fully aware of what is going on, and what and why they want to do surgery. You also after getting all this information, maybe see about getting another opinion. I would also get CD copies of the diagnostics, and too copies of the reports. This way YOU see what is going on, and too it helps when you get other opinions. Please keep us posted. I hope it all works out well. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    What kind of doctor did you see today? I know it takes time and trouble to get a second opinion but I think it's worth it. The symptoms you have could very well be caused by cervical disk problems but it could also be caused by other things. Most doctors or surgeons will want to try all conservative measures before doing surgery.

    I had the surgery your doctor is talking about on October 4. An ACDF C5-6. I had neck pain, sharp ear pain (occasionally), and the knotted muscles you're talking about but also arm and hand pain and tingling. Do you have any arm/hand symptoms? It took me a year to get a second opinion from another NS but it helped with the decision to have surgery. I couldn't get my GP to refer me for the second opinion either so I finally went to an urgent care clinic and the physician there referred me when I told them the problems I was having.

    You may very well need the surgery and if you do it's not that bad really. Every one is different but in my case it wasn't nearly as bad as I dreaded--and I definitely dreaded!!

    I hope whatever you do it works out for you and relieves your constant pain. Let me know if there's anything I can help you with. Good luck.

  • Hi Delaney,

    I am so sorry that you are in so much pain, and you are not getting any relief. I don't know if this helps you at all, but I have no disc at one level in my neck. I found out at 40 that I was born that way. I was told that having such a congenital fusion often puts pressure on the discs above and below the fused level. This is what happened to me over time. I had severe pain that kept me in bed for a long time. I have had symptoms like Sunny describes that radiate into my shoulder, shoulderblade, arm, and hand. I did not have any ringing in my ears.

    I am not a medical prof., but I would be very concerned about proceeding with surgery when you are unsure. If the surgeon recognizes your need for surgery, then is he/she willing to help you with pain control in the interim? Have you asked your surgeon about a nerve pain med that might help you? It often takes more than one try to find the "right" med that works for you. It also often takes time for the side effects to end. Have you seen an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist? I would want that checked carefully.

    I would suggest that you check out the posting about "what questions to ask your doctor" and bring all your questions in writing to your surgeon, second opinion doctor and all other doctors concerned. I went to three neurosurgeons and one ortho. I would also want to go back and contact the doctors that did your injections to see if the steroids could have any lasting affects on your body. I would want to know what medications they used to see if you may have had a reaction or is that even a possibility after this length of time.

    My neck ended up being improved by RFA/rhizotomy, and ironically my surgery ended up being on my back. I hope and pray you get help soon!!

    GOOD Luck and God Bless,

  • Hi Delaney,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around we all get it and understand the pain your in.

    You need to go back to this surgeon and get more information so that you understand. Take someone else with you so you have a second set of ears. When all of a sudden someone walks in a room and says you need surgery you kind of get blown away.

    Some things I would be finding out so your better educated is what is the name of the surgery they are proposing to do. What level of your spine will they be operating on. When he says you have no disc is a cogential fusion or is it the disc has dried up and is basically gone from a herniation? Also I would be asking is their bone spurs? What is the shape of the surrounding disc at other levels of the spine? Will he place you in a brace and or collar post surgery and for how long? What type of hardware will he be placing in your neck? What type of bone grafting material allograft(cadaver) or autograft(your bone)? What happens and whom do you contact post surgery if you have issues? What type of medications will you need? What would happen if you didn't have the surgery what is the prognosis? You can look in the FAQ section and there is a list of 38 questions to ask a spine surgeon that will help you formulate even more questions.

    Also I would look at the annimated video here on a procedure called ACDF(anterior cervical discectomy and fusion). That is a pretty standard neck surgery is done. Ask him about adjacent disc disease and if your at risk.

    One of the most important things you can do as a patient is research the procedure and understand what is going on. Spine surgery is a bit different than any other surgery in that it forever alters the mechanics of the spine. So this is not something you just want to jump into. So many people spend more time researching a toaster than do a surgeon or the surgery they are performing.

    Further I wouldn't do any surgery without a second opinion and if you still don't feel comfortable get a third opinion. Your primary care doctor should be able to give you a prescription for a second opinion no questions asked. Some insurance policy's won't require a referral if surgery has been suggested they typically welcome the second opinion. You can also check here in the doctor search for doctors in your area that might be of use to you.

    As far as chiro, in my personal opinion I don't think that would be a good idea, as their isn't much to manipulate. You said you already tried injections do you know what levels they injected? I assuming he said surgery because you have been doing conservative type treatments and your not having any success with them at this point and time. Have you tried any physical therapy at the time of the injections? The muscles are knotted in my opinion from what we term trigger points. You might want to also check out the video here on myofascial pain syndrome and see if that is close to what your talking about. Also in the FAQ section you will find a dermatone map once you know the levels have a look at that chart and see if that follows the pain patterns your having.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If there is anything I can do don't hesitate to pm me.
  • Thank you all for your great answers. i called the surgeon today. Office has not called back and office closes in one hour. I also went to a Chiropractor this morning. I told him about the surgeon, he called for the records and did not touch my neck, just around my ears and back, shoulder area. I don't know if he's any good or just wants a patient. He never heard of ear pain and severe rigning either. I have appointment with rhumotologist in 2 weeks. Maybe he will help. Can anyone tell me if I just call surgeons office will they give me all my results, or does a doctors office have to do that too. Somedays are so bad, I cry and see no hope. Im at the end of the "doctor line" and can see nothing that will help. I do know no one takes this seriously. Ive heard thats bazaar, nothing can cause that pain, maybe its rabies, encephalitis, shingles, cancer, blood clot, insanity(true)! I have been on more rediculous meds that did nothing. Not one dr will give me muscle relaxers, I've been to 11 specialists and my primary. I've even been told; "don't dare come back or you'll pay the whole bill, not you're insurance". I want to just give up. I can't afford this. I have already had half my lung removed and have other health issues. This is just too much. The pain in my ears and the screeching noise is killing me. I try to have hope each day, and I know so many people have it worse but, I can't do this anymore. Thanks to all who responded, I will take your advise.
  • In most cases you can go to the imaging center and get copies (CD's) of your MRI. Mine will also give me a copy of the report *if* they've also sent them to my doctor, otherwise my doctors office will fax them to me. I never leave the imaging facility anymore unless I have that CD in hand. The reports are generated a day to a week later on average.

    I would keep after your surgeons office to find out what is going on. You should also be able to get your surgeons "notes" on your last appointment. In them should be what he discovered, and too what he feels is needed to help (surgery) you and his reasons. All of this can be very handy should you seek another opinion as well.

    As to what is causing all your symptoms. I know it's hard, but try not to freak yourself out with self diagnosis, or skepticism. It will only drive you nuts and bum you out. If it were me, I would still stay away from the chiropractor until you fully know what is going on. I hope you have answers soon. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thank you Brenda. The imaging place IS the surgeons office. Physical Therapy and neuroaudiology is there too. Cat scan, xrays, all there. One stop shopping. It is like an assembly line. Thats what really got me wondering, even before I saw the doctor. He literally only said about 6 sentences and had the personality of a toad. Just stared at me, no answers. Said his nurse answers all questions, sets up surgery, does everything. Won't see or speak to him again. I honestly don't know how to get my records. I will try my primary, see what he can do.
    Thank you so much. I know my family care but, three solid months, even my daughters wedding was in the middle of this mess. Your kindness really means so much Brenda, thanks again.
  • Delaney,

    Lol! Had to chuckle at that description. I've had *cough* doctors like that. I too tend to get a bit antsy about "assembly line" like doctor offices. In the beginning of my spiney travels, I thought "Wow, cool, I can go to one place, and bingo done!" I've since found it to be like a puppy mill. Too many puppies = bad to reduced attention and care!

    I would figure though Delaney, you can go to that nurse and get all the copies of notes and images and such. Try not to be intimidated by them, as they are *your* records!! Anytime on the kindness - we give that out for free!! :) *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Delaney, legally those records are yours. You've paid for a service, not asked for a favor. We all understand the "doctor who can't be bothered with the patient" mentality, but getting your records probably won't be any harder than calling and asking them to fax your radiology reports over to you so you can get a second opinion.

    The medications they have been putting you on are for nerve pain and migraines, and I'm kind of surprised they didn't help! Can you ask for a referral to a pain management doctor?
  • Thanks happyHBmom!! Yes, I did call today. I spoke to a nurse also. I needed to know what was really wrong with my neck and without the test results I'll have no idea. She went on to tell me that i have bone spurs on both C5 C6. The disk between is non existent. Just crumbled away. Don't know how much she really knows but, it was more info than I had before. i will get second opinion now.
    The meds I was given, tegretol, neuronton messed up my brain. I couldn't walk at all on tegretol. Took me off. Neurontin made me act so strange (I was not aware of this) my grown children made me get off the drug. I had no idea, that I had no idea, what I was doing. At all! Actually I am in constant pain and only take advil. I wish I could have continued the other meds, I might be able to cope better.
  • Delaney,

    I am glad to hear you have gotten more answers. I would still get physical copies of the notes and the CD's of your MRI's and any other tests they did. This will aid you as well when you go for another opinion.

    Many of us do that regularly, and keep a binder with it all in there. Saves a lot of questions when seeing new doctors, or having tests that aren't needed as they might have been just done. Just thoughts to ponder. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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