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So frustrated

ArualAArual Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have two degenerative discs and one that's herniated on the right side.

1. I take up to six Oxycodone a day.

2. I recently had an epidural, which worsened the pain in my neck, shoulder, and back - I have nerve pain, and the muscles along the right side of my spine are constantly tight.

3. I just started PT for the second time in three months.

4. I try ice, heat, and Lidoderm patches, which only provide temporary relief.

5. I also take Naproxen, Zanaflex, and Gabapentin plus four antidepressants, which don't help much.

6. I've met with a neurosurgeon who wanted to do a fusion and I am NOT doing that.

7. Sitting makes the pain even worse.

8. I can't lift anything over two pounds, plus I can't bend forward or stretch out my arms.

I am at a total loss. I just don't know what more I can try. I'm a veterinary technician at a clinic that only treats cats, which is good because there is no way I can restrain dogs. But lifting cats, especially when they are in carriers, really aggravates my pain. I've taken three weeks off from work to heal from the epidural (it usually takes two weeks to kick in) and I don't know if I can go back.

It seems that my damaged discs shouldn't cause this much discomfort, which makes me think that something else is wrong.

Someone please help me...and now I am crying. Swell.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You've found a great place for information and support.

    I'm sorry you've got so many problems. You mention that you've had an ESI, but have you tried PT or other conservative measures? If you have with no relief, then I have to wonder why you refuse fusion surgery if that has been suggested and could help you in the long run.

    Surgery is a very personal decision and I know how scary it is to even consider it, but sometimes that's the only thing we can do to help our situations. Have you talked to your neuro about permanent nerve damage if you don't have surgery?

    I'm just curious about why you're so against surgery if it's the only thing left on the table.

    Take care and again, welcome.
  • O:) I am wondering also why no to the surgery, if you have tried everything else w/no real pain relief?

    I am a multi-level fusion, the pain prior was way over that 10 scale. I am still in pain daily w/a lot of limitation, but w/the fusion and medications prescribe to me, I can function better. I have the nerve damage Cath spoke of and it is not fun, not that any of this is...but that damage certainly complicates things even more. I hope you feel better soon and best of luck!!!!
  • I know that with fusion, the healthy discs below will eventually deteriorate to some degree, and then I'll have to deal with that. I wonder if there are less invasive proceedures that could be done.

    I'm going to meet with a different surgeon to get a second opinion.
  • You are very correct on that, being a multi-level isn't easy and painful, but there was no choice. I hope the dr's can help you w/o the surgery. Let us know!!!!! :)
  • Arual,

    Welcome to Spine Health!!! As you can see, on here we are patients, and too there are some who are care givers, so you get the real world skinny here. :)

    I can fully understand your reluctance concerning future issues, as I am one of those people! I got a year and a month before my next level went, and not even 6 months out from that surgery, the next level is failing me! The question. Would I do it again given where I am now if the clock was turned back? Yes!

    I am glad to see you're going to get another opinion. Some of the points you want to find out on before you put your decision 'etched in stone.'

    "If I don't have surgery, can this cause permanent damage?"

    "Is there a chance the disk can dry up and come off the nerve on its own?"

    "Given my health, and too what you see of my disks, what's the odds for *me* of adjacent levels failing?"

    Those might help as a baseline if even for your own piece of mind. Surgery is as unique and personal as each person. Because of "what ifs", don't close the door to a possible medical procedure until you are fully comfortable with as much information as you can get. Please let us know how it goes. Again, welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • (For lack of a better description...)

    Yes, that's a problem that certainly can occur. However, if the levels above and below your fusion are healthy, then the degeneration of those levels are generally much slower than you'd imagine - that's according to my surgeon. And, with PT after surgery, they teach you how to care for those other levels with posture, exercise, etc. to lessen the chance of further problems.

    I have problems above my cervical fusion, but those areas were bad to begin with, but with my lumbar, I don't expect any further problems for many years to come because they're pretty healthy.

    So that's something to consider also.

  • Those are great questions to ask. Thanks!
  • Arual said:

    It seems that my damaged discs shouldn't cause this much discomfort, which makes me think that something else is wrong.

    Someone please help me...and now I am crying. Swell.
    Sorry for your pain but if you want to avoid surgery as I have chosen to do then you may be interested in a safe and natural treatment called Prolotherapy.
    It is a Regenerative Injection Therapy treatment that is being done by Sports Med Docs and Integrative Docs and also being that you are a Vet Tech you would be interested to know that it also starting to be used to treat bowed tendons in horses.
    Prolo has reduced my leg pain and eliminated my backpain, I'm still being treated.
    It you are interested in more info on Prolo then please PM me for links, etc.

    Good Luck with whatever you decide.

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