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Degenerating all over

davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I don't even know how to begin. Not all of my problems are cervical but since most pressing is now neck issue I'll post here. I had a lamenectomy jun 2008 left c4/c5. Never got any relief and surgeon chalked it up to nerve damage from scar tissue and waiting too long for surgery. He sent me to pain management six month later. Pain Dr (quack) used every known injection in my neck and back to include facet joint, trigger point, foraminal, and even botox in the nerve to no avail. After a year he decided to try pain medications, yes for over a year I was being treated for pain always reported at 5 or higher never given any pain medication. About the same time he started me on low dose/long acting meds my knees started blowing up, had 1 surgery on left knee, 4 surgeries on right knee with knees being drained over 15 times and all the injections you can think of. I am currently recovering from an open synovectomy and a partial right knee replacement.
The Pain Dr decided to accuse me of a felony because I was getting pain meds for my knee surgeries, which I reported to him. I fired the Pain Dr and had my primary care Dr order an MRI. So I'm laying on the MRI machine with staples in my knee an the tech asks besides the staples and your knee is there any metal in your body, I told him all I had was a lamenectomy and the surgeon told me no metal was used. The tech said the mri would last about 25 minutes, an hour later I am in agony as he tells me I deffinately have metal in my neck. My primary Dr called yesterday and referred me to a spine surgeon as I have bulging discs c4/c5, c6/c7 and an extruding (ruptured disc) c5/c6.
I was already scheduled to see the spine OS for my lumbar, crushed discs and he agreed to see me for my neck as well. I have to wait until Mar 2 to get an x-ray to find out what the metal is in my neck. Not really a question, but needed to vent and say back pain can be pure hell...
laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched


  • The title of your post is what caught my eye.
    I know that feeling of suspecting that we are degeneerating all over.

    I think that as we try to lessen the strain on our backs or necks, we can just cause stress to other parts of our bodies; particularly our knees and shoulders.

    You don't have too long to wait to see your OS. Can you get a copy of your surgery report from your cervical surgery? That should explain exactly what they did, and what hardware, if any, they put in. Your x-ray should show it up, but the surgery report should explain exactly what they did.

    Surgery reports do sometimes give surprises! *I found out that my surgeon started to do a laminectomy on the wrong level! Once he had cut a window into the back of my spine, he realised that there was no slipped vertebra or stenosis there, so checked with x-ray and then proceeded to cut away the back of the correct level.

    I am rather tired of feeling and moaning about all the various pains and symptoms that I get all over my body. I feel like a hypercondriac and try hard to not mention things, but when I keep getting pain, it is hard to act like nothing is wrong.

    You will find that there is a lot of support here and good listeners who understand how frustrating this is and we don't mind you talking about your frustrations.

    Do let us know how you get on and what they discover in your neck! It is a bit like a treasure hunt with a metal detector. You have heard the 'bleep'; now you need to see what treasure you have found!! Intriging!!

    I must say that I think they have been rather negligent to not tell you that there was some metal in your neck. We need to know things like that, as often in the future MRIs are needed if things deteriate. Mind you, I believe that titanium, which is generally used, is MRI friendly. That is what I have been told anyway. I hope so because I am waiting for an MRI of my lumbar spine, and I know that I have screws, rods and a cage in there. I did have a cervical MRI 4 months ago without any problems.

  • Treasure hunt ;) thanks, I needed that. Yes I called the Surgeons office yesterday and told them I was leaving the area, not, and needed all my records. They put them in the mail, I would of driven over and gotten them but still have an immobilizer on my knee.
    The interesting thing about my knees is they believe the damage has been caused by some as yet named inflammatory arthritis. I had the lining of my right knee removed twice to keep it from swelling and doing further damage to my knee, this last time they did it in conjunction with the partial knee replacement.
    I know what you mean about feeling like a hypochondriac, one week I had a primary care appointment, two different ortho surgeon appointments (one for knees other for back), a rheumatology appointment and a pain management appointment. I have reached my annual cap on my insurance 3 of the last 4 years and will hit it this year in another month or so.
    I got the feeling from Pain Management that he didn't believe me. When he saw my right knee 2 weeks before surgery and it was huge and red and hot the look on his face.... two days later I fired him.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • That's rough to hear what you've been through with your Pain Management Dr. It's hard to understand why you were in pain for so long and had no pain meds. I hope you can find another Pain Management Dr that will help you now and hope your GP will help you with meds until you find a new Dr.

    That's good you're seeing an OS for both spinal areas and hope he can help you. Take care and keep us posted how you're doing. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am still under the care of my knee Dr and he is giving me meds that help. He is a partner with my back Dr so they can see what the other is prescribing which is good. My primary care Dr agreed to take over my pain management when I get discharged from knee surgery. He was left speechless when I told him what I had been through and showed him copies of all Dr reports validating I am in constant pain. For my lumbar spine the OS sends me to one of his associates who works miracles with foraminal injections. I have limped into get the shots 2 levels right and left side and within a week my lumbar pain goes to a 3 from a 8 or 9, I can live with that. The injections last 3 to 4 months.
    So far nothing has helped my neck or upper back. He'll be seeing me for the first time on my neck on Mar 2. Hopefully he can provide some relief.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Well, stopped by Dr office a got a copy of the MRI report. It's not as good as the nurse made it out to be..it was already a nightmare. the reports states there are susceptibility artifacts at the midline and left of midline at C4 and upper C5 - that is metal that was left from my lamenectomy where I was told no metal parts were left in my neck.
    C5-c6 intra-foraminal disc extrusion. Left foramen is narrowed significantly.
    C6-c7 left uncovertebral joint hypertrophy producing moderate foranimal stenosis. Midline dorsal extrdural defect due to ligamentum favum hypertrophy.
    Now the wait to see the OS on 2 March.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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