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Pain in the Neck, what to do???

virginiapvvirginiap Posts: 508
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all,
I've had an alif L4/5 surgery on 8/24/10, still recovering and out of work!
During pt post op my neck started hurting bad. My hearing would go out and my migraines have become a weekly menace! Lasting for days, which I attributed to the butt load of meds I've been on. I finally had cervical mri. I wont bore or overwhelm you with all details, rather just give you the impression section:

Reversal of expected cerrvical lordosis with resulting kyphosis

A central & right parcentral disc protrusion impinges on the spinal cord cc/6

Disc buldging occurs at c4/5 through c7-t1

Foraminal stenosis is on both sides of c5/6 and on the right at c6/7. Clinical correlation recommended

Posterior subluxation of 1-2 mm @ c5/6

Okay I know we are not medical docs here. My pm doc wants to do esi at c5/6. I saw chiro who wants to do vax d & in office posture pump.

My NS has not reviewed films yet only the report so he is not commenting I see him next week for SNRB L4/5 (residual issues from fusion). However I doubt he will discuss my neck next week. I have an appointment on 3/25.

My pcp thinks I should do NOTHING just stretch, he has watched me fall apart from my back surgery.

After my l4/5 fusion I've had a series of setbacks and I regret my surgery as relief was minimal and the new problems have been all consuming, hindering my recovery.

Can anyone offer advise on the chiropractic option....I've been doing epidurals & trigger points for years for lumbar and I know for me they have been band aids.... after fusion I am having lumbar injections.

Like all of us here I just want to be NORMAL again!
I need my life back I need & want to return to work so I have to get my neck in a place where I can look down & turn my head!

Sorry for ranting, I'm just frustrated and sick of being in PAIN.

thanks for listening and I would LOVE your input. :-)



  • So sorry to hear that you are still having problems.
    It seems to unfair to start having problems in our neck after lumbar surgery! (I know, because I am having the same problem!)

    I had a cervical MRI ordered in August last year, and finally had the MRI scan done in October. I am going to see the neurosurgeon to get the results next week! I can't wait!

    Virginia, I really hope that when you see your neurosurgeon, that he will have a plan to help you.

    I wouldn't say that I regret my L4/L5 fusion. I am very much better than before my surgery, but I am not as good as I had hoped to be. You are not as far along the recovery road as me, so hopefully there is still time for improvement.

    I haven't tried chiropractic treatment for my neck. I am too nervous that he would make it worse. Although it does seem to be getting worse quite well on its own. I have just been diagnosed with very low levels of Vitamin D and calcium. This means that a lot of my symptoms could be from that, or they could be from my spine problems. I hope that the neurosurgeon will be able to say. I suppose that the deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium would be the better option. Then all I need to do is take the supplement for a few months, sit and relax in the sun (preferably on a beach in the Caribbean) and I should see some improvement! B)

    Do let me know how you get on Virginia. We can compare notes :-)

  • Virginia,

    Sorry you're having issues now in your cervical. As far as the Chiropractor, I don't think I would let him manipulate your neck until you talk with your NS. Especially with a disk on the cord! I know your upcoming appointment is for your back, but given the cord being affected, *I*, if it were me, would bring discussion up. Please keep us posted. Gentle *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I agree with Brenda. I don't know if what you mentioned with the Chiro even has anything to do with manipulating your back, but that could cause more harm than good-if manipulation were to be involved. It's only my opinion, but for now I would go with what your PCP said and work on the ROM. Maybe when you talk to your NS and then see what he thinks is best.. but I am sorry you are going through this & I empathize, I cannot look down or to the sides too much myself and every day it's painful. Whenever I'm in the shower I do ROM excersises for a couple minutes to loosen my neck up, then some right after while my neck is still warm & moist-it helps a little.
  • You both have always been so good to me! I wish you both relief from your daily pain!
    Brenda, I agree with the manipulation, I am so beyond ever letting someone crack or manipulate my spine, scared to death, haven't done that in 5 years. Now this specific chiro was extremely medically inclined. I went to see him as my sister was seeing him & he was offering $20 digital xrays complete spine and evaluation. He was the one who insisted I have an mri immediately based on the xrays.
    He said he WONT manipulate me for obvious reasons. He also wrote a nice report for my std carrier and along with my other docs placed me on full restrictions.
    I haven't seen him since, he did give me a K laser treatment (????) I had him copied on the mri and he called to review results and suggested the vax d for both lumbar & cervical spine, posture pump for c spine and this K laser for c upper t & l spine. Not even sure what this K laser is, it was a sort of like a ultrasound thing but warm, he said it breaks up spasams & myelofascular & subluxations.

    As you can see I'm desperate here! He made it all sound so safe. Explained how we can hydrate discs help bulges shrink and relieve cord compression and perhaps get some curve back in c spine.

    When I saw my cervical xray, I cried. My neck is a train wreck, twisted like a towel being rung out. Other then headaches, dizziness, hearing issues and massive neck & shoulder pain, thank God no issues with hands & fingers (no numbness or tingling).

    Brenda, cry #2 came when I read the CORD compression and the clinical correlation remark.

    Both of you suffer from both cervical & lumbar issues, so I totally respect & value your opinions. Thank you both for replying.

    Brenda I will bring mri cd to facility (SNRB) next week, maybe he can pop it in a computer, or worst case he says no. Thanks for suggestions.
    I just don't want to hear surgery!

    Jellyhall, I will keep you up to date on what happens. I found out i have low b12 and am doing weekly shots. Low Vitamin B mimics nerve pain & neuro symptoms, even headaches, who knew! I been increasing D & calcium since my fusion..... just to promote bone growth.
    I will be happy to meet you in the Caribbean for some extra vitamin D!
  • First off woman....Support *HUGZ* :)

    Okay, take a deep breath, 'good', and another. Feels better, no? None of us thrill to being sliced and diced. (G) It may come to that for you, but maybe not. Some respond great to conservative treatment, so lets see how that goes.

    I haven't had K laser treatments, so don't know. I am very glad to see that you already know not to let someone manipulate your spine. Like your chiro, mine discovered 'something seriously wrong' and sent me for an MRI. I was able to put surgery off for almost 2 years, but then my disk was on the cord and I was told I was risking paralysis (car accident/fall). Between the constant pain, movement restrictions, pain down my arm and hand - I had enough, and got surgery. When I awoke, I cried happy tears, as all my symptoms were GONE!! :)

    But...lets not put the cart before the horse. Talk with your NS about your neck after the lumbar is completed. You really need to talk to him about it, if not for his input, but for your sanity so you know what is on your spiney plate for this serving! Stick with us kid, we have your back!! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Range of motion, is that ROM?
    what type do you do? Where they prescribed from pt? I want to approach this very conservatively, God willing. Robin, can you share what movements you do that you find helpful.
    With all this going on with my back right now, I want nothing more then to be able to just long down and turn my head.
    Its funny after my alif I couldn't sit in my recliner for 4 months - now I finally can, with pillows, BUT It places a Lot of pressure on my neck & shoulders!
    Of course sleeping is a big challenge and has been for 6 months.
    I've been wearing a soft neck collar and it helps relieve some pressure.
    I take turns heat & ice. Ice my neck heat my back and then reverse! That helps a bit too. I've been cutting back on meds as much as i can, I got to a point where I decided, I'm still on pain, whether I take 180 or 90 mg of oxy. At least at the lower dose I can think clearer!

    I really hope you have a peaceful night Robin and a pain free day tomorrow! Thank you for your reply.
  • hey there :H

    hope you get a chance to discuss your cervical with your NS, if not schedule another app, i have cervical, thoracic, lumbar and SIJ, so man it gets really difficult time wise , when you only or i do get a short visit. and i wouldnt let chiro manipulate my neck, as this could cause more damage

    though it seems your chiro is wise enough to understand when its a hands off situation

    ive been told in my case never to have manipulation to my spine as it could paralize me, so for 20 years i knew this, then i went to a massage person , 2 years ago, and due to my depression and her telling me she wanted to gently realign me, and her persuasive chatter, i was on the bench before i knew it with her manipulating me

    well she has caused me severe damage , further to what i allready have

    i woulld listen to your PM and NS

    sorry your having further probs

    yeah the carribean sounds wonderfull, now if only the plane seats that lay down into beds were affordable
    take care and let us no how things go
  • Brenda, I LOVE your *hugz*!
    Yes the deep breaths helped!
    The chiro did say, I need to be very careful he mentioned like yours the dangers of what if. .... car accident or a fall and it freaked me out! But I am praying that seeing I'm not experiencing any radicular symptoms I may be in a good place (so to speak). He also said if I leave this alone for 6-12 months nothing but surgery will fix me.

    I'm trying hard to overcome and deal with the residual effects of my lumbar fusion. Trying the mind over matter, trying to be optimistic and accepting my outcome and now this. ...

    You are all RIGHT, NO treatment till NS views my films.
    Thanks for all the support!

    Funny when I had cervical mri (same place that had scanned my back several times) the mri tech came out & asked if I had an accident, mind you we are chummy, I said no. I told her it just started acting up and progressively getting worse. I told her I saw the chiro and that I was heading there after the mri (his office is a few blocks away). Now we all know the tech can't say anything, but she took my arm & said NO, don't!!! talk to your doctor first....

    Brenda I like your comment "WE HAVE YOUR BACK" that would be a great tag line for the forum!

    WWW warm well wishes... to all!
  • Thanks for sharing the massage story. Its odd how out of desperation we can go against our better judgement. I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you.

    I was tempted to send my mri to my ns who did my fusion and then dropped me 4.5 months into recovery, why would I do that????? Desperation.
    I want a ns to tell me, its nothing! Possible, maybe. Likely perhaps not. But my employer is not gonna want to hear about another health issue with me, that is certain. They've been great, but now we're in month 6!

    geez girl, you got everything going on, don't you - you poor thing. I pray that you get well and have pain free days. You need to have your doc block out an entire day for you..... flower day!

    Take care
  • Virginia,

    One of the other things I am assuming they will be watching for since you said your disk is on the cord is Myelopathy. <-- That is were the cord becomes damaged! Me, I didn't find this little tidbit out until much past my surgery. I didn't end up with it, so it was a non issue for me, just something else (yeah like you need more??) to think about girlfriend.

    Thanks, I love giving *HUGZ* to folks that need them. :)

    I don't think the tech went 'out of line' when he advised "NO!" on the chiropractor visit. He didn't relay 'what your MRI said' right? *wink* Where I go for my stand up MRI's, many times the 'tech' is also the radiologist of all things! When he is there I get a "Cliff Notes" report on the main stuff.

    As to residual affects and such. Remember, lumbar (most that is) surgery takes a lot longer to heal, and is more painful than cervical surgery. I wouldn't bother with the other NS. The new one, he is the one you need to at least go over the issues in your neck to get it on the table.

    When you feel yourself starting to get down, just relax, a few deep and soothing breaths, some more, and just a few more. You'll feel better even if just mentally! I have days where my cervical, thoracic and lumbar "fight" for who should hurt more, other times they are nice to me and take turns! Lol!!! I know it's hard, but try and let your mental brain direct your physical brain! :)

    Deep, deep breath...let it out. There ya go, you got it!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda, after reading your last reply, I'm convinced I LOVE YOU! No matter what, how bleak, how down how much pain ... you make me laugh, I mean pull a vertabrae out, kind of laugh! Thank you. Its so warm and refreshing (for me) to hear how you spin things. I can just picture your spine regions fighting for attention and for a minute I forgot I hurt like hell.
    don't ever change. And once you formulate your attitude & outlook please add me to mailing list!
    Thanks for everything Brenda !!!

    On serious a note its a protrusion impinging on cord, isn't that better then a herniation??? Several bulges indent thecal sac, but I know from lumbar that's not awful. I have a couple of levels of uncovertbral spurring.... this was in the findings area where every disc had something except for c1-3

    Scary read, but who knows ns may see things different, right?

  • Virginia,

    You are "officially" on the secret list! Psst, don't tell anyone, okay? Snicker doodle chuckle! (G)

    As to protrusions and such, it isn't the size (noooo, nooo don't go there!), it *is* how and what it is hitting. When my lovely C6/7 decided it didn't like that I yawned, that puppy snapped out and damaged my right exit nerve root. The MRI, guess what? "Small protrusion into the C7 right exit foreman impinging the nerve. It looked tiny to me, but I didn't have a triceps!!

    Remember too, someone can have this nasty huge "hernia" and yet no symptoms! See, size and location, location, location...is what matters. On the cord gets more attention than a nerve root too. But as I mentioned, breathing works well. Don't freak out until it is warranted. You're not there yet, right?

    Spines, yeah mine has to have a sense of humor, or else the hubby would be busy with the spackle, patching all the holes my fist would put in the walls! Rofla. Oh your back hurts? Wham! Into the wall, now the hand hurts, much better...ahhh!

    But in all seriousness, just try to relax and wait to see what the surgeon says. Of course too, if he offers surgery and you're not sure, another opinion is never a negative - it is your neck after all! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Dear Virginia,
    I have practice for a few decades and have cared for many people with your findings. Chiropractors have many many options caring for their patients. To see a Chiropractor does not mean you will automatically be manipulated and if the spine is treated manipulation is not the only avenue of approach. There are many many areas of technology that are used to improve spinal biomechanics thus removing nerve root, spinal cord pressure etc etc etc.. There are many therapies that can be applied to reduce inflammation, swelling and enhance cellular repair. K-laser is a very powerful modality that can be used safely in a condition such as yours. BUT what you have written relative to your MRI findings means your primary provider should be the neurosurgeon as long as he covers all your alternatives and is experienced. Your responsibility is to strengthen your body nutritionally etc especially with antioxidents and proteolytic enzymes. A complete nutrition product and supported people like dr oz is vemma. It is easy to use and rich in antioxidents.URL removed go to this site to check it out.. Papaya is also great to reduce inflammation.
    A doctor of chiropractic can not tell you whether you need surgery and a neurosurgeon or your friends cannot tell you whether you should go to a chiropractor. The Neurosurgeon is the person that should be dominating your education and possible treatment. When there is stenosis, disc involvement and subluxation in which the biomechanics of the spine is unstable is serious and you should be cautious and maybe get more than one opinion Neurosurgically and Chiropracticaly.
    Good luck!
    Brad Batchelor D.C.

    URL removed for forum violations by authority member neck of steel (Cindy).
  • For your detailed reply and advice.
    I agree with you that my NS needs to play the primary role in the steps I take, which is why I've found myself at this crossroad. I am awaiting his review of the films, however, in the meantime I am suffering and exploring alternative treatments.
    I visited with my PM Doc today who again suggests the bilateral ESI at C5-6 or even lower C6-7. He feels it would be best to approach it below the impingement level. I have had countless epidural injections, but never in cervical spine. He said cervical epidurals are usually easier and more effective, something to do with gravity....? My PM Doc is fantastic and I know he is looking out for my overall well being. Seeing I am having selective nerve root blocks - theraputic/diagnostic (L4-5) on Wed, I am not comfortable scheduling another round of steriods just yet (I've had 3 lumbar epidurals in past 12 weeks). I also WANT my NS opinion on cervical mri findings before I proceed.
    I appreciate the info on the K laser therapy.
    Nutritionally I agree with you and i am taking many Vitamins & supplements, for inflammation I am taking boswelia serata extract.
    If NS gives green light I would like to begin SOME SPECIFIC therapy with chiro. I can say, i will never be comfortable with manipulation for me, due to my spinal issues.
    With the complete loss of lordosis, total reversal of c spine & khyposis I hope it will be safe to use the posture pump as chiropractor suggested however due to bulges & protrusions he said decompression would have to be first... along with the K laser. This is ALL ASSUMING NS agrees with these treatments. The LAST thing I want is more harm or trauma to my spine.

    Again thank you for your personal and professional opinion.
    Best regards.
  • Hey Virginia,

    I think your thinking on the right lines. With your lumbar surgery and ending up having so many issues following the surgery, I think your smart looking at all conservative type treatments. I have kind of the same issue but it is reverse being my neck went so wrong and now have a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. My surgeon said yes I am a surgical candidate, but given what happened with my cervical spine he would not recommending opening up a new can of worms. So I think you are very smart looking for other forms of treatments, given all the complications you had.

    As far as the MRI stating it needs to be "clinical correlation", you will see that often on MRI's. Part of the reason is so my spine images after a certain age will show so much but may not be symptomatic and there fore don't really have any meaning in that context. It is always important for the images along with the doctors clinical findings to come up with a diagnoses. It has been said he before someone could have a minor bulge and becausing them all kinds of issues while someone has a large herniations and has no symptoms whatsoever. So that is why you want the images to correlate to the doctors clinical findings.

    Surely the surgeon whom you had such bad luck with you wouldn't want working on your cervical spine? I would definitely get multiple opinions on the images to make a informed decision as to what is going on. It is possible that conservative treatment could help you in this situation. It was explained to me that the herniations they are most concerned about are the central herniations, which put direct pressure on the cord.

    Also I wanted to let you know using a soft collar is not a good idea on a long term basis as it only weakens the neck muscles more. I am not sure which doctor prescribed that, but they need to be looking at a way to get you out of it, as over time it will weaken your muscles as happens with bracing any part of the body. That is why if you read in the neck forum members whom are moving out of them, as the doctors don't want to use them on a long term basis so they don't weaken the muscles to much.

    Hopefully this week will provide you with some answers as to proper treatment protocol. Keep us posted with your follow-up with the NS. You might want to call ahead of time and let them know you will be bringing that in as the doctor might need to set some more time up to review the images. I know it sounds easy, but if the doctor is to look at the images he might want to perform a clinical exam and if your there for just a follow-up, he/she may not have the time available to do that. Usually if it is new issue they need more time to give the proper evaluation that is needed. You might also be able to send the images ahead of time. I am afraid you might feel shorted but in reality it is they don't have the time to spare that day, and you won't have anymore information than you have right now.
  • As I read your reply, I removed the collar!
    I dont wear it often, only when my neck feels as if it can no longer hold my own head... I am sure you know the feeling. But I will say when I put it on it immediately relieves some tension. That said, I do understand your point about the muscles. I wore a rigid brace post lumbar fusion and then moved into a soft one and now only wear it when I am forced to do a light chore which may involve too much then I can handle, which honestly... there is a lot I cant handle at the moment.
    Just taking it a day at a time.
    Yes, you are right... If I can get some results with an alternative treatment and it is safe, I will proceed. Like you, NO cans of worms, please!

    I just want to feel better and work and live as normal as possible. I no longer desire to be who I was, as I have accepted that will never happen, and thats OK. I just want to be the best I can be at this point in my life. I want to somehow take control again rather then have chronic pain control and dictate my life, you know what I mean.

    We are in similar situations and I thank you for your support and hope that I can help you along your lumbar path.

    Again, you are right, with my other NS,it was a moment of desperation. I tend to be a now kind of person, I want to understand things quickly and it is hard for me to idle, that is why I thought of him. I know it is wrong, and I will not reach out to him. I did call the new NS and asked them if it would be ok to bring my cervical mri cd to my SNRB, they said NO. He has the films. I asked if he has reviewed them, again, NO. Nurse told me I can talk to him tomorrow - but doc will be preoccupied..., but I do have an appointment for the 25th and that he will devote time for both cervical & lumbar issues then... I just wish I could get a go ahead (from him) on something... like the K laser or even the posture pump... but wait, I guess I will.

    Also, thanks for your comments regarding the herniations vs protrusions and clincal correlation, makes sense!

    Wishing you a painful day and peaceful night

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I can tell you from my own experience and remember that this is my experience. My neuro told me NEVER allow a chiropractor to manipulate my neck. EVER. I would not see anyone new or try anything until I speak with my neuro about the new issues.
    Good luck
  • I agree.
    On my way 6;30 am for my SNRB for lumbar issues. Hoping he has a moment to discuss my neck, I doubt it, but you never know.

  • Bad results. ... NS confirmed cord injury in my c spine as well as a host of other issues. He was very concerned and equally surprised at the state of my cervical spine. Per NS Absolutely NO chiropractic treatment. He actually warned me to avoid physical activity that may put me at risk for further damage. He through out multi level fusion... I freaked, I am just 7 months post ALIF which hasn't gone well.
    I will do epidural injection hopefully next week to try and keep inflammation down and avoid further damage. He agrees with this course at the moment as my symptoms are primarily neck, shoulder pain & headaches. So hopefully I can avoid cervical surgery. He said its a matter of time : -(
    I'm so confused!
    As far as my back, two options two level decompression surgery or SCS. NOT on board for either. He again understood my position and sent me home to think about my options.
    Trying to take deep breaths and absorb my double whammy today.
    I mean, I knew my cervical mri report was bad, but to hear a NS say cord injury and signal changes, well it just winded me.
    Whew, trying to remain upbeat.... but getting hard!
    Thanks for listening <3
    Ps no desire to spell check, excuse any typos. Xoxo

  • Aw Virginia, I'm sorry to hear that. I know that you said he mentioned it being a matter of time (sugery), but if it were me I would do what you are. I'll go further and say that I would put off sugery as long as I could, with my Drs approval of course, and treat the symptoms..but that is just the way I am and everyone is different and has their own choices to make. I wish you the very very best in making your decisions about this and I pray you feel better.
  • For reply & well wishes!
    Yes, I still need to explore alternative treatments.
    Before going to ns today I saw an acupuncturist & neuromuscular massage therapist.
    Had a free 30 min neuro massage with stretching & cupping. Monday I am going for a 1.5 hr session which will include acupuncture. NS was okay with this, he did say it may be a waste of $....
    I'm gonna give it a go & see. Maybe get some pain relief????
  • Virgin,

    I am surprised your NS is using conservative type treatments if you have a cord injury. I would definitely go get more opinions. Those of us with cord issues didn't do surgery to stop the pain but did surgery to stop further progression of the issues. Keep in mind in the cervical spine or any place along with the cord when there is a cord injury it effects everything below that level. Once the cord is injured they can't fix it. Now if it is the dura that is being compressed that is a different ball game.

    I know they didn't think your bladder issues came from your lumbar surgery, but if you have cord damage that is where that could becoming from. Most surgeons will find the cervical spine of greatest importance than the lumbar spine, due to the cord.
  • He was very concerned and surprised by c spine mri films... he said "my God, how did you injure your cord? " as with my back, I have no idea, no specific recent trauma.
    He did say I need cervical fusion. I have NOT had any treatment of any kind on my neck. I was obviously upset and between my two issues and was not expecting this news and he understood how overwhelmed I was.
    How against another surgery and that I need to absorb this crushing news. I told him pm doc wants to do esi C5/6 and he said get it asap, to stop inflammation and to avoid more damage.
    I am on way to neuro muscular massage with acupuncture
    I will post more when I get back.
    Thanks for your reply

  • Virginia,

    Sorry about the news. My C5/6 too was on the cord. When I was told that a minor accident (car), or even a fall could paralyze me, I had the surgery. I tried shots, the NS ruled out PT or other conservative treatments, as they would cause more harm than good.

    I know it isn't fun to think about another surgery, but like Cindy has on her tagline (Neck of Steel), you only have one neck. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Just back 2 hour neuro massage, stretching & cupping
    WOW I feel like I got hit by a truck! Therapist stayed away from my neck after I told him what NS said Friday. Opted not to do acupuncture today, she wants to review my mri cervical & lumbar first. I'm not even sure if it's worth the $$$ not covered by insurance. NS was okay with it but did say you may just be throwing $ away.
    Oh Brenda, I'm at a loss here! My husband & I are in a fog and between the 2 of us can't recall half of what doc said... its like we were there but not... once the words were flying cervical fusion, cord injury. .. he was circling things on film & calling out diagnosis I was just hearing him but not grasping. I asked my husband a few clarification questions and he too is like... uh what can't remember. Terrible as he was my back up!
    I do recall he was happy to hear of no arm & finger symptoms.
    Brenda you did shots before your fusion did they not help, did it buy time, did it make things worse?

    Tamtam, he did say bladder complications could be from this, but I am much better after doing the Bio feedback therapy & pelvic wall rehap. 3 months of therapy. I'm off of sanctura (bladder med) still having to go more then others especially at night. I'm holding & voiding well. No caths in over 2 months.
    He did say that some of my leg weakness could be coming from cord injury but not my leg pains, that he said is from lumbar, nerve root compression & sciatica.
    I'm waiting on date for from pm doc.
    Thanks for listening.
    Will look into 2nd & 3rd opinions.
  • Howdy Ms. Virginia,

    Sorry you're both in a 'fog' of sorts. I too bring my hubby when surgery is looking likely to be on the discussion list. He's actually really good at picking out answers from my surgeon better than I, and I did the bloody research! (G)

    As for shots. Yes, my NS set me up for a series of 3 ESI's, but after the first one (no change at all), he felt that aside from wasting money on more shots, his concern was to prevent cord damage. I was lucky in that *that* surgery was a 100% success for me. My next level (on the exit nerve) has been a disaster - sort of.

    The nerve damage most likely occurred when the disk went. So surgery did stop further damage in that regard. Then 5 months later the next level is going and the C6 vertebra cracked - whole new mess to deal with.

    Now (me) if I were able to have 'redo's/do overs' as we called them as kids, would I have taken the same surgical decisions and routes? Yes! As I said, the C5/6 which was on the cord, 100% success. At a year out, I actually many times forgot I had surgery! Then a yawn, pop goes the disky, and another fusion. It did achieve the expectations desired. The cracked vertebra is not a failing that could have been seen ahead of time - stuff happens.

    I'm kind of weird though Virginia. I think part of the reason I don't get too too down over this stuff, and yeah no question, this all sucks, is I got 18 years after I crashed of acute pain that I could deal with. Realistically I should have either not made it, or been in a chair that day in August of 85. I was blessed in a way, and now the bank is calling in the loan! *HUGZ* I hope this was of help. I know how hard it is to decide what to do.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • It helps, I see why you have a great outlook seeing the horrific experience you went through so many years ago and the pain you've endured.
    I am usually upbeat and happy wanna have fun girl. Even while suffering and on loads of pain meds most people did know unless I was walking weird or limping. But know myself is being lost. I'm trying to fight this but feel too weak & tired and don't understand my enemy. I'm so tired of doctors and test and Dx and Rx. ... this is just too much too fast. Sorry, I am in total pity party mode as well. I know things can be so much worse and for so many it is. So for that I am grateful.
    Thanks for sharing.
  • I had spinal fusion and although I had a couple of set backs, I am very glad I had the surgery. Virginia, I had a lot of the same symptoms you have and tried every conservative therapy out there with temporary relief. I hate to agree with your doctor, but I spent thousands of dollars on acupuncturists, trigger point massage therapists, trigger point injections, epidural injections and nerve blocks. I had a procaine injection in my trapezius that lasted for less than 2 hours and when the pain came back, it was far worse than before. About 4 weeks before surgery I stopped any type of therapy just to see what would happen. Well, both my feet started to feel numb, I developed yet another urinary tract infection and my hand started to get numb. So to answer your question about if it buys you time - yes. But I think that surgery will be the only means to try to fix the problem. But definitely get 2 or 3 opinions so that you are absolutely sure. Good luck! :)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • For sure he said spinal cord injury and or just cord injury several times, I never heard him use dura.
  • thank you for sharing! I know with my back I did everything I could to avoid surgery over 5 years but believe I caused nerve damage by waiting. I just don't know if I have the energy to deal with this right now. Even the process of second opinions makes me sick.
    Lili its been about 6 weeks since your surgery, may I ask how is your recovery going & pain post op and do you have same or new pains
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