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What exactly does/can a neurologist do for neck pain?

yellowboyyyellowboy Posts: 46
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have had an ACDF C5-7 in 2008, with no relief from neck & arm pain. I have every kind of shot/medication/procedure from pain management doctors, no relief. I will be seeing a neurologist soon for the first time. What can could he/she possibly do that surgery and PM doctors haven't ?


  • I am not sure, but can share with you what I have been told.

    I am going to be referred to a neurologist and have been told that they will test and examine me to determine exactly what is going on and is causing my symptoms.
    I had better say that I am in the UK, and it is possible that the term neurologist is used slightly differently.

    Perhaps they are going to test you to see exactly what is causing your symptoms.

    Let's hope that they discover what is affecting us both, and then they can make a plan to help us.

    Do let us know how you get on.
    Have you got your appointment yet?
    I am still waiting for mine.

  • A neurologist approaches things from a non-surgical approach first. They are very keen to what goes on with our nervous systems and have many tricks of the trade available to treat pain associated with the nervous systems. I have always had a neurologist as a key player in my care and pain management. The neurologists I have been treated by have done everything from medications, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, botox injections, EMG's, Bio-feedback, diet modification and more.

  • No appointment, waiting for them to get my myleogram results back (which don't show anything).

    I had all possible procedures, (including accupuncture) so it would surprise me if they can do anything for me.

  • Neuro deals more with nerves including the brain and spine, Ortho deals mostly bone and spine stability issues,

    How do you know mylogram shows nothing if results are not back yet. Lol?
    I see you are a real optimist eh? Lol
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • MD who performed it told me already - not pessimist, realist.
  • Hi, sorry to hear you are continuing to have problems with your C-5 - C-7 now post-surgical.

    My own experience, in working with Neurologists it required more than one with my severe DD multiple mass spur C-6/7, T-1 for standard diagnostics, EMG's NCS's and doing neuro exams, some more thorough than others. Redo of diagnostics because of failure to do EMG's thoroughly = for getting analysis of spinal nerve root compression from C-Spine to shoulder than of course, down from shoulder to hand.

    I live in a small community, requiring me to go out-of-town larger metro & univ. spine depts but even they left left much be desired in this serious phase of advanced neuro-muscular spinal compression damage in my arm, hand, fingers, bi-laterally and having lost tremendous function, suffered too much nerve pain, spasms, etc. with only diagnostics EMGs NCS done. It was neurosurgeon & primary care doctor Rx for neurontin meds = nerve pain.

    Out of 3 neuro's who all offered no treatment, not much on prognosis, what could be done with alternative therapies, TENS, physical therapy, braces etc meds, only one offered trigger point injections to be done with steroids to see if painful episodes (10 episodes) could be shortened (lasting 5 wks then weak physically 3 wks then another episode).

    I could share more - - but disappointment overall on expertise they "should have and do have" but just doing standard nerve tests and neuro exams - -

    to answer what you are hoping to get resolved re: pain and treatment - - in trying to find a Neuro who did more than and beyond in detailed support with nerves and neuropathy in back of shoulder, arm, hand and fingers, and disabling pain and loss of function, I found none.

    I will share in 40+ yrs spinal disease and systemic (whole body joints) arthritis I have found in big metro, 4-5 star accredited major medical universities & neuro depts....

    re: Neurologists

    Shocking for how much more they know yes re: nerves and to just be doing diagnstics; leaving it to pain medication specialists = a big big gap with the spinal neuro-compression neuropathology (trauma, injury, degeneration, surgical trauma, etc.) patients. Yet I see how involved and specialized Neuro's who are specialized with stroke or brain disease/disorders, have much pro-active patient-neuro-physician support (witnessed with family members) - - sad.

    In my mind there is much to be done beyond alternative treatments offered for degenerative spines and post-surgical when it comes to Rx drugs, spinal specialists to support degenerative phase and post-surgical phase.

    Wishing you good support during this challenging post-surgical phase of your C-Spine, keep on keepin on, and keep seekin medical neuro-specialists on your condition and issues.

  • Yellowboy, just caught your other post saying your myelogram is "showing nothing", did you get a copy of the myelogram radiology report? What did it say?

    Are your symptoms of pain, same pattern, duration, location as before surgery?

    Notice you are almost 3- yrs post-op, when did you pain begin post-op, any follow-up and surgeon involved in these symptoms following your surgery?

  • Hi JD, thanks for your posts (and others as well).

    First I am 3 years 4 months post op. My pain/symptoms are the same except now it goes down my arm and into 2 fingers which it did not before. I was pain free for one month after surgery in June 2008 and the surgeon can't explain why. He said nothing else he could do - see a PM doctor.

    The myleogram a month ago was ordered by a top notch Philadelphia big hospital surgeon after I went to him following a visit to surgeon who want to do C3-5, but I did not trust his quick "I'll fix it" diagnosis. The Phila. surgeon says it's probably permanent nerve damage in the area I had done in 2008.

    I had trigger point needling done by a physical therapist, It gave me relief the same day only and sometimes only a few hours. So short of marrying her to get it every day (and she is already married !) I'm not sure it was worth it. Ironically I got a letter from her today that in Pennsylvania PT's can no longer do TPD Needling ! Guess the acupuncturist's union is not happy !

    I forgot to get a copy of the myleogram report from the surgeon but I'll get one for my thick file when I see the neurologist. That office said they will call me next week.

    As for drugs, I have a mini pharmacy here with the pills that don't work for me, and I dispense to friends to save them money as I have a script plan fortunately.

    Appreciate the help.
  • Edit required - format problem
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