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Nervous wait on what happens next for my c5 - c6 issues!

Donna78DDonna78 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
After attending our medical centre, being sent to Emergency (then home again), and 2 different doctors, and a shoulder x-ray. They said nothing. I was convinced my diagnosed *muscle spasms had to be something else. I was in agony! A physio picked the problem.....a nerve issue. Back to the doctor again, sent for a the neck xray, like the physio had suggested, and they found the C5 - C6 protrusion problem that resting on the nerve root. At least I know now I was a hypocondriact (excuse spelling!) Its been 1 month since I woke up with this pain and I feel like running into a wall. Saw the surgeon today and now I have to go for a MRI before they discuss with me surgery and possible steroid injections..... but all this takes time and a crap load of money. I really cannot stand this pain anymore but I'm sure they think I'm dramatizing it otherwise they'd dose me up.....wouldn't they? I have 2 weeks to wait till my MRI. I know my arm doesn't feel quite as bad as what it was in the beginning (now I'm not crying on my kitchen floor at least!) but is surgery my only option????? Surgeons and doctors don't get very technical to me because I don't really understand or know what to ask....has anyone ever paid for this type of operation rather than waiting on the list? I'm only 33 and have to work (beautiful children involved!) but not on a health care card. Anyone know an approximate cost? My neck, although I know this is the problem, is quite fine....I can put up with this bit no worries..but my left arm just aches constantly!!!! PLEASE HELP ME WITH YOUR EXPERIENCES so I know what to expect!


  • They also said it couldn't be work related because its normally associated with a impact on the neck..... I woke up with it and cannot remember a time that I've been hit or hurt in this area!
  • I have from c5-c7 issues with my neck and for years managed to get by with muscle relaxants anti-inflammatory and Lyrica for nerve pain and I take a strong pain med Oxycontin but it's mainly for lower back pain but it does also help my neck. I'm surprised they don't have you on any medication to help you through until you get the MRI.

    I have never had an MRI on my neck though the x-ray shows a moderate stenosis and protrusion. I also have left elbow and forearm pain and weakness but have done well seeing a Physiotherapist for gentle manual traction. inferential treatments and ultrasound treatments and no MRI yet unless symptoms don't go away.

    Its good you're feeling better and hope you continue to improve with time. It really depends on what your Dr. says but in my case I was sent to PT and given meds and don't need surgery. I hope you find out more and have a good Dr. to help.

    I hope you would get some kind of insurance or medicare or SSDI benefits to help if you don't have insurance benefits at work or your husband. i hope you won't need surgery and if offered get a second opinion or so.

    You may want to keep a journal on how the pain and limitations are affecting your day to day life so the Drs have a better idea on how to treat you..Best wishes and keep us posted how you're doing. Charry

    PS Also alternate heat and ice for 15-30 minutes several times a day for the pain and see which one or both works best for you in the meantime while you're waiting. Take care.
    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
  • Thanks for replying....I feel like a sook after reading other peoples pain but I just must have a lower tolerance to pain *sooky sooky la la me!!! I couldn't imagine putting up with pain for the next year and unfortunately as I work, I really should of had Private health cover but felt as I was young, healthy, it wasn't worth the money.... Gee whiz....big mistake. They did give me endep then followed by Oxycotin but I got sick from both of these so they decided that panadine forte was the next alternative. Its like I'm eating lollies. So are you saying that the pain might ease or am I just used to the pain? And the thought of a steroid injection is terrifying but happy to go that way if thats what they think. In the last month I've slept only one night a week (pure exhaustion allows this). This time 5 weeks ago I had not a worry in the world.....now I feel like absolute crap!
  • They also gave me Mobic in the beginning but never gave me a repeat. I really should start finding out what each tablet is actually helping hey!
  • I have to take a sleeping pill or I would be up every hour or so with pain. I hope your pain gets managed soon. I can't really say if it will go away but have had a nice break at times from neck pain but my back pain never eases up.. 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
  • Donna,

    Welcome to Spine-Health. Lots of great people here sharing your pain and discouragement. We DO know how you feel. I call this website my 'Lifeline to the Outer World".

    I have a sugestion which might help. I bought some 6 X 9 gel packs that harden in the freezer. I wrap one in a hand towel and put it around my neck. I secure mine with a cervical collar. It does relieve my pain. I also take a sleep aid and prescribed pain medications. Can your doctor help you? Don't be afraid to speak up and ask!!!


    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Donna, My symptoms started suddenly too last October...literally woke up with it in my left foot one morning and over a few days spread to both feet, legs and then arms and hands. After 2 neurosurgeon appts. I just now have my surgery scheduled for C5-6,6-7 ACDF surgery. My wonderful neurosurgeon confirmed that my symptoms are typical and common with my problem, myelopathy, and I felt so much better after my 1st appt. with him. My symptoms can vary from day to day with the pains, pins/needles, stabbing pains, numbness/tingling can be anywhere, shoulder and arm/hand, foot/toe pain, yeah, it makes a person feel crazy. Hang in there and I hope you can get a definite diagnosis to your problem.

  • It is great (in a strange way!) to read of someone else who has pain that spreads to both feet, legs and arms and hands. I have that too, and my symptoms also vary from day to day, even hour to hour. I also get frequent headaches and even get pains around my mid back/chest area.

    We can be crazy together!!

    I don't have surgery scheduled, but I think it will come!

  • and welcome! :H

    I don't have surgery experiences on the neck to share, but can certainly sympathise with cervical pain, and those awful aching arms.

    There are many members who have had surgery, and probably all of us can understand the effects of living with spinal problems.

  • Hi Donna! Did you used to get headaches, or stiff neck prior to the ER incident? I had no idea I had a cervical spine problem until 6 months before my surgery. In the past, I had some strange headaches, dizziness, shoulder pain, stiff neck, etc. but never knew it was coming from the spine.

    I have been reading plenty on the topic of spine disease and apparently it can just present itself out of no where. My horrible pain didn't really come on until I ended up in the ER. I wish you luck and hope you get some relief soon!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • jellyhall, I too was wondering if my crazy pains in my feet/hands/stabbing pins and needles all over were normal...I will even feel like my skin is burning in various areas when I'm in a sitting position...Like you I never know what every day will bring, some are better, some days not so much. My neuro told me that my symptoms fit for the myelopathy I have and coincides with what he sees in my MRI. Made me feel better because I did think I was maybe crazy...I hope you can get a conclusion with your condition. I'm glad I'm having the fusion because I couldn't live with these symptoms permanently or with it progressing as he says it will. Best wishes,
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