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MRI clear, what now?????

My husband injured his neck/back in February doing a forward roll at BB. Although he knew he had hurt something straightaway his pain only started about a week later with a slight ache between his shoulder blades. The GP gave him muscle relaxants etc but the pain continued to get worse. Other symptoms included pins and needles in his hands, tired legs (flu like, almost as if he has run a marathon). He went privately to physio and also to a chiropracter who all assured him that it was a muscle problem and would mend in time. 6 months down the line and his symptoms have got worse to the extent that he has had to give up all exercise which he enjoyed (particularly cycling), and he is unable to do anything around the house. The pain is there 24/7 and he struggles at work, waiting to get home where he then goes to bed with a hot water bottle. He is an HGV driver which probably doesnt help the whole situation.
The chiropracter recommended he attend a private hospital where he had an MRI done which came back clear (no herniated discs, stenosis etc) just normal wear and tear for a man of his age (42). He is now waiting to see the orthopaedic dept in our local hospital in a few weeks. Physio and chiropracter, heat and spa baths have not helped. His sleep was disturbed so gp prescribed gabapantin which is helping with the sleep (takes 1 at night before bed) but not much pain relief.
Could MRI have missed something??? Should muscle problems not also show up on MRI??? the 2 joints where he feels pain when pressed are T3 and T4.... however pain is much deeper and constant. Strangely he also has full movement of all joints.... Anyone suffer anything similar or could help???? please advise as life is difficult at the moment (if indeed u could call it life????)


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 08/04/2014 - 2:23 AM
  • Jules27JJules27 Posts: 64
    edited 08/04/2014 - 8:06 AM
    Flirtygert --
    Your post rang so true with me. I have a feeling your husband is experiencing a similar situation to mine. I suffered a horrendous fall 30 years ago in high school and was not sent for any medical attention at the time. I ended up with a herniated disc that festered for three decades and caused me an immeasurable amount of pain. My GP ordered a cervical MRI around 2008, but I was told it was a minor herniation and wouldn't be causing any real discomfort. I was never even offered physical therapy. This past fall, I began experiencing problems with my arms and hands. As a classical guitarist, that concerned me greatly. My GP sent me to a neurologist who ordered a new MRI in January. Again, the radiologist's report said small herniation -- no big deal. I had hellacious pain up and down both sides of my neck, into my jaw and teeth, down my arms, across my chest. My hand problems continued. The following month, the neurologist reviewed the MRI and told me the herniation WAS causing my problems. In March, I consulted a spine specialist, who immediately recommended surgery. It was scheduled for 22 days later. Over those 22 days, my symptoms only got worse. I was in agony, barely able to function. Finally, April 10th arrived. I couldn't have been happier to go to the hospital that morning. I was a little nervous, but mostly, I was eager. My surgeon removed the C5/C6 disc, put in a spacer with a plate and screws, removed two large bone spurs which were "laying right on the nerve," and made the opening bigger so the nerve could move more freely as it left the spinal column.
  • thanks for that Jules27. Having got the MRI done privately it was read by a highly trained radiologist who our chiropracter deals with so he was extremely happy that no degenerative problems showed up. Today especially he is feeling very tired. It is hard to know whether to take off work for a while and rest as rest doesnt seem to help any. I actually rang the chiropracter today to see if it would be worth doing another MRI but he felt that as the first one didnt show up anything the chances were that the second wouldnt either. He feels that orthopaedics wont do much either so I have advised my husband to see the dr tomorrow for some blood work in case these problems arent associated with his injury at all. I understand your willingness to get surgery as if there was some operation they could do to help him I would be willing to put all our savings into him having it done tomorrow. The problem is when nothing can be seen so how do you treat it???
  • I would still definitely keep the appointment with an orthopedic specialist -- a spine surgeon, if at all possible. They are trained to see things that others might miss.
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