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Beyond Frustrated and Giving Up

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Short story is I have congential stenosis, straightening of the lordosis, and herniating disc from C4-C7 with C4-C5 being the worst. I also have arthritis in my back. I switched neurosurgeons cause the first one sucked. Really liked the new place. Got MRI's of the thoracic and lumbar which came back fine according to neuro, but shows arthritis. Guess he meant good as in no disc problems. He wanted me to start ESI's getting 1 a week for 4 weeks. I told him how I had a bad reaction to the Medrol pack and stopped it after 3 days. He didn't like that, but said I "might" have a different reaction since it is more localized and lest systematic.

Here's why I am frustrated. He said I have arthritis, but it shouldn't bother me much. What? I'm only 28 and yes, my back bothers me. I wake up stiff almost every morning. Shouldn't I be getting some kind of treatment for it? Plus, is it just in my back or all over, cause my hands, right hip, and knees all ache too. I thought it was cause of my back issues, but what if it's more arthritis?

Next is he is the 2nd neuro to say I am too young for surgery, not that I don't need it, but I am too young. So I'm supposed to wait 15 more yrs in pain until they feel I am old enough? How old do I have to be to get fixed? I look young for my age, so even though I'm almost 30 I think they see me as a lot younger.

Third is the whole ESI thing. I'm afraid of doing it. What if I have the same reaction, but instead of being able to just stop the pills I have to wait however long it takes for it to leave my system. Weeks? I don't think I could deal with that. FYI, I had terrible aching pain in my legs/bones and started feeling worse all over. If this is my only resort besides pills it's very disheartening.

Overall, I've given up on getting any relief besides the pills I get from my doctor. I'm done going to neuros or anything else. Let's hope my doctor keeps on prescribing me my meds.

Sorry so long, but I just needed to vent. I thought going through all this crap I would eventually get the relief I need, but to go to all this trouble for nothing really makes me mad. Just a bunch of wasted time and money.


  • Aries,

    No disc problems in your back is a great thing! Unfortunately, since there are no disc problems, there really isn't anything that can be done surgically to "fix" the problem. Your cervical issues should be addressed and, if they are causing you pain, every avenue should be exausted before surgery is done. Even in older folks surgery is usually a last resort unless some sort of nerve problems are presented. If the arthritis is properly cared for you may feel better and may be able to hold off on surgery. Which leads to....

    Have you tried going to a rheumatologist for your arthritis issues? If not, I certiantly would. They are specialists and, since you have so many areas involved, I'd want an opinion at the very least. They are hard to get in to see, months, but it may be worth it. I have RA which does cause complications when you have cervical problems. It's worth looking into.

    Good luck and please don't give up. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.

  • I am back with back problems.
    I still don't know if they are RA related.

    Seeing every medical profession and keeping good relations with my rheumi gives me hope for better times.

    Aries, you are right. 28 is quite early for arthritis.
    Grief is right you should get diagnosed by a rheumatologist.
    If you are found with arthritis than you cannot change the diagnosis but fight it and win.
    I want you to know that although it's unpleasant disease there are lots of possible meds that can help if not totaly cure it.
    Being young may make it easier to heal.

    I'm glad you found this forum.
    Sharing and learning from other people experience can help.


    Y.S IL
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Aries,
    I totally understand your frustration but please don't just give up. I have heard for the past 20 years that I am too young to have this disease but it is what it is and like Griff said, there is a lot of different meds out there that can
    help you cope and function well without the pain and discomfort you are enduring. If you are not comfortable with the ESI route than don't go there.
    I've heard both positive and negative results, I myself have never had one.
    I believe it is only a temporary fix for the pain but that is just my opinion.
    Surgery is usually a last resort so the conservative approach by your Dr is
    common as once a procedure such as a fusion is done it can't be reversed.
    I'm with Yona and Griff about seeking a good Rheumatologist, my Rheumy
    has been just wonderful for me, I can't say enough.
    I hope the best for you,
  • Hey Aries,

    I am so sorry to hear that you are in soo much pain and wanting to give up. Please don't give up! I think that Griff has made a few suggestions that could help.

    I am almost 40 and my Neuro has said all along that I was to young. He too was thinking I was in my 20's. He probalby thought that because I am in college and I do look a bit young for almost 40.

    I would wonder the same thing...what is "to Young" I know my Neuro said he does not like to Fuse people that are young.
    It may be becuae when a fusion is done the chances of the above or below levels haveing future problems is very likely.
    I was hoping that I would be able to go for an Artifical disc replacement but because they only do one level ADR's in the U. S. I am a better candidate for ACDF. Anterior Cervical Diskectomy with Fusion.

    Believe me when I say that I understand the disheartening feelings. This is not a tough road to live at any age. Chronic Pain really wears on you physically and mentally and even spiritually.
    It does sound concerning about the ESI when you did have a reaction to the Medrol Pak. I really did not like those pills. What kind of reaction did you have? The made me feel jittery and have a horrible taste in my mouth for the entire time I was on them. They also messed with my vision a bit.
    I have had many ESI's including some Transforaminal ESI's and I did not have any reaction from the small amounts of steroids in them. Unfortunately I had no refeif from them. I think that most surgeons will want you to try as many other more conservative methods of treatment before going on to surgery.
    I have had many other treatments and noe really gave any help at all. But...every person's body is different and you may have really great results...you just never know. If your scared about having another reaction then I would try discussing it further with your doc and if needed then don't have it done.

    Hang in there!

  • Heard from several doctors that I was "too young" to have arthritis (I'm 41), MRI that I FINALLY got showed severe stenosis at c5-7 because of the spurs and herniated discs. I was in surgery a few weeks later - yes, debated my "youth" but it came down to how many years am I going to lie on the floor in pain??

    All that being said, it doesn't mean surgery is a magic answer for you - but you do deserve help getting to the bottom of your pain and finding a way to live your life. The ache all over sounds like it could be beyond arthritis, and probably worth continuing to explore.

    And as for steroids, they do (the pill version) cause horrible leg cramps. I did not have this reaction to the ESI, though it hurt like heck on its own. But lots of people get relief from them.
  • There is such a thing as juvinile rheumatiod arthritis -- and actually starts in very young children. your local chapter of Arthritis foundation can give you a list of rheumatologist to call as well as other information.

    I think that is a great place to try and get into - there might be a wait - but I bet it would be well worth it for you.

    Good luck!
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