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42 year old hospital worker with C5-C6 ruptured disc

py820535ppy820535 Posts: 5
edited 05/15/2015 - 10:39 PM in New Member Introductions
This is my first time on this forum. I do a lot of physical labor at work taking care of patients. I've had off and on neck and shoulder pain since my 20's. The first week of March 2015, I woke up one morning with severe right neck/shoulder/arm pain. This occurred a few days after doing heavy yard work. The pain got increasingly worse to the point of agony. The urgent care doctor thought it was neck spasms and started me on Baclofen and gave me neck exercises to do which didn't help much. My primary doctor didn't seem to know what was going on and referred me to physical therapy. Then, the weakness and hand tingling came along. I finally went to see a physiatrist 4/1/15 who ordered the MRI.

"C5-C6 degenerative spondylosis...Eccentric right disc osteophyte complex at C5-C6, as well as right paracentral to lateral disc extrusion/protrusion"

Diagnosis: Cervical degenerative disc disease; cervical spondylosis with radiculopathy.

Conservative Treatment: Baclofen 1-2 tablets 3x/day, Norco 5 one to two tabs three times a day, Mobic 1 tablet daily. I also had a 6 day course of methylprednisolone steroid tablets which helped only 1 day. Heat helped. Ice, TENS, ultrasound were no use. Massage therapy just worsened the tingling sensation down the arm. For physical therapy, the only recommendations were cervical retraction exercises (chin tucks while lying in bed) and home traction. The therapist thought most of the Mckenzie exercises would worsen my pain. His motto: "If it hurts, don't do it!"

4/21/15: Received steroid and lidocaine injection to C6. Helped immensely with the pain after 2-3 weeks. However, pain would return with strenuous activity (heavy lifting, reaching- which I do a lot of at work). Right arm weakness and hand tingling persists which was concerning for the physiatrist.

5/8/15: Referred to neurosurgeon. Due to persistent symptoms of nerve impingement over the past 2 months, it was recommended that I undergo spinal fusion (or if insurance allows- cervical disc replacement).

In following the introduction format, I didn't realize this turned into a lengthy essay (sorry for that). Hopefully I am posting this in the right section of the forum.

Anyway, I'll be trolling the forums to get feedback from other folks' view on this spinal surgery fast track. I've never been operated on before. As a healthcare worker, it feels a little weird being on the other side.

Thanks for reading,
Belmont, CA



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    Here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main Spine-Health menu bar

    Spine-Health Main Menu Tabs

    Conditions Detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal condition.
    Treatment List of treatments to the conditions identified by Spine-Health.
    Wellness Section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.
    Medical Articles
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    Videos Index to all Spine-Health Videos

    As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts[u] do not violate any of the rules.[/u]

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    I am positive any member, new or old will find this Chroinc Pain - Step by Step thread very valuable.

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    Doug Hell

    Also working with us very closely is Allison Walsh from the Spine-Health company


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Dear Liz and Savage,
    Thanks for welcoming me and for the introductory guidelines. It is A LOT to sift through! I feel like I'm traveling in another city! It's fascinating reading others' stories. I thank God that my situation isn't as unfortunate as some of the other members' from what I've read. It'll be fascinating to learn how others cope with their conditions and about their experiences.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    When my spinal issues first surfaced, I too resumed activities similar to yourself, after I had relief of pain.
    I do not remember hearing instructions to continue restrictions. Initially, didn't realize the seriousness of my spinal issues.
    In my case, I was told I could no longer participate ...as in no lifting, no twisting, etc... and for me,lifelong restrictions.

    But we differ as I have never been a canidate for surgery.
    Hopefully others with the similiar surgical experiences will happen by and share with you.

    As you are..trolling. :)....for more information, the information provided by Liz, above,...will be very useful.
    It also may be helpful to use the ..search ....on this site. It will lead you to other posts that may be helpful...and to articles and videos..about your situation that you may also find useful.
    There is a wealth of informtion on this site.

    Please keep us posted I now you are doing...and best of luck on your upcoming surgery!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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