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Help- C 1-2 in process of spontaneously fusing and weird experience w/epidural injection - CONFUSED

scobbsscobb Posts: 1
edited 08/11/2015 - 7:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
'll try to make this as short as possible, but I'm desperate for answers. I went to a spine surgeon/specialist a few months back regarding chronic interscapular pain (right along spinal column from about T11 all the way to C1) . MRIs showed a sigificant herniation at T11-12 which we treated with physical therapy (not terribly successful, but a bit better, and I honestly never thought that was the true cause of pain anyway) and several minor herniations between C5-6, 4-5, and 3-4. The biggest one was between 3-4. Also showed lordosis/straightening of cervical spine and some "minor" stenosis.

So, the surgeon basically said there was nothing he could do, and sent me to Pain Management with the recommendation of doing trigger point injections.

The pain doc looked at the same MRI and said it looked very consistent with prior whiplash trauma and wanted to do epidural nerve block at C3-4. We did that, and it didn't help. But during the procedure he mentioned to the nurse that C1-2 looked "awfully squished." He took another look at the MRI and said it wasn't quite clear from the image but he though C1-2 was actually really bad.

I went back today for follow up and he wanted to try another injection at C1-2 because of what he saw. When he went in with the dye/x-ray thing he said he'd never seen anything quite like my neck. He said it had a "eerily gritty texture" and that C1-2 looked like they were nearly completely fused together, which he said happens all the time in other parts of the spine but was extremely rare in C1-2. He basically suggested that my surgeon may have missed something important, but didn't want to speak badly of another doctor... it was awkward.

He wants to keep trying to help me with the pain, but he seemed concerned about the C1-2 thing.

If it helps - I'm 36, female, exercise regularly, active, lug around 2 kids all day and work at a computer. History of chronic pain between shoulder blades close to spine and daily cervogenic headaches, plus RECENT addition of intense neck pain and inability to move head from side to side without major discomfort. Did have whiplash auto accident 10 years ago and recently went to chiropractor who cracked my neck incorrectly, I suspect....

Does anyone have ANY insight on this? What could he mean about the fusing together of vertebrae, and why would that be problematic? And what the heck is this thing about my spine feeling "gritty"??!!!

In pain and really confused. :*(

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