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Neck - Need some advice

edited 11/02/2015 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all!

I feel like a mess these days. I had an ACDF C5/C6 almost 3 years ago, which didn't fuse. I had to undergo a corrective surgery 2 years ago to the same level, they went in both anteriorly and posteriorly. As time has progressed, I have started to have that nagging non-stop chronic neck pain that radiates into my shoulders and causes headaches. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers do not work for me. My muscles are in a constant state of spasm, I have tried trigger point injections and have had minimal relief. I've also recently taken a Medrol Dosepak which helped me for 1-2 days while I was in the middle of the treatment course. I've done PT but nothing seems to help. I have pain medications that my PCP normally prescribes but this past month I was injured by a student (forceful hair pull that yanked my head back), this made my normal symptoms so much worse, I have 30% range of motion in my neck to the right side and 50% to the left. I ran out of my prescription early because I got hurt unexpectedly and at this point my surgeon was following my care. He refilled me until I was able to see my PCP, which is later today. The pharmacist did call my surgeon to make sure that he was aware of this and he was so I don't think that there is an issue there but I hate this social stigma associated with pain meds and the fact that I have to ask my PCP for a refill later today. I am eligible for refill but I am just nervous. I hate feeling this way.

Also, does anyone have experience with an MRI that is similar to this? Or can someone explain this a little better to me? My surgeon said to just go to PM. I would love to hear from anyone, I feel so alone lately and I really hate talking to my husband about the constant pain that I experience :(

C2/C3 Bilateral facet arthrosis
C3/C4 Bilateral facet arthrosis
C4/C5 Posterior annular fissure without focal disc protrusion. Underlying disc bulging and bilateral uncinate hypertrophy contribute to mild central stenosis and mild foraminal narrowing
C5/C6 Patent central canal and neural foramina status post instrumentation
C6/C7 Unchanged disc osteophyte complex. Bulging annulus fibrosis without significant central canal or foraminal stenosis

Thank you in advance for all so much for your help and support! Everyone was so helpful when I was going through my surgeries and it's reassuring to know that there is unending support here :)

No on one the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or
or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can always be applied.

  • MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
    MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
    SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary

Liz, Spine-health Moderator



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

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Going to pain management doctor as suggested by your surgeon sounds like very good idea.

    Then only one doctor to manage your pain relief ...hopefully you'll feel less stigma.
    And he will explain your test results.

    I'm not sure where you work with students so physical, but you may want to think of change of position.
    Maybe something with less contact? More paperwork?
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Thank you so much for your responses! I had my appointment yesterday, which went very well, I think that I was more anxious than anything else. Both my PCP and surgeon think that pain management would be a great "next step" due to the severe swelling/inflammation that is occurring on the left-side of my neck and into my left shoulder. I'm not responding to any oral medications (relefan, mobic, toradol injections, and every possible muscle relaxer under the sun). Luckily my PCP is treating my pain and is hoping that pain management will be able to help. I've already had two surgeries and I would hate to have another one, my body is very resistant to many medications regardless of the type. They are recommending facet joint injections (who knows what PM doc will say but I'm assuming he'll say the same. Has anyone had any experience with them?
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