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My Story and a few questions

StinkfistSStinkfist Posts: 24
edited 11/16/2015 - 3:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
HI Guys I am new to the forum but not new to literal pain in my neck.

Please bear with my long story I do have a few questions in there..

It all started 6 months ago when I started getting a pain in my chest and started having a little bit of numbness in my left arm, I did what anyone does these days and googled what that means...basically it told me to rush to the ER...I thought nah couldn't be that bad I am young and in good health, a few weeks later it was worse...decided to go to the ER and they ran every test in the book and everything looked good, so they sent me home. Told me to go to my primary doctor and a cardiologist. The cardiologist found nothing, I had no primary doctor as I was only in the state for a few years and healthy. Finally got in with him, thought it was in my head, but the pain persisted, finally he sent me for x-rays, then an EMG and then finally an MRI which showed a large herniated disc at C6-C7. I was sent to pain management got some basic meds and that I needed an injection. Got the injection, and a week later was no better and actually a little worse. The pain doctor, said he figured that was the case but they have to try before they go the surgery route. So he referred me to a neurosurgeon. They booked out 7-8 weeks....Tried to deal with the pain for a couple of weeks but decided to head back to the Pain doctor as it was getting worse, he upped my drugs and put in a call to the surgeon to see if I could get in sooner, They were able to get me the following week. Saw the Doctor and agreed that surgery was the best route, gave me the paperwork and I just needed approval from my primary to schedule the surgery...

Now this is basically where I am at, I went to my primary doctor and he did the routine checks they do, I got an EKG and that was good and then went for a blood test. The doctor got the results and said my Creatinine value was a little high...He thought maybe it was from the Gabapentin, as i was up to 6 300mg a day. and he wanted me to come back in a few days and do another test...I did that and it went up a little more .03. Now he is concerned about me getting the surgery due to my Kidneys... Has anyone else had this type of response to gabapentin? Is my doctor being overly cautious? I am in a lot of pain and really do not want to push off this surgery any longer, but of course I don't want any complications.

I told you I did have a couple of questions, thanks if you made it this far into my story I appreciate any help or suggestions. I know you guys are not doctors just looking to see if anyone has had anything similar happen to them?

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

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  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
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  • . Physical Therapy
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- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
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  • . Name of Medication
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Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

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Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
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As such, no member is permitted to provide

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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 11/16/15 09:02 est



  • WolfpackSVBWWolfpackSVB Posts: 216
    edited 11/16/2015 - 6:26 AM
    Don't overlook the obvious sounds like you need to change your dosage or your medicines.

    Good luck,

  • StinkfistSStinkfist Posts: 24
    edited 11/16/2015 - 7:24 AM
    I wanted to add a few more things and a few more questions.. about a month after I went to the ER when this all started I started getting left toes and foot numbness. This started when I first took prednisone and it has continued ever since, I got a lumbar MRI and it showed a small bulge at the L5, but it was very small and the doctor did not think it would be causing the leg issue, even though it is in right location for my symptoms.

    I mention this because I was wondering if a herniated disc if bad enough in the neck or maybe in the thorasic could cause problems with the kidneys? I did find my blood test results for Creatinine back in June and I was in the middle of the range, so my value has jumped up significantly in 6 months. Making it maybe three options, first my kidneys are quickly degrading, two the drugs are causing higher than normal creatinine levels, or my only other thought is the herniated disc is causing this? But i am no sure if it is even possible.

    Anyone have any experience with anything similiar? Thanks in Advance
  • I just had an ACDF on c6-c7. They said if I didn't I'd be in a wheelchair. What did the surgeon say abou the creatine levels? If they say it's ok maybe you should go ahead. this can be serious.
  • StinkfistSStinkfist Posts: 24
    edited 11/16/2015 - 8:31 PM
    I have not talked with the surgeon about the creatinine levels, mainly because the surgeon will not start any of the scheduling until my primary care physician has sign an approval for surgery form and based off my creatinine levels he has not signed it off. I have been begging him to call the surgeon and ask his opinion. I would, but I think it would take a while to get a hold of him, he is very busy. My primary is helping though, I have an appt with a kidney specialist tomorrow afternoon so hopefully after that I can get this ball rolling...

    I def have a large herniation and my pain and numbness has been increasingly getting worse over the last 6 months. Without the Gabapentin and Hydrocodone I would not be able to function(hard enough with the drugs) I have decided surgery is my best option, honestly I just want the process to go quicker now that I (and the surgeon) have made that decision. I would post my MRI but I have no idea if I can or how on this site yet. I Added my MRI as my Avatar...probably hard to see but the best I can do at the moment. OK here is a better picture of my MRI

    There are no medical professionals on the forum side of this site. Therefore everything you read is based on the personal experiences and/or research done by the individual member. Comments should never be taken as pure medical facts. You need to discuss this with your doctor. They are the only ones that can provide you with detailed information about you, the patient.

    For helpful information please click on link
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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

  • I hate that you are having to go through this at such a young age but one thing that will come out of it is that you will learn quickly that it is your life and your body and you need to be in control of it.

    A cervical herniation is serious. Now that you have made the decision to have surgery no jumping, no impact activities, no falls, no running, no weight lifting until it and your recovery are over. I wore a soft collar before mine to remind myself and others that I had a neck injury.

    In addition to the above, you should only take a medicine that has been proven to alkeviate your pain and that has the least side effects with your body while considering your particular set of circumstances. You are preparing for surgery there is no reason to be dancing around the medicine issue. The prescribing doctor knows exactly which medicine is causing your body to get out of whack.

    Research the medicines that you take thoroughly, including scholarly articles, then set up an appointment with the prescribing doctor immediately after receiving your test results. Assuming the consensus is that one of your medicones is causing your body to get out of whack go with a new treatment plan, they do exist.

    Or decide to live in pain if you can or wish to tolerate it prior to surgery. I don't know your life situation but I had to be able to continue working. I get paid by the hour and have a small business that would have gone under so I chose a path that allowed me to do that. I'll repeat what I said in an earliet post, it has its own set of problems but it does handle the pain and does not cause your liver or kidneys to get out of whack in the timeframe we are talking about.

    Good luck,


  • A cervical herniation is serious business I have no idea why there is so much confusing material on the web about it. If you truly herniated "tore" your disc then material is coming out and the broken fragments are going somewhere. If that somewhere is your root nerve, the one that carries all information to and from your brain, then it is a big deal. There will be a lot of numbness and pain and it is almost as dangerous of a situation as someone with a broken neck. Boney material is harder and sharper so they do have us beat but you need to realize that the broken disc pieces are operating in the same area.

    I am not a doctor so you will need to ask them about your creatine levels but I suspect it is from the medicine. I took a different path than you and went with a different class of medicine altogether. The medicinal path I took has its own set of issues to deal with but I would recommend it when someone clearly has a physical injury.

    I think you are on the right track about doing the surgery quickly. I unknowingly lived with a neck injury for nearly 4 years, it was a mistake.

    Good luck,

  • StinkfistSStinkfist Posts: 24
    edited 11/20/2015 - 4:54 PM
    Thanks for the Info, I met with the kidney Doctor and he does not think it is related to the Gabapentin, however he said going ahead with the surgery is not a problem, but I do need to figure out the kidney issue, so I had to give about a gallon of blood for tests...so will wait see what comes out of that, just waiting for a surgery date. The Gabapentin works very well at relieving the pain for me with very little side effects, that and the hydrocodone...assuming it is not causing any issues with my kidneys.. I will keep updating with how my progress goes. I really appreciate all the information on this site it has been very beneficial..
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