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Hi, new here.

ScottMSScottM Posts: 54
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions

I originally posted this by mistake as a reply to another thread. I really wanted to start a new thread. Sorry.

I've been dealing with a neck problem that has progessively gotten worse over a number of years.

Back in '98, I had a herniated disc at c-5/c-6. I had a discectomy which eliminated the pain.

But several years later, I began having a pain in my neck that started out to occur infrequently and became more frequent. A couple of years ago, the pain became constant.

On 8/29/06, I had an MRI done, which reported: Anterior fusion at C5-6 with difuse bony proliferation narrowing the spinal canal at these levels. In addition, there is marked posterior spondylosis centrally and to the right of midline producing cord effacement.

On 1/2/09, I had a second MRI. It states that at the level C6-C7, there is fairly prominent diffuse degenerative annular bulging and bilateral unconvertebral joint hypertrophy. The findings are asymmetrically prominent to the right, and there is a large disc osteophyte complex on the right at C6-C7 which narrows the right foramen and right lateral recess.

I saw a neurosurgeon after the first MRI and was told his only treatment would be a discectomy at C6-C7 and remove the bone spur. He recommended to avoid this as removing another disc would probably cause more problems in the future. He sent me to pain management.

I've been going to PM since September of '06. I started out with taking Naproxen and had a Epideral Nerve block. I was still in pain, but it was manageable.

By the summer of '07, it was getting increasingly painful. Most physical activities that involved stress to my neck made it much worse. The PM doc put me on Vicodin HP four times a day which seemed to help quite a bit.

But a year later the Vicodin didn't seem to work so well, so I was given Percocet 10/325. This would work well for about two hours after I took it and then the effectiveness would decrease until I took the next dose.

The PM doc then prescribed Kadian 20 mg (Morphine Sulfate time release) along with the Percocets. This worked well for a short time. Now it doesn't control all the pain. I'm up to 30 mg Kadian now. One thing that amazes me is that if I took 10 mg Percocet before I started taking narcotics, I would be so spaced out. Now I cannot even notice and side effects.

The next step is for the PM doc to perform a RFI treatment on the nerve root.

My pain seems to be less on the weekend as I can relax and move around and change positions. I frequently wake up with neck pain and it is definately worse after sitting all day at my job at the computer. Lately, it has been an endurance to make it through the day. Driving seems to make it worse.

I've been working from home, which seems to help. I am a software engineer and all my team members are in other parts of the country/world. There is one project manager/supervisor on my team that is a tyrant. My manager in CA is afraid of her and lets her get her way. She thinks she is the only one that should be allowed to work from home and will cause trouble for me. The added stress she causes me makes my neck problem much worse. I am so afraid of what she is capable of. She will stop at nothing. I've seen and heard what she was allowed to do to others. She is not a nice person, rather cruel. I can either work alone at home or work alone at work. I asked the PM doc for a note saying I should work from home, but he said I would have to have a functional capacity evaluation done first. I've got one scheduled. I've never had one.

At this point, I don't know if I should consider having the discectomy or continue with PM. I feel good enough on weekends to continue as I am, but dealing with the stress she causes me makes it hard to deal with the pain. My HR department labelled the team member as a bully. She doesn't like men and is never satified. She doesn't want me to have surgery though, because I would be out of work for too long.

I am afraid of having surgery since that will mean two discs in a row will be gone and who knows what problems will happen later. I just turned 51, so I have a lot more time to wear out.

Any advice would be appreciated. I am already on an anti-depressant and have been for many years and I'm getting more and more depressed.

Hope I didn't ramble on too long!



  • welcome again!! Jenny :D
  • My heart goes out to you it really does.Our backs no one knows how much it takes of your life its not like loosing a arm or leg. The spine its our life line really.And I know where you come from my question you must have nerve damage?And I had 2 seperate discetomies at l4l5 only to find if I had had a fusion at that level I would have been back 90 percent as it was I was only 50 percent changed job description work was only 4 hours a day. And I was a federal civil service worker and what gets me through is what i read on this site.Yesterday is gone today is a mystery and tomorrow is a gift. I repeat this all the time i find confort in that.Along with a chinesse sysmbol for crisis is same as oppertunity find the oppertuninity in our crisis.Its hard butthere will be one.And my prayers will be with you as my thoughts. ;)
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  • It seems to me there are a lot of cruel bosses out there. I think you need another opinion from Neuro or ortho Dr. if you need surgery. Your Surgeon could probably write a note for you also saying you could work at home. When I was first ill with my back my Boss called me at home to say I was missing too much time though I was only off for 6 days in 3 months with flu,cold etc. One call to the Union changed that. Is there a Occupational health Nurse where you work? I hate it when we love our jobs but there is always someone to make our day worse especially when being in pain. I became like a puppet to the Bees at work and I'm done. They probably even caused my back to go out. I hope you can get to work at home. Good luck. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks for the kind words.

    I try not to miss any work on account of this. I work 4 long days and have Friday off that I use for Dr visits. Sometimes it takes all the stamina I have in order to complete the day. Some of this is due to the added fear that this person may have a tantrum. I like my job, but I dread working with this person. As I said, never satisfied and men can never do the job as well as a woman. I've always done quite well at work. My previous boss had always considered me a top performer. She works from home every day because she needs to let her dog out.

    They announced that there will be future layoffs, so I am afraid to mention too much about my neck problem. I am also afraid that if I got laid off, it would be hard for me to fake that I don't have a problem to get a new job. I'd be afraid no one would want to hire someone taking narcotics and in some degree of pain. That makes it much harder to keep up with the younger people.

    Most of my pain is a burning feeling to the right side of my spine. It gets much worse the longer I sit. I frequently need to reposition myself. A lot of times if I sit upright, it pinches the nerve going the the thumb and 1st two fingers of my right hand. I get some numbness when that happens and feel the presure in my neck. The burning feeling is what really gets to me. I recently got a TENS unit which I use while working.

    I will try anything before having another disc removed. My neurosurgeon lead me to belive that would just lead to more problems. I've managed 2.5 years so far since my 1st MRI. I just feel bad that I have eliminated a lot of the things in life I used to like cause it makes the problem worse. Too bad, I can't do that at work!
  • Welcome to Spine Health!! I'm a lumbar patient so can't help with cervical spine issues, unfortunately. There are many, many here, though, that surely share your pain.

    Good luck!

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  • I actually posted a reply on your other post but just in case you don't see it there, here it is again:

    Scott, I agree with what your doc advised. It really does put more pressure on the other discs once you start fusing or removing them. Is it possible to get a stronger opiate based narcotic? I am on opiates and have found through lots of research that they do not damage your organs like some of the other pain killers. It is very unfortunate that we will build up a tolerance to the meds and need to keep upping the dose. I have had a great deal of success with RF of my lumbar area and would highly recommend trying it to anyone. If you are lucky enough to get good relief from this procedure it will last as long as 12-18 months.(it takes that much time for the nerves to regenerate) At which time you have the procedure done again.

    Good luck to you both and please keep us posted on your progress.
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