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Severe pain, Numbness, light headed and sleepy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was injured in June 2002 had left shoulder pain. I completed a year of physical therapy making my pain worse. I Had left shoulder surgery in June 2003. Pain was worse so I was sent to Pain management who found a neck injury said I did not need the shoulder surgery to begin with. I consulted several surgeons who stated I would probably become paralyzed with surgery because of the compression on my spinal cord and lack of spinal fluid going to my brain.I was treated with pain meds until 2007.
I switched pain management doctors and he sent me to a surgeon in St. Augustine Florida who refused to let me leave his office because if I stubbed my toe I would be paralyzed. He put me in the hospital and promised not paralyze me did surgeery 12 hours later. I felt much better but still have chronic pain for two years. All of my doctors have said I will always have pain due to the irreversable spinal cord damage and nerve damage in my arms.
I moved to Orlando last year and had to find a doctor who ordered an MRI for his records and my neck was worse than it was right after surgery. MRI 5/15/09
I was recently ran off 9/12/2009 the road by some idiot with road rage and I hit a 2000lb steel sign. To my surprise I only had mild middle back pain for a day or two. NTwo weeks ago severe pain in left shoulder nothing will relieve the pain. Headaches, Nausea, difficulty with bowels and bladder. Cannot move my left arm with due to numbness if I move it goes completely numb. My legs are going numb. I cannot stay awake and when I do I am very light headed. But wake up every 30-40 minutes.

MRI reads

C4-5 demonstrates disc bulging with mild central canal stenosis.

C5-6 status post anterior fusion with anterior fixation plate and transcortial screws. The cord at C5-6 demonstrates cervical myopothy with atrophy and abnormal increased T2 signal which is stable.

C6-7 demonstrates a large left paracentral disc extrusion measuring 7.0 x 10.0 x 15 mm (AP, transverse, vertical) with left anterior cord compression without cord edema. Left C7 nerve root compression is identified proximal to the neural foramina.

I see a neurosurgeon today but I am scared because this is worse than the last time. I do not know what C6-7 are saying I do not know what the measurements are for or what nerve roots they are talking about. Can my dizzy spells be from this. I can hardly go to the restroom and I believe it is all because of my neck. Can anyone give me advice?


  • Oh my -- I'm so glad you are seeing the surgeon today. Everything you mentioned can be related to nerve compression in the cervical spine.

    Your doctor will go over the MRI results with you. The numbers you see are measuring the size of the disc extrusion. The disc between the C6 vertebra and the C7 vertebra has an extrusion.

    An extrusion, or what we more commonly call a rupture, is when the inner gel-like core of the disc breaks through the tougher outer wall of the disc.

    One could assume this happened when you were run off the road. The pain at that point was not enough for you to notice, but as time has gone by, it has gradually begun to compress the spinal nerve. There isn't much of an opening for the cervical spinal nerves so any time something else is present, taking up the same space, such as an extrusion, it has an effect on the spinal nerve.

    These nerves carry signals to other parts of the body. When the signal is interrupted in any way, various problems arise and things are affected...things like bladder and bowel function, numbness in part of a limb,etc.

    I am very glad you are going to a neurosurgeon today. Your symptoms send up a number of red flags and you need to seek treatment right away. I wouldn't be surprised if you need surgery to take the pressure of the nerve or nerves.

    Please let us know what you find out at the doctor today. We're here to share information and offer support. You will probably have more questions after seeing the NS, so please come back!

  • Hi gwennie,
    Thank you for responding. I did go to the neuro today I was kind of surprised at his brief description of everything. He assumes because I had surgery once I know what is going on and I kind of do but when I had surgery the last time nothing was explained to me because it was emergency surgery they just took me right in and did it.
    This time I have 5 days to hurt and worry. He confirmed everything you said, he also says it is one of the worst he has everseen on someone still walking and/or breathing yet he isnt going to do my surgery till Tuesday so that really concerns me since the light headedness, weakness and pain increase with every breathe.
    They have a new technology that allows movement between the disc so you do not have to have more surgeries but I do not qualify for because it is too severe. Thanks again for your reply I will keep you updated.
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  • Hi Tired,

    You sure have a lot to think about! I am so sorry for your recent injury. I cannot imagine the fear you must have and especially with not really understanding what is going on.

    Everyone on this website is so helpful. Some are so experienced and knowledgeable from what they've been through that you can almost always get an answer or idea.

    Don't be afraid to call 911 if you don't think you can wait until your surgery on Tuesday. You are already concerned about the wait and I am too for you. Another idea is to get a second opinion if you can get out and find someone who will get you in fast. Or call this doctor back and scare him with your symptoms. Be bold - it's your life!!!

    Come back, study the old posts other spiney's have written and learn what you can.

    Big gentle hugs,
  • Welcome to the forum. You'll get lots of support from our group and I'll keep you in my prayers for a successful surgery. Feel free to vent your mind anytime.

    I live in Orlando also.

    Take care,

  • Hi tired mother. I'm so sorry you're going through this and am very glad you're having surgery on Tuesday.

    Just to clarify about a disc extrusion: a herniation is when the soft inner material of the disc actually begins to push through the outer ring of the disc. An extrusion usually means that the herniated fragment of the soft inner material has poked all the way through the outer ring and broken off, so it's afloat, or at least disconnected, inside the spinal canal.

    Take care and yes, please keep us posted.
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  • I am not really up to responding to everyone at the moment so this is to Everyone. I had my surgery and it seems to be a success thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I did have some issues with paralysis after the surgery but it has since returned. I was in a top notch hospital with the worst nurses in the world.

    I woke up from surgery around 2 p.m and I was alone. The nurses would not answer the call button and I was afloat in a bed of urine in severe pain. My worse nightmare had become a reality. I continued to hit the call button for hours but no one would come bring me anything or even answer me. I finally had a nurse come in around 10 p.m and offer me morphine which I cannot take interveniously so they had ordered diladid. when I refused the morpine she gave me 5 mg of vikoden what a joke I was taking that 7 yrs ago.

    3 hours later she finaly returned with a half of a dose of diladid I couldnt have the whole thing because i had the vikoden. I was pissed so I went to walk it off and got lost. then she said she would bring me meds again at 6 but at 7:25 when I went to tell her not to leave without giving me my meds she was already gone it was 8:30 a.m before I received my meds again. what a nightmare.

    I know this is a pain forum but can anyone tell me if I can sue the hell out of the hospital for cruel and unusual punishment? I was then sent home with 2 mg of diladid not working at all.
  • OMG- I would definately be complaining about your treatment & nursing care at the hospital.

    My hsuband was there for me when the RN's were too busy to help and he was furious. He spoke to the nurse manager and she took care of me when the other nurse wouldn't help me. I was alergic to the first med and each time I dosed I puked my guts out. The first nurse did not want to call the NS and have my meds changed (too much work).

    If the pain meds are not working call the surgeon who performed the surgery. You will likely get his answering service. Give a very detailed message- where you want scripts called, what your pain level is etc. He may call you in something.

    If the pain is really bad go to the er and explain to them your problem.

    Hang in there.
  • Hi JulieA,
    Thank you for the advice, I did call thanksgiving night and the doctor was rude about the meds but agreed to let me increase it to 2 2mg diladid every 6 hours of course I am taking them every 4-6 hours because they do not work. I have been on 90 mg of morphine and 60 mg of hydrocodone for some time now so my tolerance to meds is up there. He says well you will be addicted. Like I care at this point. When I am out of pain or it is minmalized I will worry about lowering the dose. I was looking at my release papers from the hospital and it states that he gave me 5 mg diladid but the script was for 2 mg I am wondering if he thinks I am on 5 mg and that is why he was rude. Overall I think I am doing much better and that is all that matters. Thanks again.
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