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Had Epidural

jakatakjjakatak Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Had my 3rd epidural in 6 months. Again..it helps temporarily. But this time, the pain is worse, in that I now have permanent numbness in the tip of my thumb. I absolutely hate the fact that I have a time bomb that will eventually go off and I will have more numbness....more pain...possible weakness in the arm. GEEZ! Would someone pleeeeze tell me why we bother with PT? Stretch this...strengthen that? What for? The rust is already taken over. The barnacles are on the hull of the ship, and, short of scrapping the hull...you can stretch and strengthen till the cows come in...and the spurring will just continue getting worse. If I don't do anything again in my life...just sit in this friggin chair and don't move....maybe I can slow the process down. But DANG! I just retired early, and I want to be active! My back already sucks...but I can live with that. Punching a hole through the front of my neck, risking losing my voice...is NOT appealing....slicing through the back muscles (which I am told is extremely painful...and leaves a Frankenstein scar of 6 plus inches...to only return with future problems occurring above and below my C5/C6 joint.
My Dad was right....we should be retired when we are born...then go to work when all hell breaks loose! :)


  • Well I had ACDF in June of 2009 and still have the same pain I went in for relief of. I have had 4 epid. & 1 facet injection since then to no avail. I also had PT on my shoulder and neck to the tune of about 25 total weeks (both before and after surgery). Total waste of time and money (except for my therapist)!

    Now I am told I might have to get C4-C5 out. My surgeon told me it was bad but did not want to take it out in 09. Here we go again.

    I would still consider surgery, if you don't try you will never know !
  • I'm sorry you're going through this. I had only 6 weeks of PT before I was told I needed surgery. My symptoms were severe back spasms, tingling and numbness in my right arm, and severe pain and weakness in my left arm.

    Are you or have you seen a fellowship-trained spine surgeon (ortho or neuro), but someone who only works on spines? If not, you might want to get opinions from one of those. Once the numbness starts, I'm afraid that it's only going to get worse and it might be time to take more invasive measures.

    Don't be afraid to get different opinions from different doctors. Many are afraid of surgery, but there are some out there that realize that that's the only way to make things better.

    I'm in no way saying you need surgery, but I see the frustration in your post and am just suggesting seeing a spine surgeon who might be able to more understand what the issue is and how better to handle it.

    Take care and please keep us posted.

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  • Not sure if this would apply to your situation, but here is my story.

    I went through the PT and epidural process prior to surgery. When I asked my DR why I had to go through all this stuff when we all knew surgery was the only option, my Dr gave me the following explanation..

    My insurance company insisted that all less intrusive methods were tried in an effort to resolve my back problems. In short, they would rather pay more money for the extra stuff, than go with the (what appears to be) the only viable option. In a way this is a good thing and it keeps scalpel happy Dr's from cutting just because they can.

    Now with new problems creeping up with my C4 through C7, I am starting this process all over again. It can be very frustrating to the point of saying some things you really do not mean. If it comes down to surgery, it might be worth it.

    Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.

    View my history for all the gory details.
  • With the current awareness of natural or prepared childbirth increasing in the popular consciousness, the split between those who plan on using pain medications and those who plan on using no medications has become dramatic and at times combative. Despite the conflict that sometimes occurs, there is a place in between the two extremes. That is, planning to do what is necessary, medically and personally, with open eyes and sufficient preparation to actually reduce the reliance on medication as the only possible source of pain relief. Reducing the reliance on medication reduces your risks. But reducing the risks does not mean eliminating the possibility of needing the intervention entirely, and certainly does not mean blanket statements that you would never accept such interventions. That would be foolhardy - you may indeed need that medical help for good reasons. And you may also find that the epidural was the wrong choice for you. The best you can do is prepare to choose wisely, thoughtfully, and preparedly, with your eyes open.

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