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5 mm C2-3 anterolisthesis

LisibugLLisibug Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Have had surgery from C3-7. Have developed anterolisthesis at C2-3, with occipital neuritis. Headaches are 24/7 and quite severe. Also, neural foraminal osteophytes have grown back at all levels previously cleaned out by surgery. Am advised to wear cervical collar more often. Am on strong meds and have to take naps now every afternoon to cope with pain. Any advice in coping? PT is out - have tried it many to no avail. Cannot cope with any time of exercise of the arms or neck.


  • Lesibug,

    Sorry to hear about your issues with C2/3. I don't have anterolisthesis, but a moderate cluster complex in the front of my C2/3 has pushed my disk rearward approximately 9mm - not much more to the cord. Like you, the headaches at times are worse than a migraine!

    I have found for me, that sleeping elevated had knocked my headaches down, and too when I eat, I take smaller bites of my food. I would sometimes develop a monster headache just trying to eat that awesome big hamburger!

    I mix heat and ice for my neck, adjust food bite sizes, minimized how much I allow my head to move, sleep elevated, gentle self massage. I take 300mg a day of Lyrica, and I know that is helping some of it, but the high cervical is a different animal from what I've found!

    I hope some of my temporary relief methods help you out as well. Take care, and please keep us posted.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • i also have occipital severe headaches, they are so excruciating painfull, and when i cough it sends the nerve pain thru my head
    i have a lot of damage from C1-T1, i find keeping a neutral position of my neck helps , well actually i have too, or ill suffer

    another thing i do is pack my head in ice for the headaches, it brings relief

    for me, i learnt that i can only use one pillow or i end up with severe pain on waking

    sometimes its a matter of trial n error to see whats works best for you

    im glad to see the blocks work for you to get some releif, i shall be having those too

    take care and welcome to SH
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  • Thank you Flower and Brenda. I really hate hearing that others suffer like this too - of course I'm not alone. It's very sad to hear. In regards to the Lyrica, I already take 1800mg of Neurontin and 150mg of Topamax daily, so I've got the nerve pain meds covered. I don't take Lyrica because there is somewhat of a risk for heart patients and it does run in my family and I do have hypertension and high cholesterol, so I don't want to risk it. So, I cover it with the other two meds. I also take MS Contin 3 x day, amitryptiline, and then my 'as needed' meds are (which is usually daily, but I switch around which ones I use include), amerge, fiorinol, Soma, Dilaudid and Vicodin. I have my own personal pharmacy! I meant it when I said I take a lot of meds!

    I don't seem to have pain with eating. I absolutely have to try and keep my head in the neutral position. Heat on my upper neck seems to cause headaches to escalate, whereas it's okay on the lower neck, shoulders and upper back and I use it every night in bed and as needed. Ice is good, but I rarely use it. I probably should use it more, particularly as things are a lot worse.

    Thanks again for your help. I think that because I've had so many levels operated on as well, that causes problems. 9mm sounds like a lot - I wonder when it is at the point where you need surgery.

    Wishing you both the very best and am very sorry to hear of your suffering. Thank you for your help. Flower, I'm glad you're going to have the blocks to see if they help - they do help me. Brenda, it might be worth it to see if your symptoms align with occipital neuritis and if so, to undergo the blocks, too. They're not a big deal at all. One injection on each side. Only takes a minute - no big deal - particularly as we're very used to pain and have a high pain tolerance.

    Hoping you feel better -

  • Lisibug,

    You have me a little nervous about my much loved Lyrica! I am on cholesterol meds and beta blockers for heart rate (bring it down) and BP (bumps the high side). For mechanical pain I am on Oxycodone (change after my Darvocet was pulled from the market), and trying Imitrex for the headaches. From PM-ing with another member with similar headaches, I'm going to ask my GP if we could try Topomax for the headaches instead?

    I'm hoping to get all my imaging updated next month and see what the game plan is going to be this time! I pretty much know my neck is a revision + a level, and depending on changes for C2/3 - that might be added. My NS a year ago stated "this is very concerning to me"...(pointing at the large bulge), but he never added anything beyond that?? Weird huh?

    As for heat vs ice - same here. If there is a headache going on, ice, ice, ice. (G) If I have a lot of mechanical pain going on, ice seems to work better for me. If it's a mix, heat - but like you bottom of the neck!

    9mm didn't/doesn't thrill me either. The cord at that level is curving towards the rear of the neck, so I guess there is more "wiggle room?" I didn't become symptomatic with it until almost a year ago, so I guess changes are happening. Hoping to know more by the end of next month. Please let us know how it goes with you. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda, heart disease runs pretty high in my family and my little brother just died of a heart attack. I am probably being overly cautious - this was not on recommendation of my physician. You are probably just fine with the Lyrica. Yes, adding the Topamax would probably be a good move and instead of the Oxycodone, try Fiorinol or Fioricet (two tablets) plus a Soma (muscle relaxant). I find Fiorinol/Fioricet work much better than regular pain meds as they're actually made to trigger headaches, as is Topamax. It might be worth a try. And of course, in combination with the Soma, you're just helping those tight muscles in your traps, sternomastoids and neck to calm down, which absolutely adds to significantly helping everything to calm down. I don't find the straight pain meds, even the strong ones like Morphine and Dilaudid, to be as effective.

    I'm sorry to hear that it looks like you've got a surgery coming up. In case you don't know this (I've had both kinds by now) - ADR (artificial disc replacement) surgery is so much less painful and quicker to recover from than a fusion it is unbelievable, and I had 3 of them done at the same time versus a one level fusion. And, you of course have the added bonus of being able to move your neck at that level, which is supposed to help us not get adjacent segment syndrome as much/fast/at all (?!). This is now FDA approved for one level in the cervical spine, so perhaps talk to your surgeon about this. If your facet joints are severely degenerated you won't be a candidate, but I'm pretty sure that would be the only preclusion. You'd need to try and find a surgeon who's had a fair amount of experience (that is, for a U.S. doc which isn't saying that much - maybe someone doing clinical trials). I'm not sure where you're located - if you're in SoCal I can give you some great recommendations. I had mine done in Germany by Bertagnoli. All my surgical levels are good, sadly I still seem to get this blasted adjacent segment stuff, no matter what. However, I know that if I'd had a fusion, I would've already had to have had another surgery probably 3 years ago, and I have movement in my neck.

    Wishing you the very best in all the decisions you have to make - and hoping you'll feel much better afterwards. Many people heal and never have another problem - I know and have met them, so it's true! Hopefully, you'll be one of them. Meantime, hope you can keep your headache pain to a minimum. I know what a drag they are. Ugh!

    Had my occipital nerve blocks last week which has improved things somewhat and I can lean my head against the recliner for awhile without getting nauseous, but after awhile it starts acting up again. But, things are improved to some degree, so I'm grateful for that. Next week I get injections into my hips as we're pretty sure I also have trochanteric bursitis that so kindly wakes me up at night... Sure glad I have insurance and a pain management doc!

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  • Condolences on the loss of your brother. I know that had to hurt big time! *HUGZ* My high heart rate and blood pressure is from years of chronic pain. I love the affect of beta blockers - I didn't realize I was feeling "that bad" until I started them. I felt 20 years younger!! Wow!!

    As for ADR, from what I've learned for the US. If you have fusions (2 or more) in your neck, you are not a candidate for one? I also have 'facet arthrosis' so I don't think that makes the grade for one either. By the time they are done with me on this round, I will be fused C2/3 C5/6/7/T1/T2 - Yummy....

    I am on day two of headache one-o-one, bites! I only just logged on for the first time today, now! (G) I will probably go back to my best friend (my TempurPedic) shortly. I pretty well know what kicked me into the headache mode - sweeping! In Florida we are big on tile floors, and sweeping is a bit of 'double sweep' to get the dirt out of the groves between the tiles! Lots of head down to see the progress.

    I so hope next week I don't get bumped again on seeing my Neurologist. I need to get all the imaging updated to see where I am at, and what the game plan will be. I'm so happy to hear your ADRs are working well for you. I get nervous about them as I've read in some cases they (the ADR) allows for too much movement at said level causing other problems. Hopefully in the cervical, that is not the case. We had a member on here get several levels done, happy as a clam for a few months, then they had to go back in an fuse the whole shabang! I hope yours continue to treat you well. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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