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flnorrisflnorris Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have herniated/bulging disks @ C5,C6 & C7 w/mild stenosis they say..I say it's worse than mild. I have pain/numbness/burning that radiates on my left side..arm,fingers,wrist,neck,jaw,etc..headaches,dizziness,etc,sometimes I wake up at night and it feels like the left side of my head & left ear is asleep or numb,I literally have to get up & move around to get the feeling back in it. I wear pain patches ($ store brand) on my left shoulder blade constantly, my Dr.sent me to a nero & he told I needed surgery,well I don't have insurance so no one will touch me with a 10ft pole..My Dr refuses to let me go back to work (I was working home health) now I have osteo-arthritus in my left shoulder & both hips and they say that's due to the pressed nerves and not enough blood flow going where it needs to be. OK so therefor another problem,plus Fibro. So much naproxen or advil upsets my stomach, I've had bad reactions to percocet,loratab and other narcotic drugs. The only thing I take is valium,my Dr did give me that for muscle spasms a cple of yrs back but they've gotten to where they don't work as well & I don't want to live my life on mind altering drugs.....I've read so many posts here that even after some of you have had surgery your still in pain?? Even sitting here now I have on a wrist band as someone would wear if they had carpel tunnel,a soft neck brace,and my ear feels like it's asleep!I'm at my wits end and honestly don't know what to do anymore.


  • Hello,

    I had a fusion of my L4 / L5 / L5-S1 and I know your pain. I had numbness, extreme pain and weakness.

    The body is an amazing thing, recovering from injury, and over time minor injuries cane become major pain causing problems long term.

    My situation is similar to yours, but over time my injury got much worse. 20 plus years ago, and a skiing injury which hurt on and off, but never to the level it ended up.

    Over the years if i really over did it, I would be hurting, but I always wrote it off because the pain would go away.

    Then one day the pain changed to severe nerve pain, with sciatica, and burning. This never went away, so I finally had a Fusion. I recommend you look into county / state funded care? If you make below a certain threshold, you pay on a sliding scale. It sounds like you would qualify.

    I'm not a Dr., but my experience with medication is I never wanted to take them, but when the pain got to an 8,9,10 - going to the ER for shots to calm the nerve pain, I started popping narcotics to kill the pain. They make a bunch of medications and if some did not work, I'd try until you find one that helps.

    Well I hope things get better and again I would Take care and IM me if you want. E-

    Left foramina stenosis of L3/L4 (retrolisthesis)
    L2-ilaic revision fusion ( loose screws) with a laminectomy at L3 (cage at L3-L4)
    (PLIF) -@ L4/ L/5 - S1 (cage at L4/L5)
  • I know it doesn't help you but I'm sick of how you are treated in the U.S. in the UK it may take 1-6 months but you would have had at the minimum a physio course or steroid injection to stop the constant pain while YOU and the Dr discuss how to move forward with treatment - possibly surgery, either way ITS FREE!

    Sorry - ok, so your aware im a swimming coach and training physio in the UK (not certified yet). I have my oWn back issue but thats not to trouble you with.

    Ok, I won't quote what symptoms you have back at you as you know them. The important one as I understand it is your arm pain. Has it at all improved since it began. This needs to be honest. Has it got progressively worse or levelled out? The reason I ask is the C5-7 area causes this and a sign of any improvement in that area is first noted in the arms improvement (i.e. if the arm improves the other symptoms should eventually follow).

    Secondly the guy that stated surgery clearly went through medical school but most teachings on the C area over here are that surgery is very difficult and isn't a proven problem solver. This is due to the very small discs/spaces and resultant very small ability to manipulate in the area. That said a protrusion could easily be resolved if identified - so, when was your last MRI? have you had more than one, if so are there any differences? I ask as this area is prone to causing injuries that do heal (albeit over a long time)with non-surgical treatments - I know that helps little at the moment. The guys I see follow the path of anti inflamitory drugs before physio - chiroprator. For some this works and others not. For the ones not healing (over 1-6 months the Dr seems to be having limited success with steroids that can be swallowed (I'll ask for the names tomorrow)

    The drugs are a nightmare and I truely know the plight of getting sucked in. Nerve pain is very tricky but in the UK the following are used, as they have very limited side effects. The two I used and guys with C injuries are Amitriptyline (a nerve blocker)the only real side effect is its an anti depressant which if you were like me is a bonus. The other is Mambron is a slow release tramadol.

    I've gone on too long but really wish you the best and hope someone on here can help alleviate some of your stress and pain.

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  • OK well to start off with..TO BPainfree39, I am on a sliding scale with my family Dr but none of the specialist have that. I've been dealing with this pain for at least 10-12 yrs,the first time I had this pain was in my left arm,jaw and muscle in my chest pulling..they threw me in an ambulance.hauled me to St Joseph hosp in Atlanta and started a heart Cath..no heart issues..MRI showed DDD & 1 herniated disks,since then I've been sent twice more by ambulance because of pain on my left side,ya know in a women that's classic heart attack symptoms..I've had many EKG's,stress tests,etc..proving again it's not my heart..over time things have gotten much worse. My family Dr told me if I ever had a heart attack I'd not know it because of all the symptoms I do have. Which I'm glad each time they've went as far as they have in checking my heart ..better safe than sorry huh. Mine is nerve pain/burning..I think maybe the spasms are being over doing it some days and I to have sciatica so bad some days I limp,but an MRI on my lower back shows everything there is great,it's coming from my hips...I honestly would not know what it's like to have a "pain free" day..I've been to the ER numerous times, gotten shots,some so bad my daughter has had to help me to the car..I hate that! maybe one they can find something I can take without a reaction..since i do look after my 70 yr old mother who's never had her lisence,i can't stay in a fog.

    Sleighty..my last MRI was 2011..I've had an MRI every year but 1 since 2000,yes my arm is in pain..arms.hand,wrist,face at times,left shoulder,shoulder blade feels like it's on fire,left side of my head & even face at times feels like it's even asleep at times..some days the symptoms are lighter 3-5 pain scale,some days their 10+..and that's not only my arm,that's my left side in general..my sister thought i had bells palsey (spelling bad) one day cause i couldn't smile right..my one shoulder hangs lower than the other,I've been told I have neuropathy & Trigeminal neuralgia..I've been on Gabapentin and other nerve blockers for this until i became immune to them or started having rashes...i'm telling ya'll I have a very low tolerance to drugs, for example a percocet 10,I'd have to split into 3 pieces,it would kill my pain for an hour or so & then leave me with a severe headache or anxiety issues..I don't want to just lay around and watch life pass me by,I don't want to be drugged,I would LOVE to find something that would help..I've had so many NSAIDS meds now i have stomach issues..so then theirs the nausea meds..geezzzz..a chiro helps but then later it's like the pain comes back with a vengance! if surgery (even tho against it) would stop all this and i could find a way I'd probably do it in a heartbeat..I'm only 49,my life is not over yet..but yet I feel like i have the body of an much much older person...i do appreciate the info folks..i guess it just helps talking to someone with the same issues,knowing their listening and have an input..no one else knows how u feel unless they are going thru it too
  • flnorris said:
    I don't have insurance so no one will touch me with a 10ft pole..
    It's the first question out of their mouths, right?

    I don't have any either so I responded with "No, but can we work a discounted cash price where I pay out of pocket?"

    We worked out a deal and I got squared away. Maybe you can work that angle?
    sleighty said:
    LMAO. Nothing is free. Someone paid, but let's not get into politics here.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I would call around to see if there's a teaching hospital willing to help you. Can you get disability or Medicare? Find a good Physiatrist once you have health insurance or a teaching hospital. They can do tests and order blood work and order any treatment including medications and make referrals for you.

    I don't live in the States so limited to what they have there for you. maybe your nearest Congressman can help somehow? Take care. 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
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