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Feeling depressed because of neck pain

So I'm 28 years old and my back/neck problems started about 2 years ago. I went through the chiropractor and acupuncture, and both helped to a limited extent. After getting hysterical I finally got the authorization from my primary care doctor to see a surgeon. I saw my mom's spinal surgeon, Dr. Light in San Francisco because he's one of the best. Unfortunately, my mom has degenerative disc disease, and I've seen her go through so much pain and many surgeries :( He did an MRI and found bulging discs at C5-C7 with bone spurs. I got the diagnosis last year and it was pretty upsetting because I knew what the future would be for me. He told me it wasn't bad enough for surgery, and I agreed. I had a cortisone shot last year and the relief was incredible. I had nerve pain that radiated from my neck down my right arm, and it hurt so bad. It kept me up at night. The cortisone shot took care of the radiating nerve pain. Yes, degenerative disc disease is not really a disease per se, but my discs are degenerating faster than normal. Dr. Light said it was not normal for a 26 year old to have bulging discs.

So here I am about a year and a half after that first cortisone shot. I was doing great until several weeks ago and then my neck pain flared up. I was about to have hip surgery too, so I knew there was nothing I could do about it :/ I'm on crutches for 8 weeks total. I had femoral impingement of the hip with a labrum tear, and that's what my hip surgeon took care of. My lower back started hurting for the first time when my neck pain flared up. The only thing I can think of is that I stopped taking Naproxen because I had an ulcer.

I'm trying to hold off on surgery until I have kids because I know that fusion of the neck can accelerate the degeneration of the lower spine :S My next step is to get another cortisone shot in my neck. I'm following my neck closely because I don't want the nerve damage to become horrible before I have surgery. At this point I'm a bit depressed :( I see that some people with a similar issue are having surgery. I suppose next time I meet with a back surgeon I'll discuss that with them.

How many of you with bulging discs C5-C7 had or are having surgery? I'm trying to avoid that route for a few more years, but the neck pain is driving me crazy. First it was the hip pain, and now it's the neck >_<


  • sukieessukiee Posts: 30
    edited 12/02/2012 - 6:40 AM
    I can relate to what you're going through. I had 2 surgeries. C6/7 in 2006 and C5/6 in March 2012. I had good days and bad. I had a few really bad days that brought me to tears. My insurance had denied me getting an mri the second time. Why? I don't know. It took a lot of phone calls but they could not give me a logical answer. I was depressed, discouraged, and angry. I continued to pray and cry out to God that I needed help. Things still wasn't happening until I got a new doctor. He got the ball rolling and I was finally authorized to get the mri. It was a difficult time for me but I kept my faith and I did not give up. The neck and arm pain was unbearable. God is awesome. I couldn't have gotten through this without Him in my life. I was told that I will probably need another surgery in the future. I'm having a little neck pain now but it's not as bad as before the surgery. I pray that God will give you strength and comfort while you go through this tribulation. He loves you and cares for you. Remember, you're not alone. There are so many people in your situation and we're all trying to make it through and stay encouraged.
  • DonnabeDDonnabe Posts: 597
    edited 12/02/2012 - 5:31 PM
    I truly know how you feel, I have grown up watching my mom suffer with incredible pain, and hoped I wouldn't be like that, well here I am. I am 25 and had neck surgery about a year and a half ago. I also have bone spurs and other disc problems unfortunately. For now my low back is good thank goodness. I hope it stays that way for as long as possible. Id love to talk to you more, PM me if you would like... I am off to bed now.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
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  • diamondeddiamonde Posts: 186
    edited 12/03/2012 - 10:05 AM
    Hi Chi

    I had a lumbar fusion in 1998... and then in 2008 my neck went and went bad in one go... I had an ACDF C5/7 in February that year and was back to work in March. It was the best thing i did and a complete success. I still support my neck with my favourite pillow when I sleep, and I hold reading materials so I don't have to bend my neck down (which causes a small ache). I've only had to make small changes post the surgery, so I don't even notice anymore that I've accommodated if you know what i mean... I've never heard that a cervical op causes stress on the lumbar though??? That was news to me and I don't know if its' accurate?? The cervical fusion is significantly easier to recover from then a lumbar fusion; because the neck doesn't support near the weight of the lumbar. Anyway... I have good range of motion, my singing voice is nearly what it once was lol, and no radiculopathy/weakness anymore. For me... who has chronic pain from my own DDD.... the ACDF was the easiest decision I made... the lumbar stuff... well... thats another story!!! i'll avoid/delay my next lumbar fusion for as long as possible!! and apparently.... it's likely there will be another one in my future... just don't know how long I can hold that one off... but im trying!!!!
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
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