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5 Herniated Discs (C2-C6. L4-L5), 10-20 weeks w/ little progress. Next step?

csn113ccsn113 PhiladelphiaPosts: 8

I am a 34 year old male.  I got into a head-on car accident in early August 2016 and after the crash, it didn't seem that I suffered any aftermath injuries.  Throughout the next couple of months, I noticed what seemed to be normal injuries...sore deltoid, weak chest, weak ankles.  Nothing major...would just calm down from exercising that area then go back to it in a couple of weeks.  All of a sudden, low back pain came into play around mid Sept.  I went to rest, and it would not heal.  So I focused on exercising upper body.  In early November, I did a plank and all of a sudden it just felt like my neck went.  Instant weakness throughout my body,  I completely freaked out and called the GP that day.  MRI on lumbar showed L4-L5 central protrusion small 1mm.  MRI showed C2-C4 central disc protrusion 1.5mm and C4-C6 shallow protrusion small 1mm.  I immediately did several weeks of concentrated dose of ibuprofen.  Neck and back pain was horrendous.  Finally it calmed down a bit.  The fatigue started to get slightly worse and I started to get every neurological problem you could think of (in minor doses)  I just started to do natural things like drink lots of water and take little pain meds and this seemed to work well.  I saw neurologist.  Negative EMG in December.  My dad went,  They both laughed and said I could go lift if I wanted to.  I saw Pain Management doctor and his reaction was similar.  He put me on 2499mg of Duexis for a month with Lorzone (muscle relaxer) 750mg to try and knock out all the injuries.  Plus I started to get cerviogenic headaches at this time that were very annoying,Two weeks into taking the meds, the back pain stayed the same, neck pain did much better, but the neurological injuries became worse and painful instead of numb.  I have also started PT for a couple of weeks, but I had amazing athletic ability before the injury and find myself doing exercise that are likely going to have little impact as I will atrophy at a faster rate than build with the PT.  The injuries I suffered back in September (the deltoid and chest) started to hurt, but with a radiating pain which leaves me to believe the accident manifested these injuries (particularly the C3-C4),  

Now I am not sure what to do.  My ROM is superb. my neck pain is minor, my back pain is very sore, but not to the point I can't get out of bed.  I have a ton of neurological problems all very minor up to this point (foot drop, sore triceps, shoulders, biceps, deltoids, minor sciatica, cerviogenic headaches, ears hurt and ring, dizziness, weakness), and with two weeks left of taking the main meds and 4 weeks of PT, it doesn't seem to be improving the neurological effects, and that concerns me more than the location pain.  I heard next step is shots, but have zero desire to go that route especially if the pain is not excruciating.  I know that you can't provide medical advice, but has anyone been down this path before and had success / regrets with decisions after the conservative treatments did not take care of the problem?



  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745
    Sorry for your pain. My herniated discs would not allow me to get out of bed so PT was off the table. Sometimes, they started with steroid pills. Those helped till the pills were gone. We then went for the steroid shots. When those did not work, it was off to spine surgery. No regrets. Surgery got me out of bed each time. My spine issues started in 2001. I'm still doing steroid shots and ablations on a regular basis. GLTU
  • Are u working with an ortho type of doctor? I would suggest looking into a more specialized doctor rather than a GP. 
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  • csn113ccsn113 PhiladelphiaPosts: 8
    Thanks for the responses!


    After the surgery, did the neurological symptoms resolve themselves (assuming you had them)?


    Yes actually I forgot to put that in the story.  My GP actually pointed me towards the OS who just seemed really busy, and just pushed me off to the PM and neurologist (he wasn't really worth mentioning).  He didn't seem all that concerned.  Didn't even list surgery as a possible step...just said steroid pack (which didn't even happen), PT, then shots.  My concern is I have been ultra careful...just doing the PT, walking, taking meds, lots of rest (but not too much), and I just recently started to feel the radiculopathy through the high levels of NSAID and muscle relaxant that I have been taking for weeks...so this has me very concerned.


  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745

    Surgery got me the ability to stand and to sit in a chair. Not sure about neurological symptoms. I assume my left arm is much weaker than my left after everything it's been through. I would tell your doc that PT and the meds are not working and see what next steps would be. Wish me, it was surgery 3 different times. I said no to the fourth. I should have said yes. I would say always put your health over your career based on my experience. 
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