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Posted By : JakenGess - 7/7/2017 9:44 PM
Hi there, I have recently been diagnosed with a c4/c5 disc bludge on causing slight foramenal stenosis to the right, a c5/c6 disc herniation compressing the central spinal cord centrally, and c6/c7 bone spur compressing the central spinal cord centrally.

I have not seen the neurosurgeon yet so I am not sure what this means exactly? Surgery or no surgery???

I woke up one morning and had moved awkward in my sleep and had excruciating pain to my back and back. I have had this intermittently over many years but seems as though it has gotten worse over the past 6 months. After this last episode, a day later I got left arm pain that was a dull aching pain that was so intense it caused me to be very nauseated. Since this incident my neck pain is no longer going away. The left arm pain stopped hurting roughly 3-4 weeks after onset of neck pain. However, I wake up with numbness to both hands. I have contributed this for awhile to sleeping funny? Is this true or is this my neck?? Also, I have intermittent left palm tingling that comes and goes.

This is a lot of information but I am trying to understand if my symptoms are related to my neck or that I am paying more attention to them now that I know I have a neck issue.

What would be the next step for someone with similar issues? I currently take tramadol and etodolac for pain and have tested not taking them to see if my pain is still there, which it is. So I now have to take pain meds daily. Also, I use lidoderm patches at night time.

I have previously done physical therapy. I have been told in the past that I have narrowing of my spinal canal so injections would not be appropriate for me? Is this true? What else can I do without having surgery?? Or is surgery the only option?

Posted By : Abilene - 7/8/2017 9:36 AM
Are you scheduled to see the neurosurgeon? I really think you should have that opinion to help you decide what to do.

I've had some similar findings from an MRI, followed by surgery. My own case had not yet progressed to anything more than neck pain. If you care to read my history it is titled just like what is in my signature. You can also Search here for other histories related to cervical pain. That might help you to see that others had similar pain as you. Did the physical therapy give you any relief? I tried that but was told it was not helping and I needed to see a surgeon.

Best wishes for finding a solution sooner rather than later! Let us know how you are doing.
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue 12/17/2013; Hyperthyroidism; Sleep Apnea;
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : straydog - 7/8/2017 10:54 AM
Hello & welcome to Healing Well. Very glad to read that you have an appt with a neurosurgeon. At this point, none of us can say whether you will be a surgical candidate or not. You may very well have other options that the dr recommends. A good neurosurgeon should not push surgery unless it is an emergency type of situation. A good one will say these are your options. So, try to keep this in mind. In all honesty, the symptoms you are describing go with neck issues.

After you see the dr please let us know how the appt goes. We have had numerous members have surgery, so you are in good company here. Ask all the questions you want, we will do our best to answer them.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : JakenGess - 7/8/2017 11:18 AM
Thank you both very much! My appointment is July 21, so will be glad to give a follow up! Thank you for your support, very relieving to have people understand what I am going through without being burdensome.

Posted By : JakenGess - 7/8/2017 11:50 AM
In 2011 I had physical therapy that seemed to help but have not returned. My PCP said since you have already had physical therapy the only other options are injections, which would not fix the problem but give some relief, and to see a neurosurgeon.

I had two things happen in my past, when I was 16 I fell at school and landed with an extended chin/neck hurting two of my teeth. No issues with neck then. Then in 2001, I was deadlifting and hurt my back. From then on, being so young, I did well. In 2010 I began working as a nurse, lifting heavy patients in the ER, I had a sensation of urinating on myself while helping a patient out of a car. I went to a neurologist, who evaluated me for MS. This was negative but I had several MRIs at that time. The MRI showed disc issues in my sacral area, thoracic and cervical, but compensated pretty well. Only having this neck pain every so often, well managed with anti-inflammatory meds. It would go away completely and not return for awhile. In the last six months, the pain has become worse, lasts longer, and is more recurrent. At the end of May I moved funny while I was sleeping and got sudden onset of excruciating pain in my neck. The next day, I had severe arm pain. The arm pain lasted about a month. I have tested my pain meds to see if I really need them every day and sure enough, I no longer go without pain, it is now chronic, but varying in severity each day. I do not like taking meds, and can not take significant narcotics because of my job. I can only tolerate 25-50 mg tablets of tramadol a day, if I take more then I become nauseated and on two occasions I have vomited. I take Etodolac for inflammation and lidoderm patches at night.

In a perfect world, I hope my neurosurgeon says you are fine, no need for surgery. But I know this is not the case. I have never really been under the knife except for wisdom teeth. I have never been intubated. Currently I am scheduled to start Nurse Practitioner school in Sept and am hoping that if I have no choice, I can still manage typing on a computer for school after surgery. This is probably over ambitious in regards to post op. I have read other reviews that say limited movement for 2-4 months. i hope that I can delay any surgery until a later time but I am worried about the arm pain and the compressing of my spinal cord. I worry about permanent damage.

Posted By : White Beard - 7/8/2017 11:07 PM
Hi JakenGess and Welcome to The Chronic Pain Forum. You definitely need to see that neurosurgeon, and in the mean time take it easy and try not to put any undo strain on your cervical spine!! I've had that arm and hand pain before caused by herniated cervical disc's and surgery was the only thing that fixed it! So until late you see the neurosurgeon be patient and extremely gentle with your Self! Nursing is not an easy career for one with spinal problem, believe me I Know! If you do need surgery then get it done, nurse practitioner School can wait, but your health (especially this type of situation) can't!!!

Good Luck to YOU!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
USAF retired in Sept.1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg, Disabled in late 1999, was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD and Multiple herniated Disks; Foraminotomy L3/4/5 Jan 2013; Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF 1985; Implanted pain Pump Jun 2014.

Posted By : JakenGess - 7/9/2017 12:21 AM
Thank you White Beard!!! That is some really good advice! Will be letting everyone know what the verdict is once I see the doctor!

Posted By : straydog - 7/9/2017 5:52 AM
I can only say trying to return to work quickly after spinal surgery is probably one of the worst things a person can do. Surgeons are known for saying oh in 6 weeks you will be fine. Well, that is far & few in between that do that. They end up paying a huge price for going back to work early. My advice is if you end up with surgery, lower the bar on your expectations & allow yourself yo heal not just from the outside, the inside takes longer. The folks that have had this surgery are highly experienced with this surgery, heed their advice.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : JakenGess - 7/11/2017 9:07 PM
Does anyone have any recommendations for muscle relaxers that do not give drowsy effect? Anyone use these with pain medications. In reading drug interactions, I noticed they did not recommend a muscle relaxer with pain medication for CNS depressant but not sure how dramatic that is.

Posted By : White Beard - 7/11/2017 10:07 PM
I've been on Baclofen 30mg every 8 hours for many many years for muscle spasms, I have the implanted pain pump now with morphine, but before that I was taking 40mg oxycontin every 8 hours along with the Baclofen and it never made me sleepy or Drowsy! But remember everyone is different, and these meds can affect everyone differently. Allot of people complain about Baclofen making them sleepy but it doesn't affect me that way, it just controls my muscle spasms the best with no side Affects! Also 30mg is a very high dose, but it works well for me.

Really it is kind of a trial and error process to find out what meds works the best for you and in what combination. As what works well for me might not work at all for You! But muscle relaxers and pain relievers are often prescribed and given together, it is just finding out which ones work together in giving you the best possible relief with the least undesirable side affects!

Good luck to you, and I hope they can get you on the right combination of meds that will give you adequate relief!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
USAF retired in Sept.1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg, Disabled in late 1999, was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD and Multiple herniated Disks; Foraminotomy L3/4/5 Jan 2013; Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF 1985; Implanted pain Pump Jun 2014.

Posted By : straydog - 7/12/2017 8:02 AM
Like WhiteBeard, I too am on Baclofen & have been many years. I am on 20mg 3 times a day. Originally it was prescribed to people with MS, as spasticity is a huge issue for them. When they found how well it worked for those patients they started rxing it for people that do not have MS. I have been on Flexeril, Soma, Valium, Robaxin, Zannaflex & a few others over the years. Each one caused grogginess, or made me sick at my stomach or I would just nod off if I sat still long enough. Baclofen has a completely different makeup, it works on the CNS so it does not cause these issues. Everyone that I know that is on it does not have any of the problems we tend to run into on the others. Go to & read about Baclofen, then look up one of the other muscle relaxers I listed & see the difference. Granted we are all are different on how we metabolize our meds. It comes in 5mg & on up, however, you must take it as prescribed to keep a steady serum level, otherwise it will not work as effectively.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

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