Posted 6/22/2006 4:48 PM (GMT -7)
about 2 months ago I was moving some large objects, approx 70 lbs, at work. One of them did not move as expected and I felt a pain just below my lower right shoulder blade. It was no worse than other typical "pulling/pushing" pains and I continued to work. Later that night the pain became worse. Over the next week the pain became intense and radiated down my arm along with tingling into my right ring and little fingers. The pain and tingling were generally only at night and cleared up during the day except for several periods of tingling and numbness in the right arm during the day.
I went to my family doctor who prescribed some medicines: anti-inflammatory pills, muscle relaxer pills, and pain pills. An X-ray was taken that indicated nothing broken. After a week the pain remained unchanged and she changed the pain pills to a stronger type. The pain pills at least allowed me to get some sleep. She also had an MRI scheduled.
Prior to the MRI, I was directed by work to report to their "doctors". During the 1st visit, the doctor reviewed the previously taken X-ray and pronounced "nothing broken" and scheduled PT at their facility for a "possible" pulled muscle. The physical therapist said she thought it was a pinched nerve and changed the doctor’s orders.
After a week of PT and no change, I saw one of their other MDs. He said the X-ray showed some scarring and/or calcium buildup in the center of my chest and determined I had clogged arteries and that was causing my arm pain. He then lectured me on controlling high cholesterol and sent me to a website, www.healthyheart.com . The website appears to be a multi-level marketing site where you can become a distributor of some cure all medicine. I had just had blood work done and my total cholesterol was 111, with HDL of 47, LDL 59, triglycerides 53, and glucose 85. I had also had a nuclear stress test completed less than 2 months prior and passed with flying colors. I asked the MD if a previous surgery could be the cause of the scarring on the X-ray and he said that probably so. I raised my shirt and showed him the scar from a by-pass surgery in 1999. This was the first time my shirt had been off after seeing 2 doctors and 4 PT visits. He still insisted the pain was from clogged arteries because of high cholesterol.
Another week and half of PT and no improvement. If anything after the PT manipulated my neck, my back and neck were so sore; I could not turn my head left or right for several hours. I finally see the 3rd doctor. He indicated he had no idea what was wrong and scheduled an MRI - just like my family MD wanted to do 3 weeks earlier. My total time spent with these 3 doctors over 3 weeks was less than 12 minutes. Another 10 days pass and I finally get the MRI on Friday. The lab faxes the report to doctor #2 above (i.e. clogged arteries) and gives me the MRI films. I take them to the clinic on Monday so the MD can review them with the report but I was told they did not want them because nobody there could read X-Rays or MRIs.
I meet with the MD on Tuesday and he says the problem is arthritis and there is nothing they can do. Good By
I raised hell at work and the insurance company was going to have a different doctor re-read the MRI films. I checked today and was told the MRI films had been re-read by a different doctor with the same diagnosis. The only problem with this is that the MRI lab gave me the films, which I still have. I stopped at the MRI lab today and they said they have had no requests for any other copies of the films or report. So much for having to deal with workers comp doctors and insurance.
Long story but here's a copy of the written report. Is there any one who can convert this to American English? I'm making arrangements with my family MD to have someone else re-read the films but would really like some knowledge before I go.
At this point, the pain in my shoulder is about 95% gone and I only get the tingling in my arm and fingers once or twice a day and then it is not very painful. I never had any neck pain so I don’t know where they came up with that.
MRI of the Cervical Spine:
History: Neck pain and right shoulder pain
Technique: Sagittal and axial T1 and T2 images were performed.
There are degenerative changes evident throughout the cervical spine, with some disc space narrowing at C6-7, as well as evidence for some unconvertebral spurring bilaterally at C3-4, C4-5, and C6-7. This unconvertebral spurring is likely producing neural foraminal encroachment bilaterally at these levels. There are no definite focal disc protrusions itentified. Marrow signal and the alignment appear normal.
IMPRESSION: MILD CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS WITH MULTILEVEL DEGENERATIVE CHANGES, WITH DISC SPACE NARROWING AND SOME SPURRING AT C6-7, AS WELL AS SOME UNCONVERTEBRAL SPURRING AT C3-4 AND C4-5, AS WELL AS AT C6-7. NO FOCAL DISC HERNIATIONS ARE APPRECIATED.
Dictated but not read, signed via computer signature key.
I'm a male, age 56, 5' 10", approx 172 lbs and in good health. I get over an hour of physical exercise a day. If anyone can provide information I can understand before I visit another MD, it would certainly be appreciated.