my poor husband

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/4/2011 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone I am new here with a question. My husband has 7 cervical herniated discs and the begining of arthritis in his neck. He went for 3 rounds of cortisone/epidural injections. He had great relief for a few days after the first shot, had a day or 2 after the second shot and NO relief (maybe even worse) after the 3rd. The Dr said that he wouldn't do anymore since they are not working. The last thing he wants to do is go under the knife right away...only 40yrs old and an auto mechanic. He is affraid he will no longer be able to do his job. Was just curious if anyone else had the injections? Not really sure where to go from here. I looked into acupuncture but it "might" relieve the pain. He still gets pins and needles in his fingers and numbness all down his arm-that most likely won't be helped by acupuncture. Does anyone have any suggestions, or are going through the same thing?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9255
   Posted 9/4/2011 11:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tracy~

And welcome to the Chronic Pain forum. I'm so sorry your husband is suffering with what arthritis can do to a body. I have arthritis in my neck/hands/and it's creeping around to other locations as I age. My brother had arthritis in his spine so bad that he did have to quit being a professional mechanic. Yes, it was hard for him to face but I think the emotional part was just as hard as the physical.

But the good news is that he was able to retrain a little and find good work as a maintenance shop foreman at a state hospital. He enjoys his work and it isn't quite as demanding as being under a semi hood for hours on end. One thing you can keep in the back of your mind is retraining. There are so many types of jobs related to the field your husband is in...his skills are in demand. He could get a bit of retraining, and have it paid for, and move on to a new career in a related field. Or he could try something else that he's always wanted to try. Often your local community/technical college are great places to look.

As far as the injections go...I have a collapsed disk in my lower back. Went through the series of 3 shots and basically had minimal results. I take medications and just live with it. For the most part I do OK. But in your husband case he needs more help than that. Ask for a referral to a different back doctor/clinic and see what other options you can find. Also, I don't know where you live but in most places worldwide there are university/teaching hospitals. They have clinics and take in regular patients along with doing research and dealing with cases that no one else can seem to help. At the top of the list of topics is a thread called Chronic Pain 101. In there is a link to lists of these types of facilities around the world. If you are in the USA there are several listed for each state. This may just be the best place for him to go and get right to the top of treatment, IMHO.

Good luck and keep us posted...
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis in Neck/Hands/and slowly meandering around other places....and other maladies as discovered.
It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 9/5/2011 6:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Chutz, gave great advise and your looking into accupuncture as a form of treatment is very good,
I would add maybe look into physical therapy and maybe another PM clinic,. But he might undergo injections
again at another Clinic, injections are used as a dianositic tool to see if they can help, and there is a protocol call
in how doctor determine treatment it's kinda based with what insurances says should be's sad to say but insurance
does dictate what treatments get tried so look at your insurance sometimes accupuncture is not covered...
Maybe see what your husband's doctor says should be tried next before changing doctors...
well wishes to you and look into support groups locally...
keep us posted..
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 9/5/2011 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tracy and welcome. I can't do much about answering your questions but just wanted to say welcome to HW :)

CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bone spurs, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Midodrine, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 9/5/2011 12:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tracy and welcome! Your hubby is very lucky to have you in his corner. Chronic pain is so hard to live with and I think it's great that you are here to help him.

I don't have much to add as I don't have much problems in the same areas as him. You got some great advise above and I know that others will be on with more info too.

Take care and once again welcome to the family!
Gentle Hugs,

Fibromyalgia, Chronic daily headaches, Migraines, Undetermined Auto-Immune Dysfunction (probable MCTD, sero-negative RA and ?), Trigger finger, Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, GERD, High blood pressure, Depression and Anxiety

Oxycontin, Percocet, Lopressor, Lexapro, Celebrex, Omeprazole, Promethazine as needed for nausea, Ventolin inhaler and Vitamin D3

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/5/2011 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tracy , I also was a auto Light truck tech with Ford Lincoln Mercury till similar conditions forced me to give up my career in 2005 . I have several herniated disc in my lower back as well as my neck both L & S as well as some in my neck , RA & OA , severe Spinal Arthritis & face chronic severe pain daily . My turning point was a week that I removed & installed two diesel engines one after the other in a hurry with a worn out host . I worked till I could not bear to walk & stand no longer and still wish I could go back right this min. There is nothing I can find to help with the pain , only taking the meds on a maintenance schedule keeps it bearable till it flares or I aggravate it . Still there's no standing or any walking for any length of time . Good luck with helping him find something & don't give up .

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/5/2011 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tracy,

I think your support for your husband is wonderful and I know he is happy to have someone like you. You have been given great advice already. I too have back issues and have to say it has been a long process to find any relief. I'm working now toward another decision on what to do to combat the problems, so I can honestly say it is many times YEARS before you have tried all the options. I hope this is not the case for your husband, but don't give up. There are things that make it better!

I wish you and your family all the best.
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Pre-glaucomic, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet & much more.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 9/5/2011 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tracy Welcome to the family. I would also like to commend you for helping your husband. You've been given some really good advise already. I wish you good luck in finding help for your husband's pain.

Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/5/2011 10:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone for the great advice and kind words. My husband is going back to the PM Dr. Sept. 26th for a follow up. I believe he might try acupuncture-we know it is not a cure but will help with pain in neck and numbness down his arm (although it is not covered under insurance). After that might be surgery...we will see.
Thank you again everyone...pain, even a small bit can change a person. I wish you all success in your search for relief....

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 9/7/2011 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
       Hello Hippie!
             I wanted to pop in and also welcome you to the forum! wink
      You have had excellant advice here, and I just wanted to add one more thought. While surgery should be the very last resort,....I believe the cervical sugeries are more successful than the lumbar. I have several friends at work that have had the cervical sugery....and all of them have done quite well. While it may not get rid of all the pain, it may reverse some of the numbness in the arms and hands.
    Make sure you ask a lot of questions, and by all means get a second and maybe a third opinion if you are thinking about surgery. Also, many here would suggest a neurosurgeon over a orthopedic surgeon.
       Take care,
       SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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