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Thread: Help! Lost & Frustrated

  1. #1

    Unhappy Help! Lost & Frustrated

    Hi, I fell on the ice this past January and hit my head and neck on the way down and have been in pain ever since. I have been treated for Muscle spasms, shoulder pain, arm pain and neck pain. I've seen my primary care, a neuroligist, a pain doctor, and two physical medicine and rehab doctors. So far no relief just change in meds and therapy.

    My MRI shows cervical spinal stenosis (C3-C4 & C4-C5 central canal measured at 8mm), cervical degenerative disk disease, severe cervical spondylosis, and significant foraminal stenosis.

    I just returned from a trip to a highly respected medical center in the upper midwest. There more of the same, changed my meds and therapy. I was also told that pain alone is not reason to be refered to a neurosurgeon and I could expect the pain to continue for several months to several years.

    My main problem is that my neck in a neutral position just aches. But when I move it; even simple movement; the pain becomes severe. So far all of the test I have had have been with my head and neck in a neutral position. Does this make a differance? When I am examined by a doctor the initial movements are not very painful, but comes on a few hours later, to the point where even laying my head down hurts. I have trouble sleeping because of this. Life seems to be in slow motion right now. What should my next step be? If life with this pain is what it must be then so be it, but there seems to be something missing. Thanks for the input!

  2. #2
    With the amount of cervical stenosis you have, and adding trauma to that, you are lucky you do not have neurologic deficits, but generally this is the criteria used for doing any surgery. Without deficits, and with pain only, doing surgery would also put you at significant risk of having a bad surgical outcome, even complete paralysis. Even with successful surgery for spinal stenosis, it is rare that pain is eliminated. I would encourage you to get several opinions from both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons who specialize in spinal surgery and spinal cord problems before proceeding with any surgical interventions.


  3. #3

    Red face Thank you!

    Thanks so much! It has been hard to get the doctors to say that. Do you think things will get worse before they get better? Or is it a toss of a coin? What questions do I need to ask my doctors?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    • What would be your criteria for deciding that my case needs a surgical treatment?
    • When should I see you again? (what signs and symptoms should I report to you or would be ominous?)
    • What are the risks of such a surgery?
    • What non-surgical methods can be used to help control my pain?
    • Would bracing be of assistance?
    • What physical activities should I avoid?
    • Would therapy/exercise be helpful or harmful? What types?

  5. #5

    Smile Thanks again!

    This is is great information to gather. I always say I don't know what I don't know. Any other information anyone has would be greatly appreciated!


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