I have been having chronic neck and upper back pain for three years. i have been seeing a pain management doc for the past 6 months. he did a mri back in dec 09 and it showed three bulging disc at c-4 c-5 c-6 area with the c-5 being the worst.he wanted to do the epidurial injections so I did with p/t before and after each. I have had three in 6 months. they would last about three to four weeks then the pain just keeps comming back. I saw him again last week and he said it maybe time for surgery and that I have done everything he could do to help but he thought it was just time to get it fixed. he has refered me to a neuro dr in two weeks. Just not sure what to do if they say i need it done. i just dont want to keepgoing through every day with this. I take vicodin twice a day just to get through. any help?
You are done wiht the injections for a year now. They can only give 3 injections a year of the steriods. It sounds like your options are few. Surgery should be the last option, but it's not aalways the best option...is what my pm doc says. Ask for the odds when you see the surgeon. Then it's up to you. What you need to realise is that you will continue to get worse, not better. The surgery will help stop the problem. There may be after pain that you hadn't planned on...it depends on how comprimised the nerves were. Sometimes they don't recover as you would like. good luck!
Thanks for reply. yes I,m done for a year on the injections. with the p/t not helping I need something to start the recovery and get this behind me. I have three little girls that need to be able to play with there dad. thanks again
Injections can be done, in a series of 3, twice a year. Sometimes more if they work.
I had a C5-C7 ACDF in 2006 and it alleviated much of my symptoms. Go see the NS and also consider seeing an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon just to get a second opinion. If it helps my ACDF was one of the easiest surgeries I've been through (and I've been through a ton). I'm looking to see if it can be revised to add C4. The one thing I wish I had done was to push for C4 to be done in the first ACDF. So if they tell you that you have a level that is "iffy", ask them if adding it to a fusion (if that's what they recommend) is possible to avoid future revision.
Obviously surgery is a very personal decision and have things in your life to consider. However, I had surgery for cervical neck issues (cord compression) and nerve damage that caused weakness and down my left arm and pain. I did opt on a anterior cervical fusion and to be honest it has helped me so much. I was in constant pain and the nerve related issues were just getting worse and worse. However, while I still have some pain and stiffness every now and then. It is nothing compared to the pain I experienced on a daily basis with my neck. Unfortunately, I have lumbar spine issues that have kept me on pain management and at this point that is really my only option. However, the neck surgery was a complete success.
Wishing you luck with whatever decide. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
Its a bit of a pain (no pun intended) applying it regularly three times a day, but i found that after a week or so, I got a good deal of relief - when your in chronic pain any extra relief is worth having
going on the 2nd to have another mri with cotrast this time neck xrays with looking down and up, he also wants blood test to look for infalmation and a emg to check the nerves in the hands and arms. i see the dr week later. just want to know if there is anything he can to do to help.
Not sure if I mentioned this before but get 2-3 opinions from Neurosurgeons and/or Orthopedic Spine Surgeons. Each may present you with the same option for treatment, or different options, but at least you'll get to see which is best for you.
I have been told by my pain management dr that he feels i need surgery. now i have seen my neuro dr and he wants all the tests done over just to see if things have changed in the last 6 months. my pain is getting worse the last few weeks so things may have changed i guess. i for got to ask him for pain meds and i am just about out dont know if i should call to see if he would give me some. i hate to ask a new dr for pain meds it makes me feel like they may think that all you want from them but i need them for pain and nothing else
With my PM every month we discuss how the meds are working, if any changes are needed, etc and then I get my prescriptions. With most PM doctors you sign a contract that you will only get meds from the PM doc. So if you forgot to ask for re-fills call the PM and ask to speak to his/her nurse or medical assistant.
With the symtoms you describe and seeing a PM I had thought you'd be actively geeting refills from the PM doc. If the pain is bad enough to consult a surgeon then regular pain meds seem to be what would be expected.
i called the neuro dr today and asked for the pain meds and they said it was not a problem . I go tomarrow for all the new test the mri with contrast extention xrays blood work and a emg. i really hope they can get to the bottom of this pain . its been so long that i have been able to do anything with out pain.