Well saw the PA and she is also stumped about what is going on with my right arm. She did all the strength tests and the right arm is really bad. When she went back on my records she stated that I always had problems with the left. She asked if I had fallen or could I think of any particular thing I had done to cause this. I haven 't done anything but I told her I didn't want to be dramatic but by the end of the day my arm from the shoulder to my hand is hurting so bad so I feel like I could cut it off and it wouldn't hurt as bad. She said she would have to get with the neurosurgeon and see what he would suggest because he doesn't like to do MRI or EMG until a year has pasted after the surgery and it has only been 5 months since my last cervical surgery. He said the results would not be accurate because there is still so much swelling following the surgery. She said it was a shame that I couldn't take Lyrica or Neurontin because that would probably help but I told her I had a very severe reaction and told by Home Health nurses to never try them again. She decided to go ahead with a Medrol Pack and I told her I would try that even though I have severe osteoporosis. Something has got to help. So I guess I wait for the call back.
I wouldn't worry so much about the Medrol dose pack even with severe osteoporosis. I have it too and have had 2 cervical surgeries. A short burst of steriods can do wonders to relieve pain and inflammation. COPD, Autoimmune diseases and OA patients use it too when needed. It is high dose, long term that can cause difficulties. Yes, I know there are cases of short term effecting osteoporsis but that is the exception, not the rule.
I had severe neck pain for almost 9 months during the 2nd year after my surgery, all conservative modalities failed. Finally, my rheumy put me on prednisone just 5 mg a day. Within 24 hours, the pain was gone! I had full range of motion (well, let's say considering my surgery up to C3) and doc called it 'the poor man's epidural.' My response was almost diagnostic that some kind of inflammation was going on.....he thought maybe I'd been in a 'flare' all that time. All I know is the pain relief made me a new person.
There could be just enough inflammation (or an adheision) in that very tiny space that increases as the day goes on so by evening you are in agony.
If it were me, I sure would give it a try. If it failed, then I would know something else is going on.......
I am definitely taking the Medrol Pack since I have to get some relief. Most of my doctors including my Rheumatologist want me to stay away from the steroids but when it gets this bad I will try anything. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to start on it and tell a difference. I had to have a cystoscopy today for bladder problems so I have been out of sorts today so I thought I would wait until tomorrow to start the Medrol Pack.
Good luck with the Medrol Pack. I feel for you as my arm has been bothering me this past week. Very deep pain at the shoulder area it can radiate down causing the arm to hurt. I'm not sure if your experiancing the same but it can be a like constant throb or ache & makes me not want to move the arm at all. Sound anything like what your experiancing?
Shocked me yesturday it went around to the back towards the scapula area.
I am getting a burning sensation at the back of the neck to, much like a bad sunburn & I swear I felt it all the way to my foot. All I could think is great don't tell me this is going to get worse! Frustrating not knowing what is causing this to occur.
When I ended up in the hospital after the 3month mark my surgeon had an MRI done & all the was said was the fusion looked fine. Makes me wonder now about your surgeons comment about the swelling how accurate was that MRI?
Are you in pain management? If not you may want to consider. Sounds like it may be difficult to figure out whats this for a while.
Let us know how it goes, I really hope the steroids help. Sammy
So glad to hear from you Sammyo1 but sorry you are in so much pain. It does sound like we are experiencing the same things and I am so discouraged. I did start the Medrol today and it has helped my osteoarthritis in my knees but hasn't touched the nerve pain at all. I was hurting so bad today that I cried. This pain is so deep in my forearm and also in my scapula and shoulder area. The palm of my hand feels like it is on fire. I had a friend call me this morning and she said she could hear in my voice that I was feeling really bad. If this keeps up I am going to my family physician and see if he cab do something for me. I don't know what I have done to cause this pain. I am seriously thinking about going to a pain manaagement. I will keep you informed on my progress and I hope you get better, also.
I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Yes it does sound like very much the same. The burning is extremely painful & that confirms the nerve involvment IMO. Are you having any problems moving your hands or fingers? Mine can freeze in a semi closed position or refuse to bend. When I was in ER & the hospital the ER doctor explained everything was in spasm & the spasms were increasing the nerve pain.
They kept me on IV pain meds, steroids & muscle relaxers for 3 days.
Just in case you may want to start looking for a good Pain management doctor.
I can completely understand why you were in tears for the first time in my life that night in ER I screamed when anyone tried to touch my hand. I am not a screamer, not even during child birth. The pain is out of this world. If your still in this kind of pain come Monday & call your surgeon & tell them your going to need something for this pain & ask for a the name of a good PM. I can't remember if you on a Mucsle relaxer if not you may need one.
Hopefullly one of us figure out what is causing all this pain.
I'll keep you in my prayers, take care. Sammy
Sammy I am so discouraged again today. I have now been on the medrol pak since last Thursday and only have 2 more days left and it has done NOTHING for my right arm and hand. It has helped the arthritis in my knees and ankles but the arm is still burning so bad. I thought I would wait until I have taken the last of the steroids then call the doctor and tell them something has to be done.
I am also having some problems from a bladder problem that caused me to have a cystoscopy last Thursday so I have had to put a priority on that also because I am having some major problems there, too. I called the urologist and then if nothing is better on my arm on Wednesday then I am calling the neurosurgeon. I hate to whine but I just can't take this every day and night. Yes I do have problems with my hand & fingers. The PA noticed in the exam that I can't separate my fingers on my right hand as much as I can on my left. I do take the muscle relaxer, Soma, which has always been good for me. I am also having problems holding on to the steering wheel because it seems like it causes it to really act up when I curl my hand around the steering wheel. I know I am being negative but I feel if the steroids where going to help they would have already helped. Yesterday my husband and I where out riding around and any bumps in the road will cause the sharp pain in my scapula and arm.
I will keep you informed and hope you will see improvement also.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I called the neurosurgeon's office today and told them I couldn't take it anymore. I spoke with one of the PA's that I really don't connect with and explained what I had been told last week by the other PA. She said that they have decided that I should have another myelogram!!!!! I am not happy about this because I wonder just how accurate this test will be if all the other tests are not accurate because of swelling. I did ask her if maybe this could be something totally different then nerve pain from my cervical spine. I told her that the very top of my shoulder is very sore. She said that I need the myelogram. I told her to go ahead and schedule the myelogram but I also made an appointment with my family physician on Monday. I want to run all this by him and maybe he can run some lab tests to see if my arthritis is flaring up. I haven't seen my Rheumatologist since March '09 but I know I can't get into him right away. I was in tears again tonight because I thought I would have my husband rub some cream on my shoulder and back but just him touching me caused more pain. I just hope I can find out something soon because I am now not using my right arm that much because of the pain and I am afraid that it will cause more problems.
I am not normally a whiner but this is really bad and my nerves are shot because I am so irritated by the pain. Will let you know if I find out something next week.
I am so sorry Kyma, I wrote a reply but my daughter went on to use the internet before I could send it yesturday.
I know exactly what your going through & I also know it hurts like heck. I know its hard but move that arm enough so you dont have to worry about frozen shoulder.
I wish your surgeon would just refer you to a Pain managment, he can still work on finding the cause but at least the PM could help control that pain.
It would probably be best if you ask your famliy doctor or surgeon for the name of a good PM as it may take time to get in. Honestly I dont think doctors understand how painful this is. Im surprised you have managed to stay out of ER. My heart goes out to you & I hope you manage to get into PM or some relief asap.
Have you thought about trying the splint? I know it wont help the shoulder or other areas but for whatever reason it can calm my hands down or prevent it from flaring up most times. Especially the night splint although it limits your hand more. May be worth a try & they are not expensive. I slept with them on the other night. I know if I dont use them the burning & pain will get worse.
I am having big problems with spasms after moving my left shoulder so Ive been trying not to lift if over my head, yours sounds much like mine before my surgery & I would not move that arm at all our of fear of the pain flaring up. My doctor worried about the frozen shoulder so Id move it then ice or moist heat.
I'm with you I do not trust EMGs. I would never go off the results alone of this test without another test to give confirmation.
Give the splints some thought, even though I dont have CT it helps. I will check back to see how your doing. Hang in there & take care. Your in my prayers, Sammy
Hi Sammy I hope you are having a better day. Both of my hands have been numb all day today and the pain is so strong in my right shoulder. I have thought about going to the ER but then always back out. I am hoping when I talk to my family doctor on Monday he will possibly order some tests. I haven't heard anything back from the neurosurgeon's office yet on when they are wanting to do the myelogram. I did get me a splint but it was putting too much pressure on my elbow where I had the ulna nerve repositioning. I do try and keep it moving because I sure don't want to end up with a frozen shoulder but the pain is really bad. I tried to do NOTHING today so I could give my arm a rest but that didn't work out.
I will keep everyone informed when I find out something. I hope everyone has a great 4th of July.
The next step & most important is to ask your family doctor or surgeon, whom ever you speak to first about getting into PM. PMs are trained to deal with all types of pain & I cant see what can be done other then a pain management at this stage.
Truely I hate to see you suffer & wonder if your surgeon realizes how bad this pain is. Perhaps letting both know its bad enough that you have thought about going into ER. If your surgeon had a clue the EMG would have been scheduled. The longer treatment is put off the more your suffering. No offense but I find myself getting angry at your surgeon.
Did the splint compress something in the wrist/hand that caused the pain in the elbow to flare? The ones I have one comes up to the top of the wrist & the night one further up to the middle of the arm between the hand & elbow. Thats to bad I was hoping at least you could get a little relief in the hand.
I'm no expert but you deserve some relief here & if your other doctors can't provide it then they need to find one that will. I remember the last flare up rubbing my hands constantly as they hurt so bad & then the burning would start. You have more complicated problems then I with that area & I can imagine its driving you crazy.
I'll check back & see what your doctor has to say. I wish the best of luck.