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Osteoarthritis Neck/Shoulder/arm pain

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Old 06-15-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: MEDWAY, Ohio
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mcaron HB User
Neck/Shoulder/arm pain

I've been having a rapidly getting worse pain issue. It started two years ago and now have severe pain on and off in the neck, left shoulder, and both upper arms. I've been seeing a pain management specialist for a year. I've had epidural injections several times and the pain only goes away for about five days. They've also tried many medications. Presently I'm on Lyrica 225mg three times a day and it helps with the regular pain but not the intense stabbing pain which happens several times a day and stops me in my tracks in mid conversation. I've also have a spinal stimulation implant which worked great for six months but has become more ineffective for the last six. It now has no effect on the pain and I'm scheduled to have it removed beginning July. I also have an appointment with neurosurgery later this month.

The latest MRI is as follows: (I don't know what all this means)

C3 C4: No significant posterior disc abnormality. Mild left greater than right uncovertebral hypertrophy appears similar. Mild to moderate left and mild right facet arthrosis appears similar. Mild left nerroformaminal narrowing. No significant right neuroforaminal narrowing or significant canal stenosis.

C4 C5: Minimal broad-based posterior disc bulge. Mild bilateral vertebral hypertrophy. Severe left and mild right facet arthrosis. Facet arthrosis and uncovertebral hypertrophy result in mild to moderate left neuroforaminal narrowing. No significant right neuroforaminal narrowing or central canal stenosis.

C5 C6 Disc desiccation with mild to moderate intervertebral disc space height loss and broad-based central disc protrusion. Mild to moderate facet arthrosis and moderate uncovertebral hypertrophy. No significant central canal stenosis. Mild left nerroformaminal narrowing. No significant right neuroforaminal narrowing.

C6 C7: Trace posterior central disc bulge with no significant central canal narrowing. Mild uncovertebral hypertrophy and facet hupertrophy. No significant neuroforaminal narrowing.

C7 T1: No significant posterior disc abnormality. No significant facet arthropathy. No significant spinal canal or foraminal narrowing.

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Old 06-15-2017, 09:07 PM   #2
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Re: Neck/Shoulder/arm pain

Have you been under the care of a spine surgeon? You might want to look at some of the threads on one of the back boards. One is entitled "Back Problems" and the other is "Spinal Cord Disorders," which is usually where people with cervical spine problems post.

You may have other arthritis, but your symptoms are most likely coming from degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine. DDD can cause symptoms that are felt in areas of the body even when the person doesn't have neck or back pain. It is not really a disease but is a collection of symptoms caused by wear and tear and daily living that affects the discs of the spine. As we age, the discs can begin to lose moisture and flatten. This results in loss of disc height and sometimes a bulge or even a rupture in the outer wall of the disc.

This deterioration tends to have an effect an the adjoining facet joints, which are synovial (fluid-filled) and, along with the discs, are what allow the back to bend, twist and have movement. As the discs deteriorate, the joints tend to enlarge and sometimes grow little bone spurs or osteophytes. This results in an over-all enlargement which can put pressure on the spinal nerves as there is just so much room in such a small space.

You will note the findings refer to a "narrowing." This is called stenosis and primarily occurs in two places in the spine: in the central canal that contains the spinal cord and cerebral spinal fluid and in the neuro foramina...which is a little opening located at each vertebra that allows a spinal nerve to exit and spine to go out to the area of the body it innervates. Since each specific nerve innervates a specific area of the body, the doctor can judge where in your spine a nerve may be compressed.

The good news is that the central canal is not affected by any of the disc bulges...and is sufficiently wide to accommodate the nerves. You do have stenosis in a number of the foraminal opening, particularly at C4-5, left side worse than the right side.

In addition there is arthritis in the facet joints at C3-4, C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7.

None of the findings are all that significant, with the exception of the severe arthritis in the facet on the left side.

Did you have the spinal cord stimulator for another purpose? They are often implanted as a last resort when all other treatments have been tried and have failed. These findings do not appear severe enough to warrant a neurostimulator.

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