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Pinched nerve - arm pain

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Old 01-08-2010, 11:49 AM   #1
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Pinched nerve - arm pain

I have chronic pain due to pain in my tailbone. I was just getting ready to have a new procedure done that might help that when I started getting pain in my right arm, hand and sometimes shoulder. About six months ago I had slight pain in arm and saw the neurosurgeon who performed my back surgery for spinal stenosis. He said because I still have full strength in right hand that nothing could be done except drugs. Then the pain got worse and to the point I couldn't sleep at night so I went to my Doctor and was put on Lyrica besides being on MS Contin, Vicodin and Cymaltta. I am also on Amitriptyline for Migraine prevention. Also since having this pain I hardly feel pain in my TB. I am sick of being on so many pills and still have pain. It was suggested that I go back to the Pain Clinic but can't think why I should. I forgot to mention that the pain is due to pinched nerve above where I had surgery about 13 years ago. At that time my husband I thought the doctor (not same surgeon) had scrapped off all the arthritis but the neurosurgeon said that he took out two bones below where it is pinched now and that another surgery would be complicated and a real challenge. Any idea? It would be nice to have some relief. Thanks

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Old 01-08-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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Re: Pinched nerve - arm pain


Often cervical spine problems show up in pain down the arm. You may want to look up a dermatome nerve chart and it will show which cervical nerves affect which parts of the arms/legs. I had significant problems at C5-C7 and had radiating pain down my left arm and into my index and middle finger.

An x-ray won't likely show any disc problems so you may need to pursue an MRI. Personally I think those of us who have problems in one area of the spine are more prone to problems in other areas as well. It's amazing how many people I've talked to who start with low back problems and then later in life, or later the same year, start to have cervical problems.

I had lumbar problems starting in 1986 with surgery in 1987 and 1993. Then I did amazingly well (I was in my 20's for the last lumbar surgery). Then out of nowhere in 2004 I woke up with horrible pain down my arm. My primary care doctor gave me percocet and sent me on my way. It never occurred to me that this could be neck related. But while at a pre-op appointment for my husbands tonsillectomy in 2005 his ENT doctor said "why do you keep rubbing your arm?" and I told him about the pain. The ENT said "I think you have a disc problem and something is impinging on the nerve back here (and he touched the back of my neck in the C6 area". It's sad that it took and Ear Nose Throat doc to diagnose me. He sent me to a new PCP who sent me for an immediate MRI and treatment. I had Epidural Steroid Injections for a while (every 6 months) until they stopped working and eventually had surgery.
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

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