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  • Severe Neck and back pain need help

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    Old 04-03-2017, 07:27 PM   #1
    leolion2's Avatar
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    leolion2 HB User
    Severe Neck and back pain need help

    I have pain in my neck it radiates into my left shoulder down left arm to my hand and severe in thumb. Numbness & pain in left hand and in both shoulders. also, burning sensation across left shoulder pain down spine when I put head back. I have had this pain for about 5 years and has progressively gotten worse. they did a nerve test to see if it was carpal tunnel report found no evidence of left median Neuropathy at or distal to wrist. did find Chronic C7 motor radiculopathy. had an MRI done is was sent to pain doctor who has done 2 epidural shots in my neck and trigger point injections scheduled to have another epidural. I have started P.T. they are doing traction and exercises. which has been painful the physical therapist looked at MRI today and said that there is nothing there for surgical review and that is just mild pain from the 3-mm disc protrusion in C5-6 I mentioned the Moderate left foraminal stenosis and he said where do you see that and followed up with that is nothing to worry about since it was not severe or moderate to severe. I have been off work for 5 months now and it seems that he just wants me to go back to work because he says nothing is wrong. He also said the pain in hand and thumb is from arthritis since I am ambidextrous in my thumb. This goes against what the pain Dr. told me that it was a good case for the shots and if they did not work to follow up with surgeon. Can you please take a look and give me your opinion? The pain ranges from 6-8 for me I know what 10 feels like had my right hand cut with table saw across my fingers into the palm of my hand. resulting in amputation of one finger loss of complete movement in another and minimal movement in another and loss of some movement in thumb only pinky finger has complete movement. MRI results were the following (condensed).
    Findings: there is a smooth physiologic cervical lordotic curve. Vertebral heights appear generally maintained. There is mild Levoscoliosis centered near T3-4. Disc degeneration is mild to moderate at C5-6 with dehydration, narrowing and prevertebral spondylosis.
    C3-4 1-mm disc bulge Foraminal stenosis is mild on the right. C4-5 1-mm right paramedian broad disc protrusion. C5-6 3-mm broad disc bulge mild spinal cord flattening to the left with central stenosis and midline AP canal diameter of 8-mm. Foraminal stenosis is moderate on the left.
    Impression: 1. Levoscolisis is mild near T3-4 disc degeneration is mild to moderate at C5-6. 2. C-34 mild right foraminal stenosis. 3. C5-6 mild spinal cord flattening to the left with stenosis and moderate left foraminal stenosis.
    Do I need to follow up with a surgeon or neurologist? Please any guidance appreciated.

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    Old 04-06-2017, 06:08 PM   #2
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    Re: Severe Neck and back pain need help

    Welcome to the board. Have you seen either an orthopedic spine or neuro surgeon for an accurate diagnosis, and were referred to pain management? If you haven't seen a spine surgeon, I would suggest making an appointment for an evaluation. With all due respect, the PT is not qualified to pass judgment on whether you need surgery or not.

    Keep in mind that a MRI without a corresponding physical exam and neurological exam is not that beneficial. MRI images can be misleading and make something look worse than it is or something can look like nothing and turn out to generate tons of pain and other symptoms.

    Moderate stenosis can cause a great deal of pain. To me the most significant finding is the bulging disc at C5-6 which is pushing into the spinal cord, causing it to flatten and narrowing the diameter of the central canal to 8mm. 12mm is considered stenotic.

    Since this is affecting your spinal cord, I would go to the specialist who has the most education, training and experience in the neck and back...either an orthopedic spine or neuro surgeon.

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    leolion2 (04-07-2017)
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