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  • MRI #3 of Neck

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    Old 08-14-2008, 07:31 AM   #1
    Bill2008
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    MRI #3 of Neck

    I am new to the message board so a little history about myself then we will get down to the issues.
    45 yo WM, Retired Military (over 20 years as an Infantry Soldier), Worked as a loader for Wal-Mart for 2 years after retirement and am currently driving for an armored car service.

    I have been having sever headaches with neck pain and numbness radiating into my shoulders down my arms and into my hands for several years now, I have had CT release done on both hands (Left 1987, Right 2003), I have gone through PT and rehabilitation and have been seeing a pain Dr. since 2002 for pain management.

    I have been on numerous pain medications to include: Darvocet, Darvon, Percocet, Loritab, Vicodin and now Morphine, 45mg x 3 times daily am also taking clonazapam and Celebrex along with numerous other medications not associated with this issue.

    I have had 2 epidurals and 6 sets of nerve blocks done to just the c-spine region over the last 3 years, and have recieved minimal pain relief. I understand the PM side fo the house and am still working with them until I

    1: Have surgery to correct the problem
    2: Go crazy dealing with the pain and lack of quality in my life due to all the pain I live in.

    I had MRI's done last month of the Brain, Neck Thoracic and Lumbar spine, but will just leave it at the C-Spine as of now because this is where the attention is needed as of now, I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon on the 20th of August at the Birmingham VA.

    Posted results of last MRI of C-Spine done last month:

    Clinical History:
    45 y/o presents with chronic back/neck pain accompanied by numbess radiating into shoulder region and into arms and hands r/o herniation, masses, etc.

    Report:
    EXAMINATION: MRI Cervical Spine

    Procedure: Multiplanar, multisequence images were provided without gadolinium.

    Findings: * alingment is within normal limits.
    * Bone marrow is homogenous with a pattern consistent with patients age.
    * Cord signal is within normal limits
    * The disks are well hydrated
    * Protruded Disk at C5/C6 level
    * additional findings at individual axial levels as follows:


    c2/3: No central canal or foraminal stenosis noted.
    c3/4: No central canal or foraminal stenosis noted.
    c4/5: No central canal or foraminal stenosis noted.
    c5/6: No central canal stenosis. mild foraminal stenosis
    c26/7: Broad based disk protrusion narrows the thecal sac to 9mm AP. Foraminal stenosis moderate on the left and mild on the right.
    c7/T1: No central canal stenosis. mild foraminal stenosis

    Limiting factor: Motion obscures detail on T1 sagittal images.

    Impression:Broad based disk protrusion at c6/c7 narrows thecal sac to 9mm AP with foraminal stenosis, as described.

    Primary Diagnostic code: Abnormaility, ATTN. NEEDED

    End Report; date and time



    So with all of this psoted up what do I have to expect when I see the neurosurgeon on the 20th, surgery to possibly fix this issue or continuance of invasive pain management?

     
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    Old 08-14-2008, 11:24 AM   #2
    MOMOFBOYZ
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    Re: MRI #3 of Neck

    Hi Bill. Welcome to our board. I am a newbie too. Second I want to say thank you for keeping our country safe!!!!!!!! Sorry if that is what caused your cervical probs.
    I too have other chronic health issues to deal with, And my cervical spine is the one to focus on. I do have 2 buldging discs in lower back but the cervical has two buldging and narrowing and the thecal sac thing. Not 9mm or they didn't write it in. I do though have a 5mm small round object that showed up in the C6-C7 area. So after 1 month PT I have to repeat MRI.
    I am new so I have no answers to your questions. But I wanted to introduce myself and say I hope someone on here with more experience will reply.
    I hope you are not in too much pain today!
    God bless!!!!!

     
    Old 08-14-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
    Bill2008
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    Re: MRI #3 of Neck

    Thanks Mom, I am morphined up as usual and have a hard time staying awake when I am not at work due to lack of sleep because of the pain I live in. And yes unforunately much and most of my injuries were sustained while in Military Service. I served with the 82nd Airborne (jumping out of Airplanes), went to Gulf War 1 with the 101st Airborne Division and basically got force retired due to all of this mess. Now all I can do is continue or try to hold down some type of stable job to keep paying the bills as they don't stop coming in.
    I have had numerous Dr's tell me what I should and should not be doing, but, as the military does they will not place any restrictions in the old black and white format.
    I am hoping and praying that the neurosurgeons can and will do something for me. As I only put in what the 3rd report stated and not the other 2 that I have recieved, it keeps looking grimmer and grimmer on every MRI report.
    I have an appt. tomorrow with the PM Dr. as I have had monthly for the last 5 years.

     
    Old 08-14-2008, 07:10 PM   #4
    Kissa
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    Re: MRI #3 of Neck

    The end of your report really says it all, abnormality ATTN NEEDED.

    In all honesty, if it were I, I would have the surgery. there's not much that can be done regarding the stenosis. The biggest things are two fold.

    1. the longer you wait the more damage that will occur that can not be reversed . The bigger a herniation is the higher risk of impinging on nerves and spinal cord. The longer you wait the higher the risk of permanent damage such as loss of feeling in limbs. You've already waited years with no improvement why continue to suffer?

    2. the longer you are on pain medications the higher your doses are going to need to be to control the pain. Being a chronic life long pain patient is no fun. The thought behind pain management is to manage pain that can not be managed by other means, i.e. surgery.

    I'm sad to see you had a carpal release, was it needed or was the problem really your neck? Doctors misdiagnose neck problems as hand or nerve issues.

    I was fused 4 levels and it did wonders for me. Sadly a year later a lady rear ended me while I was at a dead stop. It broke the screws in my neck and now I have permanent nerve and muscular damage along with two new 4.5mm herniations. I suffer from head aches daily, loss of feeling in hands, severe shoulder pain not related to the shoulder, dizzy spells for starters. I just had a new MRI a few months ago and my PM (I see him for many reasons, been disabled since a child, chronic pain for 32 years) and family doctor said live with it. I don't want to live like this anymore, especially since I know it can be corrected.

    Do I want another neck surgery? Not really, but my quality of life is so poor it is worth the risk.

    Bottom line, most of whats going on can most likely be corrected or at a minimum some of the pain eleviated so it's a question of quality of life for you.

    Good luck in whatever you decide
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    Old 08-15-2008, 12:29 AM   #5
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    Re: MRI #3 of Neck

    Hello Bill, how you doing? As you, I'm suffering from chronic neck pain 24/7, ie it never goes away. I cannot sleep at night and am always tired.
    Just so you know, neck surgery is very risky cause from what I udnderstand, you can have loss of motion of your neck after it for all your life that cannot be corrected. But perhaps if it will help you feel better and make you sleep perhaps you should go for it.
    I've had a severe whiplash 3 years ago and since then I don't have any "quality of life". people around don't really understand what it means to live with chronic pain unless they have it. It can make you really irritated especially if you don't sleep enough/well.

    Last edited by nochange; 08-15-2008 at 12:30 AM.

     
    Old 08-15-2008, 04:00 AM   #6
    Bill2008
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    Re: MRI #3 of Neck

    Kissa, thank you for your opinion, sorry to here about all the problems you are having due to get hit from behind. That sucks and it almost happened to me 3 days ago at a Redlight.
    That is the opinion I was waiting to here, as stated I see the Neurosurgeon on the 20th. I am sure they will want to do more testing before hand and hopefully decide to do the surgery for me. If so I will try and have it done ASAP.
    Thank You!

     
    Old 08-15-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
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    Re: MRI #3 of Neck

    Personally I'd reccomend the surgery. I am the type of person that will not deal with the pain (be it neck or my knees which also have issues) if there is a surgical option that can either eliminate the pain or make it much more manageable. I just had my second cerivical surgery in May and though the recovery was longer than I thought the pain level has been significantly reduced. I still need vicodin a few days a week - but just one pill at that time to control the pain if I feel it's creeping up. It was so worth the recoveries on both my neck surgeries to be able to feel as good as I do now.

    To me it's a quality of life issue, I'm just not willing to live with it if I can fix it or at least improve it surgically.
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    Last edited by SpineAZ; 08-15-2008 at 11:44 AM.

     
    Old 08-15-2008, 03:51 PM   #8
    Bill2008
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    Re: MRI #3 of Neck

    I remember the neurologist asking me what my realistic goal would be as far as an acceptable pain level. My direct answer was no pain, no headaches, no medication and having my quality of life back. His answer was this, be careful what you ask for. I replied you asked realistically, I said then I could live with a pain level of 2-3 and not having to live on pain killers the rest of my life.
    That is when the MRI's were done and the appointment for the Neurosurgeon was set to see me.
    Today or Yesterday is not soon enough for me, believe me. The sooner the better so I can get on the road to recovery and hopefully a better quality of life.
    Oh and also I told everyone that I drove an armored car, well I have officially gotten my but chewed by both VA and my PM Dr. today for doing this as a job. They were not happy with me loading trucks for Wal-Mart either. They keep telling me I need a set down job;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;?
    Where am I going to get one of those with the experience I have as a Combat soldier in the Airborne Infantry as a back ground, ROFLMAO!

     
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