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  • Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

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    Old 06-09-2009, 04:27 PM   #1
    Messed up neck
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    Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    Hello. I am new to this site. I've suffered from chronic neck pain for over 3 and a half years now. I was working at my desk one day when I felt stabbing, pinching pains and deep aching all along the back of my neck, down through the right side and shoulder. In 2006, doctors aspirated a ganglion cyst in my shoulder, but that didn't help my neck, and my neck continued to worsen.

    I quit my job in 2006 and I've been on disability for 3 years now. I have tried 3 different chiropractors, trigger point massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, deep breathing, and every conservative treatment out there.

    I tried going back to school twice, but after an hour or two in front of the computer or even an hour or two sitting in the same position - I will have intense pain in my neck and will be on the verge of tears and must leave. I don't think that my neck will ever be the same.

    In the spring of 2008, the Pain Clinic administered 3 separate cervical epidurals that gave me a good deal of relief. For a month or two, I actually felt 50% pain relief and thought that I might get back to school, or get a job, and have a normal life. But then the pain came back and now it's worse than ever. I can't imagine living the rest of my life in this much pain. I've been on Ultram (150mg), Tizanidine (24mg), and Neurontin (2400mg) for 3 years now.

    A couple months ago, a cervical MRI showed "Small central disc herniations at C4-5 and C6-7 extending into the subarachnoid space, but not coming into contact with the cervical cord or creating stenosis. Minimal disc bulging at C5-6. There is no myelomalacia."

    I moved to Wisconsin in April to go back to living in my mother's basement. My wife left me about a year into the neck pain because I wasn't working anymore and all I did was complain about the pain. I'm seeing Dr. Bhupinder Saini at Advanced Pain Medicine and he recommends a discogram which I'm having on June 15th. That will tell me if I'm a candidate for a nucleoplasty.

    I also faxed my MRI down to Microspine in Florida which does less invasive laser surgery. They suggest cervical discectomies, but I'd have to come down to Florida for additional testing.

    Basically, I'm looking for the advice of others or anyone who's had neck pain like this or has been through a nucleoplasty or laser surgery.

    Should I go down to Florida or keep my appointment up here in Wisconsin for a possible nucleoplasty? What can I do to keep the nucleus pulposus of my disc from leaking out everywhere? Will the DDD just continue to get worse till I can't bear it anymore? I'm 32 year old male, who used to be in great shape and used to love life. But ever since the age of 28, my quality of life has been a painful hell. Any advice?

     
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    Old 06-09-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    I can't answer all of your questions, but can give just a bit of advice. I have never actually even heard of laser neck surgery. Sounds kind of fishy to me actually, but who knows? I would think in Madison that you could get anything at the university hospital that they can do in Florida. You might also want to try Froedtert in Milwaukee. They are both teaching hospitals and should have cutting edge surgeons.

    I have a similar problem as you do, where sitting in one position for very long causes excruciating pain in my neck and shoulder area. The discogram is definitely a good idea. This will really give you detail about the disks and help pinpoint the area causing pain. You could have a tear in one or more disks that would not show up on the MRI.

    3 years is a long time to be dealing with this. I am about your age and I know that the prospect of facing this for the rest of your life is daunting. If I were you, I would be aggressive about finding out what the cause is and seeking some resolution. If you have a doctor who brushes you off, find another one. I was brushed off by my surgeon and told to suck it up, only to find out later (by a different doctor) that I had something very specific wrong with me and there were some possible solutions.

    Best of luck to you. Please do come back and post what the results of your discogram are.

     
    Old 06-11-2009, 12:50 AM   #3
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    BINGO. same here. 3.6 years of dealing with chronic/excruciating neck pain. also don't know what to do. was diagnosed with 2 bulging disks in my neck. the excuciating pain i have it's muscle pain!!!. but you know what, i take muscle relaxant and it does nothing!. only 1% help. so howcome it's muscle pain, i wonder.
    noone can really understand what it means to live with chronic neck pain(or any other nerve pain) that's until you "get" that. it's day in day out. it bring me to tears all the time also.
    i'm gonna ask for discogram also, if they say no i will be very persistent. one way or another, it's 24/7. just remember this: before you are doing any surgery you should talk with people who had through this surgery with the surgeon you go to. don't take a chance with neck surgery unless you are really sure who is the surgeon.
    I DID heard about less invasive surgery in florida. that's a new way for doing surgery, they cut some the disk which is "pressing" on the nerve or getting the disks away from it. But I've never met anybody or heard anybody in this forum who actually had done it. just thinking about living like this till the rest of my life is also daunting. please do the discogram first and let us know the result. thank you.

    Last edited by nochange; 06-11-2009 at 01:02 AM.

     
    Old 06-11-2009, 03:59 AM   #4
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    I am sorry to hear your suffering so. Its hard to live in chronic pain everyday & its heart breaking how disruptive it can be to your life.

    I would definantly go for the discogram as many have found problems thats MRIs did not show. I wish I would have had one years ago. My problems went on for approx 4yrs with the doctors blowing it all off due to any MRI showing only minor problems.
    The MRI I had received prior to surgery indicated no spinal cord involvement. That was not the case when the actual surgery took place. In fact there were a few things the MRI did not pick up. I am not very trusting when it comes to MRIs.
    As far as the DDD perhaps there are preventive measures you can take to try improve or at least slow down the progression. Thats a good question for your surgeon or doctor.
    I take my calcuim faithfully & after talking to doctors, not only my surgeon but others to I am a firm believer in calcium.
    As far as I know cervical epidurals are more of a diagnostic tool to verify or locate the problemed area. Many dont get any relief or its extremely short lived, but this does help the doctors in dxing or verifying the injured area.

    I have never heard of the procedure you have mentioned but I would get more then one opinion, its not unheard of for people to get 2-3 opinions before surgery & it cant hurt. Especially when it comes to a procedure thats not commonly used. Perhaps by doing this you can list the pros & cons of both. There are alot of success stories here & thats encouraging for others like you. Good luck & I hope you have success with whatever choice you make. Sammy

     
    Old 06-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    Thanks for everyone who got back to me... Many years ago, I never thought I'd be in this position, but here I am. I am having the discogram done this Monday, and am pretty nervous about it.

    I'm nervous because I'm afraid that they won't find anything, and that may as well be a quality of life death sentence for me. I've had this pain for enough years to realize that there is no magic bullet that will cure me anytime soon. But I guess I'm hoping for something.

    If any type of surgery does take place, I think I'll try NUCCA - (adjusting the axis vertebrae in the neck) at a chiropractor's office, even though I hate that you have to visit the chiropracter 20 different times... But I'm really out of options at this point. I hope I find something out this next week and I'll let the people on this site know.

    Thanks for the encouragement... It's nice to know that I'm not alone in this horrible nightmare of chronic stabbing pain that has most literally ruined my life.

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 04:04 AM   #6
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    Have faith that they will find the problem. Alot of people have success with this test in locating injurys. I felt the same about the last MRI & EMG, scared nothing would show. After all cant fix the problem if you cant find it.
    I have to tell you I cried when after yrs my problem was found on the MRI.
    Then I cried again when the surgeon told me there are other discs that will need looked at in the future. As he almost did another level when he was in there & I wish he would have. To this day I believe he did not do it because of the consent form stating he was only C5-6.

    I'll be sure to say a prayer for you for monday, as I have walked in your shoes & its worse to hear the cause of all this pain was not found. good luck & let us know how it goes. Sammy

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 04:55 PM   #7
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    Personally if I had the level of pain you have and perhaps MRI findings you may have...I would stay away from chiropractic on the cervical spine. It's too risky in my opinion to adjust that area when you have a history of pain, surgery, and associated symptoms. Get a consult with a good neurosurgeon and a good orthopedic spine surgeon.
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    Old 06-16-2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    Hi,
    I'm in the same boat. It's been 3 years for me, also. I am still seeing different docs, surgeons, pt's. Very discouraging indeed. I was athletic and worked construction. Now I still can't lift over 10 lbs. without spending a couple days in fetal position afterwords. My probs. are at c5 through t1. Head, neck, shoulderblade pain for me.
    Sorry I don't have any advice for you, I am still trying to fix myself. Just letting you know you are not alone.
    Please keep us updated and if anything works for me I will let you know.

    Best of luck, matt

     
    Old 06-20-2009, 06:50 PM   #9
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    Dear MESED UP NECK

    Please do not see a chiro. I only had a herniated disc in c5-c6 and now I have SEVERE stenosis thanks to the adjustments from a chiro. I did a ton of research and found that out when an adjustment is done it manipulates the cord and bone and can cause melepathy go for gentle message and the stim machine but don't let them adjust your neck or back

     
    Old 06-21-2009, 08:59 AM   #10
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    messed up neck, watch out!!. do not go to the chiro!!. 7 months after my whiplash when i've realized nothing in the neck got any better I went to a chiro. I went for 12 treatments. In his office there were tons of certificates...he promised he has done it for over 20 years...don't believe them! he didn't make anything better and i believe he made it even worst.
    manipulation, adjustements, forget it. they cannot fix neck. i wish i could get my life back. I feel for you. i know how much you suffer. it's a death sentence for my quality of life also if there is any left at all.

    Last edited by nochange; 06-21-2009 at 09:18 AM.

     
    Old 05-16-2011, 11:21 AM   #11
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    What is a dsicogram? My wife is suffering almost all the exact symptoms and has all the meds you mention.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Messed up neck View Post
    Hello. I am new to this site. I've suffered from chronic neck pain for over 3 and a half years now. I was working at my desk one day when I felt stabbing, pinching pains and deep aching all along the back of my neck, down through the right side and shoulder. In 2006, doctors aspirated a ganglion cyst in my shoulder, but that didn't help my neck, and my neck continued to worsen.

    I quit my job in 2006 and I've been on disability for 3 years now. I have tried 3 different chiropractors, trigger point massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, deep breathing, and every conservative treatment out there.

    I tried going back to school twice, but after an hour or two in front of the computer or even an hour or two sitting in the same position - I will have intense pain in my neck and will be on the verge of tears and must leave. I don't think that my neck will ever be the same.

    In the spring of 2008, the Pain Clinic administered 3 separate cervical epidurals that gave me a good deal of relief. For a month or two, I actually felt 50% pain relief and thought that I might get back to school, or get a job, and have a normal life. But then the pain came back and now it's worse than ever. I can't imagine living the rest of my life in this much pain. I've been on Ultram (150mg), Tizanidine (24mg), and Neurontin (2400mg) for 3 years now.

    A couple months ago, a cervical MRI showed "Small central disc herniations at C4-5 and C6-7 extending into the subarachnoid space, but not coming into contact with the cervical cord or creating stenosis. Minimal disc bulging at C5-6. There is no myelomalacia."

    I moved to Wisconsin in April to go back to living in my mother's basement. My wife left me about a year into the neck pain because I wasn't working anymore and all I did was complain about the pain. I'm seeing Dr. Bhupinder Saini at Advanced Pain Medicine and he recommends a discogram which I'm having on June 15th. That will tell me if I'm a candidate for a nucleoplasty.

    I also faxed my MRI down to Microspine in Florida which does less invasive laser surgery. They suggest cervical discectomies, but I'd have to come down to Florida for additional testing.

    Basically, I'm looking for the advice of others or anyone who's had neck pain like this or has been through a nucleoplasty or laser surgery.

    Should I go down to Florida or keep my appointment up here in Wisconsin for a possible nucleoplasty? What can I do to keep the nucleus pulposus of my disc from leaking out everywhere? Will the DDD just continue to get worse till I can't bear it anymore? I'm 32 year old male, who used to be in great shape and used to love life. But ever since the age of 28, my quality of life has been a painful hell. Any advice?

     
    Old 05-16-2011, 03:15 PM   #12
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    Re: Nucleoplasty VS. Laser Surgery for NECK

    A discogram is a test done with a device put into the disc to determine the "health" of the disc. Often when planning, for example, a L4-S1, they often test the L3 to see if that disc can handle the fusion below.
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