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    Old 04-25-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
    kenzibenzi
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    Spine surgeons office called today

    The orthopedic spine surgeons office that the neuro sent me too finally called today with an appointment for me. It will be on May 23rd. I'm not happy that I have to have this burning tingling crap for another month before I can ask for something to relieve it, but I am very happy to finally have the appointment.

    Here is a copy of my latest MRI, so you'll know what's happening and don't have to go looking for it.

    ***
    Comparison to MRI of the cervical spine done on 08/05/2011
    Findings:
    There is straightening of the normal cervical spine lordosis, similar to the prior exam. No abnormal bone marrow signal is seen. Again seen moderate - severe disc space narrowing and disc desiccation associated with endplate irregularity and relative endplate signal changes C5-6, similar to the prior exam.

    C2-3, C3-4 and C4-5 levels are unremarkable without evidence of disc bulge, disc herniation, central canal stenosis or foramina narrowing.

    C5-6: The previously described broad-based disc osteophyte complex eccentric to the right at this level has increased in size and is adjacent to the cervical cord which is mildly draped over this abnormality without evidence of severe cord compression or cord edema. There is moderate asymmetric right central canal stenosis at this level with AP dimension of central canal at 7-8mm on the right side.

    C6-7: Mild disc bulge without focal protrusion. No central canal stenosis or foramina narrowing.

    Impression:
    1. At C5-6 level there is interval increase in the size of the previously described broad-based disc osteophyte complex more to the right than the left compared with the prior study from August 4, 2011. This is causing moderate central spinal canal stenosis with the cervical cord draped over the disc osteophyte complex, but not severely compressed or demonstrating cord edema.

    2. Redemonstration of mild diffuse disc bulge at C6-7 without significant change from August 4, 2011.
    ***

    What I don't understand is this:
    the constant burning and tingling is on the back side of my left shoulder, from the middle of my back to about half way to where the shoulder bends down, yet the bone spur is on the right.

    I do get dizzy if I put my arms up while looking up at the same time, like putting dishes in the cupboard, reaching up to change a light bulb or washing my hair. I've just learned to not do that...lol. Well, I still wash my hair, just using one arm at a time and not looking up.

    My biggest concern is how will they fix it? Obviously shots or therapy will not remove the bone spur. I would love a shot to make this burning and tingling to go away!

    And my last concern (at this moment) is exactly how much of my spinal cord can be compressed before it becomes dangerous? Or is it already dangerous???

    The spine surgeon is at the MSU spine center. I haven't found anything bad about him yet.

    I don't want to have surgery :-/ I'm alone all but 4 hours a day. I have no idea how I would survive if I had to depend on someone else to help me. I fear I would starve to death... seriously!

     
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    Old 04-26-2012, 06:46 AM   #2
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    Hi, I'm new here and hope I can help in some way. Since I'm not a physician, I don't know how they will handle your situation, but I can relate to shoulder pain and burning sensations. For me, my disc had to be protruding a certain millimeter before the surgeon deemed it necessary to operate. In all three of my surgeries, once I developed weakness in my left arm, that was when the disc protruded enough that surgery was a necessity.

    How long have you been in pain? Have you had any injections or other conservative treatment such as medication? A good doctor is not surgery happy, they will try everything before surgery, provided there is nothing radically wrong that surgery will only fix.

    I had more injections, went to so many doctors, and had so many different diagnosis before I finally went to a doctor that really listened to me and did a thorough examination. He then sent me to a neurosurgeon who did another thorough examination and he also listened to me. The NS then sent me for an MRI, and he wanted the MRI on a certain MRI machine called a 3 Tesla. After that MRI, I finally had a diagnosis that confirmed why I was having so much pain and other issues. I had 3 discs sitting on my spinal cord, which no conservative treatment would fix, surgery was the only answer. Going through all of this was so very very frustrating. No one would listen, no one paid any attention to my MRI's, I even had one doctor tell me there was nothing wrong with me but a little arthritis and he wanted me to go see a psychiatrist because he felt the pain was all in my head.

    I know waiting for a doctor's appointment can be frustrating, try to hang in there, it's not easy living with chronic pain. I hope I helped you in some way. I wish I had known about this site prior to my surgery, it would have helped me a lot. Good luck to you.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    All I have done is stretching and ibuprofen. The burning and tingling has been going on for months. I do have weakness in my upper right arm (front) for a few months also. I also have some leg problems (muscle pain/weakness) I was seeing a neurologist to be checked for MS, but after this latest MRI he ruled out MS and sent me to a spine surgeon. I'm not against trying an injection, but that won't get my spinal cord off the bone spur. I'm sure I have a long road ahead of me before any definitive answer is found, until then I wait.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    I feel for you, and pray you will find out what is wrong, soon than later, and how it can be fixed. Have you asked the doctor's office to call you if someone cancels an earlier appointment?

    I was checked for MS, lupus, RA, Ankylosing spondylitis, it's such a long process. I was diagnosed with RA and osteoarthritis, both of which have contributed to my DDD. I also have issues with other joints....it stinks!

    The injections may help with swelling/pain, unfortunately, they didn't do anything for me; but they do help some people.

    Maybe once you see the spine surgeon and he sees your MRI, he will have some answers for you, and it won't be such a long process. It all depends upon the doctor, sometimes finding the right doctor takes longer than the actual diagnosis. If I had gone to the right doctor in the beginning, I wouldn't have wasted over a year trying to find someone that could help me.

    From my own experience, I found the best doctor's are the ones that practice at teaching hospitals. They are usually associate professors or professors and keep up on all the latest technologies because they have to teach. All my doctors, now, are professors at a teaching hospital, and they are wonderful. I swear God blessed my neurosurgeon's hands, and my pain management doctor is awesome. I have to travel over an hour away to see them, but it's worth it.

    Waiting stinks, try and keep your chin up, I know it's not easy.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    The place where I'm going is a teaching university, and we know what the problem is, I just know the fix yet. The 2 neurologists I saw were at the same place. I wish there was a way to remove the bone spur without surgery, that is my only wish! Thanks for replying, I feel your pain with all that arthritis. I have arthritis from head to toe so I know what you're going through. If I could get the burning/tingling under control I would a lot happier.

     
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    Old 04-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    Nothing to add except my very very best of luck, but I wanted you to know I'd read it. I'll think of you xxx

     
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    Old 04-26-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    Wonderful, sounds like you may have found the right doctors, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. I was given Neurotin for the burning pain, it did help somewhat. Once I had the surgery, the burning and tingling went away, and I got the strength back in my left arm. I'm hoping you get the answers you deserve, and the doctor can help with your burning and tingling.

    I do believe the only way to get rid of a bone spur is surgery. I had them on my spine as well. I also, back in the 1980's had a bone spur on my left shoulder, which I had to have surgically removed. They are so very painful. It seems like most people with these back issues, whether cervical, thoracic, or lumbar, have a lot of the same problem, i.e., arthritis, bone spurs, etc. Seems to be the problems that come along with having these back issues.

    Isn't arthritis wonderful? That is primarily what caused my problems. I never knew this disease could be so destructive. In my case, my problems are hereditary--my Mom had severe arthritis in her spine, but never had surgery, she also had RA; and both of my brothers have RA, and one of them is fused in the cervical area just like I am. Our MRI's almost read alike, it's scary. I worry about my children, my daughter is 15 and already has issues with her right knee. She has the same condition I was diagnosed with when I was 14, I pray neither of them end up with this problem. Maybe, by the time they reach their 50's, the procedures will have changed and not be so invasive.

    I hope I didn't hijack your thread, just wanted to try and let you know, but I'm sure you already do, that you are not alone. I wish I would have found this board when I started my journey, this would have been so helpful. I just had my last ACDF in January, so I'm still recovering..almost 4 months out.

    I hope my experiences help anyone on this board, or give someone a comforting feeling knowing they are not alone and others understand. I look forward to hearing what your doctor has to say to you.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #8
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    No hijacking worries here. I appreciate all the insight. My daughter has RA, don't know how she ended up with that, nobody else in the family has it. She was diagnosed in her late 20's. I am 52 and so far only have osteoarthritis and Hashimoto's. That's another part of the equation, the Hashimoto's also makes me have a lot of pain and blah feelings, so we never really know if it's truly the arthritis or the thyroid making me feel bad on any given day. My neck has been bad for a long time and I just suffered with it. I can't suffer in silence any longer. Now it's a 24/7 reminder. I also have DDD, bulging discs and a bazillion pinched nerves in my thoracic & lumbar spine, but so far I can adjust my siting or laying position to relieve that. All I keep saying is "why my neck?" I mean, of all the places, why there? Why couldn't it be a finger or something?...lol Ya know?

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    I know, I'm the first in my family to be diagnosed with RA, after I was diagnosed, we realized that my Mom had all the same signs and symptoms as I did, unfortunately, she passed away--will be 8 years tomorrow--and she never knew. My rheumatologist told me to tell my brothers to be tested, and they also were positive, go figure!

    Thanks for allowing my hijacking. I guess I should have come on and introduced myself, seems I'm doing it as I respond to other's posts...LOL

    I absolutely know how you feel. You suffer for so long, then it just gets to the point you can't do it anymore. My first surgery was scheduled for Jan of 07, I wanted to get through the Holidays, against my NS wishes, but he did allow me. The migraines I was getting were more and more frequent, ended up, I called the doctor and told them I couldn't deal with this pain anymore, and had the surgery in Dec of 06. We put the Christmas tree in our bedroom and I celebrated Christmas with my family while in my bed. Yeah, you do get to the point you can't stand it anymore.

    I do believe your neck is the most used of the discs in your back. Think about it, we are constantly moving our heads, we don't always use our mid or lower backs, so the neck gets the brunt of everything. Then add arthritis, aging, etc., to the equation and you have people like us with DDD that just gets worse and worse.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 10:07 AM   #10
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    I just called the NS office who referred me to the spine surgeon, and left a message asking if he could call me in a script for this burning/tingling pain since I don't see the spine doc until May 23rd. Now I wait....

    Sorry about your mom. Maybe it's best she didn't know about the RA. My mom had all kinds of problems but never went to the dr. She had what I believed was IBS, but she was s stubborn old lady...lol. Whatever it was progressed over the years and we took her to the ER on a Friday night, she passed away the following Monday. Her death certificate says cause of death was ulcurative colitis. I believe it could have been treated if she wasn't so stubborn, but what can ya do.

    I think over the years of all my problems, by biggest complaint with doctors has been how they always think annaprox is the answer to everything. That stuff makes me so sick! I've been seeing dr's since 1995 and all they have ever given me was annaprox, motrin and tylenol #3. I did take flexeril once years ago for tendonitis, short lived script.

    Geez I just keep blabbering. I need to get off my butt and move around and find something to eat. I'll post back if the doc calls me in something and let ya know what it is. I'm not holding my breath though. Have a great day, was nice chatting with you!

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 10:09 AM   #11
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    AND.... Christmas in bed, sounds like fun! I mean if you weren't in all that pain.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 10:23 AM   #12
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    Wasn't bad, I just wasn't able to do the family Christmas like I wanted to do; but, it was kinda nice because my family came over and they did the cooking for once....LOL I had the same issue this past year, they wanted me to have the surgery before Christmas, this time, I waited and was scheduled for Jan 5th. Thank God I did the surgeries in the winter, having to wear a hard collar in the heat of the summer would have put me right over the edge.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 11:16 AM   #13
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    Oh boy, I missed your entire other post and just read it....sorry! This getting older is not making me happy.

    Maybe, hopefully, they will prescribe something to help you out. Have they seen your MRI or gotten the report?

    I'm sorry about your Mom too. My Mom was like that, didn't want to go to the doctor. It wasn't until she was diagnosed with diabetes, that she realized she couldn't play around. I think it's the older generation, you never went to the doctor, you lived with what you had and dealt with it. She used to tell me, why complain, if I told you how bad I felt and all the things that bothered me, you would run. She's probably looking down on us now saying, hhmmm, guess I left my kids a legacy.

    I went to so many pain management specialists and all they wanted to do was inject me. I had more injections and none of them worked. None of them would dispense any medication stronger than a prescription motrin or naprosyn, well, if the injections aren't working and you won't dispense anything stronger than an NSAID how exactly are you managing my pain? So on to the next doctor, I just wanted someone to help me with my chronic pain, and tell me what was going on with me. I had one doctor that wanted to manipulate my neck under anesthesia, thank God, I didn't do that, my NS said that would have made matters much much worse. You have to be so pro-active when it comes to your health. I feel bad for people that are not familiar with the medical field and don't get the treatment they need or deserve.

    Talk about babbling....it's raining here and this type of weather just messes with my system. I'm so stiff today, so it's a lay on the couch type of day for me. The computer is my friend...LOL It was really really a pleasure chatting with you too. Hope to do it again soon.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 12:34 PM   #14
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    Oh yes, the neurologist saw the mri films and report and went over it with me a few weeks ago. He referred me to the spine surgeon, who I won't see until May 23rd. At the time I was in the neuros office, the burning and tingling was not as bad as it is now and I was being looked at for MS at that time. It really intensified a few days later. Before then, it was doable...sort of. Ah well, life goes on and now I wait. Haven't heard back from anyone about any meds, soooooo what ever...lol.

     
    Old 04-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #15
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    Re: Spine surgeons office called today

    Seems like the neurologist believes there may be an issue that needs to be addressed, why refer you to a spine surgeon if your issue could be helped with other measures, but, again, I'm not a physician, just trying to put two and two together. Sometimes, though, we lay people are so far off base. I do hope you get some answers and some help.

    For me, I went to the pain management doctor first, once he saw my films, he called me at home and told me I needed to make an appointment with the neurosurgeon. At that point I knew it was more serious because if it was an injection or some other conservative treatment that he could have been done, he would have done it. He wouldn't commit one way or the other regarding surgery, but did say it was imperative that I saw the NS, sooner rather than later, for his opinion. After I saw the NS, I went back to my pain management doc and told him I had to have surgery, he said that's what he thought after seeing my films, but wanted to defer to the surgeon, since he would be the one doing the procedure.

    It would be nice if the doctor's office would call you one way or the other and not leave you hanging and waiting.

     
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