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Cervical Troubles

Cervical Troubles

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Posted by pd on May 26, 2000 at 11:30:15:

I had excruciating pain in my left shoulder, back under my shoulder blade, biceps and numbness of my ring and pinky. I had tests orthopedic surgeon found a bone spur and AC joint compression. They did xrays of the neck and shoulder, found a reverse curve to the neck (lordosis) and disk degeneration and chalked it up to old age (49) and the type of work I do (jeweler bent over the bench). He did not do an MRI. This was Kaiser. He operated but pain persisted (duh).

Just as I was recuperated enough to go back to work(2 months) I began having excruciating pains again.. perhaps all the bed rest had rested my neck...
and I had an MRI this time. A few days after the MRI I woke up and couldn't seem to speak right. My keys didn't fit the door. I couldn't seem to dial the phone.
I had a stroke!! Though I didn't realize it at first because I had recently changed prescriptions and thought it was due to that. Four days later after no medication it persisted and I checked into a hospital.
Then I had to recover from the stroke... speech therapy etc.
Finding trouble with c4-c7 they did three epidural injections over the course of three weeks but only treat c6.. based on EMG findings that there was c7 radiculopathy. (go figure) The outcome was that they didn't work. Only the first one gave any relief and
that was for about two or three days. The second one hurt more than it helped and the third one I don't know... no change.

My neurologist referred me to a neurosurgeon and he says "cervical fusion is the answer" . He wants to fuse c4-c5 and c5-c6. This of course does not address the very real problem of c7 and the numb fingers.

Naturally I am very weary of all this. I am on percocet and am taking it as I need it.. and have returned to Vioxx after having a go at using Neurontin and Trilisate which made me very nauseous and spacey.
I read all the posts in here and it sounds like this is the beginning of another box of worms. Everyone seems to have more surgery! My friend says that fusing the disc puts unknown stress on the discs on the other sides of the fusion and then they start to go.
Additionally there is the added risk of stroke.
I am suffering... the pain is bad.
I am wearing a soft collar that seems to help but the pain flares unexpectedly to where I cannot stand it.
What! can I do? Is there anyone with a GOOD STORY? about this? Alternative therapy? Help! I have been through so much.

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