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Herniated disc in my neck...severe pain, numbness in arm & hand

From: piperlori - on 01/19/2013 9:07pm

i have to make this brief due to the fact that i can only type with one hand. I herniated a disc in my neck...resulted in numbness & pain radiating down left arm into hand. One finger can hardly move at all...feels like my mouth after dentist gives novacaine. I write for a living so not being able to use my left hand SUCKS! Plus it could cause me to lose my job.

Doctor gave me shots to stop muscle spasm in neck which helped neck pain... a lot. He gave Neurontin for nerve pain which has also helped reduce nerve pain by 50%.

Waiting for results of MRI and then have to take some sort of nerve damage assessment test.

QUESTION: Is it possible to have permanent nerve damage from a herniated disc in the neck? I do have a history of reversed cervical curve, bone spurs, stenosis, and disc issues...but never herniated to where it impinged on my nerves.


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3 Responses

on 01/23/2013 2:13am

Hi piperlori,
You did not mention when this happened,was there a specific injury?Peramnent nerve damage does not usually happen for awhile ,which makes having an EMG study done early on a not so good detection tool.There could very well be compressed nerves from the herniation ,sometimes the disc will recede over time.I would try every conservative measure you can first,which is what i have done and i am now looking at cervical fusion after my hardware removal surgery from my lumbar spine this friday.I don't mean to disappoint you,but like many people on this site,we have had many major life changes.I have accepted the fact that i will never go back to my career as a registered nurse,but God continues to open up other ministry opportunities,even if it is just encouraging others who are going through hard times.I think i read a post from another spine universe friend named Sam earlier,and he said his life has gone from money to family ,and i thought "yep.that pretty much nailed it for me".I now have time with my family that i did not have before.Exchanging money for blessings of relationships is not such a bad thing .God Bless you,i hope you find some relief.
Nurse Nancy

on 02/04/2013 5:13pm

I see that no one wants to answer you concerning your problem. Here goes-I have several of the same symptoms that you have. I have had the ups and downs that go with it.
Try getting a voice recorder and just recording everything you have to say and if you don't feel well enough then get someone else to type it. Do your exercises and take care not to further injure yourself.
Work at retraining your hand-start with a squishy ball and alternate between hot and cold. Nerve damage is tricky and there are no guarantees. Vitamins help a lot with restoration so I have started vitamin b injections, every week. Hang in there these things ae tricky.

on 03/01/2013 1:00am

Hi Piperlori - I have had pretty much the same issues as you. I fell a year ago January and from that moment on my life changed. I wouldn't say the fall caused my damage but it did unleash a beast that had been sleeping for years.

I have severe spinal stenosis, a huge herniated disc completely crushing my nerve in my right arm and hand, bone spurs, severe degenerative disc disease and who knows what else. I did everything I could imagine to treat it and everything made it worse each day. The last straw for me was steroid injections in my neck and head. Absolutely brutal but I still thought it would correct itself. NO CHANCE. I was in so much pain all of the time by the end of July I couldn't take it anymore. Perks didn't work, and all therapies failed. My doctor doubled my lyrica the nerve meds I was taking and within a few days my pain was reduced by 50%. I couldn't use my right hand much and still can't.

I just had a double discectomy, double fusion of my C5-C7 done a week ago Wednesday. Going in I knew I had a 90% recovery rate of stopping the progressing damage and a 50% recovery rate of the nerve damage already done. Regardless, I had no choice but do the surgery or I would have eventually gone paralized on my right side.

The surgery itself was not that bad. I was up the same night walking to the bathroom, sucking on cheesies and shocked that it wasn't that bad. I was however, disappointed that the damage on my right side was the same. I spent two nights in hospital and was released. I am in a neck collar 24/7 pretty much for the next 3 months. The anterior incision is healing quite nicely aside from the numb feeling I feel around my neck area. I didn't loose my voice but your throat will be extremely sore afterwards and mine still is but healing. I have no regrets about the surgery but I am impatient that the damage is not reversed. The doctor said it could take months if at all. Now I wait. I can't do very much. No driving, sleeping is terrible, headaches and shoulder/neck pain from the collar can be brutal but you do find your groove after a week or so. The pain meds really do help me now but I'm still on high doses of lyrica until we see if the damage has been reversed.

I agree with the previous comment from earlier. You trade money for blessings. I found some inspiration in that as I was feeling so limited, isolated and useless. I realize that everything has a way of working itself out and if I loose faith now that doesn't do me any good. I am a single mom, 44 years old on Long Term Dissability since the end of July. I am thankfull that I have the insurance to be off. I don't think my employer will want me back after this or if I can even go back. Keep your chin up. Feel free to ask me questions as I'm sure I haven't answered everything. Typing and being in front of a computer is very difficult for me but I'm glad I found this site. It took me forever to type this. Hope it helps.

From Toronto