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Posted in: Neck pain.

Every disk is bulging in my neck and 2 are herniated?

Started by cocola123 on 05/01/2010 10:21pm

I had an MRI and it reveals that I have 5 bulging disk and 2 herniated at the C6 and C7. My question is that I went to th Orthopedic Doctor and he believes it is carpal tunnel in my left hand an only couple of my fingers were numb and sometimes my whole hand. I went and had an EMG done for my upper arms and neck. The EMG Nerve Study that day revealed I DO NOT HAVE CARPAL TUNNEL. He also said my left arm was weak. I couldn't believe the doctor told me this at my visit. He also told me that the injections (nerve blocks) will not take care of the problem and it wil only prolong my problem and that I will need surgery to fix my neck. I don't know what to do. Mostly I don't want surgery is because I have had 5 surgeries in my lower back and nothing has changed in that. Any advise on these Nerve Blocks verses Surgery.

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DO NOT have the surgery!!! I had a herniated disc in C5-6, had surgery, and 5 years later C6-7 herniated. This is very likely to happen after surgery --the disc below it will herniate. Your hand is numb because you have nerve damage from the nerves pinching in your neck, which radiates into your arm/hand. RUN, don't walk- to a different doctor! Any doctor who is quick to do surgery is bad news, especially that doctor who thought you had carpal tunnel of all things! Any idiot knows that herniated discs in the neck will cause numbness in the extremities.
My situation is this: I am not having anymore surgeries, they don't work. Go to a pain management specialist, one who will find the EXACT source of your pain. Turns out my pain is coming from the facet joints in my neck. I found this out because my doctor did a nerve block, which is basically a test to see if that is where the pain is originating. The nerve block actually worked, although temporary. However, there is a treatment called RFA (radiofrequency aflation) where they go in & 'burn' the nerve which will give me long term relief.
So there are other options out there that actually work as an alternative to surgery. Find a GOOD pain management doctor, one who's not gonna just hand out pain meds. And whatever you do, tell the orthopedic doctor to hit the road!!!!
Keep me posted on your situation, lots of luck & I hope I helped. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them for you!

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Thank you so much for your advise. I am so glad I am able to find someone to talk to other than doctors. I do have a pain mangement doctor and she is really good. I have been seeing her since 2006 and been treating me for my L5 S1 injections. She told me that the doctor that did my back surgery and he was giving me Epidural Injections for over two years after surgery, that it was the wrong injections. Turns out I should have been treated for Facet Injections. I just couldn't believe it. I finally was good after all my facet injecions which took a good year and I was pain free for one year and half. I finally moved back to see my pain specialist and she is treating me again for the same thing, but now I have a tendon that has been slipping from the hip region...from the spinal fusion I had done back in 1996 (same doctor that treated me for th Epidural Injections). She told me that the back surgeon took a piece of tendon out and put it in the spinal fusion and now she has to rebuild the tendon next to Sciatic and Hip region. You talk about scary. I would walk and the right hip would go out. I thought what he hell is going on now. I have all my xrays and looks like the metal for my fusion might have shifted just a bit, but will wait on that. So I go to my pain specialist tomorrow for my Nerve Blocks in my neck. My pain specialist refer me to the Orthopedic because I came back after two weeks letting her know I still had the numbness in my hand, but it comes and goes and it depends what I do to aggravate the numbness to flare up. But the pain in the neck was gone which is why I had the nerve block. I havent had the nerve block in like three months ago...I will talk to her about the Rignosty you mention.(cant spell). I have been reading up about the nerves being burned off. My pain specialist wants me to not do my job which I am a Bus Driver. The movement of looking up and down and side to side is aggravating my neck. With all my other health issues I shouldn't have a problem getting Social Security Disability. I had my lower back injury since 1993 to current and now the neck and numbness and Migraines I shouldn't be driving, but I JUST LOVE MY JOB!.......My name is Laurie.

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I've never had the shots in my neck, just my back. It couldn't hurt to try anything before surgery. I wish u the best!!

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OMG! The injection hurt but went away after the procedure, but my neck got and is stiff now before bedtime. I put heat on for a bit and now ice pack cause I can feel the swelling. I didn't havea Nerve Block after all. Instead had a procedure that will take care of the capsule (meaning in between the joints). I will have to do at least 5 to 10 injections for it to work on my C7 disk. This will be painful for each injection but after few days the pain should wear off I hope. If this really doesn't work Iwill have to really really think about Surgery, but just not sure. I need something done before I go out on disability and once I go out I cant fix my problems...

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I agree with junipurrwind, surgery should always be the last resort. There are a ton of other treatments for your conditions like light traction, acupuncture, Pilate's, anti-inflammatory medication, a short course of steroids, or trigger point injections are often treatment options for neck pain. While these may relieve some symptoms, there is not a "cure". I tried many different treatments with my condition and i didn't have to have surgery. My pain is gone but I had to change my life style to avoid surgery by keeping physically fit, maintaining a healthy weight, avoid smoking, avoid repetitive motion, and use proper body mechanics. but everyone is different.....

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I am glad to hear the facet block is working for you. Since that is the case, you are a good candidate for the RFA. Find out from your doctor if you can have that done, I bet you will get good pain relief from it. There is always a few days of pain & swelling from the injection site, but ice really helped me. It is well worth it to be pain free!
I can't believe that surgeon did what he did, another reason not to have another surgery. Hopefully your pain management doctor can get that straightened out for you.
Let me know what your doctor says about the RFA procedure, it will give you longer pain relief than the facet joint block. Definitely better than surgery! Lots of luck!

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Have you tried physical therapy for any of the neck issues? It can work wonders. You might be able to have traction and see if that helps you. I would try that and even acupuncture before surgical intervention.

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I really dont think I will ever have the Neck Surgery even if these injections do not work, but my Pain Specialist swears this will take care of the C7 disk. The rest of all my C1 to C6 might have to wait. Today I am still sore, probably because I had to drive my bus today and moving my neck around, but not alot could have given me the soreness tonight. I have a question about Antidepressant medication. I have been reading up on chronic pain and it says that antidepressant may work for the nerves in the brain for blocking out pain. I wonder if I should call the doctor to verify this, but wanted to ask you guys first? So SURGERY IS OUT, HEAR TO MANY HORROR STORIES! The worst is my insurance covers 80 percent, but 20 percent I pay which turns out to between 200-300 to the doctor per month, OUCH! Hopefully keep my health insurance for as long as I can. My body is telling me to quit and so is the doctor. Dont know what to do on that topic of quitting work, (social security disability). I wonder if I need to talk to a Mental Doctor as well on this topic, but had to go to someone digging into me.

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I am having the procedure that I mentioned earlier as RFA, but it's actually called RFL (radiofrequency lesioning). I am having this done in the morning. They are going to go in & burn the nerves that are causing the pain in my neck. I will keep u posted on my progress. Let me know how things are going with u.

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Ok all thats for all the good feed back. I had my spinal fusion on the L3 to L4 and the doctor also checked to make sure L5 fusion was still intact and it was. My doctor said the L4 was really in a twisted and not sure what the doctor had done to that area, but she fixed it and got most of the scar tissue she could get out and bone spurs. This all was done on April 26, 2011. The worse part now is and don't know why, but the doctor took bone marrow from the iliac bone crest and you talk about pain without medicine it HURTS bad. Dr. said it will take a year for that to recover. I do take pain medicine and then when I do not that iliac crest just cringes my nerves. So now when I try to not use the right side I believe my right knee is taking a blunt. Is it possible this would happen and its only in one spot of my right knee below the knee cap?.. After 4 weeks of surgery I got off my doctors table the wrong way. (stupid) and when I went to stand up I lost nerves in the right leg for just couple of seconds, so I am not sure if I could have done damage to the L4 Spinal Fusion? (This was my Pain Specialist that does my neck ijections). I immediately called my Neurosurgeon Surgical Coordinator, but she reassured me those screws in the L3 and L4 would not move, but why did I lose balance in my right leg? I do not start physical therapy until 7/26/2011. Then come two days ago I was sitting in my Rocker Chair and the dang on chair flipped over and my head landed on the wall. My husband was at home thank god and he couldn't lift me or the chair upright! Thank god my son was upstairs and they both help get the chair upright. I waited just few minutes before standing up and was fine. Started getting aches in my ears and then the neck off and on. After I ate yogurt 40 minutes later I was started to get nausea, so everyone wanted me to go to the ER and I did. Head is NORMAL (surprised) possible whiplash! Hopefully nothing later will come out of it down the road! Im a mess!

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I say go with the surgery I can understand where you are coming from on a personal level Nerve blocks really wont do much except provide tempoary relief.

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Well I am sorry to hear you went ahead with the surgery, but hopefully it will give you some relief for a period of time. It's been over a year since I had my RFL done & saw significant pain relief- temporarily, but now I am back at square one & unsure what to do next. I really don't want to go through surgery again.
Keep me posted on your progress.

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I've had 8 neck surgeries. One right after another. They don't help. With hardware in 3 levels and plates and screws I'm in excruciating pain. In theC
c 4,4,5,6,7. I'm pretty sure the screws have backed out a few times when I went to the Er with a pinched nerve there. Also in in pain all the time with base of my skull pain.... Right where the plate stops. They can't help me
Oh by the way. Don't have surgery with hardware it shifts and when the did the last 2 surgeries in one day they broke my clavicle bone and put the screw too deep. That's a nightmare

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Wondering if anyone has had a 5 level cervical fusion? Do you have any mobility left after that? I have numerous problems with my neck and all the Dr I have seen agree to really fix it all it would take a 5 level fusiion. None of them are anxious to do this at my age (I am 52) they all say my MRI looks as if I am 90 and had major car accident years ago. I honestly don't know what happened to my neck. I just know it hurts and my hands and arms are going numb and weak. I have seen 1 neuro surgeon, 1 orthopedic surgeon, 1 orthopedic and 1 pain management Dr. so far as well as my PCP. I am scheduled to see a 2nd neuro surgeon on Monday. I have had 3 epidural injections, physical therapy, traction and medication. Have gotten little to no relief from any so far.

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Cathy,

I am so sorry with all your cervical fusions. Sucks you have to go through the pain!!!!!!!! Sometimes I feel like cutting off my lower back and legs, but that I would be invalid for sure....I am experiencing leg pain after my surgery (nerves below the knee). I go to my doctor tomorrow. Went to the ER on Friday evening, cause I ran out of my medicine for pain, they gave me Toradol. It doesn't work!! I start physical therapy this coming tuesday.

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Ragu, I had 5 cervical fusion 8 years ago. My doctors have told me since I was in my 20's that I had the spine of an 80 yr old, so I understand your situation. 3 yrs ago I had a follow-up MRI/CT & discovered that the disc below the fusion is now herniated. The dr warned me this might happen. I have had no problem with mobility, but the pain is excruciating in my neck, shoulders, arms & legs. I also have a lot of numbness in arms/hands, legs/feet. I also had a nerve conduction study done & I have severe nerve damage in my left arm & hands.
Since the surgery, I've tried nerve/facet blocks, radiofrequency lesioning, physical therapy, & meds to help alleviate the pain & numbness. I refuse to go thru another surgery. I suppose I am now doomed to a life of constant pain. I am only 41 & cannot do any of the things I used to do or want to do. I am so tired of playing the pain doctor game. Since I move every 6 months or so because of my husband's job it's almost impossible to get decent care. The pain docs think I am doctor shopping because I move so much. One doctor told me one of his patients drove 8 hours so she could get meds from 2 different doctors. No wonder I cannot get the care I need. STUPID people like that are ruining it for the ones who REALLY NEED the meds.

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Has anyone with cervical neck pain, feel like they get sick to the stomach? I hate this feeling after reading or bending my neck for 30 minutes. Sometime it happens after 30 minutes, then it doesn't happen at all for days. Right now have a slight headache, but sick feeling comes over me....I had to lye down and heat on my neck.

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