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Spinal Inflammation

chrisdlcchrisdl Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

A little over three months ago I jumped while under some playground equipment in an effort to tag my daughter. I ended up colliding head first with a commercial playground slide.

Two days later I ended up in the ER with tingling in my hands and feet. They informed me after a CT scan and an MRI that I had four bulging discs in my neck, had a neurosurgeon look at them, and released me.

Over the next two months I had tingling, numbness, balance and coordination issues, and heavy legs. I finally got in to see an neourosurgeon after those two months and he told me my narrowing was moderate and that I did not need surgery. I felt great about that and optimistically went home.

A few weeks after that I got in to see my neurologist and told her I was still having a lot of the same symptoms. It had seemed like they had gotten maybe a little worse. I told her I had done about 80 flights of stairs the previous week and she told me to take it easy. She said that my strength was good and that my symptoms are a result of inflammation and that it could take a year for the inflammation to go away. I left feeling optimistic.

After seeing my neurologist I actually had five days in a row where I almost felt normal again. That was a couple of weeks ago though and it now seems like all of the symptoms have returned. My legs always seem to feel a little off, I have balance and coordination issues especially in the hands, and I'm just starting to feel like maybe I won't get any better. I just don't feel like I'm improving at all. I actually feel like I'm getting worse.

The question I have is are these symptoms consistent with just being inflammation?


  • Inflammation can really cause issues and pain. I've taken medication and had shots for years to try to keep inflammation down. I went years with that approach to addressing pain. Eventually my discs in my neck got worse with impingement on the spinal chord and I was recommended to have an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). That was last May. My lumbar spine was also identified as surgical because of impingement on a nerve, but that had to wait until after the neck surgery.

    After the neck had healed I met with my surgeon about my lumbar area. By that time I was having pain down my shoulder blade and into my arm and increased tingling in my arm and I was afraid something happened to my neck. He evaluated the area, looking at what positions made the pain worse or better, and he said it was caused by inflammation in my shoulder pinching the nerve. My lumbar surgery was scheduled and I was given some stronger muscle relaxants (and I had a couple massages) and the shoulder and arm pain reduced before I had the back surgery.

    You might want to talk to your primary care about what you could do for the symptoms - could be muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatories or a lidocaine patch or maybe a referral to pain management if appropriate.

    You could also get another evaluation by another surgeon.

    Don't ignore your symptoms and do get your neck periodically to make sure it hasn't gotten worse.

    I hope this helps.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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