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Need suggestions regarding recent neck injury

Hello!

I have lumbar spine issues, herniated a bunch of discs a few years back and now suffer from severe osteoarthritis. However, this past week I've been suffering from something I haven't experienced and I need some suggestions if possible as to what it could be.

I should preface this with the fact that when I herniated my lumbar discs, it happened in a manner that to this day has puzzled doctors. I was in Chinese slippers (think those cheap beaded slippers that provide zero support) and was joking with my dog that I was "gonna get him". I jumped up and came down at the same time on both feet and instantly knew something was wrong. Within 15 minutes I couldn't walk, I couldn't stand I couldn't sit. Went to the hospital, they diagnosed it as a muscle spasm, gave me an injection and I immediately knew something was wrong. I am a biologist and knew that when my fingertips started feeling wet, that meant nerve damage. Low and behold and I told the dr, they rushed me for a ct scan and I had 3 herniated discs.

Anyway, last Monday (NYE) I was at work and was recovering from a bout with a stomach flu the week before. I was sitting at my desk and rolled my shoulders to try to relax. Immediately following the rolling I felt a sudden sharp pain in my neck, shoulder, and head. My arm felt weird, almost like it was electrocuted, and the pain was severe. I put my head on my desk and couldn't pick it back up. I tried to get to the phone to call my boss and literally couldn't pick my head up to do it. About 5 minutes later the pain was bearable enough that I was able to call be dr and they told me to come on right away. I work at a hospital so it was easy access.

The primary dr was stunned. He said it as probably just a spasm, and that I needed to rest it, take flexeril and Motrin and continue my Vicodin for the pain. I couldn't move my head in any direction and the pain was traveling up my scalp, down my back and into my arm. There was no reflexes on either arm, so he suggested herniation but said he couldn't do anything different for it, so he sent me home.

For two days I sat in pain at home and after going back to work Wednesday I decided I couldn't take the pain anymore. If I move my head a centimeter in any direction I feel an intense deep sharp pain. I went to the er that night, and they did an X-ray which revealed no tumor but did show lack of curvature of the spine. The dr suggested that there was a spasm but there was definitely something more going on because of the limited range of motion. He stopped the flexeril, started me on Valium and doubled the dose of Vicodin.

I'm still in pain. I wake up in worse pain then ever. I can't turn my head or look upwards. The pills aren't doing anything, Icing it helps for about 5 minutes but after it's right back to where it was. I did notice that when I slouch the pain goes away a little, I have more range of motion, but when I am standing or sitting straight, the pain is unbearable.

I'm convinced its herniated, but Id like some other opinions. I just don't know how I could herniated it just by rolling my shoulders but with the way my spine seems to hate me, nothing surprises me anymore.

Any suggestions would be great. Thanks in advance!!
Mrs. D
25 y/o Female living in a 90 y/o body.

"Until you know what it's like to live every single day of your life in pain, don't act like you know what my life is like."
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Comments

  • I think you said dr only did an xray? Why not an mri to get a beter view, Mri is usualy needed to get a good look ,
    I dont think without an mri any specialist will see whats going on in there !
    Best of luck, let us know what more they can find as not sure anyone here can recomend anything not knowing the true cause,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • alexhurting said:
    I think you said dr only did an xray? Why not an mri to get a beter view, Mri is usualy needed to get a good look ,
    I dont think without an mri any specialist will see whats going on in there !
    Best of luck, let us know what more they can find as not sure anyone here can recomend anything not knowing the true cause,

    Oh I know. I tried two different docs to get an MRI but both said regardless of the answer they'd treat it the same. I can't get in to my ortho until the 16th but I don't know I can handle the pain until then. I specifically asked for an MRI at the er and the dr laughed at me. -_-
    Mrs. D
    25 y/o Female living in a 90 y/o body.

    "Until you know what it's like to live every single day of your life in pain, don't act like you know what my life is like."
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  • Manage pain until the 16th.

    Visit you PCP and discus pain management. Maybe do a pain journal and show the 'evidence' to doctor to show its real. (I inferred that he may not understand - did I get this wrong?) the surgeon may benefit from the journal too. Journal should have such details as location of pain, description of it, pain level (scale 1 to 10, with 10 being just about passing out) what you were doing before, anything that made it improve, medications details, note any numbness or strange sensations, anything else that makes sense.

    PCP should be capable of providing temporary pain relief until you see the surgeon. I get the vibes he's not willing?

    If there is a Mr D, can he or someone that can be an advocate for you, go with you to the PCP and help advocate for pain management. Doctor may be more reasonable in the presence of a witness.

    Take care.
  • Yes, you read it right, he sneezed and couldn't move his head and was in excrutiating pain. MRI was quickly followed by 3 level fusion.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014, pseudo arthrosis suspected 2017, diagnosed  2019.  Revision C6/C7 pending. Multiple ruptured discs lumbar, l2-s1.
  • islandstylistislandstylist Posts: 337
    edited 01/11/2013 - 6:41 AM
    Hi,

    The previous posters have given you excellent advice. Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents and personal experience with what you're experiencing. I went through almost the same sort of scenario let's say with the dr's not taking my pain seriously in the beginning.

    MRI is definitely needed for confirmation of herniated disc. Xray alone doesn't cut it. They did xrays of my neck on several occasions before I knew to ask (demand) an MRI of my neck.

    And if the dr's aren't taking you seriously I like DaveFusions advice. It's what I had to do. Bring someone with you. I didn't get anything done in the way of proper meds being prescribed ( pain meds) or appropriate diagnostic testing (MRI) until I brought a witness/advocate with me. It was either my mother or my husband. My moms a pitbull too and even so the dr's took notice much quicker when my husband came with me. Sad but true.

    Just wanted you to know I truly understand and I feel for you and wish you the very best. Please keep us updated on your progress and any findings.

    Hugs.

    P.S, I herniated my neck simply by lifting my then 3 month old baby out of his bassinett. Shitty but true. Lol!
    Missy, 1 level ACDF 
    Degenerative Disc Disease.
    Sciatica.
    Chronic Pain.
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  • susabellssusabell Illinois Posts: 241
    Wow I have never heard that someone could end up needing a 3 level fusion from Sneezing. I hope your Friend is doing better now. That just floored me when I read that, it is amazing how sensative the Spine really is. And Islandstylist lifting her baby.

    I am sorry for your pain issues MrsD923 I agree with all the member's above post, you need that MRI. I had a 3 level fusion and the MRI clearly showed that my c4 is Lipping and hitting c3 Above Fusion which is One Pain Source.

    Please keep us updated & this is the place to b for support, we all get it here at SH! Feel Better :)
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
    Sciatica 3/11/16 Left Leg prescribed Medrol Pack 6 days also Physical Therapy.
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