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Greetings,
I have been experiencing transient numbness of the 4th and 5th fingers of my left hand for over a year. The numbness continued along the outer aspect of my forearm and felt as if I had constantly hit my funny bone. Within the past 2 months, the numbness progressed from transient to constant, from the 2 fingers to my entire left hand and then I began feeling numbness in the 4th and 5th fingers of my right hand. At that point, I went back to my doctor. I had been mentioning the numbness and constant feeling of "heaviness" of my left side (particularly when driving) for quite some time, but it was never my chief complaint and was not related, so I think it was overlooked and forgotten. I think he thought I was nuts mentioning so much unrelated stuff, but I thought it needed to be said because I knew it was not normal. It did became my chief complaint in June of 2007,when my right hand began to feel numb as well. I was in the office that day. To me, this seems to be some kind of progressive neurological condition and I NEED MY HANDS. I AM A NURSE.

My doctor gave me a script for a week of Prednisone and an MRI of the C-spine. Prednisone did make things better, but a few days after stopping it, I developed a new awful pain just left of my spinal column at mid chest level that radiates to my sternum. My fiancee can now feel a line of knots to the left of my thoracic spine. They are tender to touch. They are fine in the morning, but after about 3-4 hours of being mobile, they KILL me. The pain is worse now.

MRI OF THE CERVICAL SPINE WITHOUT CONTRAST: "Routine sagittal and axial images were obtained. The central spinal canal is normal in size. There is diffuse disc bulging at the C5-C6 level with disc herniation on the right side. Hypertrophic spurring is impinging on both neural foramina at this level. There is compression of the thecal sac and minimal indentation on the right side of the cervical cord. The rest of the cervical discs and neural foramina are normal."
MRI impression: "Central and to the right disc herniation at the C 5/6 level, causing compression of the thecal sac and mild indentation on the right side of the cervical cord. Hypertrophic spurring is causing severe stenosis of the neuroforamina bilaterally at this level. The rest of the lumbar discs and neural foramina appear normal."

Medical Intervention: Neurontin 400 tid. PT for cervical traction and a home unit. Flexeril qhs.

Subjective:
I don't take the Flexeril as I sleep well due to the fatigue from being in pain all day. Is pain medicine appropriate? Will it even work for this condition? Neurontin might be great in the long run, but isn't there something for the short term? I did ask my doctor the same question. He prescribed only Neurontin in response. I have been on it for 5 days and off Prednisone for 7. Each day my back pain worsens. The Neurosurgeon cannot see me until late July. How bad will the pain be then? Will I grow accustomed to it? It seems to be worsening, not improving. Will this delay cause long term loss of function?

Now, the MRI: My primary MD said that the results suggest I have arthritis in my cervical spine. I had just hoped for a herniated disc. When I do get into the neurologist for a consult, what should I expect? Should I wait that long for a consult? From my subjective perspective, the symptoms have worsened week by week and even through Prednisone. I have seen many impatient patients and would like to be certain that I am correct in demanding a specialists opinion. I am 40 years old...5'1, 115#...I do not fit the norm for this diagnosis. I have a long life ahead of me and I do not want to spend it disabled. However, I do have great pain every day and at this point and I am just "dealing" with it. Should I be screaming for an earlier appointment or is this timing with the neurosurgeon (late July) appropriate?

Should there be some imaging of my thoracic spine? It seems that most of my pain is from that area. Is it referred or could there be arthritis dispersed throughout localized areas of my spine? Should I blow it off as muscle strain?

I do have a specialty as well, but this is not it. I am in oncology, so neurology is a foreign science to me.

Thank you for any input.

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Hi.
I was astounded while reading this post.I have a very similar narrative from my last MRI.This was a work related injury so going through Workman's comp paper trail has been a very exstensive and painful process.I have also had severe pain down my left arm.throught my left shoulder blade,into my hand,and of course directly on my spine.An Mri was done which showed "Disc bulging and hypertrophic bulging to the right midline at midline c5-c6.This results in mild narrowing of the adjacent neural foramen."
I was sent to therapy,as they were treating me for a shoulder injury.During therapy,the therapist noted it was a neck injury.I was sent for the MRI but when I went back to the original Dr Workman's comp sent me to,he told me he was a HAND SPECIALIST and wouldnt touch a neck injury.I was sent to a neurourgeon who basically blew me off stating he thinks it was just a spur and to "deal with the pain."He treated me like I was some sort of junkie looking for my next high.I have a serious injury and want some serious answers.Any help would be much appreciated.
Jayne
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See a spine surgeon...I cant believe you haven't gone there...u need surgery.
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Do a Google search on:

  bone spurs holistic

 

Enzyme therapy, with a really good practitioner, is quite effective at resolving spurs non-surgically.   The Google search will give you other non-surgical options to consider.

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I'm experiencing almost the same symptons. I feel like the doctors don't see this as a very valid complaint. What did you finally do? I'm much older than you but very active up until the surgery and now the remaining pain.
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I am having the same problem and bone spurs impinging on the nerves in the C5 C6 areas is the culprit. You need to see an Orthopedic Spine Specialist. Surgery is the answer.
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Welcome to the washing machine. I have been in it since 1992. I have seen nothing more corrupt in my lifetime. Forget workers' comp., auto insurance carriers, doctors, attorneys and the judicial systems involved. I could have had a better time drinking top shelf and talking to bartenders than spending so much hard earned money on seeing doctors. These entities are shoveling their liabilities onto to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare which only goes back to the taxpayer footing the bill. Welcome to the BIG !*?#)%

I know what you mean about the "medical professionals" who act like you are after drugs. I just told one of them about a month ago that I did not need to come to her for medication because I have every drug imaginable at home. I only see them for documentation purposes. They aren't good for anything else. I just finished reading a lot of information about spinal terms. The doctors do not all agree to use the same medical terms. You can get "bulge" or "herniation" in reports which apparently mean the same thing until you try to get compensated. One thing is for sure, you will never be diagnosed because that will take you out of the washer. You will be instructed to see a psychiatrist to mitigate any liability on the doctor's part if you kill yourself. After several sessions, the psychiatrist will tell you that this is what you are left with. This is essentially the same as what you have been told "Deal with it."

My advice is to secure your financial future as best you can under the pretense that what you have is the only future you are going to have. Stop chasing for answers from doctors because they either can't or won't give them to you. I saw over fifty of them and they said I was nuts that I just wanted attention. OK! Yeah! Right!! I was young, good looking and had 139 IQ back in 1992. I should have really used my brains and all the funds spent on doctors to instead take exotic vacations where I would have gotten something including attention. OK! Yeah!! Right!! I have an IQ of 139.
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You are absolutely correct! I have had the arm/hand pain, numbness, etc, etc... I have had back and neck issues my entire life, a slight leg length discrepency. I didn't walk until I was 16 months old, and had two concussions before I turned age 4 from falling while walking. I am about to turn 50 years old, have been on disability for 5 years. I really don't think I have a clear diagnosis of my condition, as it is described as "c-spine impairment". I suffered from a six year migraine headache, which I still can't believe I lived through. Just had X-rays of my lumbar and hips, and was told they were, "fine". I asked for the report, which showed spurs at all levels of lumbar and spurring and sclerosis of acetabular rims and sclerosis of sacroiliac joints. That's it! No follow up, no referral to specialist, no nothing. I was also a RN. I loved my job, but my hands, neck, back and hips are FUBAR now.
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Hi.. I have a work related injury to. Was sent to Industrial Health doctor for Workers Comp. He set me to PT then I had a MRI. Back to PT then to Pain Management. Workers comp ok'ed me for 3 steroid injections. First 2 no problem.. Then I went in for the final shot. I walked in went in had the procedure was in recovery the nurse asked if I was ready to go.. The rest is fogging.. Went into a Grand Mal Seizure... Transported to another hosp. stayed there for 5 days then transferred to a Rehab for almost a month.. Still off work.. EEG's,MRI's etc... Still don't know what is causing the seizures. I am now on Keepra 750 3 time a day-- I am on a 3 day eeg so heres hoping. Appreciate any help.. Thanks..
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