Dr. Corenman, Thank you for answering my post.
Yes, I have a lot of symptoms going on now and it’s very frustrating not knowing where or who to turn to next to try and figure out what is wrong and how to fix me? I am a female age 54.
A little of my health history if you don’t mind.
In 1990, I saw my GP 3 times for right neck stiffness and right shoulder pain and each time I was given a steroid injection in my shoulder. The 4th time it happened it was for left neck stiffness and left shoulder pain. I got another shot and was sent to have a MRI of my neck.
1990 MRI Findings: There is a slight narrowing of the C5-C6 Disc space. I was told nothing was wrong with this disc … (However, 5 years later this same disc ruptured)
After that, I didn’t have any more neck or shoulder pain. It just went away.
No major problems with my health until
Aug. 1995: I had numbness & tingling in my right hand and forearm. I got a MRI which clearly showed that I had a ruptured disc at C5-6
1995: I had a Ant. Disc Fusion at C5-6 using a donor bone.
Then appox. 8 months later I started having all over body muscle pain and headaches. This is the beginning of my nightmare!!
I went back to my Nero Surgeon to see if there was something wrong with the fusion I had or another disc gone bad. She didn’t find anything wrong. (I don’t have any of these records and she retired not long after my surgery)
I went to several different type of Doctors.
I was tested for MS – Normal, no findings on brain scan
I was tested for Lyme Disease – Normal
I was tested for Lupus – Normal
Nothing explained my symptoms. So, I was dxd with Fibromyalgia.
I did aqua pool therapy, myofashial release massage therapy, Tens Unit, Different kinds of med’s, cold packs, heating pads, walking, resting, I tried it all.
In 1997 I went to the ER four different times with what felt like TIA attacks on the left side of my body. Each time no stroke showed up on any of the scans they ran on me.
Then they just went away, I have not had anymore of those attacks to date.
1998: I went to see another Nero surgeon I had another MRI of the C-Spine: The Doctors notes say … Decision Making: MRI shows a C5-6 fusion, decreased foramina on the right. My suspicion is that she has an incomplete fusion. I believe there is some micro motion at the fusion site, which might explain here neck pain with her head unsupported for any length of time. She may have some slippage here which causes nerve root compression and the shock-like sensations.
If I remember correctly I did have x-rays done of my neck but the x-rays didn’t show any slippage of my C5-6 fusion. So nothing was done. I just kept going with pain med’s, muscle relaxers to keep me going and working.
*** Note: Much later after my fusion healing time, I’ve always been able pinch the front of my neck and move that donor bone at C5-6 in my neck on the right side only with my fingers and it rubs bone to bone, I can hear the bones rubbing together it in my head when I do this too. I didn’t try to move it before I thought was plenty of healing time like probably a year afterwards. I can also hear lots of cracking in the back of my neck when I move it from side to side. I’ve told several Doctors this but they have all said it’s normal to be able to move your neck bones around and to hear a crackling neck. ***
Feb 2001 I’m once again in extreme pain!
Muscle pain, headaches, mostly cervical neck and upper trap’s area of my shoulders pain.
My GP sends me to a pain clinic. I had 3 Cervical Epidural Injections done. The 1st one lasted about 2 weeks, the 2nd and 3rd only a few days each. With 200.00 co-pays for each time I had one I just couldn’t afford to have anymore besides they wasn’t working for me anyway.
After that, the pain Doctor put me on the Duragesic Fentanyl Transdemal pain patch. I started off on the 50 mcg changing it every 3 days. When they didn’t work anymore I was changed to the 75 mcg changing it every 2 days. Was ok for awhile but the pain got really bad again and was switched to the 100 mcg changing it every 2 days. Then believe it or not with that much pain med’s my pain was getting worse again. There was no way I would be able to go higher than what I was on without overdosing.
I was a total Zombie. Finally, I ran across something that was called Re-Bound Pain. I read as much as I could about re-bound pain from pain-killers and was astounded. All I had asked my GP for was 1 more vicodine a day to get me through so I could continue to work but he wouldn’t go for it and sent me to that pain clinic. What a mess it turned out to be.
I asked my pain mgmt. Doctor to take me off of the pain patch but he took me off way too fast. After being on them for 2 years I see now that I should have been down dosed much slower. His down dosage took me from the 100 mcg pain patch every 2 days to off completely within 3 weeks.
Aug. 2003 I was in the hospital in severe withdrawals. They put me on IV with delodid I think but couldn’t be in the hospital forever they down dosed me until the vomiting stopped which was about a week and sent me home. I was in withdrawals for months.
2009: Found I have acid reflux disease, Gerd, and diverticurlos,
2009: I had lower back surgery at L5-S1 not fused just shaved the disc. Surgery went well. Haven’t had any problems with lower back since then.
2009 & 2010: Had lots of teeth work done. Found periodontal gum disease.
2010: I had a major heart attack in the left main Coronary Artery. I Had to have 2 stints placed in the artery it was 90% blocked.
2012: Went To ENT doctor
June 18th 2012: I had 22 teeth extracted and am still trying to recover from that. I haven’t been tested and don’t know what my heavy metal or mercury levels are yet.
The post I sent you prior to this one is where I’m at now:
I’m concerned about the C3-C4 Disc on my MRI
From past experience with my C5-6 fusion. C3-4 pretty much says the same thing that it did 5 years before my C5-6 disc ruptured.
Also, from what little I was able to find on the internet about the symptoms of C3-4. I read that the C3-4 disc nerves can be a cause of the rocking / swaying vertigo, neck and head pain. Any idea on this?
And lastly where is says Mild to moderate C4-C5 Chronic degenerative disc disease. Could this disc rupture?
I don’t take any pain med’s anymore after what I’ve been through with that pain clinic, the only time I take any is for after surgery pain, nothing on a long term basis. Other med’s are for heart, and Zorcor to keep down colsetoerol.
I also have restless leg syndrome and am on Requip which it works great for restless legs.
I know this is very long, but thought I’d give you my complete history.
Should I also show this to my Neurosurgeon who did my back surgery in 2009? Or is it too much for him to decipher?
Thank you very much.
Something else I forgot to ask:
“Pins & needle sensations, electric shocks sensations I feel like they start from my head/neck area then travels on down my whole body” can occur from compression of the spinal cord but there is no evidence of cord compression based upon MRI report.
Could my MRI report have been miss-read? Or is there any other tests that would show cord compression? The electric shocks sensations I have every morning when I get up and lessen up after a few hours, until the next morning.
Perhaps I worded the pins & needles incorrectly? Where I feel these are constantly in my legs, most of the time in my feet not always and sometimes in the trap’s area of my upper shoulders and base of my neck. The sensations are very hard to explain what they feel like. Instead of pins & needles – more like lots of little electric sensations would be a better wording I’m looking for.