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Back Problems Message Board


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Hi, I appreciate anyone's input as I have been in pain for 3 years now in constant search of answers....

So some background...April of 2015 I broke my ankle really bad and over the next 1.5 years I had 4 surgeries. Prior to this I was doing triathlons, crossfit 5x wk, gym sessions 3x wk and playing racquetball 3x wk. Very Active! Perfect Health!

After I broke my ankle, I continued to train upper body and probably excessively as I was off of work for several surgeries and it helped me cope with depression. Probably around June? 2016 I started experiencing muscle spasms in my right shoulder blade after workouts. Would be painful for a day and then subside. I still continued on with workouts dealing with this issue.

Jan 2017, I was doing a heavy overhead lift (more than I usually did as my ankle was finally starting to heal) and I overextended the weights back behind my head. I felt immediate shoulder blade pain and knew it was bad. Over the next several months, I tried rehab, steroid injections and steroid pills all with minimal if any ease of pain.

By June 2017, I saw a local shoulder specialist and he suspected the long thoracic nerve got pinched but I passed the nerve test. Now having deep pain all over my right upper back and rib cage(never and numbness), he suspected a pinched nerve in the neck and ordered MRI of cervical and thoracic, referred me to spine Dr and also suggested I travel to see Shoulder blade specialist. Spine Dr looked at MRI and said he can see C5&C6 have minor issues but nothing to describe the pain I'm in. Offered to do a epidural shot but I declined being he was really sure that it wouldn't help and that my neck wasn't the issue.

Nov 2017, I meet with Dr and he notices scapular winging and said my lower trap muscle is basically turned off and all other muscles are compensating causing all the other pain. He said being that I passed nerve test, he believes it's just a muscle that hasn't healed properly. Gave me very specific rehab and stressed doing these daily. Agreed to meet with me in March.

March 2018, Meet with Dr again and I am feeling better from following his program but with limited use of right arm. If I push too hard I have pain for weeks. He changes exercises some but tells me that if by June its not healed he may have to cut and reattach the lower trap to scapula.

Oct 2018, I meet with local shoulder specialist which I highly value as a Dr and just mull over this potential surgery as I still FEEL like this is all nerve related. He agrees to order another Nerve test and this time it shows damage (Dr said it looks like an Old injury) to upper shoulder, bicep, trap and the worst area was lower trap. The same Dr doing the nerve test used ultrasound to look at the muscle along my scapula and noticed a really bad muscle adhesion. He injected the area with a LOT of steroids to break it free. The muscle twitches as he injects it which he said is a good sign.

2 days later, (maybe from nerve test poking everywhere?) my right neck locked up and I could barely turn my head. Returned and he shot my neck up. Got some relief a day later

3-5 days later my left neck muscle locked up for about 3 days the loosened up on its own- 5 days later my index finger and thumb tip go numb and I have burning pain from neck into chest/shoulder wall down my inner arm into fingers, thumb/index. If I move my neck a certain way I get shooting pains on left side. Note: Left side never bothered me till right side nerve test?? Now I have trouble sleeping as every position feels like I'm pinching a nerve.

5 days later I had a follow up scheduled with both local shoulder specialist and the shot Dr. thinks I'm cured from muscle adhesion he found. Shoots left neck and chest/shoulder area.....Helped for a day. Shoulder Dr says this all sounds nerve related and orders new cervical MRI, Left nerve test and refers back to Spine Dr. but he's booked.

Passed nerve test on left side

NEW MRI results:

At C2-C3- Normal

At C3-C4- Bilateral unconvertebral joint osteophytes result in mild left neural foramen narrowing. These findings are unchanged

At C4-C5 left unconvertebral joint osteophytes result in mild left neural foramen narrowing. These findings are unchanged

At C5-C6 Broad disc osteophyte complex and Bilateral unconvertebral joint osteophytes result in mild left neural foramen narrowing resulting in slight deformity of right greater than left anterior cord. Severe right and moderate left neural foramen narrowing present. These findings are similar to prior exam

At C6-C7 Minor disc osteophyte without narrowing. Unchanged

At C7-T1 Normal

Cervical alignment is normal. Vertibral bodies maintain normal bone marrow signal. No abnormal signal occurs throughout the cervical cord. Visualized paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable.

Impression:
1 Mild to moderate right and mild left C3-C4 neural foramen narrowing due to bilateral unconvertebral joint

2 C5-C6 degenerative disc disease resullting from mild central canal narrowing with slight deformity of right greater than left anterior cord and severe right and moderate left neural foramen narrowing Correlation for right C6 radiculopathy is requested

3 Minor degenerative changes at C4-C5 and C6-C7

So Friday I saw a neuro surgeon and he looked at me like I'm crazy and shouldn't even be in his office (guess they only see people with necks falling off?). Said there is nothing wrong with my MRI findings and that all he does is surgeries and that I am not a candidate for that. He suggested I get tested for MS or other autoimmune disease ??? (Note: somewhere in this I saw a Rheumatologist and she ordered a bunch of blood work) and referred me to a pain Dr where maybe an epidural shot will help. He didn't even look at the MRI report.

Tomorrow, I meet with Pain Dr about Epidural shot. Praying he can squeeze me in ASAP because of my vacation looming.
Fri I meet with original Spine Dr again.
Mon, I leave for what should be a great Maui family vacation for 2 weeks but I can't even think about anything else.

I'm lost on what else to do or who else to see that can help. I feel hopeless! I know this was long but it has been a long journey and I wanted to get some of this out. Sorry and I appreciate any input...

Other weird issue I've had which may or may not be related is sometimes during flare ups I will have crazy frequent urination. Had kidneys/Liver/Bladder CT- everything looks ok?





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