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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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Thanks for your post on the laser burning situation. I am scheduled to have it done next Friday. What they do is go in to my cervical spine with a needle and do a medial branch block under anesthesia (sp) and if I get any relief, they will try it again 1 week later to make sure it wasn't a placebo effect. If they have found a spot that may give me some pain relief they will put me under some kind of "radio frequency" and burn the nerves. If this works (and I am not thinking it will - it is hard to think positive when "nothing" else has worked) then they put a hot needle in the same spot and burn the nerves!!! I am willing to try anything.
My long drawn out story is not a good story but anyway,
I had an anterior cervical fusion done on C5/6 6/7 with titanium pins and plates and donor bone Nov. 29 of 2003. I think I was starting to feel a bit better when I had a whiplash car accident (not my fault) and never recovered. I have felt basically terrible ever since. I still have the same pain in my neck and shoulders and back of my head. I also have a headache behind my eyes, in front of my ears, my forehead, the back of my head which they say is at my occipital nerve. I have had it for about 5 years and have tried, acupuncture, physical therapy, sacral cranial therapy, st. johns neuromuscular therapy, trigger point and massage therapy, 3 different chiropractors, a homeopathic doctor. I thought my head ache was sinus related but have had a cat scan of my sinuses and have been to an ears, nose and throat specialist and they say that there is nothing wrong. I have been to a face surgeon because I suspected TMJ especially after the accident my jaw also became sore and is still sore. I had been to my neurosurgeon 2 weeks after surgery and he said that everything looked good and that my pins and plates looked in place and he also checked me in the hospital the night of my accident and said that nothing had moved but the ortho doc. told me that I had cervical strain to the right side caused by the accident. At 4 months I went back to my neuro. and told him that I was still in so much pain still. He said he was afraid he couldn't help me that he figures after all this time that I must have "fibromyalgia"!!! I have tried everything in between and at 14 months I went back to my neuro. and begged for help because I still felt or feel absolutely terrible and he sent me for an x-ray and told me that C3/4 looked like they were now degenerating and offered me surgery to take the original plate out and extend it a bit longer to add C4 only!!! I was very upset but accepted it. He then sent me for a Cervical Myelogram just to confirm. When he got the results of the myelogram he called me to say that C6/7 never fused and that C3/4 were degenerating but didn't look too bad. I made an appt. to see him for a consultation for surgery and he told me that the second donor bone "disintegrated"!!! On the phone he then offered me surgery again on C6/7 and this time he wanted to put in a "metal cage" and use a bone from my hip!!!! I was very upset to hear this even though I wasn't sure what that meant. He still figures there is no bone in there anymore but that the plate is still holding it in place!!! I asked him "why didn't you send me for a myelogram when I came in still in lots of pain at 4 months"!!! He didn't like me questioning him and I had a few other questions that he didn't like and he told me that he wouldn't operate on me that he couldn't help me!!! He gave me the name of another top ortho surgeon to go and see. If you can't ask your doctor a question about your life, it is pretty sad!!! I went to see the ortho surgeon and he told me that he couldn't help me if the original fusion surgery didn't take away the pain!!! He said that lots of people have to live with this pain and that he was afraid that I was one of them. So here I sit in terrible pain and have already had "Occipitial nerve injections" I have already had medial branch blocks last year before surgery and before the accident and have just had 2 sets of epidural steroid injections!!! The pain clinic doc wants me to try these injections again because he says that I have a "new neck" since I have had surgery and a car accident and he thinks that it is worth a try to do these medial branch blocks. He says that in a whiplash car accident that your facet joints get knocked around and they could be causing me more pain.
He says he thinks I have "myofascial pain" which is your facet joints. I am just about ready to give up. I have had enough. I am only 53 years old and hate living this way. I usually am smiling on the outside and suffering so much inside.
I am sorry that you are having problems and I shouldn't have typed this book but I wanted to tell you what is going on with me.
I would be very interested to hear more of your story because it does sound very familiar.
Are you going to have the surgery, if so when?
Good Luck
Send me a post back if you want to talk and I will let you know how my medial branch blocks worked out. Wish me luck!!!
Lyn in Michigan :angel:

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