Cervical vs Lumbar Issues- is one worse than the other?

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Motor1
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Joined: 08/22/2014 - 1:52pm
Thanks

I have a hard time taking meds. I've been on amitryptline & gabapentin for nerve pain, but I was having side effects that I couldn't deal with, so I had to stop them.
I can't take Percocet or OxyContin or oxycodone. They give me rashes & make me itchy.
Right now the only thing I take is Vicodin and that doesn't work on nerve pain.
My pain doctor ordered me a cream called pennsaid? It really doesn't do much either.
I don't have any appointments with my surgeon. I'm just seeing my pain doctor & ortho doctor for my shoulder & elbow.
How is your shoulder feeling?

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Meydey
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Joined: 07/12/2015 - 11:36pm
Hi Motor1

I had stabbing, aching pain in my forearm all day but I'll survive. Hope you're having a restful weekend. Have you tried Volteran gel? It's an anti inflammatory just like Volteran tablets. I alternate between the two when my stomach acts up.I get awful cramps and pain from Fibro. You can't do both at the same time. I never heard of Pennsaid, is it new? Next week it's my shoulder MRI but I think it's to rule out a structural problem there. I'm pretty convinced it's my neck now. I couldn't handle Neurontin because it spaced me out, and the highest dose I could take was 300mg which is pretty low.

Ol' Spiney...Microdiscectomy L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central disc herniation L4-S1, sciatic nerve damage, retrolisthesis, epidural fibrosis, facet arthropathy, severe DDD & OA.FBSS- Medtronic SynchroMed II pump.

ridgian
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C-Spine vs L-Spine

Good day Meydey. I'm 55 yrs old and herniated L-4 L-5 disk when I was 24. I have had DDD problems in my lumbar spine ever since and at times the pain was so bad I could scream so I did. I worked for 30 years after mostly in construction/carpentry so it has obviously gotten worse but I've learned to live with it meaning I learned how to do things smart. I have seen surgeons both ortho and neuro many times since but no one wants to operate saying if I can live with it do so - the risks are too many. Last year I hurt my neck at work. (6 years prior I hurt my neck similarly and went on comp. it healed and back to work I went. ) anyway, I had an MRI, saw an ortho surgeon, then a neurologist who sent me to the neurosurgeon who said he wanted to operate. I had the surgery a month ago and although the pain and tingling in my right arm are gone I have severe pain in left shoulder that wasn't there before. Also it feels like there's something caught in my throat- hard to swallow and breathing is slightly laboured. It's still early in recovery so hopefully it will all pass.
Now, with regard to the pain difference in lumbar versus cervical spine I know that lumbar spine pain and symptoms are worse. When I suffered my first lumbar spine issue it hit me like a ton of bricks; no warning and it's hurt to various degrees ever since. my neck pain started differently, just stiffness in neck area at first but days later the pain in my tricep and severe tingling in entire forearm started. On a scale of ten my back pain has reached ten but my neck pain is an eight. Not a lot of difference but ...
Workers comp has a third party involved now trying to find me suitable work if and when the surgeon says I can go back to work. I've worked building homes most of my life with a 10 year IT/computer networking stint in between (comp retrained me back in '95 after another instance of my lower back acting up). The IT work was great but it meant sitting for extended periods which, again in my opinion, is equally as bad if not worse for the lumbar spine than being a carpenter. The comp consultant thinks I should take an office job to finish off my career but I told him how I felt about it and he took note of it. I don't want to be pensioned off. I want to do something productive so I'm researching my options. Anyway, sorry for the long rant but thanks for listening. I hope you get results and pain relief and soon. Good luck to you and everyone suffering spine related pain.

Meydey
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Last seen: 3 days 18 hours ago
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Joined: 07/12/2015 - 11:36pm
Thanks Rigian

Sorry you've been through the ringer after having a great career. Seems like everything comes to a grinding halt when our backs go bad. I certainly understand about you struggling with IT since it requires extensive computer usage. My pain flares up more when I'm on the PC for a long time too. I've never had neck surgery, just lower back, and to me it's a bit scarier to be operated at that level. What type of surgery did you have? Yes, it makes a lot of sense that lumbar disc herniations take more of a toll because it's weight-bearing..but I can't really say unless I blew out a cervical disc to know for sure. Don't want to anyway lol. Hope you have a speedy recovery. Take care

Ol' Spiney...Microdiscectomy L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central disc herniation L4-S1, sciatic nerve damage, retrolisthesis, epidural fibrosis, facet arthropathy, severe DDD & OA.FBSS- Medtronic SynchroMed II pump.

ridgian
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Thanks for the kind words

Thanks for the kind words Meydey. I agree with you regarding sitting at the computer. I have a desktop PC but don't use it since the surgery. I find it more comfortable using my smartphone.
The neck surgery I had last month is called Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF). There's lots of good videos online. Using clamps and spreaders the surgeon removes the collapsed disk and replaces it with a bone graft. Then he screws a metal plate to the vertebrae above and below the replaced disk. Over time it fuses together. It can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to fuse properly so I have to be very careful.
Have the doctors taken an MRI of your cervical spine? That would clearly show any compression of nerves in your neck.
Have a good night and let me know how you make out.

Motor1
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Joined: 08/22/2014 - 1:52pm
Meydey

I have not tried Volteran gel. Since I'm on work comp, they control all decisions with my care. My doctors have tried to order me other creams, but work comp wouldn't approve them.
Good luck with your shoulder mri. I hope for your sake it doesn't show any problems with your shoulder.

Nick.ny
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Joined: 10/24/2014 - 8:31pm
C-Spine + L-Spine vs Shoulder!

Hi there and sorry for your suffering . I feel your pain since I'm one like you, I was injured in a car accident four years ago,near death collision with cervical spine injuries of C-4/5/6/7,burst fracture of C-7,broken collarbone,broken right shoulder,L-Spine injuries at L5-S1,right elbow and right hip.I had an ACDF C-4/5/6/7, repair collarbone with fixation plate and 9 screws and my worst nightmare I had four (4) shoulder surgeries 4/11,3/12,11/12,6/13. Now I have right hip and elbow pending and according to my surgeon either cast for the elbow or crutches for the hip isn't good for the shoulder yet so I'm on the wait , my L-Spine is worsening,my neck isn't 100%fused and hurting,permanent disable from my right arm,swallow problems.I'm with pain management and besides trigger point and epidural injections taking Oxymorphone,Oxycodone,Zanaflex,Gabapentin and yes Ibuprofen against fusion regulations...
Meyday,good luck with your test,... ridgian,wish you quick and painless recovery..
Motor1,i feel your pain since I know all of them : neck,shoulder and elbow,but be very careful with the elbow surgery.see what your surgeon thinks, mine told me very clear no until we're done with the shoulder . If you have your elbow in cast you going to damage your shoulder....good luck with your EMG and hope you won't need surgery.
Now, between C-Spine,L-Spine and Soulder??? From my own experience ??? SHOULDER is the worst!!!

Motor1
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Last seen: 2 hours 44 min ago
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Joined: 08/22/2014 - 1:52pm
Nick.ny

I totally agree about shoulder surgery being worse! Recovery & therapy 3x a week is brutal! I am 4 months post op & I am finally seeing much improvement in my range of motion.
I told my orthopedic surgeon that I will not even think about having surgery on my elbow until I am done with therapy on my shoulder.

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