Trapped nerve C4 C5 area bone spurs

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I have had neck pain ever since a neck injury 26 years ago and have been on pain killers for all this time.anti infammatory tablets do not suit me, I have  had various neck injections and they have not helped, it has always got  worse with certain movements and had to give up PA work and computer work full time at least 10 years ago, I am 61 years old now and work from home very part time on a when well basis.  Now not really able to work on the computer much.  I have had lots of test over the years and just had to live with it as nothing really explained as to why I had the pain just lead to believe it was muscelor.  Early this year I developed pain in left shoulder and more and more flashing light auras like a migrain but only the visual disturbance for about 5 minutes at a time.  I thought I could feel a lump in my shoulder - we went down the route of looking for this on a  MRI scan and  Ultra sound and could not find one.  I went back to see Specialist in August 2016 and mentioned the occasional  numbness and  pins and needles and he said I think we need another MRI scan to compare from the last one - this came back and apparently the C4 or C5 disc is herniated towards my spinal cord  and this has got considerably worse from the last MRI scan - not touching the spinal cord just on the fluid part, the nerve on the facet joint is practically pinched together with bone spurs.  I was completely in shock and it seems that this could continue growing.  In such a mess at home with building renovations and was waiting maybe until Jan next year the Surgeon says this would be OK, he is sending me for  a CT scan now of the bone spur and also something to do with checking the nerve. I am dreading the surgery as it is through the neck and I have been told of all the problems that can arise at the worst death. He is taking the bone spur off and fitting a disc not metal work he believes least is best and it does not need the metal work in just one disc in the cervical area, but said the nerve can be damaged and this is very tricky also there are many important structures in the neck.  I am so scared,and now I don't think I can stand the worry of waiting with all the worry, fortunately it is private so I can book it in to suit me and the surgeon.  Worrying about having it done and now worrying about it getting worse and not having it done soon enough- Can't win sittuation at the moment - anyone out there who can help I would be obliged not sure wether I am coming or going - the symptoms are getting worse maybe dissisions make themselves but I am now faced with if it gets worse will it be irriversible damage to the nerve.  I know there are alot of people who are facing much more life threating conditions but it is not stopping me worrying - my daughter-in-law thinks I should just go and have it done sooner to stop the what ifs, I wanted to get straighter at home first because I know sitting and resting is not easy when you see things that need doing. Any comments would be appreciated,  I can''t stand the thought of anything happening to me when my grandchildren have just lost there Grandma.  I am being morbid I know and I know I will be brave once the decision is made, but would appreciate some comments on this please.

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  • Posted

    I have something very similar I was sent to see the surgeon who said I my case it was far to dangerous to operate he sent me to pain clinic with who's advice and pain management I am quite comfortable ,when I am

    sore I go find a distraction like I have a small garden I poker about in and various other things also exercise is good not charging about running marathons and stuff I had a shot at acupuncture not for me might work for you also had physiotherapy the exercises help but hands on physio is a no no I have quite a lot of senceory things going on to spasms and numbness etc wirch is being investigated by both rheumatologist and

    Neurologist should have some answers soon

    Take it easy Mary and rest often

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Like you I also have bone spurs at levels c4,5,6 and with most serious at C5 and c6.

    My Neurosurgeon explained the operation to me and also the risks, paralysis, nicking an artery or actually cutting into the spinal cord. I opted for nhs surgery and signed the consent papers straight away. After preparing for the operation and going to pre op on 3 occasions only to have them cancelled, the first with only 25 hours to go , I decided with my neurosurgeon , to monitor the problem every 12 months with the option of treatment t if things get worse. I have multiple problems, major loss of upper body strength, both legs feeling very heavy and unstable, involuntary jerking of arms and legs and bladder and bowel complications.

    Welcome to our very special club.

    Mike.

    The only meds that handle my pain are a combo of Gabapentin, Naproxen, amytriptaline and 24/7 morphine patch.

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  • Posted

    Don't worry,  had two cervical discs replaced C4 and 5 ,  ignore all the people who tell you about the things that might go wrong, The chap who fixed me said he has been doing spine work for 20 years and has never paralysed or damaged anyone yet nor does he know any other doctor who has. Get them replaced and 10 days later you will be like new.

    JOHN

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your replies - I am  having a CT scan Thursday and nerve test week after.  am going to book in for the operation in  about one months time.  Any tips on getting fit before hand - usually end up on antibiotics after any operation - have read that sometimes some doctors start certain people prone to chest infections after the anaesetic  to go on antibiotics  before hand - not sure if I have this right.  Thank you once again.
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    • Posted

      Thanks John did you have the bone spurs as well pressing on the nerve.  This is the bit that they say is tricky because the bone spur has to be chipped at and they can catch the nerve?
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  • Posted

    Just carry on as normal and good luck.

    Regards.

    John

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    • Posted

      Difficult to carry on as normal - worried I may be doing further harm - Was yours bone spur on the nerve - I have read that it can get to being where it is pressed on the nerve so much that they cannot operate so my mind is making be protective plus the pain, this is why although the specialist said maybe a 6 months gap before I have it done I have reached the conclusion that  i cannot live with this cloud over me for that long and need to bite the bullet and get it done.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Some off my nerves are impinged can't operate I had a mri in

      March it's not an awful lot worse in three years I have to be very careful what I do when it was discovered I was told to stop work at once by three differant consultants I was told not to lift more than a half kettle off water a week previous I was sling ing 50 kilos off cattle feed onto my shoulders so it was a real life

      Changeing time three years on we have changed house moved

      From country to town I have a small garden and green house I

      Can potter in I can also walk the dogs on a good day although

      Walk may not be the correct word there are good days and bad days it could be an awful lot worse I see neuro consultant

      shortly for an update

      George

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    You are right to be cautious. I carried on as normal, sometimes a reasonable approach, I reached up with my left arm to replace a curtain hook. An almighty electric shock, that's how it felt, ran from the top of my left shoulder along the shoulder and up the left side of my neck. Instantly my left cheek and my left shoulder arm and hand were paralysed, dead, I could not feel anything. It was so weird touching your own face and arm and getting no reaction. I could have panicked but luckily did not, I figured that if I reversed my previous movements that I should be okay. For 2-3 minutes I slowly manipulated my left arm until I started to get feeling back. When I told my Neurosurgeon he was amazed, I should have been permanently paralysed and would not be so lucky again I must never raise either arm above shoulder hight again. So, be cautious and take things easy until you know the full details.

    Mike

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I initially wanted to have the operation immediately. However after the operation was cancelled three times I opted to leave well alone. I now have a yearly catch up with the neuro team to monitor proceedings, as I had to take early retirement at the time, I am now 66, there is no risk of injury at work. I used to be a self employed builder/decorator .

    Mike.

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