Author Topic: Disc surgeon disappointment  (Read 178 times)

SjoGirl

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Disc surgeon disappointment
« on: November 11, 2017, 02:24:23 PM »
Hi all,

I may have mentioned that at my request my rheumatologist referred me to a surgeon to discuss the issues I have with my neck. I wanted to know whether surgery would relieve ongoing pain that I've had for about 10 years now.

The surgeon was relatively young, personable, but seemed just this side of brash. Long discussion short he told me to have carpal tunnel surgery first to "see how it goes" given that I have "so many things going on" (neuropathy, radiculopathy, disc issues, etc.). I realized that by the end of the appointment I kept saying I didn't come seeking surgery and felt like I was almost apologizing for taking his time.

I have decided to put everything off until after the first of the year because I'm much more tired since I stopped taking Gapabentin (yes it had good side effects I slept and I had a lot more energy) and want to get through the holidays.

Thanks for listening.
Raynauds, sero-negative RA, Primary SjS, osteopenia, degenerative disc disease, disc protrusions,stenosis, Carpal tunnel,  poly neuropathy, myoclonus, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, viral infection, Leukopenia. Restasis, Vitamin D, B12, Evoxac, Lanzoprezole, calcium acetaminophen.

irish

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Re: Disc surgeon disappointment
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2017, 08:07:32 PM »
I am going through the same thing that you are. I have had the MRI with and without contrast and had EMG this week. I was really taken aback because it turns out I have carpal tunnel in both wrists and thought it was from the cervical disc. I have appt with ortho surgeon who repaired both my wrists during separate surgeries in 2004 and 2014. The pain is much, much worse and much different this time so I was surprised. My wrists don't even hurt. I had seen my neuro a few weeks ago and after exam she said she thought I would need surgery for my cervical disc most likely done from the front of the neck. So I think both of us were surprised by the bilateral carpal tunnel. I also have learned that carpal tunnel is extremely common in people with cervical disc issues because the median nerve is more sensitive and prone to impingement. I am awaiting an appointment with a neurosurgeon who is extremely competent.

Just to let you know that I am an old noisy nurse and did a lot of research on this. Cervical disc or neck issues can involve the median nerve which is the same nerve that is affected in the carpal tunnel. My first thing is to get my carpal tunnel surgery done in at least the worst wrist first,. I have incontinence which I never thought was related to a pinches nerve because I have not had back pain. I have had a little discomfort in my lower beck the past couple of days is all. I also have pain in right hip and across the front of my groin and limp a lot. I am bloody miserable is all I can say. I will call neurosurgeon on Monday and see what they can do about getting an appt. I can't get in any earlier for my wrists as the orthos are all booked up all over the hospital area. I go 2 hours away for the neck doc.

To make matters much more complicated my one son who does a lot for me just got out of 14 days in hospital and has a drain in his colon yet. He was extremely ill and it was lucky that he din't die or have more problems. He has to go back down the road for another colon surgery. It haas been a little stressful around here. Sure happy no little grandchildren to help take care of cause I couldn't have done it. Take care all. Irish

Sooo, I am of the opinion after doing a whole lot of info, discussion forums and doctors opinions that it is just possible that getting the wrists done will get rid of a certain amount of the pain.At least enough to help them sort out better what is going on in the neck. The nerves of the neck are really complicated and hard to assess when a person is suffering from nerve pain from another source. Just my opinion. Irish

Carolina

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Re: Disc surgeon disappointment
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 10:15:02 AM »
I think carpal tunnel (which I had in both wrists, and didn't know until I had an EMG on my arms and hands) is probably another 'tendon problem' related to Immune Disorders.

I had a trigger thumb, so had both the trigger thumb release and the carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand.  BOTH minor, outpatient, with no OT and no problems.

I don't know why everyone doesn't just have surgery for carpal tunnel.  Yeah, I know we all hate surgery, but this one is really simple and relatively painless.  (remember I can only take Tylenol for surgery, so I do mean painless).

I have severe to profound DDD (part of my Cervical spine has a 'dead spot' for both nerves and muscle, that's how bad it is).

I won't have surgery unless 1) the pain is unbearable and/or, 2) I have nerve damage from it in my arms and hands.  Right now neither 1 nor 2 applies.

My shoulders are a different story, especially my right shoulder,  which slips out joint due to deterioration which can only be 'fixed' by a joint replacement.  This pain is very difficult when it strikes. 

But I am far from considering replacement surgery.  And with my advancing age and my severe inflammation, I'm probably not a good candidate for any joint replacement.

My knees are a serious problem, but since I am so disabled from walking anyway, I just cope.

I guess we all "just cope' in ways 'civilians' will never ever understand.

Regards,  Elaine
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irish

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Re: Disc surgeon disappointment
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 03:12:21 PM »
Caroline, You are right on the carpal tunnel being related to the autoimmune disease. If you do a search on all the autoimmune diseases there are very few that don't list
 tendon issues,  Moist autoimmune diseases that we are familiar with are the collagen diseases which affect the tendons. I popped or tore something in my upper arm a few weeks ago and have some swelling. I think it is related to autoimmune. Docs aren't concerned about it cause I can still more my arm......but it can really hurt when I move it.

I have trouble with tendons all over my body, Like you I did not have pain in my wrists this time with the carpal tunnel but the pain in my arms and hands has been terrible and my life in really turned upside down by this. You are right....it is a simple surgery that has very little pain. It does sort of slow you down for a while due to slowly rehabbing the muscles in the surgical hand., You can do a lot of things with one hand that is for sure. I always would give hubby a rough time and tell him after carpal tunnel surgery that I couldn't do dishes cause I couldn't get incision wet....worked for me cause I got out of dishes for a while. Irish

SjoGirl

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Re: Disc surgeon disappointment
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 03:18:31 PM »
Thanks to two wise women who have been through the ringer. It stands to reason that a disease that attacks the body where tissue meets bone would result in myriad muscle, tendon and other issues. I really had forgotten about that aspect of SjS (which my first rheumatologist pointed out to me), you brought that point to light again with your messages.

I am going to wait until after the 1st of the year then will look into the carpal tunnel surgery, which as you point out is a much more simple surgery than disc surgery. I have long thought that my hand and neck pain are connected, both going up and down. Maybe if I have the hand surgery something will improve in my neck (I do find improvement with my neck when I wear my brace on my hand at night).

Thanks to both of you and best wishes for as Happy a Thanksgiving as possible. I can say for certain that I will be counting both of you among my blessings for this year.
Raynauds, sero-negative RA, Primary SjS, osteopenia, degenerative disc disease, disc protrusions,stenosis, Carpal tunnel,  poly neuropathy, myoclonus, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, viral infection, Leukopenia. Restasis, Vitamin D, B12, Evoxac, Lanzoprezole, calcium acetaminophen.

Jenny

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Re: Disc surgeon disappointment
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 03:46:38 AM »
OMG! I never thought about it having to do with Sjogrens, but I too have tendonitis and bursitis all over my body. It can be so painful. Usually a cortisone injection will help immensely, at least for a while.
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Joe S.

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Re: Disc surgeon disappointment
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 05:10:16 AM »
Carpel Tunnel can sometimes be helped by stretching your shoulders back. When we spend time on computers and cell phones we tend to hunch our shoulders forward. If we roll them back to where they are supposed to be it often relieves Carpel tunnel symptoms.

When I start feeling carpel tunnel I know it is time to pull my shoulders back. It is usually a day or two of pulling my shoulders back before the pain lets up for me.
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