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Suggest treatment for pain due to compressed nerve

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 5165 Questions
I'm a 36 old man, 5'10 and 195 pounds with no major surgeries. I injured my spine/neck/back really bad in 2009 from lifting, I had to have my parents drive me around and help me out of bed. I was hoping the injury would heal, but I'm constantly in pain and the littlest effort re-injures it. I really hurt it bad 3 weeks ago. This is the worst it's been since the first injury and have been under the care of my parents again! Since 2009, I have seen 2 Physical Therapist, Chiropractor and 4 neurosurgeons and 2 back doctors along w/ my family doctor. I finally got the had it and got an MRI(I'm very Claustrophic). The results show and I'll explain as best I can.. I believe my C5-C6 is causing the problems. It appears their is a shard or dislocation which is jabbing into my muscles and nerves and causing constant pain in my neck, spine and through my left shoulder blade and left triceps. It appears that in my spinal cord further down, a white layering(not sure what it is??) is severely diminished, whereas my right side has a perfect white layering. The Doctor also said my neck has no curvature and is straight, though he seemed little concerned by this. I have arthritis and constant pain. The surgery sounds horrible, with it being done through the front of my neck. I haven't been able to work/drive for the past 3 weeks. I'm seeing a P/T this week and I'm taking a muscle relaxer twice a day and Norco 5mg/325 3-4 times a day. I had taken Vicoden before and my doctor said it's the same thing, but Norco feels more intense and shorter lived. I feel tired afterwards and it doesn't work as well. I want the pain to be livable, but I don't want to be groggy or high feeling then feel flat an hour later. I realize pain medicine is only a short term fix, but I must get back to work/ driving/living, etc., until Physical Therapy and rest allow it to heal, until, of course, the next time I injure it. But this medicine is making me tired, is their a difference, or is it mental? I was told I'll never be able to lift/workout like I use to before the injury, would surgery fix this? I need physical activity to be at my best. The last 5 years has really been very painful and frustrating and I don't know what to do?? I really want to get back in the saddle and I have great ambitions. I can't have this slowing me down anymore or the constant pain is driving me crazy! Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you. XXXXXXX
Posted Sun, 9 Mar 2014 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 33 minutes later
Brief Answer: Explained below Detailed Answer: Hello, I have studied your case. Due to compression of nerve root there can be pain. This can be aggravated to lifting weight. Also there can be large disc bulge which is compressing over spinal cord. For these symptoms analgesic and neurotropic medication can be started. Till time, avoid lifting weights. You can consult physiotherapist for help. Physiotherapy like ultrasound and interferential therapy will give you relief. I will advise to check your vit B12 and vit D3 level. If nerve compression becomes symptomatically severe then surgical decompression will give permanent relief. C5 c6 abnormality may need surgical correction if not relieved by conservative therapy. Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries. Wishing you good health. Take care.
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