Living In Pain!

I have had neck pain for about 6 years now. I had a MRI scan about 5 years ago, which showed damage to one of the discs in my neck. I've been with a pain management clinic this whole time. I have tried almost everything, had physio, been to chiropractors, osteopaths, had all different types of massages, stretches, exercises, acupuncture, had two failed epidurals, and am living on a cocktail of painkillers!!!
My recent MRI scan showed I now have 3 bulging discs, damaged and narrowing. I have seen a surgeon, and I quote, " If you were my daughter I would advise against surgery, in case of any future problems. Continue light gym work and painkillers". Then when I received a copy of his letter, that he had sent to the pain management guy, explaining everything he told me, except he also wrote "unfortunately there is no other cure for this except surgery". Of course I want to avoid surgery if I can, but living on painkillers, which I now depend on, is a crappy way to live, and who knows what they will do to my organs!! Can anyone help me with info please?
Thanks you :)
Lara82 Lara82
26-30, F
3 Responses Dec 4, 2012

Your story sounds very similar to mine. I haven't had the surgery either. I'm so scared bc its such mixed reviews. Ugh...it's the worst. The pain is debilitating. I'm sorry to hear about your story.

I I just was diagnosed with this and I am so scared

I am sorry that no one has responded to you yet. There are a lot of people who are totally against having surgery on their spine and will advise you against it no matter how much pain you're in. Well.. I've had a lot of pain because of my deteriorating spine. I've had three surgery's - 2 Cervical and 1 Lumbar.

You're a young woman - do you want to live in pain the rest of your life? And... it's probably just going to get worse. I have been where you are with my last Cervical problem. A local Neurologist told me that as long as I could walk, don't have surgery. I was in sooo much pain I went to another neurologist (with a few more credentials) and she sent me to a Neurosurgeon to evaluate my problem. Within a couple of weeks I had the surgery. read my story "My Mayo Experience - The Surgery"

The problem is - If you wait too long there could be permanent damage to your nerves because of compression, or if you lose all of your disc and the vertabrae start rubbing bone on bone you will develop a stenosis, where bone starts forming where you don't want it. That's what happened to me. I had a two level fusion a couple of years before but the cartilage had disappeared and the vertabrae were rubbing together that fixed the obvious problem but the new bone formation (stenosis) grew into my spinal canal and compressed my spinal cord. My last Cervical surgery was right over that 2 level surgey from 2 years earlier.

Every surgery I've had on my spine has helped me. I am no longer on pain meds and am feeling OK. I still have to take Lyrica for my Neuropathy from the nerve damage but it's non-narcotic so I don't consider it a pain med (so to speak).

Good luck with your condition. You make up your mind what you need for yourself, then find a doctor that can support you to get it done. I'm a firm believer that we must take care of ourselves and not always trust someone just because they have a doctor's degree - they are human as well and they make their share of mistakes as well. Talk to more than one - always!

Trust your instincts.