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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: pinched nerve/ruptured discs (cervical)


 Janice - Wed May 25, 2005 1:06 pm

I am confused. I have had severe pain in my left arm, shoulder and shoulder blade area as well as the middle of my back from the shoulder blade up to my neck. I had an x-ray and an MRI and was told that I "had a pinched nerve and was ruptured big time and it was going down my spinal column and I needed to see a neurologist right away because surgery was the only option I had". I went to see a neurologist who looked at my MRI and my x-ray and gave me medicine (cortizone & scalaxin-- might not be spelled right), had me do cervical traction at home, and exercises for my left arm and my neck. I had to stop the traction because it made the pain around my shoulder blade and middle of back more painful. The doctor told me to stop if it hurt.

My confusion is that one doctor stressed a sense of urgency to see a neurologist and told me my only option was surgery. The neurologist tells me to do the cervical traction, take the medicine, and do the exercises and that I don't need the surgery unless I just want it. He is more than willing to do the surgery but only if I say it's necessary. I told him that he was the doctor and I needed to go by his expertise as he knew more about what was going on inside me than I do (no one has fully explained it to me nor explained what would be involved if I had surgery). I was told by the first doctor that my 5th and 6th discs were in bad shape (or it may have been the 4th & 5th) and my nerve was probably being pinched in that area and that I have spurs. My question? Who do I listen to--the one that tells me surgery is my only option or the one that tells me he'll do the surgery if and when I want him to because he treats the patient and not the x-ray?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed May 25, 2005 2:26 pm

User avatar Hi Janice,
It sounds as if the neurologist wanted to attempt a more conservative approach (medications, exercises etc.) first, prior to an invasive procedure. However, since the current method has not improved your symptoms I would suggest a re-evaluation. Make a list of questions prior to your visit so that you will be well informed.
Sincerely,
Rntdj

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