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Cervical Spine Injury - Long Term Effects
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Pontifex76 posted:
In 2003 I had a fall while on duty in the U.S. Army. At that time, I had been diagnosed with bicipital tendonitis and cervical/thoracic strain. The next summer, yet again on duty, I reinjured while breaking torque on the rotor head. It takes three people and I'm the only one of the three who actually attempted to break the torque. I reset my shoulder myself that night as it was nearly midnight and nothing was really available to me.

To make a long story short, the Army gave a new diagnosis and put me through more physical therapy. After my being forced into medical retirement in 2005, it wasn't until mid-summer 2007 that the VA did anything about the chronic pain, muscle spasms, and headaches.

Until this past February, they had refused to give me medication beyond Iburprofen (I went to private practice with my insurance prior so that I could maintain my health and be productive). The current diagnosis is degeneration in C5-C6 C5-C4. I am waiting for results from a full spinal MRI now.

What I am having a problem with is my drug resistance. It may just be my metabolism that does it. I don't know. As of this moment I am prescribed 2 Oxycodone 5/APAP 325mg four times per day, 1 Cyclobenzaprine 10mg three times per day, and 1 Naproxen 500mg two times per day.

I can function (though I do NOT drive) on this medication to the point I made a 100 in my Algebra I course last quarter (hadn't dealt with higher math functions since 1992) and also tutored some in that class. While this current round of medication does work to a point, I feel the pain and discomfort still. I just don't care about it.

I will be sitting down in about 2 months with my doctor to discuss the MRI results, a neurologist's visit, and the status of the medicine in regards to how it is working. I don't want to continue taking that kind of medication if it isn't doing exactly what it is intended to do.

Is there anyone that can help me with suggestions in regards to pain management for someone that has a high resistance to chemicals? I dislike having to tell my 10 year old daughter I can't a lot of physical things other dad's do. The past three days in the pool has killed me as I pushed myself to make sure she has fun while I have her.
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bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

a good pain management clinic is one that practices PHYSIATRIST - here's a link describing what they do -

http://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/what-physiatrist

you can get a referral from your primary care physician or from your Neurosurgeon - Once you do see your Neurosurgeon - you may want to get a couple more opinions - from both Orthopedic Spine Specialist and Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist (be sure they are spine specialist - there is a difference) - they can let you know what the best treatment plan available.

Unfortunately when taking pain medications, for some of us with chronic pains, pain medications will help with SOME of the pains - nothing really takes the pain completely away - even surgery - there is no guarantee that surgery will reduce or eliminate the pains - while we are hopeful, damage that has been set in for a while is hard to control.

There are several options for pain management and the Physiatrist Pain Clinic can go over these options.

I had back surgery 3 years ago - removal of disc and plate, screws and cage put in - while the surgery was a success they could not do anything for the pains or the nerve damage in my legs (you can click on my name or picture and read my story) -

I hope this helps - please keep us posted - take care - Joy
 
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Ari Ben-Yishay, MD responded:
I agree with Joy. The best doctor to manage your pain appropriately is a physiatrist/pain management specialist. Your spinal diagnosis is completely unknown so no comments can be made. Good luck
Dr Ben Yishay


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