My husband had surgery in March 2008 for cervical disc fusion on C3-4, and C5-6. This was due to a car accident in Sept 2000. He had lived in chronic pain until 2008, when he had a sneezing attack during allergy season. This, per the doctor, cause disc C3-4 to rupture, which required surgery. After recovering from surgery, my husband greatly improved. He no longer had headaches on the pain scale of 10+. He had no more pain in his back between his shoulder blades, and the numbness and tingling in his left arm was completely gone. After his final return visit to his neurosurgeon, he was given the all clear to start moderate exercise along with physical therapy. He was doing great!
So, he went back to work full time in late June 2008. After being back for only 3 weeks, he was talking to a co-worker and walking along when he suddenly fell onto a concrete floor after his foot landed on a lemon slice. His feet went completely out from under him. He tried to stop his fall by grabbing ahold of something. Because he had just recovered from surgery, he didn't have the upper body strength back yet to prevent it. Thus he only succeeded in forcing his right arm up and back, which caused a label slap tear in his shoulder. This has been surgically repaired. After realizing he couldn't stop his fall, he put his hands down to brace himself, as he was very afraid of hitting his head. This caused both wrists to snap back, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. Both wrist have since been repaired.
Now he is experiencing tremors, RSD like symptoms on both his arms. His hands feel like they are swollen, and like he has Mickey Mouse gloves on. He now has headaches again that are off the pain scale. He says he feels like there is a baseball wedged in between his shoulder blades again. He feels like he is 400 degrees all the time, he has profuse sweating even while sitting still. He has had xrays, MRI's, CT Myelogram, and a High Resolution Mri with contrast, as well as an EMG test. Doctors say there are now slight problems with C2-3, and C6-7, which were not herniated or bulging prior to his surgery for the disc fusion in March 2008. He also is having a pins and needles feeling in his arms, and burning, searing pain in between his shoulder blades, and the neurologist says that he has lost feeling in his arms to touch as well as his face, and parts of his back. The EMG test showed no permanent nerve damage. He has passed out on me on 4 different occassions. Fornutately I was here, and he was actually sitting when this occurred with the exception of one time, and that time he was at the foot of my son's bed when he just fell forward onto the mattress face down. It usually takes about 10 minutes or so to arouse him after this happens. He is not sleeping at night due to the pain.
Now to make matters worse, we have a pain specialist who doesn't believe in chronic pain and has diagnosed him with opiate induced hyperalgesia. I've researched this, and I don't believe this is the proper diagnosis as this is caused by patients overmedicated themselves without doctor authorization. Since he has muscle weakness and atrophy now, he is unable to even open his medication bottles, so I am the one who dispenses his meds to him and therefore I know exactly how much he is taking. He is taking Loratab every 6 hours for pain, carisipidol 3 times daily, and amilitrypilene. Nothing stops the pain, and now pain spec. is decreasing the meds slowly to wean him off narcotics. All this has done is increase the pain, and completely stopped sleep.
And dealing with workmen's comp is like dealing with satan. The one doctor who could possibly help us, a neurologist, the case worker will not approve for him to see, even though he has all the neurologic symptoms. The one time we did get to see one was for an independent medical evaluation only. She wants him to see a phsychologist now, based on the doctor who is in the workmen's comp insurance companies pocket.
My husband just wants to get better so he can go back to work. This has been going on for over a year now. I've researched all kinds of things, but don't know where to turn. His neurosurgeon says surgically there is nothing he can do for him based on the MRI'S and other test not showing anything major that needs to be addressed.
Any thoughts anyone?