Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Doctors Can't Diagnose my Joint Pain?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: mrklikker
  • December 19, 2006
  • 03:51 AM

Hello; I'm new to this forum. Where to start... I'm 49 years old and have been through three back injuries. Two of them in the Army and one in law enforcement. In the Army I had a low back (cracked coccyx) and neck injury from an APC hatch closing on my head (I was wearing a helmet, thank God). I managed to wrench a disc out of place in my mid back between the shoulder blades about two years ago while I was still working. I saw a chiropractor for about six months after that injury, but the pain wouldn't go completely away.
Nowadays I have constant pain and discomfort in my neck and mid-back, varying from medium to severe. In addition, I have bouts of pain in both hips, both knees, both feet and in my shoulders, arms and fingers. The shoulders, arms and finger pain is sometimes accompanied by numbness or severe tingling that feels like fire inside my nerves and bones. The pain is more pronounced in the left side of my spine most of the time, affecting my left arm and left leg more severely tham my right.
So far I've had more x-rays than I can count and MRI readings of my neck and low back. My diagnoses are bursitis and degenerative spinal disease from my family doctor and a form of arthritis I can't pronounce from a semi retired neurosurgeon who had some trouble reading my MRI pictures. Both of them agree that my neck vertebrae show advanced deterioration but can't find any problems with my other joints that would explain the pain. They also agree that surgery isn't an option in this case.
Meanwhile I'm popping Cyclobenzaprine and Tylenol. I was prescribed a TENS unit to provide some releif when the pain gets intense. I haven't been able to work for close to two years. I picked up a cane to keep from falling over when the pain hits my legs and feet. I have had numerous tests done for cancer and disease with no results. The trouble is, I get the feeling they don't believe my symptoms because there isn't any physical evidence of problems in the joints. The only plausible explanation I've heard is that the spinal column in my neck is getting shorter as it deteriorates, resulting in a crushing effect on the main nerve cord coming down from my brain. The cord is also resting against the spine, which may be the reason I feel intense pains in certain joints. The neurosurgeon discounted that diagnosis, saying that the cord was only resting against the spine in the MRI pictures. Keep in mind that I had to lie still for that procedure, my neck and spine aligned as straight as possible. I don't think the neurosurgeon visualized the effects of twisting and bending or how that might affect my condition.
I've looked over the joint pain section of this website and nothing I've seen accounts for all of my symptoms except spinal deterioration. Does anyone have any useful information or similar conditions that might help to explain what's going on here? I guess I'm hoping that a correct diagnosis may lead to treatment that will do me some good for a change...

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