Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Getting Desperate - Undiagnosed neck pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • April 13, 2009
  • 06:01 PM

I am really getting desperate. Here's my story, please feel to ask an questions:

I am a 33 year old female. December 28, 2003 I was kicked in the face, around the left eye, by a horse. Results: broken nose, fractures left cheekbone & orbital floor and orbital side. A week later surgery to replace the orbit and cheekbone with screws and fix the nose.

A couple months later I started to have severe neck pain. Cervical CT/MRI/Xrays are all negative. What has followed over the years is a series of treatments to include: Physical Therapy, Chiropractor, Epidural Steroid Shots, Trigger Point Injections, Cervical Botox Injections, Nerve Root Blocks, Facet Root Blocks, Rhizotomy. In addition I recently had new Cervical CT/MRI/Xrays completed that still show no abnormalities. Rhizotomy has given me some relief though not much and the rest of the therapies gave me NO relief. I have also tried multiple medicines including medicines for nerve pain relief and various muscle relaxers and couldn't find a medicine that even touched the pain.

Right now I take sleeping pills to sleep at night and a small amount of Vicodin to get through the day.

For me the pain is in a very specific area, it does radiate beyond that area but I don't mind the radiating pain so much. The pain is in a spot directly right of C2, then radiates causing occipital headaches on right side only, light pain around the right eye and right ear, and pain that goes through the bottom of my right shoulder blade and down the lower side of my right arm and out through my pinky.
In 2006 I had an EMG which did confirm that there is nerve damage in my neck.

I have a doctor at Johns Hopkins who is willing do surgery to fuse the cervical vertebrae, but it isn't something that I am comfortable trying since they can't physically see anything wrong with me.

Can anybody help me? I can accept being in pain for the rest of my life, but I have 2 goals: (1) I want a diagnosis as to what is causing the pain, and (2) I want to find a way to treat the pain so it is at a more manageable level.

Please, if anybody can help me, you have no idea how much it would mean to me. Thank you!

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  • I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. Dealing with constant pain is mind numbing to say the least. I wouldn't be comfortable with the possibility of surgery either. (Dr's wanted to fuse my lumbar spine 4 years ago-I wouldn't let them. This past March something finally snapped in my back & fixed the issues that I'd lived with for four years) Doctor's do not know everything-no matter what they try to tell you!!If they have identified the nerve that has been injured-why wouldn't they suggest burning the nerve ending? That would be ALLOT less invasive. Have they done any injections of dye into that nerve? To show if/where it stops "working". Do you get light/sound sensitivity with the headaches?Are your muscles tight & spasming in your neck? shoulder? If so that might be causing migraine or tension headaches-which I know from experience can tweak the neck nerves/muscles right out. Before committing to losing some of your range of motion, I would suggest checking these things out. Another thought, where your nose & cheek were broken is there a possibility of nerve impingement at the site of repair?? Does it feel like it starts there at all? I'm assuming that you saw an ear, nose & throat guy..? I hope that you find your answer, I wish you well, Becca318
    Becca318 13 Replies Flag this Response
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