View Full Version : Cervical Herniated Disc and New Doctor

06-01-2005, 07:26 PM
Has anyone here ever had a herniated disc in their cervical spine? I'm having an MRI of my cervical spine in the beginning of July to check for this. What were your symptoms? My right arm goes numb a lot and I have a lot of should pain and a lot of pain in between my collar bones.

I went to a new doctor 2 weeks ago (Dr. Broyer at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia). He actually seemed interested in my condition and was disgusted that my other doctor completely dismissed the pain I was in. I had new x-rays and my curve measured 37 degrees. That's 4 degrees larger than it was 2 years ago. He thinks I have herniated discs which wouldn't surprise me. Just pressing on 2 of my neck vertebrae shoots sharp around my shoulder blades.

What do they do for herniated discs?



06-02-2005, 06:49 AM
I recently found out I have a herniated disc in my neck. (I also have scoliosis with curves of 40T and 60L) The main symptoms I had were numbness and tingling in my arms and hands and pain in my neck. I went to physical therapy for about a month and was given muscle relaxants, which I take when the neck pain is bad and seems to help.

06-02-2005, 09:04 AM
Did your doctor mention anything to you about injections? My doctor mentioned that to me. I can't take muscle relaxants because I have asthma.

06-02-2005, 05:20 PM
No, he didn't mention anything about injections. I did pretty well with the physical therapy, so I think there was no need for further treatment. He may have suggested that if I needed more treatment.

06-03-2005, 10:28 AM
I'll just jump in here :D I had a/p surgery in 2002. I have been going to PT for 2 weeks with little relief, so today I go for facet injections in my neck this afternoon. :( I have wedgeing at T1 with a couple of bone spurs and collapsed disks at C4/5/6 and 7. I'll let you all know how the injections went..

06-04-2005, 10:52 PM
Hi Michelle! I had three steroidal injections for disk injury in my low back. They didn't work for me, but my understanding is that they work for most people, and can work wonders. I personally knew two people whose pain was eradicated with these injections (all at the U of Penn spine center in Philly).

A friend of mine had symptoms that sound like yours from a trapped nerve in her neck. She had surgery with Paul Marcotte, also in the U of Penn health system, and highly recommends him. After her surgery the problem was completely eliminated. Don't know if this would be an option for you with herniation, but might be useful to know the name.

My understanding is that with disks they usually want to try conservative treatments such as physical therapy, then spinal injections, and surgery as a last resort. Replacement disk treatment is still in testing (if I understand correctly - Linda?).

Good luck. Let us know what happens. I am very interested in disk issues because of my own in the low back. Take care. Laura

06-04-2005, 11:56 PM
Hi Laura...

I believe that Charite artificial discs have been approved for one level lower lumbar disc (L4 to S1) replacement in people with degenerative disc disease and no previous spine surgery. They can be used in other ways (off label), but have not been studied (or least reported on) in other ways. At least one other lumbar disc and a cervical disc are now in trials.


06-05-2005, 11:02 AM
Well, had my neck injected X4 on Friday. I was injected with both an ansethic (sp) and a steroid. For such a painful procedure and no results :( , to say I was disappointed is an understatement. The anesithic was supposed to give fairly rapid relief while I was in the recovery room. At this point I still feel the effects of the cortisone ;) So back to the doc.....I know what he is going to tell me, but I really REALLY don't want surgery on my neck

Karen Ocker
06-05-2005, 05:45 PM
The injections serve a couple of purposes: to pin-point the exact area of trouble;the local anesthesia would take care of that pain indicating those are the nerves affected; if the disc is herniated and leaks disc material ,that irritates the nerves. Cortisone in that spot, if it is the correct place,will relieve a lot of that. Thus the injections are meant to pin-point the trouble as well as treat it.

Sometimes, breaking the pain cycle with the injections, is all that is needed. If the injections do not work then more investigating is in order as to the cause or, injections in a different spot can be tried.

06-05-2005, 11:15 PM
Thank you all for your responses. Now I know a little more of what to expect if I get injections. I had a cortisone shot before, around my shoulder blade, but it didn't help at all. I hope yours ends up working Sandy. My doctor didn't seem interested in trying physical therapy because I had tried it before and it didn't work.

Thanks for the doctor name lmrb. I'll definitely look into it if I end up needing surgery. The Rothman Institute seems good so far. I really wanted to get in with a spine surgeon, but they only see patients who need surgery. This doctor is a rehabilitation doctor, but he seemed so much more interested in helping me than my previous doctor.

Thanks again for the responses!


06-07-2005, 04:54 PM
Hi! Thanks Linda for the info! It is much appreciated. I just saw today a front-page article on the Charite and debate about disk replacement. Mostly about no longevity studies, brand-name fighting, etc. Not sure how accurate it was...

About injections and the pain cycle. I had the most amazing experience this month. I badly re-injured my disk (definitely not amazing), but got in there IMMEDIATELY with very strong painkillers and relaxants. Three weeks later I am back to pre-injury form - very scared about future injuries, but more or less out of pain. After the last injury I had, it took TWO YEARS!

Anyway, just wanted to share the happy news :) Good luck everyone on getting the answers you need... Laura

Mary Parris
09-11-2005, 09:13 PM
I am seeing Broyer too! I will have my second spinal injection this Friday by him at the WIlls Surgery Center!!Mary Parris

09-11-2005, 09:19 PM
Have you been to Dr. Broyer before?

09-12-2005, 02:27 PM
I have a question :confused: Does one find out about herniated disks in the neck area only with an MRI or it can be seen with the X rays?

09-12-2005, 04:32 PM
I had an MRI. You will know if there is something wrong with your neck by how it feels :(

09-12-2005, 05:23 PM
Yep. I do have a pinch nerve at C6-C7 as seen on the X-rays but did have the same sort of pain before I found out about scoliosis when I was 12, as I am now 34 and had surgery at 26.

I find that acupunture and some PT exercises have helped.

09-12-2005, 10:51 PM
I had an MRI done and didn't end up having a herniated disc. But my neck has no curvature, it's completely straight and this may cause me some pain. My doctor thought I had a syrinx, but it ended up being a small bunch of nerves or something.

I hope you can get your disc fixed soon.

10-22-2005, 02:31 PM
I was born with scoliosis and I herniated my C5/C6 disc in July of this year. I went to my family doctor first, the specialist was on vacation. My Doc prescribed me vicodin, norflex, and motrin for the herniated disc. When I finally got into see my spine specialist, he just looked at me, asked me if I was on prescription meds (I was pretty bad), told me to take four weeks of physical therapy. :confused:

A week later I went back for a follow up visit to the specialist. He refreshed my memory that I have scoliosis and a herniated disc. He told me that I'm too old to have a brace (turning 29 in Dec). I will fall apart alot faster than with someone with a "normal" spine. He made reference to skinny people don't have the same problems that I am having with their scoliosis. To add insult to injury, the x-ray tech was trying to physically push my shoulders down, cause they set high. :mad:

It is obvious that I have a problem, i lean over to the left, my clothes droop down, can't wear certain clothes. I have a rib hump in the front, and my back sticks out on the leftsidejust below my shoulder. He offered to do major back surgery and fuse my herniated disc, but there is no guarantees. He told me to do more exercises, I'll keep myself from getting worse. Thought I had some pain in my back....haha, the herniated disc makes it worse, snap, crackle, pop...along with the numbness and tingles down my left arm.

Now, I'm looking for a second opinion. Sorry for making a novel. i hope this helps someone else from going through the same thing.