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Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease testing

I was diagnosed with cervical degenerative disc disease a few months ago. My first doctor just kept handing me pills and then a neck brace and said there was no more that he can do. I went to another dr who ordered a CT scan done. I am unable to have an MRI as I have a VNS (vagal nerve stimulator) for the treatment of epilepsy. That doctor referred me to a spine and brain surgeon. He has referred me to have a CT Myelogram as well as a nerve test with a physiatrist. I am very anxious about both of these tests and afraid that I will be unable to endure any more pain. I cannot recall the name of the nerve test that I am getting done and would appreciate any thoughts. There seems to be narrowing shown between the C2 and C3 as well as the C5 - C6 and the C6 - C7. The general idea is that this all started after a very serious fall a few years ago. I have shooting pain into my right shoulder and right upper arm and tingling sensations through the entire outside of my arm. I am only 30 years old and very afraid of having any type of spine surgery at this age. Has anyone else been through anything similar to this or have some information that might help ease my anxiety. I have been unable to work due to a lot of pain and extreme stiffness of the neck since October of last year. I have a 5 and 6 year old and am afraid that if my condition continues to worsen that I may not be able to take care of them properly. Any informtion concerning my situation would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar universal
You are very young and that really ***** what you are going through. Yet, your quality of life has dramatically changed and been going on for too long. Your symptoms are not likely to go away at this point and the damage to your arm could be permanent.  Do you have arm weakness? You should be getting an EMG nerve conduction test to assess for radiculopathy damage. ACDF surgeries do have their risks but if you get an excellant surgeon who has done a whole lot of these surgeries and can give you the confidence you need to move forward then do what you feel is best. Ask alot of questions. I had ACDF in October 2 discs and am glad I did but the decision was agonizing. I did not feel I had a choice because I risked a walker, wheelchair or cane If I did not do it.
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1093617 tn?1279302002
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi, Thank you for your question. I do sympathize with your health concern. Degeneration of spinal disc occurs as age progresses and this can occur at any level of spine. Therefore, this makes disc more fragile and slight pressure may lead to disc prolapse. As a result of prolapse or injury, nerve impingement may cause intermittent pain at neck or back of head, radiates to shoulder or arms and chest pain. Please consult to your treating neurologist for a better insight of the situation. Hope this helps.
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Avatar universal
I am set up to have a CT myelogam on Thursday and an EMG on June the 14th. I am a little nervous about both of these tests as I amvey afraid of needles. I truly appreciate the responses that I have received. If anyone can tell me fom a patiets perspective what I can expect during these 2 tests I would greatly appreciate it. The EMG is going to be done on the both sides upper extremeties.
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Avatar universal
I have had both the myleogram and the emg.Dont worry about needle pain you shouldn't feel much more than a ***** when the lidocaine is injected.I am pretty sure you will be offered a mild sedative as well.I dont recall any needle pain at all with an emg.I hope this helps you feel more at ease over the procedures.
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Avatar universal
The specialist who does the EMG  determines the amt of pain. My neuro Dr who performed it was able to tone down the shocks so as not to be a problem and still get what he needed. The muscle test is quick jabs of a needle and that was uncomfortable but done very quickly. I did not get lidocaine or sedative. Maybe you can request that. If you have alot of anxiety in general maybe you can start taking Xanax to get you throught this whole ordeal. Anxiety and the added stress will not help your symptoms. Hang in there.  
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