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Pain Management

Neck, Arm, and Hands

07/07/2010

Question:

I have pain in my neck,arms,and hands. I have had 2 steroid epidural shots done in the last year, the first was in c4 c5 that lasted only a week, the other was done in c5 c6 that lasted about a month, the doctor ia wanting me to have a pain shot into my neck again just to see if i need surgery. Do i need this done just to see if i need to have surgery or do i need to see another doctor?

Answer:

Without the benefits of examining you and reviewing your records and imaging studies, and from the information in your note, it appears that you are experiencing significant discomfort and also weakness from the neck that has only responded transiently to epidural blocks.
 
Surgery in the neck is usually more successful than for the low back and may be indicated in patients with progressive weakness and refractory pain. Seeking a second opinion may be a good idea. There are also medications that can help the arm pain.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University