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Spine and Back Health

Compressed Disc in Neck

04/01/2009

Question:

I have a compressed disc in my neck. I have lots of pain, can`t move my neck like a person should. I have numbness in my fingers, pains in my arms and drop things all the time now. I have been to a doctor and they refered my to a orthopedic specialist. They don`t want to do anything. I am tired of suffering with the pain and discomfort that I have. What else can I do? I just want it fixed.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, NetWellness experts try to answer general questions about health. Only a health professional performing a thorough clinical exam is able to evaluate your symptoms and render an opinion about your case.

However, it sounds to me like you are in an ideal position to request a second opinion. It is possible that nothing can be done surgically to help you, but many times surgeons disagree about that subject, and you might want to get a consultation with another surgeon. Also, you can request a neurosurgeon instead of an orthopedic surgeon if you'd like.

You can also ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a pain medicine specialist or a physiatrist (which is not a psychiatrist). Physiatry is the study of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physiatrists are also known as 'rehab docs'. Both of these types of doctors specialize in treating neck and back problems without surgery. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University