Update after GP's consultation

marie48
marie48 Member Posts: 189
edited 1. Apr 2009, 13:25 in Living with Arthritis archive
I saw my GP again this afternoon. I explained to her I am still on the waiting list for physio nearly 10 weeks now. In the meantime, my symptoms are getting worse, constant pins and needles in the lt arm, shoulder and arm pain, tension headache, a feeling of light headed and lump in the throat. Although uncomfortable and are with me 24/7, the aches and pains are not bad enough for me to take some painkillers at the moment. She was very good and listened patiently, I felt like being an hypochondriac. She assured me, my pains are referred pain and my shoulders are ok, it is my neck who is causing all these problems. She has referred me for a scan and she said depending on the results, the orthopaedic surgeon will have to see me. Before, I was asked to see physio first.

I also suffer from chronic back pain and the other GP did not want to send me for a scan. He said, I have got some wear and tear in my spine, and going for a scan will not serve any purpose. I am really surprised, this GP asked me to have a scan without me asking her for it.

I did not ask what type of scan and what to expect during the examination!! I am hoping somebody on this forum will explain this to me. I am also concerned my problems could be due to a pinched nerve, and if that is the case what treatment should I expect? This is worrying not knowing what can be wrong and what treatment is available!!

Comments

  • petmad
    petmad Member Posts: 252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Marie, I am sorry your doctor was not able to reassure you or to explain the type of scan you will be given,

    Firstly can I tell you your symptoms are very like my own and yes mine are caused by a pinched nerve.
    I would think it is probably an MRI scan you will be sent for, in my case I had to go to the Orthopaedic clinic to have this done. Again in my case...every person has different causes I needed to have some bone spurs and a disc removed. For other people it is Physio they need. I think your doctor is going down the correct line to identify the cause prior to seeking the treatment as if you get physio at the wrong time it will not help.
    Hope things happen for you soon. Linda
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi I have similar symtoms to you, and I also have a bone spur pinching a nerve. I've had an MRI scan ordered by the rheummy, who gave me pain killers for this. I have to see a plastic surgeon as I have carpel tunnel syndrome, and may need release surgery. Here its done by a plastic surgeon! :shock: The MRI scan is nothing to worry about, and didn't take too long. Its quite similar to a CT scan, if you've had that. Basically you have to lie still, its a hard surface and a bit cold. You must take all metel off. I hope this will help you get a dignosis and treatment, its so frustrating having to wait so long when you'r worried and in pain. I agree with Linda, your doctor needs to know what is best for you, although we are all complaining of similar things, the actual cause and position of the nerve pinched can be very different for all of us, and need different treatment. I saw a physio first and she wouldn't touch it until I'd had a scan. :wink:
    Good wishes Sue
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 11,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Marie,
    As Linda and Sue have said it is normally an MRI. My spine had one, once the results are back they can discuss what would be best for you.
    I also have similar symptoms to you and once your results are known they will be able to advise you. Whats good is your gp is doing something. It's hard to do, but try not to worry as there is almost certainly some form of treatment they can give you and I hope it is done soon for you. Take care, Cris
  • marie48
    marie48 Member Posts: 189
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all your posts. Sue, you mentioned about a bone spur touching a nerve, what treatment did you have? I try not to think too much about the scan until it is done, but my brain is doing over time. Just the thought of may be having some treatment done on the neck is making me very worried. I do understand although we have similar symptoms, we might need different treatment. Just thinking about the treatment options for a pinched nerve or bone spur touching a nerve. My gut feeling is a bone spur as the dr did mention about the 4 & 5th cevical vertebrae on the x-ray, but did not take much notice.

    I am doing omyo best not to think about it. I guess it will take weeks before I get my appointment. I will wait to have my scan first and then chase the physio appointment.
  • marie48
    marie48 Member Posts: 189
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oops, it is Linda who has bone spur removed, not Sue, my apologies. Just wonder what's the difference between seeing an orthopaedic surgeon and a rheumatologist!! How does the docrtor choose which one to refer the patient to? Thaks
  • petmad
    petmad Member Posts: 252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I saw an orthopaedic surgeon as first line as my pain started after a fall, they ordered am MRI as x rays showed nothing other than OA, if I had been seeing a rheumy then he/she could have ordered the test. Because the spur and ruptured disc were in cervical spine the surgery was undertaken by a neurosurgeon, lower down the spine it would have been done by an orthopaedic surgeon.
    It gets very confusing doesn't it? Linda
  • eckstardeluxe
    eckstardeluxe Member Posts: 1,192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ask for an xray first. Much cheaper than a scan and GP's are more ready to send you for one. The same day of my xray I got told to go up to A & E and was admitted with an MRI the next day. If there is significant changes in the bone they will see it on an xray. Worth a shot, good luck x
  • marie48
    marie48 Member Posts: 189
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks, already had an X-ray in Dec as the symptoms are getting worse GP decided to send me for a scan.
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi You''r right, I have a small bone spur touching a nerve, but the Rhuemmy didn't think it would be a good idea to operate, as it is not very big and in a difficult place, he wants me to manage with pain killers. :? I don't want surgery, especially if it could mean problems, but sometimes the pain and 'strange' feelings, (like electric shocks), are difficult to cope with :? . Sue
  • marie48
    marie48 Member Posts: 189
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know how you feel Sue. The constant pins and needles do drive me crazy but so far the pains have been manageable. I just do not understand how could pain killers help with pins and needles, do you?

    Do you know when I suffer from back pain. No specialist told me it could be due to arthritis. I was told I had wear and tear and this was to be expected at my age, I was 50 at that time and usually they do not cause pain. Later on, my knees started to clinch and creak, I asked Occupation Health and the Physio and again nobody mentioned to me about OA. It is only last year when I complained about a swollen knee, I was sent for an X-ray and it showed mild arthritis. To start with, it is my back who was giving me loads of griefs and yet it has never been diagnosed and was put down to my nursing profession. Now I am quite positive I have OA in my back. I want to sort my neck first and then try to get a diagnosis for my back pain, I doubt whether my GP will refer for a scan for my back.
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    They refer to my lower spine and my neck as 'wear and tear' osteoarthritis, and reassure me that its 'wear and tear' not RA, but I think its confussing as wear & tear is much worse in some people than others, making it a condition. I think its just not fully understood why some people have much worse 'wear & tear' than others! :? All I know is it HURTS!!! I have amatriptylne at night, which helps with the nerve pain, and it really seems to help. Confussed, I am!
    Love Sue

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