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58 yo male marathon runner, C7-T1 radiculopathy

plr521pplr521 Posts: 3
edited 11/11/2017 - 7:28 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

Hello all. Several hours after a routine 14-mile training run last weekend, I felt a twinge in my neck that within a few hours became full fledged right side neural pain radiating to the end of the fifth finger. The pain has been acute and relatively continuous, with sleep deprivation and weakness in the right arm. I cannot drive, missed four days of work and went to the office only today with my wife driving me. The PT has recommended deferring exercises until the pain is diminished. An MRI has confirmed a right paracentral disc protrusion at C7-T1 extending to the right neural foramen, thus the C8 nerve pain. I plan to see a neurological surgeon early next week for a baseline assessment. I would be interested in others’ experiences on recovery (or repair), as well as non-narcotic and post-steroidal pain management.



  • I'm not a medical doctor.I'm not giving medical advice. I would make an appointment with a Neurosurgeon for an opinion.You may or may not be a surgical candidate. That would be up to him to decide. I would think they would try epidurals before anything, however. I'm suprised your PT said to stop with the exercises. I do know that running and the constant up and down motion may aggravate the disc. My neurosurgeon did caution me on that.

    As for pain meds, I never found any that really worked. However, each person is different and meds may work for you. Let us know how things go.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,437

    Welcome to Spine-Health

    I think you've made a good decision to see a neurological surgeon/doctor next week.
    While you are waiting on other members to reply, you can read other discussions on this topic by going to Latest discussions and scroll down until you find a discussion.
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  • Looking back I wish I had been more careful with my discs....I should have spent a few min each day on an inversion table or doing stretches and excercises to build my mid to lower back in order to support my upper back, neck and head. Good luck...stay away from surgery as long as you can is my opinion.

  • I saw the neurosurgeon today, and am scheduled to have a microdiscectomy next week. My right hand has already lost a lot of strength, so waiting out the pain is not a good option. I’ll report back.

  • Surgery is wise in this case, especially with the hand involvement.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
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  • 48 hours post-op and things are improved. Coming out of surgery the right side pain was totally gone thanks to the morphine. I’m continuing to take oxy/Tylenol and muscle relaxer on schedule. I’ve slept through the night twice without waking up. There is now residual pain in my right arm, hopefully just leftover inflammation. The right hand remains weak, and I’m using a squeeze ball periodically to build it back up. The follow-up visit is in four weeks, but I hope to return to my desk job next week.

  • plr521pplr521 Posts: 3
    edited 11/30/2017 - 7:37 AM

    Update: I’m now 11 days post-op, and I returned to work – which is a sedentary desk job – yesterday. I would have preferred not to return quite so soon, but there is a critical transaction in which a client needs coverage for the next couple of days and I’m the only candidate. My wife continues to drive me everywhere, and I'm inactive other than walking at a measured slow pace.

    I started cutting the opiod painkiller tablets in half after a week. I had a withdrawal headache for a day, but it passed. I stopped the muscle relaxer – Valium – three days ago, and so far have slept through the night as much as I ever did. Pain from the incision is moderate and continuing to go away.

    The radiculopathy pain is greatly lessened but not entirely gone. I still have a radiating type ache and numbness on the right side, which may be residual inflammation but who knows. Much more disturbing is an intermittent but extreme pain on the left side of my neck at the top of my shoulder blade, as if someone is stabbing me with a dull knife. This is new. I haven’t figured out what position generates the pain, or whether it’s even positional at all, but it comes suddenly and lasts for about 5-10 breathtaking seconds before it dissipates. My scheduled follow-up visit with the neurosurgeon is three weeks away, but I’m going to report this new pain and ask whether another visit is warranted.

  • Checking back in for the benefit of future users who search on the terms cervical radiculopathy, microdiscectomy and marathon.

    I had my one month follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon yesterday, and was cleared to begin light jogging for up to four miles. Three months out I can begin training runs again as long as I can run pain-free. My right hand still has some numbness and continued weakness, so I'll begin physical therapy to try and recruit some more muscle fibers while the C8 nerve regenerates. I'm taking cod liver oil capsules to throw some Vitamin D at the process, and even if it doesn't help for that, fish oil is a good supplement to take anyway.

    All in all, the outcome has been positive. I won't have time to train for a spring marathon, but am planning to run marathon number 10 in September. Hope everyone has a great holiday season and steady improvement.

  • That’s great news plr!! Just DON,T over do it! Whats better is you didn’t sit around with these symptoms for months, so nerve regeneration shouldn’t be long. Just please follow your MDs instructions to a T....great news for once!

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