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@jenniferhunter Thanks so much for the detailed book of information. That is a lot to go over. I do know I have pinched nerves in my neck area from a car accident. That might be my problem. Wished I lived closer to Mayo at times like this. I am teaching kindergarten so I can't just take off and go there now. The doctors around here, well lets just say they leave a lot to be desired. There is the U-M but getting an appointment is not easy anymore! I have a friend who had stomach issues for 3 years and the gastroenterologist kept telling her there was nothing wrong. In other words quit complaining. She developed emergency problems and went to another doctor to find out she has a rare form of intestinal cancer, stage 4. Suddenly the original doc disappeared from the area. No one knows where he went. Now she is fighting for her life.

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Replies to "@jenniferhunter Thanks so much for the detailed book of information. That is a lot to go..."

@suzanne2 Ah, now you know why I was asking for your history. I have been through something similar with a whiplash years ago that with aging caused a disc to herniate and collapse causing cervical stenosis. I didn't have stenosis or arthritis at the nerve roots, but because my disc was collapsed 50%, if I bent my neck to the side, it would contact the nerves at that level and send strong pain down my arm. FYI, thoracic outlet syndrome can be caused by a whiplash injury and seems to be more common among spine patients maybe for that reason, so you should bring up questions about it with your doctors.

Mayo isn't close for me either; it's a 5 hour drive, but it was worth it to get the quality of care that I received there and they get things done right away so you won't spend months waiting for tests and appointments. If I had known how difficult it would be for me to get help locally, and how easy that was when I contacted Mayo, I would have come to Mayo first. I had been turned down by 5 local surgeons who were confused by my symptoms and I had lots of stuff with overlapping symptoms at the same time. You do have to advocate for yourself and seek answers somewhere else if your doctors are not helping or figuring things out. If you do see a neurologist, they could order an MRI and you would get an answer. At that point, if there is a spine issue causing nerve compression, you could send that to Mayo to seek treatment and they will look at the imaging at no charge when they determine if they can help. When you become a patient there, the charges will begin.

You can request that a specific surgeon looks at your imaging like I did. I can help you understand what your reports say. I highly recommend my neurosurgeon at Mayo Rochester, Dr. Jeremy Fogelson. If you do go to Mayo, you'll be sent to a neurologist there and they will examine you and order tests and imaging. They will also use current spine imaging which I had, but they did thoracic and lumbar imaging to have a full picture of my spine. The surgeons like to work with specific neurologists as a team and they do all of that before you see the surgeon so everything is in order for the consult. Here is my patient story about Dr Fogelson.