Re: C6/C7 Herniation Advice
Hi Birdman, About 10 years ago I had severe burning sensation in my right arm. I just woke up with it one day. I went to drs. I went to the emergency room. At that point, I hardly ever went to the dr. unless it was for one of my sons. It was never diagnosed, never expained. They all sent me home and instructed me to take Advil. Ok, Advil didn't help and I walked around with my right arm up and bent over my head. The guys laughed at me at work, but it seemed to help. I slept with the heating pad around it and bengay during the day with some slight relief. It finally went away. Then about 4 years ago I suddenly had severe back spasms on the lower left side of my back. Again, I saw several drs. who said to go home and take Advil. I was prescribed muscle relaxers and they didn't take away the pain. I found a dr. who had moved from my suburb to a neighboring suburb, so I went to him. This was three years into the pain. He was kind, patient and listened intently to what I told him. He did not send me away, he sent me to xray. First a back xray, he was puzzled cause he didn't find anything. Sent me back to xray my neck just in case. Immediately read the xray and told me I had to have surgery on my neck immediately. He diagnosed my problem as severe spinal stenosis (c5-7) and compression on my spinal cord. He referred me to my neurosurgeon. He told me the exact thing my family dr. told me. They told me I could be paralysed if I fell, or was in an accident. Since it was winter they stressed how important it was to be very careful. I had the surgery, it was a two level fusion through the front of my neck. He removed the discs and inserted a cadavor bone with metal plate and screws. After recovery I did not have any more pain. About a month after the surgery I did very well with physical therapy. I will say that the pain I had was unbearable, I don't know how I got through it. At the end they prescribed Vicodin. My family dr. was not afraid of abuse, but was afraid I'd hurt myself because I couldn't feel the pain.
Today, 2 years later, I have bulges at c4 and c7-t1. All of sudden, two weeks ago I had shoulder, neck and arm pain. Now I'm experiencing lower back pain too, at my tailbone. The pain is more tolerable and the same neurosurgeon is recommending an injection from a pain specialist and another MRI on my back. I've only had the MRI done on my neck. I'm not sorry I had the surgery. I'm sorry I didn't go to the dr. I now see sooner. I trust both him and the neurosurgeon.
Right now I'm just waiting to see what happens next. My pain is constant with most of the relief in the morning. I use a heating pad at home and work.
I hope my experience will help, although every case is different. Good luck to you.