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Old 11-29-2006, 05:01 PM   #1
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Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

I am getting really scared about this....whats going to happen? am i going to have surgery? is it a big risk?

Ive been on here a few times asking about all these problems i had and that i was going to a chiropractor. Everyone on here told me to stop going to one and i did (Thankfully) i finally got my insurance and my dr immediately wanted a cervical MRI done which i did and they called me right away and told me about the disc..how did this happen and whats going to happen to me. They refferred me to a neurosurgeon...i dont like any name with the word surgeon in it,

Thanks

 
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

HI Michelle,
Do you know if its only herniated at one level and what level is it? I am having surgery for disk problems and also arthritis and spurs, in Dec. My strategy was to do as much research as possible so when I saw a surgeon (Dec. 19th) I knew EXACTLY what to ask. I feel pretty confident now that I know what to expect. Did your Dr. refer you to a surgeon?

 
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:39 PM   #3
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Michelle, Its normal to be scared of the word "surgery" but its not really a bad thing. Yes there can be complications, but there can also be great outcomes. I had surgery recently and it was very sucessful. Try to find out how good a doctor this neurosurgeon is and get to know as much about your situation as much as possible so that you can start to become comfortable with the idea of it all as well as to be better educated so that you know what questions to ask your surgeon.

Let us know if you were you in a car accident or injured in a sport, activity and why you started seeing a chriopractor. Physical therapy and Chiropractors can be a bit of a double edged swoard when it comes to the spine... sometimes it helps thigns get better and sometimes it can make symptoms worse depending on what is going on in the spine. Sometimes normal wear and tear causes things to give out, and sometimes your own body structure, genetics, and/or arthritus come into play on how your spine is and the reason that things come about as they do. For me it was a combination of my own body creating a bone spur and a car accident that created a reverse curve in my neck spine. I didn't have a herniated disc, but the bone spur basicly was doing the same thing as if it had been that because it was narrowing my spinal collum and pressing up on my spinal cord and nerve. I hope this helps God Bless and Good luck, I hope you find a great and talented surgeon that will give you the best possible and most pain free outcome!

Last edited by PearlDoves; 11-29-2006 at 10:45 PM.

 
Old 11-29-2006, 11:21 PM   #4
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Hi Michelle, what's that saying wait until you cross that bridge. Depending on what your diagnosis is, you could have something from a very simple disc herniation to a herniation with other problems like bone spurs, compression or other stuff. Until you get the story it's premature to start thinking you are going to have surgery.

Actually, lots of herniations are successfully treated by rest, time, physical therapy and other non surgical approaches. Some do heal themselves. When all those conservative measures fail and your symptoms don't improve then a discussion about surgery could be had. Lots of people never have surgery, some need to do it immediately, it will depend on what your problem is. So, make the appointment, go talk to the expert and then let us know what they tell you and people can share their experiences with you! In the meantime, rest, don't do heavy lifting or impact sports , take care with your neck, etc, until you see the NS.

 
Old 11-30-2006, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Hi Michelle,

I had a large spontaneous C6-7 protrusion (herniation) 15 months ago. My health has been screwed up pretty much ever since. I don't mean to frighten you...however, I tried the let it reabsorb/heal route. My latest MRI of 7 months ago, indicate that it is healing and reabsorbing, so the NS says great and it's really non-operable at this point. However, I have horrible neck pain and arm pain - 15 months later. The worst is I've been hit with terrible neurological symptoms which I won't begin to list...let's just say, ranging from numbness, twitching, hyperreflexia to dizziness and gait issues. No one can pinpoint my neck as being the culprit (referring to my last MRI of 7 months ago)...but, my body/gut tell me otherwise. I am now going through all sorts of crazy testing for various ailments/diseases...all of which have tested clean so far - all the while my neck/arm pain is horrid and my neuro symptoms unrelenting. Again, I know some people heal and move on...I just want to share my experience. If I could do it all over again, I'd have pushed for surgery right at the get go as I'm such a mess now. Maybe, sooner or later, they'll find some disease causing all of this, just seems ***arre that all of this hit me shortly after my neck blew. You'd think they would spend a little more time doing more investigating on my neck issue as it's obviously problematic...and I'll be pushing another NS to do so. If I have one more doc talk to me about anxiety/depression and try to throw drugs at me so I'll go away...I'll scream! Sorry for the rambling...guess I'm rather frustrated. Good luck to you. Mona

 
Old 11-30-2006, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

It is so frustrating for all of us as monarog states, however, surgery is not always the answer either. I have had 2 surgeries and I still have problems. It is best to research, get a couple surgical opinions, compare stories and make informed decisions. The point I am trying to inject here is some people do conservative and get better, some people do surgery and get better, some do nothing and get worse, some don't respond to conservative treament, some have surgery and stay the same or get worse. It's not something to rush into without a lot of consideration. Even with the best doctors it can be a flip of the coin--100% of the people do not resolve 100% of their symptoms. They use a series of predictors to determine the outcome they expect in your case, but those can fail them and problems can persits. Feel better. Getting a good doctor that listens and investigates until they have an answer is important.

 
Old 11-30-2006, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Well thanks very much for all the replies..ill try to answer all questions..

I was never in a car accident but i had a roller skating accident 15 years ago. another kid and i smacked the backs of our heads together and i suffered a contusion and after that i started getting severe headaches that were never diagnosed. no one ever thought to look at my neck and like i said that was 15 years ago.

The headaches got worse in the past 5 years (every day) after i woke up one morning and couldnt move my neck with no explanation. i went to the dr and he had no idea what could of happened. the pain went away after a couple weeks but i noticed a large lump at the base of my skull on my neck and whenever it was touched or layed on the wrong way i instantly had head pain (brain freeze feeling) for minutes..hours and sometimes days the pain would last.

I suffered through this for years and finally this year i couldnt take it. i went to a chiro and they scanned me..i had 18 bones out of place including my c-2 and c-3. the chiro started adjusting me..things felt better but when i visited the dr. and asked for an MRI he said not to go back to a chiro cuz he shouldnt be messing with that area without knowing what was going on. which alot of people here on this board also told me so of course i didnt go back.

When the dr called they didnt say exactly where it was but im assuming its the c-2 c-3 thats where i feel patruding and crookedness. its defeintely not straight.

ive told myselfi dont even care anymore. i want surgery. i need something to end this pain. i seriously can not take it anymore. i have children that have to take care of and my fiance works long hours so im basically by myself and its horrendous to deal with all this when my head is pounding and i cant move my head.

I dont have the initial report but i do have my xrays here that i have to take to the neurosurgeon on monday so if anyone can tell me how to read them i can find exactly what area it is. i dont know much about this stuff.

thanks again for the replies and ill update soon

 
Old 11-30-2006, 06:56 PM   #8
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Michelle,
Maybe you can type in a post, what the report says. Between all of us, I am sure we can help you interpret them. I, for one have had 3 MRIs in 3 yrs. I am sure alot of us are in the same boat.

 
Old 11-30-2006, 08:58 PM   #9
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Ok i sure will..i will know on monday thats when i meet with the neurosurgeon.

i really appreciate all this help. im finally finding my answers. i was going crazy with these headaches and my old dr just kept giving me things to "try" which topamax made me absolutely go crazy. every disease out there i was convinced i had.

Now i found a new dr and i feel really good about him. so far hes really paying attention.

ill post as soon as i know

 
Old 12-01-2006, 07:18 AM   #10
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Oh my God, I took Topamax for several months at the beginning of 2006. They dont call it "DOPE-A-MAX" for nothing! I lost alot of weight on it, but I could barely function. It didnt even help me. I took it for nerve pain, not headaches.

 
Old 12-02-2006, 07:01 PM   #11
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Topamax helped a little at first..but it made me go crazy. i liked losing a couple pounds though. Now im on lyrica and gaining like theres no tomorrow. i wonder if i should give topamax another time around. im gonna talk to the dr about it. i was on and off it for a couple months thats probably why i didnt think it was helping to much plus i was on a low dose.

Last edited by ~*Michelle*~; 12-02-2006 at 07:01 PM.

 
Old 12-03-2006, 08:19 AM   #12
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

I think I was taking 50mg of Topamax for about 2-3 months. What made me get off of it was sone day I was teaching gifted 5th graders...MATH....and I couldnt teach it! It was horrible. I got it right then. (and gained all my weight back).

 
Old 12-09-2006, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re: Herniated Disc in neck..now what?

Topomax has been awesome for me and my headaches and neck pain. I'm on 60 mg per day. The dopiness eventually goes away but it took a long time - and ocassionally I struggle for certain words. But much better than being in pain. And it makes my extremities tingle. Like someone else said, surgery is not for everyone. Over time, my headaches are controlled. Now I have more very mild and annoying neuro problems, but nothing measurable on emg, ncv or even neuro diagnostic testing.

My second time around w/ topomax was better than my first. I have been on it for 9 months now. My first time I only stayed on it for 4 months and gave up because of the side effects. Sadly, I lost no weight. Lyrica was a godsend for pain, but got me as fatter than fat. So, I opted for topomax only. Cymbalta has helped my headaches and neuro symptoms a bit too. I've been able to get off the neurontin thanks to cymbalta.

Have you tried some mild physical therapy or anything like that, on the recommendation of a good doctor? Epidural shots? Nerve blocks? There are alot of things to try out there - maybe something will help. But maybe surgery is what you need too. I'm only 31, so I'd like to wait a while for surgery, or until my doctors recommend it. I have several levels, stenosis, etc. and still, they don't think I need it yet.
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Hernations with Stenosis
C 3/4, 5/6, 7
T1
Some Cord Compression

 
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