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Old 07-21-2008, 02:53 PM   #1
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babafirehorse HB User
Smile Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

Hello Generous Readers!:

Thank you in advance for considering my situation.

An MRI taken 2 months ago shows 6mm lateral herniation at C5/C6, with minimal compression on the spinal cord. The neurosurgeon reviewed the films and prescribed a bi-level anterior diskectomy and fusion, advising me that PT would not take care of the problem and that I should undergo the procedure sooner than later to avoid permanent motor loss.

My pain has minimized since the initial flare-up 3 months ago. My right arm still shows significant motor loss (wrist extension) and some numbness. I have regained some motor strength (triceps). My long-tract symptoms have increased (pain and numbness in both feet). I have done some chiro, some acupuncture, Yoga Therapy, and PT. My attitude is mostly good, yet I have days of increased symptoms, which challenge my hope.

Three months into this, I wonder whether I should take the leap and have the AD&F. The surgeon told me I would have to change my ways forever after the surgery (non-impact activities only), and this is daunting to my physically-oriented lifestyle.

Any words of advice or input regarding the decision to do surgery or keep going with my rehab program?

In gratitude.
Sincerely,
B

 
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:03 PM   #2
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Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

I'm so sorry you find yourself in this position. I've had a 2 level cervical fusion and have had no further problems with my neck. In my case, physical activity isn't called into questions as I have also have 5 major surgeries in the lumbar area!

If I were you, I would get a second opinion. I do think that in your case surgery is necessary because you have some major issues but another surgeon might not have such a gloomy outlook for your post surgical life. You would at least feel better knowing for sure that the surgery is necessary.

Please let us know how you get along.

Carol
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

Your post has been relocated to the proper message board. The back problem board is for those suffering from lumbar spinal problems and the Spinal Cord Disorder Message Board is for those suffering from cervical problems.

Thank you,
Mod 08

 
Old 07-21-2008, 10:54 PM   #4
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Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

I had fusion of C6-C7 with my own bone and was not told that I had to change my activities long term. I did discover that high impact activities caused me to have an increase in problems. Even going over a speed bump in the road could cause me problems. I think it is hard to predict exactly how your body will respond and heal. It is possible that some activities will need to be modified regardless of having the surgery or not. I sure hope that you get the answers you need. Blessings!

 
Old 07-22-2008, 09:31 PM   #5
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babafirehorse HB User
Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

Thank you all for your bighearted responses!! My wish is that I may grow from this healing journey in such a way that I can better be of service to others in the world. I appreciate everyone showing up and showing me how to be human during challenging times.

My symptoms are up and down, so I work mostly on attitude. People participating on this Board have helped my attitude immensely. I am grateful.

So, are there any empirically founded contraindications to the Laser Endoscopic approach? Having read the testimonials, I am inspired to research it as a possibity.

Wishing you all a decent night's sleep.
B

 
Old 07-22-2008, 09:37 PM   #6
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Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

Mind over matter is helpful. Just make sure you stay mindful about what is best for your health. I kept pushing things out of mind too often, I think. I did not want to deal with another neck surgery. hugs!

 
Old 07-23-2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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Rita27 HB User
Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

Hi, I have two herniated discs in my neck. My symptoms are intermittent neck and shoulder pain and headaches and earaches. Actually, the worst of it is the headaches and earaches!

I have chosen not to have the surgery because my brother-in-law had it and he told me DON'T DO IT! He can't move his neck around now, and he developed problems in the low back, which is common after this surgery I understand.

I had PT and I'm trying to deal with it. I have other health issues also, so I don't think I can handle the surgery anyway.

This is just my opinion, however. I'm sure there are people who had a lot of relief from this operation.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 04:23 PM   #8
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Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

I am just getting to the point you are at, finally being able to get to a Neurosurgeon and see what they can or cannot do. I have been through PT and Rehabilitation it helped for a little while, then I went threw the what I call shock heat treatment therapy that was a great relief at the time but 2 hours later I felt like crap and the pain and headaches were back. I am now seeing a PM Dr. that I have been with for 5 years. I have had numerous and I mean numerous epidural injection and I can count 7 or 8 nerve blocks at the C4-C7 level and also at the L1-L5, S1 and T1.
I have been told on several occasions that I would be a good surgical candidate who would more than likely have a very succesful recovery and be able to lead a normal productive life again.
I am also skeptical, but keep an open mind to new things, but also will get second and sometimes 3 rd opinions if needed.
Since the onset of all of my neck and back conditions my attitude also takes a high and low approach and I find it very diffucult to trust the folks who are actually working on me as they do not have a good bedside manor.
I have worked on the attitude because they have given me mood stabilizers and nerve pills to help me with the troubled times. I find that I feel as if I am in a depressed state most of the time because of the way I feel and trying to get solutions to it.
I am darn glad this site is here, and there are many folks who hve the same issues and we can help one another throughout the complete process,Thanks to every one in here and I hope you future can be brighter than it is at the present time.

 
Old 08-15-2008, 09:14 AM   #9
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Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

hi baba. one of the first things i would do here is obtain a second opinion.while your NS is right about the need for this compression to be relieved as soon as possible,his additude just simply sucks about your post op outlook. i would not want this type of NS even touching my spine,really. it is not all doom and gloom post op from the type of surgery you are looking at. most people post fusion surgery eventually can return to their old former lives after fully healing. my husband has his c 5-6 done about ten years ago and never had any problems at all post op,and even was able to return to firefighting after. my surgery went well too but unfortunetly i had other spinal cord issues that screwed me up for life when a surgery was needed that required cutting into my actual cord. but before that,after my fusion,i was told by my NS that i would eventually also be able to return to firefighting as well(my hubby and i were both FFs). unfortunetly i had to give that up due to my spinal cord inuries post op. but my situation is very different from yours.

i am just wondering if in your latest MRI report it actually mentions the word 'myelomalacia" at all? if not,thats great.if it does,it means you are suffering a granulization or softening of your actual cord due to that level of compression you have going on,and it would indicate a more permanent damage situation at this point. you really just NEED to get this compression relieved BEFORE that part of the spinal cord injury process kicks in. hopefully right now your symptoms are "just" from that compression and will go away eventually once that gets relieved. just trust me here when i say that you do NOT want to be left living with spinal cord injury. if this doesn't get fixed soon,that will happen to a certain point and will affect your post op life.

i am not trying to freak you out here or anything just trying to impress upon you the real need to get that comprssion relieved as soon as possible BEFORE certain things start up or kick in that could be more permanent than if you got this done before it happened,thats all. i suffered three spinal tracts being damaged,a sympathetic nervous system damaged and the loss of many nerves and muscles from my surgery and it just really sucks to have to deal with the fall out from SCI. while your situation,like i said,is no where near what mine was,spinal cord damage IS just that,damage. and it will effect things for you in the future. hopefully this can all be taken away(your current symptoms) and you will recover everything,but this just needs more immediate attention only becasue of actual compression upon your cord.

but i would most definetly seek out that second opinion if possible,that NS just really has a way too overly gloomy type of additude that you just really don;t need right now ya know?

just what exactly does your MRI report state about that area of compression? if you could just type out what is in that MRI summary at the very end of your report,it would really be helpful. i do wish you lots of luck with this hon. just get that second opinion from a much better NS. while i do agree with what he said about your need for surgery,he really has some screwed up ideas in his head. i KNOW there are much better surgeons out there than this. please keep us posted,Marcia

my biggest concern for you right now would be the actual cord compression you have going on and the symptoms you are now exhibiting. your cord IS being affected right now from that level of compression. your symptoms just show that.
__________________
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11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 03:43 PM   #10
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babafirehorse HB User
Re: Surgery or not? Herniation at C5/C6, bulging C6/C7, spinal cord compression

Hello there and thank you so much for your precious input! I am grateful to hear of your experience and of that the others, too! My wish for everyone living with health challenges is for deep healing and relief!

I am planning on getting other opinions. My foot symptoms have begun to subside--though it's not always clear. This whole healing process has been slower than I could have imagined, and less tangible than I would have liked!! I am not entirely certain that I will regain my physical freedom as I knew it before, though I am certain that things are actually changing--only very, very slowly.

It is now seeming that my neck's condition was caused by a seemingly innocuous, low-speed rear-end collision over a year-and-a-half ago. There was no legal action taken. My symptoms were minor then and dissipated. However, it may be that the new position of my C6 vertebrae after the accident left me vulnerable to a herniated disc given my very active lifestyle.

I still intend to avoid surgery, as I am not yet convinced it is for me.

Thank you again and may we all get a decent night's sleep.

Peace.
B

Quote:
Originally Posted by feelbad View Post
hi baba. one of the first things i would do here is obtain a second opinion.while your NS is right about the need for this compression to be relieved as soon as possible,his additude just simply sucks about your post op outlook. i would not want this type of NS even touching my spine,really. it is not all doom and gloom post op from the type of surgery you are looking at. most people post fusion surgery eventually can return to their old former lives after fully healing. my husband has his c 5-6 done about ten years ago and never had any problems at all post op,and even was able to return to firefighting after. my surgery went well too but unfortunetly i had other spinal cord issues that screwed me up for life when a surgery was needed that required cutting into my actual cord. but before that,after my fusion,i was told by my NS that i would eventually also be able to return to firefighting as well(my hubby and i were both FFs). unfortunetly i had to give that up due to my spinal cord inuries post op. but my situation is very different from yours.

i am just wondering if in your latest MRI report it actually mentions the word 'myelomalacia" at all? if not,thats great.if it does,it means you are suffering a granulization or softening of your actual cord due to that level of compression you have going on,and it would indicate a more permanent damage situation at this point. you really just NEED to get this compression relieved BEFORE that part of the spinal cord injury process kicks in. hopefully right now your symptoms are "just" from that compression and will go away eventually once that gets relieved. just trust me here when i say that you do NOT want to be left living with spinal cord injury. if this doesn't get fixed soon,that will happen to a certain point and will affect your post op life.

i am not trying to freak you out here or anything just trying to impress upon you the real need to get that comprssion relieved as soon as possible BEFORE certain things start up or kick in that could be more permanent than if you got this done before it happened,thats all. i suffered three spinal tracts being damaged,a sympathetic nervous system damaged and the loss of many nerves and muscles from my surgery and it just really sucks to have to deal with the fall out from SCI. while your situation,like i said,is no where near what mine was,spinal cord damage IS just that,damage. and it will effect things for you in the future. hopefully this can all be taken away(your current symptoms) and you will recover everything,but this just needs more immediate attention only becasue of actual compression upon your cord.

but i would most definetly seek out that second opinion if possible,that NS just really has a way too overly gloomy type of additude that you just really don;t need right now ya know?

just what exactly does your MRI report state about that area of compression? if you could just type out what is in that MRI summary at the very end of your report,it would really be helpful. i do wish you lots of luck with this hon. just get that second opinion from a much better NS. while i do agree with what he said about your need for surgery,he really has some screwed up ideas in his head. i KNOW there are much better surgeons out there than this. please keep us posted,Marcia

my biggest concern for you right now would be the actual cord compression you have going on and the symptoms you are now exhibiting. your cord IS being affected right now from that level of compression. your symptoms just show that.

 
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