Ok, I am compulsively checking these boards. I am now in the frame of mind where I really want to have surgery sooner rather than later. I have my first neurosurgeon appt in a week, and a second opinion the following week. I am hoping that they don't say "let's wait 6 months and see how you are" or send me back for more PT.
Diagnosis: I have severe cervical stenosis with osteophyte and cord compression and edema and/or myelomalacia all C4-7 and a herniated disc.
I do not have bad pain - more mild throbbing, sometimes a sharp nerve pain, so I take vicodin every other day at night. I did PT 3x/wk for a month which I think at most did nothing and may have made things worse. I do have L hand numbness, clumsiness and contracted feeling, tingling, and L foot numbness/tingling.
I am at the point where I want to have surgery because I do not want this to get worse. I also would like to have hope of being active again one day (play with my kids, tennis??, run around, etc.).
My only thought is I TOTALLY understand how you feel. I have been putting up with horrible neurological symptoms for one year, herniated at c6-7 one and one half years ago, 6 months later all the bizarre neuro stuff. It has been unrelenting; I have been very sick. I used to be an active long distance runner; this all stopped me dead in my tracks. I have numbness, tingling just about everywhere, off-balance, tremors, a constant horrible nervousness feeling that I just can't shake - to name a few.
Anyway, I understand where you're coming from. It took a year to get a firm diagnosis that the disc is flattening my cord and causing all of this crazy stuff. It didn't help that last spring an MRI showed the disc as better...so, months of tests..then finally another MRI which clearly shows the flattened cord. I say get lots of opinions, listen to your body and be your own educated, health care advocate. I had to insist on another look at my neck, even though docs kept saying it was looking better. They were somewhat surprised to see my most recent film. Anyway, good luck to you and keep us posted. I am having ACDF in 5 days...I am a nervous wreck (which doesn't help my already screwed up nervous system!); but, I'm hopeful this will be the first step in a process of becoming healthy again. Take Care. Mona
When you go to see these surgeons, do NOT say that your pain is not that bad, don't downplay yourself. Tell them that PT didn't help and that you think it made you worse, this will help get things going sooner potentially. Its hard to think of the nerve sensations and the like as pain sometimes, but I've learned that it IS PAIN and at times you gotta refer to it as such (nerve pain) to advocate for yourself. If you're clumbsy your situation is already pretty bad in my opinon, and just like a snap of the fingers you could suddenly get worse or steadily get worse. As it is you will probably need to get more films pre-op and then you'll have to see your primary doc for a pre-op eval to see if you are okay for surgery. You could be waiting a bit as it is before you actually get in to surgery due to testings and appointments, perhaps up to a month, but you never know, he may be able to get you in sooner. Good luck to you and many blessings.
Last edited by PearlDoves; 03-22-2007 at 11:10 AM.
I understand both of you completely. I am 37 and have spondylosis in the cervical spine c3-4 through c6-7. I also have central spinal canal narrowing at c5-6. The emg showed muscle atrophy and nerve damage, nothing has worked so far. i've had 3 nerve block injection and pt has given me more pain. Every time I go for another opinion I get the same answer, I could try more pt but will need surgery eventually. The two worse parts are that my mother is dead set against surgery and I can't get approval soon enough. I'm not sure if I should get one more opinion, I've had two or three.
I had cervical fusion surgery on 1-31-07 and my pain is still here and even more at times. I also have serve headaches. My doctor thinks this may be becuase my body might be rejecting the donor bone I recieved.
I might have other surgey but this time he will have to use bone from my hip. He expalined the recovery is longer if scrapes my hip but the change of my body rejecting the bone is "very very very low" I have spoken with a couple of people who had the surgey done this way and the recorvey took longer because of the hip not the neck.
I guess if I was to do it over again from the begining I would have use the bone from by hip originally.
But in the end I would always choice surgey over the pain. I can't stand not being strong for my kids and being depressed form the pain. I want off the pain pills.