Hi all. I am 33 years old and have suffered for more than a decade with neck pain due to a degenerated disc at C5-6. I saw a doc today and he recommended a fusion since the problem has been so persistent over the years and an x-ray showed advanced degeneration with reversal of curve. I also provided an MRI from 4 years ago showing similar findings. He is sending me for an MRI this week and then will decide how to proceed.
Is this surgery recommended for just neck pain? I really want to be rid of the stiffness and cracking but I heard surgery is only usually recommended for referred pain. Will it help with localized neck mobility and pain problems?
I think it really depends on how bad things are off and how much of an issue quality of life is for you. You can go and just talk with the surgeon and see what he thinks about it all. You can try pain management with meds and physical therapy - which is typically what the surgeon will make you do before hand anyhow unless your situation is critical. I don't know if it would apply for your situation, but sometimes injections are used to help with pain as well. If all that fails then surgery is sometimes recommended.
Surgery would probably help with the pain, but your mobility may be limited depending on how many levels the surgeon would want to do. I had 1 level done at C5-C6 and I don't notice much change in how I can move my neck, just slightly different, hardly noticable at all. There is a new surgery out there now called ADR (artifical disc replacement) Its very new here in the states and still considered experimental, however because of its newness, it appears that some (perhaps even most) insurance will not cover this surgery. I hear about people going/wanting to go to Germany to get the surgery done.
But I had a fusion and I don't regret the surgery - I needed surgery - too much craziness going on with all that. I had a spur pushing on my spinal cord and the symptoms were pretty scary.
Hi. I too have problems with my cervical spine and I have sent my records to two different Docs who do CED (Cervical Endoscopic Discectomys) new advanced surgery. I have talked to several of their past patients who are 5 years past and doing great. You could search endoscopic cervical spine problems and read about it. Maybe it would be an option for you. I think it is the up and coming way to operate vs invasive....vs minimumly invasive....vs endoscopic. The docs that do it will review your reports and tell you if they can help. Keep us posted......
Last edited by dschus1156; 05-02-2007 at 08:46 AM.
Reason: wrong word
I have the same kind of general muscular pain and kyphosis ( reverse curve ). The pain has been around since 1998. I had seen 2 Chiro's and 4 PT's and 2 physiatrists. Even got trigger point injections and took 3 kinds of muscle relaxers. The last chiro took x-rays and said I had no curve in my neck. I thought about that for awhile and did some research on internet. That led me to a neurosurgeon. I didn't have a bad gait or pain in arms. NS wasn't sure but sent me for MRI anyway. After MRI showed me stenosis and 2 disc bulges and recommended 2 level ACDF surgery. I then got 2nd opinion from a NS who said that if I didn't have typical physical symptoms I shouldn't do surgery. I went back to 1st NS. His opinion was that my condition will not get better and will eventually get worse. It was just a matter of time. I could wait until it gets worse but spasms alone make my life very difficult. I am willing at this point to take a chance. I am scheduled for surgery soon.
I had ACDF C5 thru C7 in Jan. I had very little neurological symptoms....mostly PAIN PAIN PAIN. I have to say I feel alot better now. I have been going to Physical therapy since end of Feb and it has been a big help. I am doing things now I havent been able to do for the last 5 yrs. I am very glad I had the surgery. I wish I had it sooner, actually. The only lessened mobility I have is looking up. So I have resigned to not being an astronomer at age 51. I started doing all the typical neck stretches at 6 weeks post op. I am sure that is why my mobility isnt horribly impaired. I still get spasms, but they are better than they were pre-surgery. I just use alot of heat on my neck and upper back when needed. Before the surgery I had to take pain pills. Now I dont have to take them.