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Old 03-24-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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narrowing and bulging at C6/7, bulging at C5/6; what to expect

I've been having problems with my neck, back, shoulder, arm and hand for about a year now. When I first started having problems it didn't really include the hand. But I was told at that time that I had degenerative discs. I take anti inflammatories and I've done PT and was given a TENS unit to help control the pain. And it works well. But recently I started having numbness in my thumbs and fingers as well as the arm and shoulder.

I had an MRI and was told that I have bulging and narrowing at c6/7 and bulging at c5/6. (when I started having the problems a year ago, the dr. also mentioned bone spurs). So anyway, now that we have MRI results, the doctor is sending me to a neurosurgeon.

Now I am just wondering if anyone knows what I might expect as far as treatment, surgery or anything that might be useful.

Thanks,
Sherry

 
Old 03-24-2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: narrowing and bulging at C6/7, bulging at C5/6; what to expect

If you are being sent to a surgeon, your Dr thinks it is time for surgery. From my experience, I waited too long. I knew there was a prob. in 2004 and did PT and it did get better with Relefen 750mg 2 times a day for a month and then down to once a day...everyday. The pain and damage to my neck got progressively worse and I could have had c5-6 fusion then and chose to wait. Yes, for me the only thing to fear was the fear itself. I recently had a 3 level fusion as the c5-6 was gone and c4-5 and c6-7 took the brunt of work that c5-6 should have. If I had it done sooner it would not have been such an extensive surgery with a longer recovery. I'm 6 weeks out and start PT this Friday. It REALLY is not that bad!!! Get a calander and count down the days during recovery and it really does help. You will need some one there for you to wash your hair and cook, clean for a while. You will need to follow your restrictions to the T though. There will be pain, there will be pain meds too. Get a great surgeon and you too will do well. Follow those restrictions!!!
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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Re: narrowing and bulging at C6/7, bulging at C5/6; what to expect

What kind of restrictions did you have and for how long? I'm worried about the surgery for sure. I've had abdominal surgeries and toe surgeries in the past and they didn't bother me near as much as the thought of having neck surgery does. Also I'm wondering about the driving issue. My husband was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, had surgery and just started chemo. Luckily, it is a lite form of chemo and he can take himself if he has to. But I'm just wondering how long I will be out of commission. I don't really like to have him take himself to his chemo treatments because he works 11 pm to 7 am and then gets off work and goes to his chemo appointment. It is only one day a week. But still...

I'm all over the place right now. And on top of all that and my neck, I started breaking out in hives due to the stress of everything. So I really am just trying to find out as much as I possibly can before I see the surgeon.

 
Old 03-25-2009, 04:13 AM   #4
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Re: narrowing and bulging at C6/7, bulging at C5/6; what to expect

Each dr if diff. with their post op restrictions. You would have to call them for theirs. It will depend on what you have done. Take a beep breathe and relax. You do not have to have surgery. They can't "make you". It is entirely your CHOICE....
My restrictions were/are...
No driving for me for 4 weeks as I was in a hard collar. No problem.
5 lb weight restriction and no house work. No cooking for 4 weeks.
No pushing, pulling ie. vacuming.
I was allowed to do laundry if I did ONE item at a time...lifting from the washer to the dryer.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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Re: narrowing and bulging at C6/7, bulging at C5/6; what to expect

I know that it is my choice about whether to have surgery or not. But I can't go on like this much longer. I'm using my TENS unit on and off all day long, every day to control the pain. Most days, I have very little pain. Today, not even the TENS unit is working. My husband can do what he needs to do. And we do have a 20 year old son that can help when he isn't going to school and work. Granted that doesn't leave him a lot of time. But at this point, unless the surgeon can give me a better option that will take away the numbness and pain, I'll be jumping at the surgery.

 
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