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  • For those who have delayed neck surgery

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    Old 05-24-2008, 09:31 PM   #1
    bobnorth
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    Location: Medford, OR. USA
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    For those who have delayed neck surgery

    I've delayed opting for neck surgery for mild cervical stenosis for years. No pain, but left arm and leg weaker than the right by about 10-20% (it does vary)....all after auto accident and whiplash 5 years ago. I had ankle clonus of the left foot after the accident, and rare left forearm cramping...syptoms disappeared after oral steroids. I've just had the first reoccurrence of left ankle clonus after those years, and I'm fearing the worst. Haven't see the neuro yet or had another MRI, but I'm looking for feedback.
    To those who have delayed neck surgery for at least a few years:
    1. What is your current condition?
    2. Do you feel the delay was the right decision in retrospect?
    3. Has the delay impacted your lifestyle significantly?

    Thanks for any input.

     
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    Old 05-25-2008, 10:10 AM   #2
    Linda100
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    Re: For those who have delayed neck surgery

    Bob,
    I have put mine off for different reasons for the past 5 years.

    first before I forget what is Clonus ankle?

    okay I have been dealing with my Lumbar area for the low back sense 1989. and have had many operations on it thru the years, well I had a head on collision a teenager hit me head on back in 1999. I had a Full size Ford Bronco back then and it did not have airbags.
    so I took out the winshield and the dash. and I had a seatbelt on. so it was a hard hit.
    That is just to tell you when i hurt my neck the first time.
    but no major damage so we thought,We treat with ice/heat and so on and I basically ignored the pain then.
    At that time I had had a SCS implant and the wreck had disloged it from the spine so I had to have it out. My right arm was hurting right away at the wreck, but they thought I just hurt it in the wreck. but now that I know more about the Cervicle spine and damage

    About a few more years or more go by and my neck is hurting, so I Get a MRI and the doctor tells me no real damage.
    But the doctors do not tell you anything, so I went on nursing my Lumbar area and the arm finally got better with time. but at that time I did not put the two together at all.I had 2 Herni's and compression on the cord, and Arthritis in the two levels, but the doctor
    does not tell me, but as i start complaining he tells, well you do have ------ ---- and then moves on. so what do I really know.??

    Well about three years later the PM doctor decides it is time to put another SCS lumbar implant back in, well My back incision wold not heal so he had to go back in, he found I was rejecting the plastic ancors that were holding the leads in. so he took those out.
    and then neither incision would heal so now I had to open places for about 6 months that no matter what he did they kept blowing the staples and the stitches, he said the skin was not healing and was beginning to die, so he went in and cleaned the whole areas in both places and then stitched them back up, now at that time it is now a yeay later 2006
    or so, and when I came out of surgery my right shoulder hurt much worse than the surgery sights.... I had at the time!I thought that they must have torn my rotator cuff when turning me over! so it took me about a year to nurse the arm back to some what no pain. but it had started hurting all the way down my arm...you guessed and during that time they had to take the SCS out also so a year and a half has gone bay, and

    my left arm starts to hurt also so I asked for the MRI about a month ago..
    because by this time it is now both arms are so weak and hurting all of the time and my legs are starting to get so weak but I have been blaming the legs on my Lumbar!!
    But now i know that the legs are acting the same way as my arms..
    Here is what my New MRI says.
    Findings:
    The Alignment is Slightly Abnormal Now with a grade1 Retrolisthesis at C4-5. This is a new finding. Dorsal annular fissure and hypertense on this clearly demonstrated within the C3-4 disc which is a new finding as well and potentialy could be a source of discogenic pain. Minimal dorsal hypertense zones are seen within C4-5 through C6-7 levels as well. Disc space narrowing is found at C6-7 definitely and also to some degree C5-6. There are no discrete vertebral or cord lesions otherwise though there are some degenerative endplate changes which are now new at C5-6 and C6-7 all indicative of progressive degenrative disc disease.

    At C3-4, there is a posterior central Protruding disc herniation which again abuts the cord. The cord is not significantly deformed but slightly flattened as seen before as well. The mid canal sagittal diameter is about 9 mm with very mild spinal stenosis change.

    At C4-5, posterior central disc herniation again indents the cord slightly. Spinal stenosis changes with the mid canal sagittal diameter of 7-8 mm again is demonstrated and this is a stable finding.

    C5-6 again shows bilateral uncovertebral joint spurring with some degerative bulging causing cord flattening. The mid canal sagital diameter at this level is about 10 mm with borderline to mild stenosis present.

    C6-7 there are new findings. Prominent left sided spurring from the uncovertebral joint now causes compression of the left C7 root which is a new finging. There is probably some mild cord compression as well and the mid canal sagittal diameter is about 11 mm though without overt mid canal sagittal stenosis.

    Impression:
    Overall, Progressive disc disease changes are found with persistent stenosis, a fairly mild degree at C3-4, C4-5, and C5-6. however, there is markedly progresive left bony forminal stenosis at C6-7.



    So I would say I have put it off for a while...

    Last edited by Linda100; 05-26-2008 at 08:30 AM.

     
    Old 06-03-2008, 07:53 AM   #3
    ember919
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    Re: For those who have delayed neck surgery

    Bob, I think the issue with delaying surgery is usually the prospect of more nerve damage. More nerve damage equals longer healing time or even possibly permanent damage.

    However, the decision of when is the "right time" is one only you can make. In my case, I resisted the idea of surgery and held out until I was almost non-functional. In retrospect, I wish I had done the surgery sooner. I stalled simply because I was scared. I believe that if I had had the surgery sooner my recovery would have been easier/shorter. I did have some permanent damage, but it is fairly mild and certainly still better than the pain I was experiencing prior to surgery.

    Here's some nerve healing info I dug up when I was researching for my own recovery:

    The prognosis for recovery depends on the degree of damage and the duration over which damage was occurring - hence the wide variation in recovery of nerves after injury. Injury to the sheath of the nerve (the myelin) means that the nerve will almost always recover. Injury to the nerve itself (the axon) means that there is a chance that the nerve will be permanently damaged. Nerves can regrow if they are still connected to the nerve cell body in the spinal cord, although regrowth occurs very slowly (like less than 1mm per day). - the nerve will only regrow if it is still connnected to its origin in the spinal cord. Also, after 12-18 months the parts of the nerve farthest from the origin that the regrowth has not reached will die and further recovery is unlikely to recur.

     
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