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  • how do you know when you need cervical spine surgery

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    Old 10-07-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
    electricglide
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    how do you know when you need cervical spine surgery

    I am a 67 year old woman, retired and in good physical condition and normal weight. I have continuous neck pain radiating into my shoulders and thoracic area. X-ray showed degenerative narrowing of the disc space between C6-7 with anterior osteophyte formation. There are hypertropic degenerative arthritis changes of the mid cervical facet joints bilaterally. No osteophytic narrowing of the intervertebral foramen at C6-7. Impression: Bilateral degenerative changes of the facet joints and degenerative spondylosis of the C6-7 disc space. Do I need an MRI and/or surgery?

     
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    Old 10-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #2
    Wymom94
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    Re: how do you know when you need cervical spine surgery

    Hi electriglide, I'm "big" on MRI's and would suggest one. I think they show more than a regular x-ray does (mine did) and if your x-ray showed what it did, I'd personally want to see if the MRI showed anything further or could illuminate even more. As for surgery, maybe, maybe not. I couldn't say. There are alternatives to surgery that can work beautifully all on their own, but sometimes surgery is necessary to take care of things if the alternatives can't or won't. If you do end up needing surgery, being in good shape will be a help. And, I'm sorry for the pain you are experiencing. I wish you well.
    Meghan

     
    Old 10-08-2008, 10:42 AM   #3
    SpineAZ
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    Re: how do you know when you need cervical spine surgery

    You do need an MRI. No matter your age you shouldn't have to suffer - even if it means eventual surgery. But, you may not need surgery - there are some other treatments (such as ESI - Epidural Steroid Injections) that can alleviate the symptoms.

    My dad is 81 and about 8 months he had awful pain. The doctors thought it was back related but the back surgeon he went to said "Nice to meet you, but you need to see an orthopedic surgeon - it's your hip not your back". People say "why at 81 would your dad go through a hip replacement?' and I say "It's not your age - it's who you are". He's active and there is longevity in his family (parents lived into mid-90's). It was tough but he's so glad he did it. He knew that pain was not something he would just "tolerate" due to age. He did have to fight a few doctors and therapists during recovery. So many seemed to peg him as older so he doesn't need aggressive treatment.

    The Physical Therapist he saw told him not to put weight on the hip. Then, when my dad wheel chaired in to see the surgeon, the doctor said "get up and walk".

    My point is that don't let your age stop you or your doctors. You may find some medical personnel who think "she doesn't need the same treatment we give to younger people". My dad fought it and came out better on the other side.
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    Last edited by SpineAZ; 10-08-2008 at 10:43 AM.

     
    Old 10-09-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
    electricglide
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    Re: how do you know when you need cervical spine surgery

    Thank you very much for your reply and well wishes have a blessed day

     
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