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anitapj 01-03-2002 05:23 PM

C5 /C6 disc prolapse
I have had a pain in my right arm and tingling in the right hand thumb. I have had a MRI done which shows that there is a prolapse of C5/C6 disc which is causing a pressure on the nerves going to the rigt hand. I have consulted orthopeadic and Neuro surgeons and Neurologists. Some suggest operation while others suggest a conservative treatment of drugs and excercise. So far I have taken the conservative treatment. Their is some improvement but even after 4 weeks I still have pain in the right arm. I have been advised to wear a soft cervical collar. This problem is about 4 weeks old.

I would like to hear from people who have had similar problems and what have they done about it. The questions I have are :

1) Should I have cervical traction or not. Some docters have said yes while others say no.
2) How long should this conservative treatment last before considering the option of surgery.

Lizzie51427 01-03-2002 09:24 PM

Re: C5 /C6 disc prolapse
Hi anitapj,
I have been diagnosed with herniated disk (C5-6) with nerve root compression and mild cord deformity. I also have right-sided osteophyte(bone spur) foraminal stenosis(narrowing of spinal canal). I had my MRI done Sept. 7, and have been to 3 different neurosurgeons since then. Yes, they ALL have different opinions. The first 2 said yes, surgery. The 3rd one sent me for physical therapy (traction). I went for 6 weeks, but this didn't do much for me...The arm pain/weakness/numbness was better, but, for me, it's the neck/head/ear pain that bothers me more...It's worth a shot, I believe, as sometimes I hear this helps some people(prob. depending on the severity of the problem. Mine is prob. too far gone at this point---very old injury). Also, like they say in all the books I've read, it's only when you have pain AND disability that DO NOT RESPOND to other treatments that you should consider surgery. Well, I've done all that, and it didn't help me, but I think prob. in my case, it's the stenosis that's causing most of my problems, so you may have a better outcome. It's worth trying for awhile, anyway. And, you didn't mention how much pain you're in...if not too bad, then you can probably get some relief.As far as surgery goes, I also read that when you're crawling to the surgeon's office, begging him to do surgery, that's when you know you really need it...I don't think it could hurt to try these other options first. At least, from what I understand. You'll know when you need surgery, I believe. Good luck! And, I hope this helps you! Lizzie

redd123 01-04-2002 03:05 PM

Re: C5 /C6 disc prolapse
After my surgery in June my physical therapists suggested not wearing the soft collar. He said it works great when you have it on, but when you take it off its like a weak neck holding up a 15 pound bowling bowl and that it justs puts pressure on the spine again. I wore my collar for 2-3 weeks after surgery. I am wearing it some now at night as my neck has started bothering me and it does help me sleep better.I have also ordered a cervical therapeutic pillow that I can't wait to get.

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