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  • Ruptured c5 & c6 pinching spinal cord going in for surgery wednesday and have questio

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    Old 10-25-2011, 02:44 AM   #1
    Blueyedcharlie
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    Ruptured c5 & c6 pinching spinal cord going in for surgery wednesday and have questio

    Hi I have been battling doctors since February over my neck! I wentin to see my family doc for what I thought was Abadan crick in my neck theygave me muscle relaxers & sent me home. I returned in aweek because it was not improving & I was having awful pain shoot down my arm they told me I was having muscle spasms gave me a steroid shot in my shoulder & prescribed steroids along with a stronger muscle relaxer. So I took the meds as prescribed and continued to get worse. By April I was beginning to experience tingling & numbness in my right arm along with the excruciating pain so I go back & they refill the meds & send me to PT. So I go to the PT and she does some range of motion & so forth then tells me she can not help me that there's moregoing on than just muscle spasms. So back to the doctor I go and she does an MRI and tells me I have several bulging disk in my neck increases the strength on the meds & adds a anti-inflammatory then putsmeonbed rest for two weeks alternating heat & ice every 20 minutes so I go home and do as they say but still no better. So I stay home and try to just push thru it but nothing is helping. Finally around the end of June I go back and tell them something has got to give the pain is increasing & now my arm is going completely numb an I'm dropping things. She diagnosed me with a pinched nerve & referrs me to a neurologist that I can not see until august. Well the 3rd week in July I'm laying in bed and go to coughing & this pain like I have neverexperience in muller shoots down my neck and arm! I have my husband take me to the ER cause my body's telling me something is not right?! Well we go in and they do xrays and tell me I have ruptured 2 disk in my neck and prescribe me pain meds to go along withe the other three meds & tell me to call the neurologist and let them know that they have ruptured. I do and they move my appointment up a week. Finally I go see them and they do an epidural injection in my neck and I have an awful reaction to it & back to the ER we go. They examine me and make sure there's no spinal fluid leakage from the injection dope me up & send me back home. So neuro doc sendsmefor another MRI ancon the meantime I'm losing strength in my right arm along with the numbness and dropping things an have started having dizzy spells blurred vision an periodic moments where I'm temporarily paralyzed grimly next down. The neuro doc calls me in to go over the results of my MRI & informs me that the ruptured disk are not pinching a nerve like they suspected it's actually pinching my spinal cord in two places & tells me surgery is my only options that he has to remove the ruptured disk or they will eventually paralyze me from my neck down. So here I am going in for this surgery day after tomorrow and I'm scared to death wondering if the surgery is going to help and what I'm goingto go thru to recover?! Has anyone went thru this surgery that can tell me exactly what I'm fixing to experience? They are going inthru the front of my neck and removing my c5 & c6 replacing them with artificial disk and fusing them. I'm terrified of the what ifs and what to expect can anyone give me there experiences so I have an idea of what's about to take place?
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    Old 10-25-2011, 05:28 AM   #2
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    Re: Ruptured c5 & c6 pinching spinal cord going in for surgery wednesday and have que

    Blueyedcharlie... this type of surgery is long-established and very common. It's called ACDF (anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion). They remove the offending disks and put pieces of "donor" bone in their place, then hold it all together with titanium clamps. Eventually, your spine will be "fused", but you should lose very little range of motion, because the disks in question are not that important for r-o-m.

    BTW, you did not specify exactly what disk(s) are involved. Vertebrae are known by numbers such as C4, C5, and C6. Disks are known by the two vertebrae they separate, e.g. the disk in between the C5 and C6 vertebrae is called the C5-6. So it's not clear from your post whether you are having one or two disks removed.

    Either way, it's a pretty routine surgery. You will have to wear a collar after surgery, but I'm sure the surgeon has explained that to you. I wouldn't worry about being "fragile", as you will be bolted together pretty securely. The level and duration of post-op pain varies from person to person and surgeon to surgeon. If I correctly recall my ACDF 15 years ago, it was not as bad as a description of the surgery would leave one to believe.

    As for your symptoms, these surgeries are primarily designed to keep things from getting worse. The extent to which they will improve existing symptoms cannot be known in advance. I would expect some symptoms to get better immediately, some to get better with time, and a few to never go away.

    Unfortunately for you, you ran into some real IDIOT doctors, the type who dismiss every symptom and do anything they can to avoid any expensive procedures, such as MRI's and surgeries. Fortunately for you, you persisted, and you'll be getting the help you need.

    Last edited by WebDozer; 10-25-2011 at 05:32 AM.

     
    Old 10-25-2011, 05:52 AM   #3
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    Re: Ruptured c5 & c6 pinching spinal cord going in for surgery wednesday and have que

    They are removing 2 disk the c5 & c6. The doctors I have dealt with have been impossible to work with to say the least! The neuro surgeon did not explain anything to me & I did not know what to ask I was in a state of shock when he told me it was pinching my spinal cord in two places & that if I did not have the surgery I would eventually be paralyzed. So I'm going in blind with no idea what to expect during or after surgery and I'm terrified!
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    Old 10-30-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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    Re: Ruptured c5 & c6 pinching spinal cord going in for surgery wednesday and have que

    I am home recovering as of yesterday. Surgery went ok but did have some minor complications with swelling of my neck and esophagus day after which kept me in the hospital a couple extra days. After surgery I no longer have the temporary paralyzes, pain, dizziness, numbness or headaches. I guess it's safe to say it was a success but I still have four weeks of recovery before the follow up with the doctor to know for sure?! They ended up having to remove bone spurs as well while repairing my c5 & c6. I still am having a hard time swallowing solid food but the swelling has not gone down yet and they tell me that is normal to give it a week. My kids & husband are enjoying the quiet time that has come along with the surgery also cause I can not talk much louder than a whisper to ask them to do things. Lol. I'm content with the results so far just praying at this point that the fusion takes and trying to find a comfortable position to rest at night because laying flat causes quiet a bit of pressure & pain on my neck. But the pain I'm experiencing now is a whole lot better than all the stuff I was enduring before surgery!
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    Old 10-31-2011, 05:16 AM   #5
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    Re: Ruptured c5 & c6 pinching spinal cord going in for surgery wednesday and have que

    Congratulations.... and recliners are a good sleeping option, if you have one.

     
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