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herneated disc on C7, surgery to prevent nerve dying?

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Old 04-05-2013, 01:28 PM   #16
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Raleigh NC USA
Posts: 3
rbeck HB User
Re: herneated disc on C7, surgery to prevent nerve dying?

I wish I could remember well enough to tell you how long it took for my arm to be pretty much normal again. I don't think it took very long. I didn't notice the weakness until I compared it to the other arm. Because I was dealing with the pain, I wasn't functioning in a normal way, mostly resting, not moving. I was keeping that arm over my head a lot, which gave some relief. I can really relate to the anxiety of being told that sooner is better than later for the surgery. How nice it would be in these situations to know with certainty which decision has the best outcome. The surgery was scheduled for maybe 2 wks after I was starting to have the symptoms. I agonized over the decision, trying to research, and that's how I ended up on this HealthBoards. The comment from James about letting it resolve itself, and the advice of a chiropractor to allow my body time to heal... really helped me decide. Plus, it seemed to be getting better. It happened all of the sudden, was horrible for about a week and a half, and then it gradually went away, over 2 or 3 months. Do you think the weakness/numbness is improving or getting worse?

Last edited by rbeck; 04-05-2013 at 01:33 PM.

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Old 04-06-2013, 06:09 AM   #17
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
SusanB61 HB User
Re: herneated disc on C7, surgery to prevent nerve dying?

Thank you for the info. My weaknesss/numbness seems to be stable, not getting worse but not necessarily improving. Since it is affecting my right arm/hand (which is my dominant hand, of course) it is quite concerning. It sounds like the weakness I have is worse than what you experienced. I notice it doing things like lifting something off or onto a shelf, blow drying my hair, cutting vegetables, putting on clothing. Also, I do not have full range of motion with my right arm, as compared with my left. I have had about 5 PT visits where he uses manual cervical traction and two more visits next week. I have seen a chiropractor twice who uses a device called the Activator as manipulations to my neck would be too risky. I'm not sure if that will do anything but I'll try anything to get better and avoid surgery.

My neurosurgery visit is next week and I have a second opinion with another surgeon the week after. Admittedly I am a bit worried about my future at this point but trying to remain hopeful. If I knew in 4 months (I'm at 9 weeks post injury) I'd be better then certainly I would not have surgery, unless they can offer an outpatient less invasive procedure...anterior cervical fusion with decompression ACDF) sounds like a huge major surgery and I'm a singer so I don't want to risk harm to my voice.

I'm surprised how quickly they wanted to operate on you. Usually surgery is a last resort but maybe your weakness is what motivated the surgeon. Did you ever have an EMG (electromyogram) to determine which nerves/muscles were being affected?

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