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  • Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

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    Old 03-18-2014, 07:53 AM   #1
    BOB825
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    Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    I have severe right narrowing foraminal c7. All strenght test are fine. I ONLY have pain in my right arm when Im sitting at my desk or driving a car. The pain is intense but goes away fast if i shift my neck around. Since my only problem so far is pain with no physical problem should I avoid surgery or not ?

    Thanks

    Bob

     
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    Old 03-19-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    Are you seeing a spine specialist for treatment? If so, what advice have you been given?

    From your description of your issues, it would seem that you could stick with conservative treatments, at least for the near future. But you need to rely on the expertise of the spine surgeon specialist who has the advantage of seeing whether their is cord compression and has examined you physically and performed a basic neurological test. These things are as important as the information gathered from imaging.

     
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    Old 03-19-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
    BOB825
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    Re: Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
    Are you seeing a spine specialist for treatment? If so, what advice have you been given?

    From your description of your issues, it would seem that you could stick with conservative treatments, at least for the near future. But you need to rely on the expertise of the spine surgeon specialist who has the advantage of seeing whether their is cord compression and has examined you physically and performed a basic neurological test. These things are as important as the information gathered from imaging.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

    For now they have me on anti inflammatory & muscle relaxers

    I'm also in PT but so far the exercises are hurting me more than helping me.

    If I'm still in pain, they suggest I try cortisone shot.

    I'm 48 years old. I am very very scared of surgery. From what i've heard you shouldn't have surgery for the pain unless you have nerve damage . So far I don't any nerve damage . I dont have confidence in PT. I hope the cortisone shot will work, if not, I have a big decision to make as far as surgery. If the pain stays about the same, I'm not sure what to do . It's a nuisance but it comes and goes. Only when sitting or driving a car. I was hoping maybe others had similar symptoms and wonder how they treated them.

    The doctor says It may come down to pain. Can I live with it or not. Who likes pain? having surgery to relive pain is no guarantee.

    btw the pain i'm referring to is a have like an electrical shock that runs down my right arm. it's very intense but if I shift my neck, it goes away.

    Last edited by BOB825; 03-19-2014 at 08:32 AM.

     
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    Old 03-25-2014, 06:16 PM   #4
    CT06405
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    Re: Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    If you start to notice weakness or numbness or any muscle atrophy anywhere, that would up the odds more in favor of surgery.

    I lived for 4 years with severe foraminal stenosis at C6 and moderate foraminal stenosis at C5. The pain would come and go, but would be triggered by driving or any exercise which used my left arm. Once the pain started, I had to put up with it for at least two days straight before it would calm down.

    Like you, I vacillated about surgery, since I could somewhat control the pain by limiting my activities, and it wasn't always there until the past year. I decided to get surgery when I was told that I was starting to develop a slightly winged scapula due to the radiculopathy from C5 and C6, which was starting to weaken some muscles.

    I had a minimally invasive foraminotomy one month ago. It seems to have worked, although the area near the surgical site is still somewhat sore (I'm not on painkillers). I woke up with my C6 nerve numb from the surgery and the arm weak, but it has been improving fast. I'm told it should be back to normal within a few months.

    So it's too early to tell exactly how good my result will be. If I have absolutely no upper back pain after this and my left arm regains all its strength, the surgery will have been a great success. As it is, I don't regret doing it. But even the smallest surgeries which involve the spine are nothing to enter into lightly.

    If you do get a foraminotomy, I'd recommend finding someone who does a lot of them. Many of the older surgeons rarely do them and prefer to do ACDF's.

    Last edited by Administrator; 04-14-2014 at 05:02 PM.

     
    Old 03-28-2014, 01:22 PM   #5
    BOB825
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    Re: Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CT06405 View Post
    If you start to notice weakness or numbness or any muscle atrophy anywhere, that would up the odds more in favor of surgery.

    I lived for 4 years with severe foraminal stenosis at C6 and moderate foraminal stenosis at C5. The pain would come and go, but would be triggered by driving or any exercise which used my left arm. Once the pain started, I had to put up with it for at least two days straight before it would calm down.

    Like you, I vacillated about surgery, since I could somewhat control the pain by limiting my activities, and it wasn't always there until the past year. I decided to get surgery when I was told that I was starting to develop a slightly winged scapula due to the radiculopathy from C5 and C6, which was starting to weaken some muscles.

    I had a minimally invasive foraminotomy one month ago. It seems to have worked, although the area near the surgical site is still somewhat sore (I'm not on painkillers). I woke up with my C6 nerve numb from the surgery and the arm weak, but it has been improving fast. I'm told it should be back to normal within a few months.

    So it's too early to tell exactly how good my result will be. If I have absolutely no upper back pain after this and my left arm regains all its strength, the surgery will have been a great success. As it is, I don't regret doing it. But even the smallest surgeries which involve the spine are nothing to enter into lightly.

    If you do get a foraminotomy, I'd recommend finding someone who does a lot of them. Many of the older surgeons rarely do them and prefer to do ACDF's.
    Thanks for sharing your story. It's similar to mine. So far Ice, Heat & traction have relieved most of my pain. Still there but not as intense.

    I wish you well on your recovery. Please keep us posted.

     
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    Old 03-28-2014, 03:40 PM   #6
    CT06405
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    Re: Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    I used a lot of heat and ice too. The muscles near the base of the neck and the scapula used to lock up a lot if I irritated the nerve too much. But I found muscle relaxers did nothing.

     
    Old 04-09-2014, 06:35 AM   #7
    CT06405
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    Re: Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    I'm now 6 weeks post op from my minimally invasive foraminotomy at C5 and C6. I'm happy with my results and it was successful. I had some soreness of the nerves near the surgical site, which was worst for the first 10 days - in fact I had some trouble sleeping - but then that declined steadily. I used ice packs on it occasionally until the past few days.

    I went to therapy for a month to get my arm strength back, and that improved rapidly. I continue to do exercises and am almost back at full strength. The C6 nerve was numb for awhile - my thumb felt half-numb - but much of the sensation has returned, with the thumb recovering over the past week. The surgeon said that some arm numbness and weakness is a relatively common side effect after cervical surgery due to swelling and nerve irritation, and usually resolves in about two months, although some take longer.

    I now have full range of motion when I turn my head to the left -- I used to feel the "junk" blocking it when I turned my head - and that awful scapula pain I had for the past 4 years is gone.

    So, I'm glad I have this behind me -finally - and don't have to limit my life and activities due to my neck anymore.

     
    Old 04-14-2014, 01:37 PM   #8
    BOB825
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    Re: Opinions on Cervical neck stenosis

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CT06405 View Post
    I'm now 6 weeks post op from my minimally invasive foraminotomy at C5 and C6. I'm happy with my results and it was successful. I had some soreness of the nerves near the surgical site, which was worst for the first 10 days - in fact I had some trouble sleeping - but then that declined steadily. I used ice packs on it occasionally until the past few days.

    I went to therapy for a month to get my arm strength back, and that improved rapidly. I continue to do exercises and am almost back at full strength. The C6 nerve was numb for awhile - my thumb felt half-numb - but much of the sensation has returned, with the thumb recovering over the past week. The surgeon said that some arm numbness and weakness is a relatively common side effect after cervical surgery due to swelling and nerve irritation, and usually resolves in about two months, although some take longer.

    I now have full range of motion when I turn my head to the left -- I used to feel the "junk" blocking it when I turned my head - and that awful scapula pain I had for the past 4 years is gone.

    So, I'm glad I have this behind me -finally - and don't have to limit my life and activities due to my neck anymore.
    That's great Happy to hear that

     
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