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Re: Cervical stenosis - operate or not?

Re: Cervical stenosis - operate or not?

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Posted by Gary on November 21, 2000 at 15:19:24:

In Reply to: Re: Cervical stenosis - operate or not? posted by jean marie on October 02, 2000 at 23:48:11:

: : Hi Guys,

: : I have recently been diagnosed with 'severe' spinal stenosis at C4/5 level (after a MRI scan). This follows about three years of peripheral neuropathy, mainly involving tingling in arms & hands - accompanied by (sometimes) a little weakness as well.

: : The neurosurgeons have recommended surgery, but I'm unsure about the relative risks involved.

: : I have never had any neck pain at all, and the neuropathy has been irritating rather than painful. I realise that the stenosis is not going to go away, but what are the drawbacks of postponing surgery until pain becomes apparent? Could early surgery actually make matters worse?

: : I'm not particularly scared by the prospect of surgery, but there's always the 'Doomsday scenario' of the surgeon having a bad day at the office and condemning me to neck-down paralysis!

: : Can anyone offer a 40-year old dad in otherwise good health some advice and/or encouragement?

: : God bless

: : David

: david,
: i've been living with cervical stenosis most likely longer than when it was first diagnosed in 1991. i had an incredible body worker who kept my symptoms at bay for the past decade. as you, i was dealing with tingling/weakness in the hands and arms...they (a half dozen or so neurosurgeons) said the bone spur would degenerate. the last surgeon i saw a few months ago said that had he only seen the mri and not me, he would have assumed i was in a wheelchair. i continue to fight for my alternative battle. i have (of late) had tingling/numbness in the soles of my feet. my fear it coming from the hips? what if i allow surgery and the symptoms are still there when i come out of surgery?
: i'd be interested in hearing from you, if you have received any comments from those who have undergone surgery...
: thanks...and good luck on this journey...
: jean marie

David and jean marie,

I have had two spinal stenosis related surgeries in the past 4 years. First was a large bone spur removed at the 3/4 level. This was giving me tingling down my left arm into my 3 end fingers. No neck pain but very annoying. Tingling went away for about 2+ years until recently. Then tingling started again. Had a full laminotomy from c3 to c7. Helped alot. Then in June had the same thing happen and have been suffering for 6 months. Finally went for MRI and nerve conduction studies to verify what I already knew. Found out I have another minor bone spur and stenosis of c3-c7. The two surgeries really helped. Was extremely nervous about the first but looked forward to the second. Will probably have another discectomy within a year. But right now, only tingling and no loss of strength or numbness. So nothing to fear, surgery is the only option. You'll wish you did it earlier.

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