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Anyone that has had Neck Surgery

slowpoke60sslowpoke60 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I will be having surgery on my Neck in march, on C5-6, C6-7 with HNP Stenosis.

Anyone that has had this surgery, did you have any nerve damage that the doctor saw on your tests? I don't show any nerve damage or that they are pushing against a nerve.

If you had no nerve damage or any pushing against any of your nerves, did the doctor go ahead and do the surgery? If so, How did it come out?



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    four years apart. In both situations, the EMG showed different nerve damage, therefore the surgical procedure timing was important.

    Even without nerve damage, herniated discs (depending on the size) will cause some discomfort. They could pain radiating down your arms, you might have lost some strength in your hands and gripping may become a problem.

    I think when it comes to discs that are damaged and are NOT
    causing any nerve impingement, you have to look at where on the Spinal column the problem exist.

    To me, the most important one to address is cervical Why?
    Just my opinion. As you know things roll downhill.
    Many people live with herniated thoracic discs (I do) without having an surgery. The same is true for Lumbar problems. To me, I would want to take of any cervical problem. In addition to the pain and discomfort that results from injured discs, the on set of major headaches is another reason for addressing cervical disc problems.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Yes I do have major headaches and back aches. The headaches and back aches are so bad now, that sometimes I have to go to bed.

  • Im a bit like yourself (but i have signs of nerve damage). My NS said the main reason they do ACDF is for arm pain relief, Its for the pain in the neck itself, benefits of surgery are mixed; but for relief of the radiculopathy it can be very good (told me 90% success).

    Hope that helps!
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • The Orth. Doctor said that he thought he saw some nerve damage, he wants to do the surgery,

    The Neuro. Doctor said that he did not see any nerve damage (he was looking at the disk, not the actual xrays and mri's) and said no surgery

    So you can see why I am so confused.

  • Hi joyce,

    I think you and i have alot of the same questions and are in similar boats. I haven't had an EMG, and NS said my symptoms were difinitive enough to go straight to op if oral steroids didn't work... and thats where i am... op on 24th and dreading it - but - NOT gonna live like this either! so here i go.

    All of this nerve business.. i'm still trying to make sense out of it... I don't know if my nerve symptoms are a result of damage (does that equal permanent??); or a result of a pressed nerve that will wonderfully and magically disappear after the op? So i understand your confusion... I think it comes down to how much weight we put onto the various reasons to have the surgery. Obviously quality of life :))) ... but in my case the NS said it was to stop the current process that is going on with the affected nerves (he never used the word damaged...). My fear of this getting worse without intervention was enough to put me over and decide to have the op.

    Your nerves... do you have symptoms that make you think your nerves are involved? PM any time, its great to have all the support from the site, but particularly great when you find someone who's similar to your own situation.

    Take it easy! 8} @)
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • I do have tingling going down my arms, expecially the right one and I will wake up at night with my last two fingers asleep with my hand draped over my waist.
    I also have pain that shoots up and down my right leg to my foot when I lay down at night. I told the Neuro. Doctor this, but he just looked at me.
    Said he did not see any nerve damage, but like I said, My Orth. Doctor said that the disc. might be pushing against my nerves. That is why I have the other problems.

    I have a call into my Orth. Doctor to make an appointment to see him again next week. I hope I will understand more then and can make a decision, but I have just about made it for surgery, due to the pain and like so many people here say, the quailty of life.
    I will post and let everyone know what the doctor says.
    Thanks a lot for your input.
  • I really hope you do get a third opinion. I always tell people if all possible to follow the conservative treatment first. I have been on this site for quit sometime and have seen many who have gotten the injections along with therapy and they are back to busy lives. Remember once you do fusion surgery there is no going back. Your spine is forever altered. I don't know if your surgeon told you one of this risk to surgery is the risk of the surgery not helping and or the need for future surgeries as well. Now there are obvious situations that surgery is a must due to cord compressions. I'm not trying to scare you but have spine surgery is very serious stuff. As someone who has dealt with a lot of complications I just want you to be sure of what you are doing. Here is a list of questions that may help you when you see the Surgeon this week. If for some reason they are uncomfortable answering these questions that should be a red flag. Good luck and let us know what the surgeon says.


  • I really didn't want to get surgery, I'm terrified of anyone coming at my spinal cord with a scalpel! So, I researched some other options and heard about Vax-D. I found a clinic in Chicago (where I live) that offered it and I'm going through the treatment right now. It's awesome. It's a painless procedure, and it's been helping my neck so much! Good luck to you!
  • March 18th, 2009. I had ACDF surgery in 2005 due to severe myelopathy - C3-C4. Now there is more damage (probably due to the fusion) so I will have a laminoplasty done from C3-C7 on March 18th.

    Once again it's due to my spinal cord being compressed. I'm going with the laminoplasty vs the fusion as I am hoping that the laminoplasty will work and that I won't have to have any further surgery.

    I know that you are scared - I'm scared too, even though I've already had the ACDF in 2005. But this time it's much more involved - they will be going in through my back, so more muscles to cut before getting to the spine. I will also have to wear a 'hard collar' for 2 1/2 months post surgery!

    I'm not sure as to the exact reason you are having surgery. Is your spinal cord being compressed? Is it due to pain? I did get several opinions before deciding to go with the laminoplasty - it was either a laminectomy or a laminoplasty.

    Good luck and please post and let us know how you are doing post surgery.
  • I've been following this thread and wanted to add my own comments, experience and concerns. I am no doctor so this is just me and my opinions.

    I saw my DO this last week. He did an EMG. He said the results were far worse than the EMG I had last June. He thinks I have permanent, extensive nerve damage. My understanding of what he was telling me: I can have surgery but my pain will never be less than what it is now. The reason for surgery would be to keep the whole thing from getting worse.

    My MRI's show the disc at C5-C6 compressing hard on my C-6 (I think) nerve root). I also have quite a few osteophytes (bone spurs) thru my cervical spine. I have issues on other levels of my C-Spine as well, but C5-C6 are worst.

    I've had severe left arm pain for at least two years. I now have the same pain to a lesser degree on my right arm. I do have times where my hands and fingers experience tremors. I don't know how else to describe it.

    From what I got out of it my DO thinks I will now need to apply for SSDI. I'm almost 57 yrs old. I have type 2 diabetes as well. I'm wondering if that contributed in some way to the progression of this disease? Don't know.

    My opinions and take on all of this only.

    Ken GreyEagle

    p.s. I see my neuro surgeon a week from Monday. He will have the EMG results as well.
  • I will be seeing the doctor and I am going to go over my concerns about the surgery.
    They have rescheduled the surgery for March 12th.

    I will post more after I talk to him.

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