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Surgery / Not Surgery??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
So I have a bulged disk c5 c6, bone degeneration, on the vertebre, bone degeneration, pain at the site and right beneath my skull on the right side. Have had 2 surgeons suggest surgery. I have had no "arm" pain or problems, just neck pain. This has gotten progressively worse over 8-10 years (football injury originally).

My hope is to find someone with a similar situation. Most forums talk about arm pain/weakness which the surgery helped, and that it did help their pain. Just wondering if anyone has had the experience similar to mine, without related arm pain/numbness, but pain that was treated with surgery. Dr. says 75% "are happy they did the surgery." I am curious what is out there....




  • I had surgery for the same thing did not help with the pain c4-c7 fusion no arm pain just neck shoulder and up into my head before my surgery I did strain counter strain physical therapy and that worked the best wish I would have kept up with it and probably would not hurt like I do today good luck do your research ask your doctor to refer out of your town to get another opinion.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health :)

    What surgery have the doctors proposed? Are they saying it's the bulging disc that's causing your pain?

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Surgery may be necessary if you have severe pain that does not improve from other conservative treatments. It should be your last resort as there is always a risk factor involved.
    Chiropractic is shown to be effective in treating cervical spondylosis. It uses gentle spinal manipulation technique to correct spinal and help to relieve nerve irritation. Spinal subluxation is the term used by chiropractic to describe the misalignment of the spinal vertebrae.

  • with no arm or hand numbness/pain it means not much pressure on the nerves. don't touch it!!! no surgery. the 25% chance the surgeons talk about means also that you could come out worse. also there are the risks of infection and anesthesia problems. plus scar tissue later on could give you more trouble than youre having now.
    conservative treatment is best.
    good luck....pete
  • I'd be very cautious about going to a chiropractor. I've heard a few people say that it helped them, including my own father, but I've heard so many more who said it made things worse.

    I also wouldn't jump into surgery just yet unless they tell you there has been some new shift and that you have compressed nerves or spinal cord that will cause permanent nerve damage if no surgery.

    Along with everyone else, if your surgeons were both neuro, then go see an ortho in a different office for a third opinion. If they were both ortho, go see a neuro. Ask them to recommend more conservative approaches too or give you their reasons why surgery is recommended over anything else at this time.
  • I go three times a week for spinal adjustments, and it really helps. I have been on decompression for about the last month and a half... It really helps with my mid-back pain/issues. I have a small t6-t7 disc bulge, not pushing that far out near my spinal cord, so the neurosurgeon says not much to do.

    I did however have the arm/hand/finger stuff, so my c6-c7 ACDF was done, but I will say, regardless what my chiropractor says, it was successful. She thinks fusing two vertebrae together with straight hardware is absurd, but I can tell you this much, I feel so much better, and would do it again!

    My take on chiropractic care... You body tries to protect itself, you start changing your posture to help protect your body. That change causes sublaxation. Manipulating your spine back into correct position can give relief from pinched nerves and stuff. However, my take, if you have a disc budge, that bulge will not go away, so you can still have pain.

    Decompression stretches out your spine, allowing for the pressure placed on it to be reduced, thus, helping your disc to go back into place. Again, depends on your disc bulge.

    I can feel the difference after my adjustments. However, the pain never goes completely away. I will say that it helps, and basically anything that helps you is a good thing, plus it keeps me off the pain meds because it becomes tolerable enough (most times).

    I have had successful c6-c7 ACDF (again, regardless what my chiropractor says), because I can almost do everything I did before without all the pain.

    My take, if you cannot live your life like you want to, or have to live in contentious pain, you have to do whatever you have to do... Surgery sometimes is the answer, but get several opinions, and do what you think is best, but do not dismiss chiropractic treatment as an option of conservative care in the process.
  • I agree Jersey, as I said, a chiro helped my father when nothing else would. But I've also heard so many others who were injured by chiropractors, and you yourself think some of what your chiro tells you is bunk. That tells me that you know better than to entirely trust her education and judgment when it comes to things like herniated discs. I would not want a chiro messing around anywhere near my herniations. On the other hand, I do have pain issues due to bad posture, overcompensating for the pain. I tend to lean forward instead of reclining, I also tend to lean to one side, and slouch sometimes when the pain is really bad. These positions cause pain in my mid and lower back that have nothing to do with my cervical spine issues. I also have knotted muscles from tensing up and probably the posture things I mentioned. I think chiropractic care could help me with many of these problems. The decompression you mention is especially interesting to me, because I think it would help enormously to take the weight and pressure off the discs and can see how would help you.
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