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help need answers on cervical herniated discs

karenlkkarenl Posts: 42
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I need answers because I never asked the neuro surgeon any. I was so blown away with what he told me I never asked hardly any questions. I went to see a neuro surgeon for low back pain, buttock and leg pain for 7 months. Twom MRIS stated severla buldgin discs in lower lumbar and several other medical words. He asked me what he can do for me and I proceeded to tell him about my pain . He looked at the mri film on his computer and said your lower lunmbar looks clean. Now I am blown away , even though I don't know the meaning of all the medical jargin in the MRI reports I do know I have problems and have lived with the pain for seven months. On to the cervical he tells me I have 2 herniated discs in my cervical area. Showed me the picture and my spinal cord had 2 disc from both sides leaning on it, almost a hour glass shape. He strongly suggested surgery through the front of the troat and put a replacement plate in. He told me about complications which was pretty scary. I asked him if this could be causing my lower back and leg pain. he said it may contribute to it but would not be the main factor. I was not expecting this information so I asked little to no questions. Can anyone tell me if they have gone through this type of surgery. My brother in law had cervical surgery,tried to stay more on the coservative side. Filed bone surs and removed only a small piece of the disc.


  • You should probably go to some of the links from this website to get some answers to your questions. You need to become educated on your injury.

    I have had cervical disk surgery with a fusion (titanium plate attached to my vertebrae between c4/5 & c5/6) and it was an anterior approach (from the front of the neck). It went fairly well, but I waited too long and it caused my nerve tissue and surrounding muscle to have permanent damage. So now I am having constant pain. The important thing is that it stopped my tingling & numbness that was going down my arms. I recently had another injury to the next disk c6/7 and I have had my first of possibly 3 steroid injections. Again, the tingling stopped in my arms, but the steroid med that was used gave me a bad reaction. It was Kenalog and I'm a pretty small person, so the possibility of getting too much med for my size is what I'm feeling. I'll speak to my new doctor about it.... it's a long story.

    Some people on this "thread" (for neck pain) have had much worse injuries and many have had success; others have not and are still coping with pain issues using drugs, SCS (spinal cord stimulators) or ESI (epidural steroid injections into the spinal cord space to alleviate the inflammation).

    Check up on these things so you can make an informed decision on your own case and always get a second opinion. That's the advice of many.

    Good Luck!
  • Dear Kalyn

    Last year at work i injured my neck whilst lifting resulting in a protusion and tear of the C6/7 disc. This in turn was compressing my C6/7 root nerve. As of the 23rd of January, 2009 I had a cervical fusion in which i had inserted a titanium plate and screws. I too was very scared by this procedure, however i have to say that it was well worth it. The resulting fusion has been successful however i do still have symptoms which are a result of this injury due to permanant nerve damage. There are many risk factors associated with the surgery however if you have a good surgeon like i did these are minimal. Risks include damage to the spinal chord, hoarsness and problems with the larynx; which often reduce after time, risk of blood clots. However for me these things alone were not enough to stop me going through this surgery as I could not imagine my life continuing the way it was. The constant pain in both my neck and arm/hand was excruciating and i really wasn't living at all. You need to way up these things for yourself however i must say that my quality of life is so much improved. Yes i still have some pain and I still have pain in my neck and arm as well as numbeness in my fingers but these things have been greatly reduced and it is not constant. So from my point of view the surgery is vital. I only spent 4 days in hospital after and upon waking i felt an immediate relief. I wish you all the luck in the world. I hope this has helped. All I can add is that you should find a surgeon with a good reputation and a good success rate.
  • I am a 36 year old male that just had surgery Nov.3 2009. I blew out 3 disk c5-c6, c6-c7, and c7-t1. I fell off of a ladder and ruptured all 3. Before the surgery I had to hold my right arm above my head just to get a little relief from the pain, and I do mean just a little relief. There was no question as to the surgery. It had to be done in my case. they installed a titanium plate and 8 screws that fused c5,c6,c7, and t1 together. I was in the hospital for 1 day and went home. I was up and walking just hours after the surgery. trust me, I also was scared to death. they allowed my wife to be there with me when they put me to sleep and it was all I could do to keep from crying. I was so scared I would never see her again, but thank God I did. it has not been a month since my surgery but here is what I am going through. The pain is better at times but yet worse at others. They say this is due to the healing process. I surely hope so. my entire right arm was numb before the surgery, and my left arm was about half numb. Now I have most of the feeling back in both arms and hands. My right arm and hand are still numb in areas. This may be because of permanent damage to the nerve. they did not fit me with the correct collar to wear home. This was the hospitals over sight. The pain I have now is not the same as before. It hurts to cough, sneeze, etc. I have a dull pain in the center of my back at all times. The pain gets really bad when I lay around and get stiff. As I walk around and move more it eases up. Make sure they fit you with a good cervical collar before you leave and make sure you do what they tell you. I am blessed with an awesome wife, because she will not let me lift anything. since I have been home I have tried to do things when she was not looking because I am not one to sit around and do nothing, but I paid for it also. Do yourself a favor and take it easy. Like I said do exactly what they tell you to do. I bough a new memory foam pillow the other day that has also worked very well for me. I am glad I had the surgery, because for the most part I feel a lot better than I did before. I wish you the best and you are in our prayers.

    sincerely, Rick
  • I would suggest getting a second opinion.

    Who ordered the MRIs that you had done? Also does your MRI report say anything about herniations at the C level ? Something sounds very wrong.

    And most important - whether you go back to the same doctor or go to another doctor make sure you take someone with you and write down a list of questions before hand. Don't be afraid to take out the list and write down answer. If the doctor doesnt want to answer questions now think how bad he will be after surgery.
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