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My neck is actually worse than my back

painfuldyappainfuldya Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I finally found a conservative surgeon I could trust to work on my lower back. He wanted to do a microdiskectomy rather than a fusion. I was okay with that. However prior to surgery he scheduled me for some preop MRIs. On the lower back I herniated another disk, either I did it in a just six months or it just never showed up before. However the big surprise was my neck. At C4/C5 I have degeneration, retrolisthesis and central canal stenosis. At C5/C6 I have degeneration and moderate to severe central canal stenosis plus degeneration of the left uncovertebral joint, and compression of the leftist C6 axillary sleeve plus moderate to severe left neural foraminal stenosis. At C6/C7 I have mild to moderate canal stenosis plus right and left neural foraminal stenosis. Plus I forgot, at C3/C4 I have mild stenosis. How can I get all this stenosis? I am 41, I thought the stenosis was most common for 55 and over. I thought I just had neck pain from fibromyalgia. It now looks like my neck is worse than my back, and my lower back has been driving me crazy for two years with three degenerated discs (L5/S1, L4/L5 and L3/L4). As I said before L3/L4 is the newest one to join in the miserable progression of disease up my spine. I thought the main problem was my lower back and I was set to operate, now I don't know what to do. I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow. My body is falling apart. The meds I take are Neurontin, Celebrex, omeprazole, Synthroid, and Klonopin. Does anyone know if any of these meds can accelerate spinal degeneration? Also, I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has problems in the back and neck both thank you


  • I was originally told that my neck was worse than my back. The doc that helped me with my back said that lots of times once they get one area straightened out the other stops hurting. In my case he was right.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • HI

    My problems started back in April with a car accident. I found out this summer that I have a herniated disc at t1/t2 which causes neck, shoulder and arm pain. When they did the thoracic mri of course they noted a bunch of mid-back herniations and stuff. I do get some low back pain but it is only when I do too much standing and bending. I was told that this is normal for anyone over 40.

    So it sounds like you found this out in reverse. I would be very careful and make sure you do lots of research before any surgery. Your pain may be from the neck problems not the back. The other thought is how would surgery in one are affect later surgery that you may need? I've seen a few posts from people who seem to have a dominoe effect once they start surgery.

    Good Luck. Hopefully your doctor can shed some light on this.
  • I wonder if the neck problems are responsible for the fibro?

    Sorry to hear about your problems?

    Hang in there,

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    My neck was really bad from 2003-2008. During that time I had an ACDF then a cervical foraminotomy. Ahh, relief, back to life. Uhhh, nope, as of April this year my low back became really bad and I'm only 43. I'm likely headed to surgery soon.

    Spinal stenosis is not uncommon but seems to happen to a greater degree, and earlier, in some of the population. I don't believe any of the meds you mentioned can make a difference. It's probably just in your genetics and your spinal structure.

    It's been a long road but I've accepted that the spine is my "thing" like my friend that has all kinds of foot problems for no reason - that's her "thing". The spine is what is going to be my focus often during my life. So my focus now is how can I improve my situation now while also trying to facilitate a better future so when I'm older maybe these spine surgeries will benefit me then as well.

    When I look at surgeries I always look at how it will affect me in the future. If I had not had my cervical ACDF the problems would have progressed and I could have ended up with permanent nerve damage and ongoing degeneration which would have been harder to fix later in life.

    I hope this helps!

    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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