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What comes next?

AkSAAkS Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My 2 MRIs show 'slipped discs', an xray of me bending my head back shows that two vertebrae are grinding together. EMG/NC shows pinched nerves at c6 and c7.. I have burning down my left arm, burning in between my shoulder blades (and kind of under my left shoulder blade), BAD headaches non-stop.. I've had 6 facet injections and nerve blocks at c5, c6, and c7.. My neurosurgeon mentioned a fusion at my last appt. but because I'm so young, he is concerned that it will open the door for more surgeries down the road.
What comes next? More tests? I can't take much more of this. I just can't function. Are there more 'required' things before a surgery? (I'm terrified he'll say yes lets do the surgery and then my insurance - auto insurance, no fault from a car accident - will deny or delay it)


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Of course the formal and final decision is between you and your doctor.

    Cervical surgery seems to be alot more successful than lumbar ones. I have had two ACDF's and my recovery was super.

    I think a lot will depend on how those discs are pressing on any nerve causing some of your discomfort.

    Has your doctor discussed other options? Besides the injections, what about Physical and/or Aqua therapy, Passive traction, Acupuncture, etc.

    I've always believed that you need to hold of surgery as long as you can and deal with the problem using conservative treatments. But there are many situations where surgery is the only answer.

    Age? Well I can understand the doctors view. If surgery can be avoided, that should be the path to take. Will surgery at your age lead to more problems? Potentially, but it doesnt have to be that way. Approved exercise, diet and other passive actions can help avoid additional surgeries.

    If you dont do all the things you should be doing and listening to all the limits and restrictions, then additional surgery might never happen.

    But this overall, is something you and your doctor need to review and come up with an action plan

    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
  • Ah, not sure how I forgot about therapy, wonderful wonderful physical therapy... Yes, I have been doing that 3-4 times a week since last October. As well as massage therapy and traction at each session. Although they stopped the traction when they found the vertebrae touching.

    I have not done any acupuncture, it was never brought up at any session, but I will mention it at my next appt. If it may give me relief, then it's worth atleast inquiring about.
  • I imagine that Physical Therapy or epidural injections will be options suggested soon. Usually they do these prior to surgery but of course not always.

    I have had two cervical surgeries in the last year. Sometimes surgery is the only option and cant be put off without risking permanent damage. My first surgery was very successful but my second surgery only prevented further damage to my spinal cord. I feel like I may have waited a bit too long before I agreed to the second one because I still have the same pain, numbness and headaches as prior to surgery.

    Be sure to ask your doctor for all the options and possible consequences. Only you and he can make the right decisions for your individual situation.

    I understand and feel your pain. I hope you find solutions to your problems soon.

    Take Care
  • I've been in physical therapy for 6 months.. How much different are epidural injections than the injections I've already had (I know what an epidural is, I just wonder what the point would be after having these other injections)? Is there more of a chance of those working?

    I was really asking if there were any more 'required' steps prior to surgery.. I know many dr's, insurance companies, etc require certain steps before a surgery is ok'ed.
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