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C6 / C7 Ruptured and Buldging

UnknownfutureUUnknownfuture Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum, but I'm hoping to get some information. I know the info will be strickly what has been experienced by other indiviuals. I had MRI in 2/3/2010 showing I hade a ruptured disc (C6-7) with a pertussion of 3 x 9 mm. The spinal cord shows flattening.
When it first occurred I was in excruciating pain for 4 days till the steriod pak took effect. I was on 2 perciset
every 4 hours. Since then I have had 3 Cervical Faucet block injections, 3 weeks of PT, I have a Cervical traction Unit at home also. I have had 5 visit to the chiropactor which has helped with the muscle stiffness only. I have what I call tension pain in my neck and shoulders. My upper arms burn as if there is someone with a fire inside. My elbows ache and get worst if I keep them bent. I have an aching in my thumbs and also pin and needles. I get headaches almost every day,I'm in pain every day on the level of 3 to 6 depending my physical activity. The orthopedic surgeon wants to do a fusion, but don't know if
I'm ready yet. Do you think the excruciating pain could return if the area gets inflamed again. Could I do more damage my waiting. I have heard if you can wait it out, it
may heal itself. Any input would be appreciated.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of great articles and videos on the site and the members of the forum are friendly, knowledgeable and supportive.

    None of us are qualified or even allowed to help with any diagnosis.

    What does the doc say that ordered your MRI? Was the doc that ordered it your PCP or a spine specialist? What do they say is the next step in your treatment?

    Take care and let us know a bit more about yourself.
  • Hi Cathy,

    Thanks for the input. Last time I saw my Orthopedic surgeon,(after I had the Cervical bLocks) he wants to do a fusion. I've been trying to put it off thinking it may get better. But I'm in pain every day -pain level 3 to 6 depending on my activities.
    In most of the post I see, people put up with this for years, I've only been in this condition going on 4 months. I'm thinking I should wait a while to see what happens. PT only have temporary relief and my cervical traction unit only gives temp relier and makes the base of my skull sore. At this point the only thing I haven't tried is accupunture. Has anyone had any luck with accupunture.

  • So, they're recommending surgery, an ACDF I assume.

    My experience sounds a lot like yours. I also had terrible arm pain, numbness and tingling and I had surgery five months after the onset of my symptoms. I also tried PT and traction which helped for a bit, but stopped helping after a couple of weeks. I got to the point where I chose to have surgery because I couldn't take the pain, arm weakness, muscle spasms and everything else that made my daily living completely compromised.

    Waiting always carries the risk of permanent nerve damage, so that's something to put into the mix. But the decision to have surgery is a very personal one and only you can decide if that is the right choice for you. I have to say that a rupture in the cervical area that's effacing the spinal cord is a serious condition and is not likely to heal itself. Others may disagree and I hope someone can give you stories where that has actually happened.

    I would also be very careful about seeing a chiropractor with your situation. Chiropractors can be good for many things, but honestly if the effected disc gets manipulated improperly, you could be facing more problems than you're already dealing with.

    I can tell you that after my 3-lvl ACDF, all my arm symptoms were gone and I felt much better. The recovery was a long one, but not quite as difficult or long as lumbar surgery.

    Good luck on your decision. I know it's not an easy one. A big plus is having complete confidence in your surgeon if you choose to have surgery and it sounds like you're happy with yours, you just don't want to face surgery itself.

    Take care,
  • Unknownfuture,

    I haven't posted here in a long time but I know what your going through. I had an ACDF a little over a year ago. My initial pain was a lot like yours. I felt like my right arm and the back of my shoulder blade was on fire and then my thumb, index, and middle finger went numb. I started off with PT and a steroid injection, which helped, but my MRI showed that the pressure from the ruptured discs were starting to damage my spinal cord (two small cysts had formed).

    I would reccomend getting a couple of 2nd opionions from other doctors. Personaly, I would make sure at least one of those opinions came from a Neurosurgeon.

    All of the doc's I talked to (2 Neuro's and 1 Ortho) said I needed surgery NOW!

    While the surgery was not exactly what I would call fun, recovery was not that bad. The worst part was that I was in a neck brace for a month. The pain relief was instant and I regained feeling in two of the three numb fingers. Aside from the occasional muscle spasm my neck feels great now.

    Hope you find relief.

  • Thanks everyone for your input. I'm leaning towards letting them do the ACDF so I can go on with life without pain and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    I have only let the chiropractor do muscle messages.
    I will not allow any manipulation. But I'm not getting any lasting relief, so I think it's time to move forward.

    I have alot of thinking to do.

    Thanks to everyone for their input.
  • I'm glad you're taking your time thinking about what you ultimately think is the best thing for you.

    If you decide on surgery, we'll be here to help you before and afterwards, you won't be alone.

    Take care and please keep us posted on your decision, timelines, etc.

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