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New & Looking for your advice

OoouchOOoouch Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease

I am new to Spine-Health so I hope I'm posting to the right forum and that people are able to offer some advice. I've been reading many of the messages and am so pleased you are all here (even though in the big picture, I wish none of us were!). My message is long and I apologize in advance.

I've had two car accidents which caused some mild neck pain. One was 10+ years ago and the other was 5 years ago. Two years ago, I found out (after an MRI) that I had mild DDD and slight herniation at c5-6. Fast forward to two weeks ago, I wake up with what I think is just a stiff neck. Neck gets worse and by day 2 my right arm is going numb to the elbow. Pain become excruciating and I go to ER during the evening. Upon arrival, I inform them of my past history with DDD. ER diagnoses me with muscle spasms and precribes muscle relaxants, tells me my pain should be gone within an hour or two and send me on my way.

The following day, pain and numbness is much worse. Arm has awful burning sensation in addition to numbness. I cannot sit, stand or lay down for more that 30 mins at a time without pain. I cannot lift my right arm above my shoulder. I cannot drive. I then consult with my doctor who sends me for an MRI. Doctor calls late that evening informing my that I have quite a problem and makes appt with neurosurgeon. Three days later, I meet with neurosurgeon who informs me that I need an ACDF at c5-6, c6-c7 and that it should be done asap as it's only getting worse. Informs me that hospital will call to schedule surgery. At this point, I had been out of work for just over a week. Neck continues to be painful, right arm always numb and/or burning, hand and fingers now numb.

Hospital calls to schedule surgery and I was prepared to pack my bags and be there at the end of this week. Nope, the appt is for June 11...another 2+ weeks away. I was shocked as neurosurgeon said it had to be done asap as my movement was making it worse and this is another 2 weeks of doing nothing but sitting on my butt or laying down until I can have surgery. Is such a long wait normal?? Should I press them to get me in earlier? I like my job very much and am able to do some work from home but I will be gone 4 weeks prior to surgery and then another couple for recovery, I would assume. Isn't this a bit much? Should I attempt to go to work a few hours a day - I would need to find a ride to & from as I cannot drive and it's a 35 minute ride.

I am a 36 yo female, love my job, and really cannot take this pain anymore...I am currently taking 8 percocet and 1600mg ibuprofen daily.

Do I wait it out or try to push them for an earlier surgery date? Surgery is new to me so I admit that I have no idea how the procedure (in regards to scheduling, etc) typically works.

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.


  • please disregard as surgeon called and moved surgery to friday. thanks anyway & good luck to all.
  • Hey there...just wanted to wish you well with the surgery. I would only suggest you get a 2nd opinion when dealing with surgery.

    Best wishes, please keep us updated when you are well.
  • Welcome to SH. I just typed a big message and then realized that your surgery date was this past Friday, not upcoming. I hope all went well for you. Please feel free to ask questions as you go about your recovery. there are many of us here who have gone through what you are likely experiencing.

    Please pop in and let us know how you are doing.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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