Had a car accident in Nov. 09. Since then I have pain, numbness in shoulders and tingling down my arms. MRI results follow:
1. Some diffuse congenital canal stenosis.
2. Severe central canal stenosis at c4-c5 level, secondary to central disc protrusion and bilateral posterior osteophytic changes. Questionable cord compression centrally. There is bilateral foraminal compromise.
3. Central and right sided disc protrusion of c5-c6 with moderate to severe central stenosis and right sided foraminal compromise.
4. Central an right sided disc protrusion of c6-c7 with moderate central canal compromise. No foraminal stenosis.
I tried physical therapy and take many pain meds, that hasn't helped. My doc suggested a neurosurgeon.
First opinion, neurosugeon recommended fusion c4-c7. He gave me my options, explained the proceedure, asked if I had any questions, shook my hand and left the office.
For my second opinion, I decided to call the head of neurosurgery at a major teaching hospital. When I got to his office I was told the doctor was on vacation and that I would see the PA,when the doctor got back, he would consult with the PA and then I could come in for a second visit and see him. Well the PA recommended 2 artificial discs, one at c4 and the other at c7 with fusion in between for stability. He also said if it were up to him, he would put me in a "collar" right now. He didn't give me a collar. He then went on to say that if I had any trauma to my neck I could be paralyzed!! Talk about scary!
When I went back to the first neurosurgeon I asked about artificial discs. He said that he could not use them because you can't use artificial discs on more than one level.
I like the idea of the artificial discs because of the mobility factor but can't help thinking that the PA was just a little too over enthusiastic. I'm also afraid that because it is a teaching hospital that I could be used as a guinea pig for the new residents to practice on. Reminds me of Grey's Anatomy!
I tend to believe and trust the neurosurgeon that didn't try to scare me into surgery and I'm wondering if it's even worth going back to meet with the actual doctor from the second office when he returns from vacation.