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3 weeks ago woke up with pain and numbness in left arm, neck...

aes9634aaes9634 Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone. I am 33 yr. old. Was traveling for my job, stayed in a hotel, woke up with severe neck, left arm pain. Numbness and strength loss. This was 3 weeks ago.

Been to orthapeadic surgeon and mri. Recommends surgery (fuse C5/C6). I see a lot of great results within a few years of the surgery. I also see some bad results as the years accumulate post operation.

I am trying to decide how to proceed. My options are therapy, fusion, disc replacement.

Right now my pain is "manageable" - not on anything but ibuprofen. I have not had physical therapy yet, but am planning on starting this week. (Doctors say with numbness, weakness and pain, therapy won't help). Does anyone have experience with this?

Also, does anyone have experience with fusion vs. disc replacement. I like the idea of disc replacement because I can always fall back on fusion if the replacement doesn't work. What are your thoughts? With my pain not to the point of keeping me in bed yet, should I be considering surgery?

Finally, I live in Dover NH. Does anyone have recommendations for Dr's in the area of Boston, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine?

Thanks for the help. Anthony.


  • Thanks so much. I started my own topic. I really hate having to deal with this isue. I have confidence in the disc fusion resolving pain, numbness and strength for my current situation. My biggest fear is causing subsequent damage to other discs. Thanks again. Anthony.

    I took this from the other thread we were in. Even though your avatar is small, I can see the bulge at C5/6! As I mentioned, do a search for "ADR" on here. I fully understand adjacent level issues - been there done that, doing it again! I had C5/6 fused, and it went awesome for a year and a month (now mind you when I was originally fused, my adjacent disks looked great!) I yawned and C6/7 blew. 6 or 7 months past that fusion, I am now losing C7/T1 - my right hand is mostly numb now and cramps like crazy! I pretty well know I am going to have more surgery - and too to fix what I already have!

    Okay, I posted all that not to scare you, but to show you I am one of the 'bad' samples out there were the adjacent levels keep going. I don't recall the stats, but many go for years and years (or for life?) with no further issues. Mine I think were predisposed thanks to crashing (hard impact/side outward forces) a helicopter. 2 car accidents as well from dumb drunks!!

    Also I think some also comes of age. I'm nearing 50, so not as springy as I use to be! *wink* What a lot of us recommend, is get another opinion, or maybe 3 or 4 - YOU need to be comfortable with your decision. Once fused, the dynamics and loading on your spine are permanent. Please, if I can answer anymore questions, feel free to ask. There are others on here with the same level, and some with more. Again, Welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Any chance they can do a discectomy? That after PT would seem the most conservative approach. You can always do the fusion or ADR later. Which way is the bulge pressing?
  • Not sure which way it is going. left side arm is experiencing the problems...

    I am in the process of having a 2nd opinion by a doctor that does both fusion and ADR.

    Also, if I do a disectomy, then therapy, what supports the spine if the disc is removed?

  • I'm experiencing the same type of symptoms. I would see someone besides a surgeon first. I worked in industrial maintenance for 25 years. The electrician finds electrical problems the mechanic finds mechanical problems. Surgery will be my last choice.
  • Chris,

    Thanks for the note. I have an appointment set up with a neurologist. It is kind of tough to get into these guys...little bit of a wait, but hopefully something opens up in the next week or so.

    My wife and I are periodically testing my left arm strength thru some test the doctor did. Pretty weak on some of these things...50% of so of my right arm.

    I have physical therapy set up for tomorrow morning and am curious to what they are going to say or if they can help to relieve pressure of the nerve from the ruptured disc. Does anyone have experience with the procedure to just remove a portion of the ruptured disc pressing on the nerve? Any success or what was the outcome?

    Thanks, Anthony.
  • I haven't been on here for a while. The pain in my neck / arm has subsided as it has been 30 days since my disc ruptured. I have an appointment with a neurologist on the 26th and trying to get one setup before that with another doctor. I have been doing physical therapy for 1 1/2 weeks (5 sessions in all). I have also purchased a traction device to use at home 2 times per day every day. My hand has some numbness yet, but has gotten better. Weakness is the main concern. I am doing excercises, but it seems to be improving slightly and at a very slow rate. Anyone with experience on recovery prior to doing the surgery? First doctor recommended surgery immediately, but I struggle with that because my day to day activity hasn't been impacted much. Just the arm strength and hand strength...

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