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Scared to have surgery

sbeamonssbeamon Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My MRI has shown 2 herniated discs. I finally went to the doctor after i was experiencing numbness in my arm. I recently went to a specialists, URL Removed and was told I would need surgery.

This is so scary! I want to hear more from people that have had this surgery done. What was your recovery like? How much pain did you experience?

Any advice is greatly appreciated,


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Post Edited by Administrator Dave



  • Hi and Welcome! What kind of surgery are you having?
  • I had the numbness / heaviness in my right arm so bad that I wanted to cut it off. It was horrible. I also had teriible muscle spasms in my left trap muscle (on top of my shoulder) I went for MRI's Chiropractic care, Physical Therapy, Traction, a portable TENs unit, 2 sets of Steriod Injections, Numerous Trigger point injections and 3 Facet Ablations on the right side which did not work. Finally, I fired my neurosurgeon who only wanted to try to "remove a little piece of bone and see if that works" to my great orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine surgery. He ordered a few more test to pin point where my pain was coming from and finally sugessted a 4 level fusion. Like you I was scared to have surgery on my neck, but I was so tired of being in pain for so long and knew I couldn't keep going like that. So I did a lot of research and asked my surgeon a lot of questions. Following is a copy of a post I wrote a while back. I thought it may help you. Good luck with what ever you decide to do. (but I wouldn't let them use cages and plates)

    I had a 4 level cervical fusion (C3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7) in early December 2009. My surgeon used the Peek Prevail disk and BMP. I was made aware of the previous issues of using BMP with cervical fusions but was confident in my surgeon how he described those problems and how he was going to avoid those same issues with me. I asked a lot of questions and took notes so that I could look up any of his answers. I velt very confident is his ability and so far it has proven to be a good choice. I have read nothing but horror stories of people who had cages and allografts as well as autografts. I am glad I had my fusion done with the BMP. I am not completely pain free but a lot of that has to do with what I do for a living (a very stressful desk job where it is not feasible to get and move around) I am still on pain meds but over all I would say that this surgery was a success and I would choose to have it again. I believe that you have to have a surgeon who has experience with the BMP and knows how to use it in conjunction with the Peek Prevail disk.

  • and should definitely not be taken lightly. It's good that you are asking questions. When you get to the point where you cannot find a decent control for the pain, PT and exercise are not helping to rectify the problem, and life feels a bit like it's going downhill, you should really think about the surgery. I had a lumbar fusion almost two years ago. It was sheer hell, but I'm really glad I went through it. I have my life back, and that is worth everything to me.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • What levels of discs are herniated? Lower or upper back?

    I also had BMP and the PEEK,.. but mine was in the lower spine. I too have recovered-better than I expected. I'll not ever be a 100% again, but I can walk, I can move and I am happy to be on this side of recovery.

    I delayed having surgery until I started to lose bladder control - that's how scared I was of surgery.

    It is a SERIOUS surgery and the recovery is long and challenging. It takes over a year to fuse in most cases - that's a lot of recovery time.

    Do your research, get multiple opinions (NS and Ortho - not your next door neighbor) and good luck.
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