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Scheduled for Discectomy for my severly herniated disk in my neck

SuzycueSSuzycue Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have been having pain in my neck, right side of my chest/shoulder area, back right arm, elbow upper & lower arm, crushing pain in my hand and weakness in my fingers (all of them but really severe in middle 3). I am very anxious about my upcoming procedure on December 14th, 2010. It's a Tuesday. My aunt is a nurse for over 25+ years now and she said DONT do it. I have another uncle telling me NOT to do it also. I have tried medication, streroids, trigger point injection and cortizone/steriod injections and that made it worse for some reason. Seems like the only option is major surgery. Ive been told that most people if not all have difficulty swallowing and some still have pain or it gets much worse and I could be disabled for 6mo or 2 yrs or forever!!! Any advise. I see my pain doctor Friday 11/19/10 & my surgeon Dec 8th & anestheseologist on Dec 6th.

I would be grateful if anyone could offer their helpful advise.

I do have difficulty typing because of the pain and numbness but I dont stay on long. Please and Thank you. Hope to hear from somebody that could offer some helpful advise.



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. I think you'll find a lot of valuable information on this site as well as the support you need on the forums.

    I don't think that anyone here can or will tell you whether you should have surgery or not because it's really a very personal decision. I can say that most of us have made our decisions to have surgery because our quality of life had been reduced so severely that we would've done anything to get the feeling back in an arm, get the arm strength back to lift a glass of water or remove the numbness in our fingers.

    I was one of those. I had three severely herniated discs in my cervical spine as well as some severe bone spurs pressing on my spinal cord and was at the point that if I had one wrong thing happen, I could've been paralyzed. I also had severe symptoms in my arms and shoulders (like what I mentioned above).

    Per my PCP's suggestion, I found a fellowship-trained spine surgeon that only works on spines (he's an ortho) and specializes in severe cervical problems. I loved him at our first meeting and we scheduled surgery two days after that.

    I woke up with all symptoms gone and that was a miracle in my mind. Yes, the recovery was long, but I consider mine a success. I can't say that my neck is great now only because I have further problems above my fusion, but it's not because of my fusion - my neck has always been terrible since a car accident 30 years ago.

    So with all that said, yes, there are risks to surgery and only you can make the decision whether you feel it's worth it or not.

    Two things that are very important to keep in mind are these: First, have 100% confidence in your surgeon if you decide to have surgery; second, keep in mind that on these forums, those that have successful surgeries tend to move on and live their lives, no longer needing the support that is given here. Thus, there are more bad stories here than not, but not because there are more bad surgeries than not.

    Take care Suzy, and feel free to PM me if I can help you in any way. I, along with many others here, have walked in your shoes and understand how difficult a time you're having.

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