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Burning in arms from cervical spine

ihatepainiihatepain Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Lately my upper arms and forearms have been burning pretty bad along with the knife that is stuck in my spine twisting. My neurosurgeon wants to do a 4 level fusion and i am scared as hell. He says i am at risk for paralysis if i was to be in a car accident or slip and fall. Is he overexaggerating?? Paralysis?? My pain is horrible and want to be rid of it, but i am worried about getting plates put in my neck only to have the pain return or get worse....if it gets worse, i will lose my mind!!!! Any thoughts???


  • Sorry to hear you are in such terrible pain. I can empathize with you. You must have a lot going on for the surgeon to recommend a four level fusion. Have you gone for another opinion?

    Best wishes,

  • Hi there and welcome to Spine-Health.

    I read your signature and am wondering what levels he wants to fuse? And is he suggesting an ACDF?

    I've had a 3-level ACDF and in most of the cases you'll read here, the anticipation is worse than the surgery honestly. I know how freaky it is to anticipate spine surgery, but yes, it's possible to be in a position where you can be worse off if you fall or get in an accident of some sort.

    I would also suggest another opinion, perhaps from a fellowship-trained ortho spine surgeon, one that only works on spines. Getting an opinion from a neuro and an ortho may give you more options. It would definitely be worth the effort, given the amount of levels your current neuro wants to fuse.

    Just so you know, my surgery was successful and having a plate in your neck is totally unnoticable for most of us. I never think about my hardware.

    Anyway, take care and please keep us posted.
  • Though not 4 levels, when my C5/6 was going, it had herniated on the cord, and I like yourself was told a fall or minor car accident could cause me to be paralyzed. I wasn't thrilled, and too had burning pain from the base of the neck and down the arm. I didn't want to chance fate.

    Surgery is a very personal decision - that between your doctor and you. You will know when you need surgery. Sorry you're hurting and burning.... Been there, done that....still do that. Welcome to Spine Health!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I also wanted to welcome you to spine health. I am sorry that you are having pain and burning due to your neck. Surgery is a very personal choice,tough to make, although alot of times neccessary. Have you had a second opinion?How long have you been having these issues with your neck, and were you involved in some sort of trauma that started this off? Wishing you all the best!
    gentle >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012

  • Hello and welcome to our friendly group of spineys. You will find lots of people here who have spine pain; some with neck pain and shoulder, arm and hand symptoms too. Quite a few have had surgery and lots of them got great relief and are no longer here because they are too busy living their lives again.

    Just last night, I was kept awake with awful burning pain in both my arms, so I know how frustrating and annoying it can be.

    I agree with getting at least another opinion, especially as it has been suggested that you have 4 levels fused.

    I have heard others say that they were told that they needed surgery to avoid the danger of an accident causing paralysis. I think, when we have any pressure on the cord, any strong jolt to the spine could cause the pressure to increase so much that the cord could be damaged permanently.

    There are people on here who have had fusion on their neck with very few symptoms and no pain at all. They also, were told that it was necessary to protect the cord from being damaged in a car or other accident.

    I think that you will find this a great place to get support and information. >:D<

  • thanks for the replies,

    Yeah i have had a second opinion and am actually going for a third march 10. My problem is that i have a job that will not allow medical leave for another 8 months!! So i have to tough it out with pills and hot showers, heating pads etc. My job is labor intensive as i am a chef and have to stand all day long. I have been having neck problems for many years. the problem with doctors it seems down here in south florida is that they are very greedy it seems. They really dont seem to care about your health, just how much money they can make off of you. For the past 2 years i have been in pain management under the assumtion that i had arthritis and spondylosis and that was it, because that is what the doc said. It was ME, who requested a new MRI....as soon as the reults came back, i fired him!!! I was so angry. I was telling him about the numbness, burning, weakness in my legs, arms and he just said with a smug comment, hmmmm i think you need injections, i refused, good thing. The neurosurgeon said it would be a bad move to have facet injections with my condition.
    Anyway, another 8 months of agony...i hope the surgury works and i can get off these pills!!! Its bad enough takin them, let alone geting treated like a drug addict everytime i go to fill bc of the abuse problems in this area.....oh well i am rambling on.........thanks for the replies.
  • welcome to SH, you're in the right place here, as there are many that have experienced what you now are.
    I'm a 2 level cervical ACDF. I too was told that a fall or accident could leave me paralyzed before my first surgery and it certainly did NOT sit well with me at all.
    The thought of surgery is definatly scary, however, could very well be the answer for you. Try a 2nd opinion as soon as you can and make an educated decision for yourself after that point.
    Please keep us posted as this is a great source of support!!
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