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Doctor's opinion v. "your gut feeling"
I had a C6/C7 fusion about one month ago and I think it was the biggest mistake of my life. Prior to my follow-up appointment last week I had an x-ray. I asked the surgeon about the C7/T1 disc because I continued to have pain in my middle fingers, and I began having pain in the skin over my triceps and other parts of my arm. The surgeon told me the C7/T1 disc was collapsed. He did not express any surprise. He said it would eventually autofuse. I did not know it was collapsed, and I was so shocked I did not have the presence of mind to ask any questions. Over the weekend I began experiencing intense pain in the muscle in the outer edge of my armpits and into the side of my rib cage. At the same time I began experiencing sharp pains in the base of my neck whenever I tried to lay down my head.
I put in a call to the surgeon early today to tell him about my new symptom and to ask him some questions. He called me back this afternoon. He said he had not idea what the pain in my armpits was from, and that it had nothing to do with my neck. That was astounding to me because it is as plain as day that it is related to my neck. I mean there is absolutely no way of denying it.
I asked the surgeon about the autofuse he mentioned. He said it would take about 20 years. 20 years? I'm supposed to live with this for 20 years?
I asked the surgeon if the C7/T1 disc appeared collapsed on my previous x-ray. He said it had always been that way. Why would you build on a bad foundation? Isn't that essentially what you're doing if you fuse a disc above one that is collapsed? Does that make any sense? Has anyone else had a fusion above a collapsed disc?
It's all so unbelievable. When I was at the hospital and they were preparing me to go into surgery I had a gut feeling that I should cancel the surgery, but I didn't do it because I had had to cancel once before and the surgeon had been kind of miffed about it. He had told me how that OR time could have been used for another patient. I was aware of that, but my cancellation couldn't have been helped. So, I didn't want to make him mad again. How could I have been so stupid? It is clear to me now that that was no reason to go through with a surgery I had doubts about.
I have completely lost confidence and trust in my surgeon.