After having some odd problems and pain, I finally got an MRI of my neck. As physical therapy is not an option in this situation, my doctor has referred me directly to a neurosurgeon (my 3rd). A little relevent history: I have spondyloarthropathy and Crohn's Disease. I have already had a microdiscectomy at L5-S1 and a fusion at the same location. The bones did not graft after the fusion.
I have been having increased neck pain, as well as numbness and tingling on the left side of my face, neck, shoulder, arm, and hand. It's particularly bad at night, and the first time it all went numb it gave me a panic attack because I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. Apparently the one-sided facial numbness can be caused by increased cranial pressure.
The MRI showed a herniation (possible rupture) and osteophage complex at C5-C6 and a ruptured disc at C6-C7. There is some spinal stenosis and a moderate mass effect (which just basically indicates an increase in intracranial pressure due to the blockage of spinal fluid). With that knd of damage, physical therapy isn't going to help (and could make matters worse).
My question is: What kind of surgery are they likely going to recommend? It seems like a discectomy at 2 levels wouldn't make much sense, especially considering the vertebrae at C6-C7 are almost touching. Is a fusion the only other option?
What are cervical fusions like in comparison to lumbar fusions? Are they much more dangerous? Any additional risks or recovery factors? Anyone here who has had a multi-tier fusion in their neck have an input, opinions, or suggestions?
Someone operating on my lower back was scary enough, but the idea of a major surgery on my neck has me completely freaked out.