Hi and thanks for all that I have learned from lurking and researching on spine-health!
I'm a 48 year old female, mom to 5 and 6 year old boys and have had shoulder pain and muscle spasms in the upper left quadrant of my back for about 12 years. It got much worse in 2010 and early 2011 resulted in numb left arms and fingers, atrophy of tricep muscles and inability to move left arm to tie shoes, reach down or up,etc.
After 3 months of physical therapy, a ct scan and mri showed broad based disc protrusions C4-5, 5-6 and 6-7, anterolisthesis C3 on C4 second to facet DJD. Multilevel degenerative cervical spondylosis with kyphosis centered at C4, disc osteophype complexes C3-7, Multi level foraminal stenosis.
I'm scheduled for four level disectomy, fusion and decompression THIS WEDNESDAY. I like and trust my neurosurgeon (Atlanta, GA) but I'm getting nervous. I started taking Neurontin and Tramadol around July 1 to deal with pain, prior to that I refused to take pain meds because I can't take the side effects.
Which forums on here would best help me? There are soo many and so much negative talk about four level fusions. I have very limited neck mobility right now but plenty of chronic pain. My Doc says I'm not a candidate for artificial disc so I'm getting those plastic cages full of BMP and a titanium plate with screws. Incision through front of neck. I rely on my voice for work! I plan on taking 4 to 6 weeks off.
(side note: I believe I may have been misdiagnosed 10 years ago and given a cortisone shot to the shoulder. It gave me huge relief but what I chalked up to normal aches and pains and many muscle spasms in my back continued