I have "moderately severe DDD", C4, 5 and 6. Since a Saturday evening in 2009 after cleaning windows on a beautiful sunny day. Relatively healthy and working as a massage therapist and bookseller. After crippling pain in neck and arms, did several doses of prednisone (which only made me crazier). Several steroid shots, never lasting longer that a month. After my rock-star surgeon recommended a acdf 3 level, I had severe anxiety. Everything I enjoy involves use of my hands, i.e. playing piano, making pottery, writing, massage... I did not want to endanger esophagus/trach, as I also have acid reflux as well as some esopageal trauma. So I went with cervical foraminotomy right sided, c5 and c6. As though that was less invasive.
The surgeon reported immediate "pinkening" of nerves, and I experienced 80 - 90% relief...for a few months.
Of course I was hoping for a longer respite.
The symptoms returned with a vengeance, plus neck pain and headaches, 11 months later.
Now, I have had 3 surgical opinions. Vascular studies which say I have no circulation issues. And the neurologist telling me this can no longer be treated medically.
So I have reached the inevitable. jumped thru the hoops of bmp, Peek, autograph...
Picked a surgeon who looks me in the eye and tells me not to worry.
I haven't worked in over a year. I am at high stress, yet trying to let go...
and be responsible.
Sorry for the length.
c4,c5,c6 herniations with osteophytes and stenosis;
l4,l5 minor herniations repaired with time and exercise.