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Possible Disc Fusion - Opinions Appreciated

unsmart9duunsmart9d Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm new here, and have read several posts. I'm looking forward to any opinions, especially those with history of disc replacement surgery.

Here's my story:
I had had no neck pain up to 2003. In August '03 I rear-ended someone at around 5 mph. Between the car accident and the end of the year, I developed a bad crick in the neck that progressively worsened that year. I would constantly self-manipulate my neck to relieve the "tension". I even visited several different chiropractors that would try to manipulate my neck, all with no improvement.

Fast forward to 2010, I still have a pain in the neck/upper back, and about 2 times a year, my traps would flare up and spasm. Only saw chiropractors through those years. Each year the condition slowly worsened.

August 2010, I wake up and cannot sit up in bed due to chest muscle spasms. Rush to ER to get a look, and received no help. Followed up with PCP and was a guinea pig for 5 months, with different tests from X-rays, heartburn meds, steroids, pain killers, muscle relaxers, and even a stress test. No improvement whatsoever, so I was referred to the spine & pain center.

Jan 2011, the pain center doc prescribes mobic and flexeril. No improvement, so he changed flexeril to zanaflex. Still no improvement, so we scheduled a series of cortisone injections. None helped, so then they tried cervical epidural steroid injections. After 2 of those with absolutely no relief, they ordered an MRI and then referred me to the Neurosurgeon.

A week before neurosurgeon appointment, I go to the chiropractor for an adjustment. He's new there, and I told him of the MRI I had in Dec '11. After reviewing the MRI, he frankly told me that there's little he can do to help my neck pain and the pain radiating into my chest & upper back.

MRI Image:
The note on the MRI statement says:
Impression: Cervical spondylosis most advanced at C5/6 causing mild acquired central canal stenosis at that level and moderate to severe left and mild right C6 neural foraminal stenosis.

I talked to the neurosurgeon on 3/20/2012. I swear the guy had the same weird eyes of Prady on 24 (http://tinyurl.com/buenxp3). Anyway, he recommended disc fusion of C5/6. After he tells me the risks, I immediately think, "There's no way I'm doing this!"

Unfortunately, this weekend, I started noticing once of my arms/hands going numb intermittently through the day - twice while sitting at my computer and once while laying down while reading the forums here on my phone.

I called to request a second opinion at a more advanced neurosurgeon's office this morning. I just got back from the chiropractor as well, and after telling him my symptoms, he refused to give me an adjustment or administer any type of treatment.

I now work from home through the internet. I do not, nor have ever had a job which required extensive physical labor. I am only 28 years old now, but have been experiencing neck pain/tension for over 8 years.

Looking forward to any opinions/experiences! Have any questions? Ask away.



  • Hi Jeff,

    I'm really sorry youre going through all this. I Can totally relate with you. I myself will be needing an acdf surgery on my extruded c6,c7. Like you when I went to see the first neuro I thought"oh my God! I'm never doing this!"

    But my symptoms are saying otherwise. I can keep you posted as to what happens in my case and just know that you have someone else that understands what youre dealing with.

    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • Get a 2nd opinion - I had 3 for good measure. Look around the site - there are places with questions to ask surgeons, what to do before surgery and get ready for after surgery. Surgery is a last resort, so ask the surgeon what are the risks of having the survey, and what are the risks of not having it.

    I would be concerned about having chiropractors manipulations unless you ask your surgeon or primary care if it's safe.

    Take care,
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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