warning - this is a bit long. sorry
I've been lurking for a few weeks and decided to join.
I've had pain, numbness and weakness issues for a few months, and have been to the chiropractor 2x, medical doctor 4x, physical therapy 12x with traction, e-stim and ultrasound (plus doing exercises at home as suggested by PT, who says she anticipates my problem will be chronic and PT will help but will not be a long term fix).
I've had an X Ray and an MRI, and a consult with an orthopedic surgeon, who has suggested surgery based on the fact that the measures I've taken haven't helped at all with numbness and weakness in my affected (dominant) arm/hand.
I've been prescribed: Hydrocodone with acetominophen, metaxalone, naprosyn for my bulging disc/pinched nerve issues, and then later, citalopram (for anxiety over said issues), iron, (already low and the NSAID didn't help things) and colace (probably self-explanatory). I am not currently taking them all due to stomach upset.
I'm sharing my MRI report not to have it analyzed (I read that's a no-no here) but just to share my condition.
MRI report reads:
There is some straightening of the normal cervical lordosis. There is loss of height and signal at C4-C5, C5-C6 and C6-C7. The cord is normal in size and signal intensity.
At C2-C3: There is mild facet arthropathy. The canal is broad.
At C3-C4: There is mild facet arthropathy. The spinal canal is broad.
At C4-C5: There is a broad-based central osteophyte with bilateral unconvertebral osteophytes. The thecal sac is flattened. The AP dimension of the sac is about 9 mm.
At C5-C6: There is a broad-based central osteophyte. The thecal sac is flattened. The AP dimension of the canal is about 9 mm.
At C6-C7: There is a left paracentral disc protrusion extending into the foramen. It measures 4x11 mm in size The thecal sac is not deformed.
At C7-T1: There is no focal disc protrusion.
IMPRESSION: Left paracentral disc protrusion at C6-C7 extending into the foramen. There is mild central canal stenosis and bilateral foraminal narrowing at C4-C5 and C5-C6 related to ostephyte formation.
I'm scheduled for: Anterior cervical decompression and interbody fusion C6-C7 to take place December 18. I wanted to wait until I was finished with school in May as I work full time and attend school full time, but the surgeon said that it's better to do it sooner to avoid further nerve damage, so then I wanted it done in December since I've met my $6000 deductible.
My questions are:
Does anyone have concerns regarding my decision to have surgery based on the info above?
Among my other jobs and responsibilities, I assist people with child seat installation, averaging 8-10 a month. I didn't think to ask the surgeon yet how long he anticipates it would be before I could crawl into people's back seats and do that again. I need to make arrangements for a replacement. Any ideas?
My concerns which led to me agreeing to surgery:
I'm very worried about permanent nerve damage. I write and type all the time for my job and school, and the weakness has affected me more than the pain since I've been on meds.
My husband and brother have experienced this before and opted to not have surgery. My brother said his affected arm has never completely regained strength, and my husband has constant numbness in his hands even now, 10 years later.
Sorry so long. If anyone made it to the end, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Scheduled for Dec. 18 anterior cervical decompression and interbody fusion C6-7