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3 weeks to surgery--worried of course!

42 years ago I had a serious head-on auto accident. Fusion was recommended at that time, but I declined. I have had pain almost all my life, but 7 years ago the pain stopped. I was glad until my arms got like sandbags. Finally I got an MRI--Severe spinal stenosis, myopathy, and nerve damage. Got 2 concurring opinions recommending removal of discs at C5-6, 6-7 and work to remove spurs above this area. It doesn't seem likely the nerve damage is correctable, but may be kept from progressing.

Any words of wisdom from out there?

I am pretty functional at this time and of course I am worried. Rehab and the odds of 5% for problems don't sound too good.


  • Upcoming surgery? ACDF (anterior - through the front) or Posterior? The surgery and recovery can be different. You should check out the threads in the other forums - Back & Neck Surgery, Recovering from Surgery. There's great information about what to do before surgery, what to expect before and after. My surgeon had a nurse practitioner who met with all surgical patients and went through in detail what to expect from the surgery, at the hospital and for recovery.

    It sounds like your surgeon like mine did not promise that pain or other symptoms would go away but as you said, the surgery would keep the problems from progressing. The surgery provides the opportunity for improvement, but nerves take a long time to heal and it can take up to a year to see how much you may recover.

    Take care. PM me if you like.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Hopefuly it's not nerve damage it's just compression on the nerve from the stenosis,
    Very good chance after they free up the nerve it will heal,

    It's very hard to confirm nerve damage and emg mostly will show where nerve is compressed ,

    I spent the last 9 years talking to doctors specialists about nerve damage as my nerve never healed from l4l5 artificial disc replacement,
    You will only know after the surgery as it can take 18 months and even longer for nerve to heal sometimes ,

    Wish you the best of luck and hope all goes well ,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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