Hello all!! I have been lurking in these forums ever since my cervical adventure started, and I wanted to get some input from others.
Let me give you some history on my situation first. Starting around February 2012 I was sitting at my desk at work and raised my right arm up and without cause went into one of the worse pains I have ever felt starting at my right shoulder blade and going all the way down to my wrist. My first thought was that I pulled a muscle. So once I got home that night I started heating and icing along with taking Ibuprophen. After two weeks of sleepless nights I decide to go visit a chiropractor, where the first thing they do is take an XRAY. The results come back that I have a bulging disk at C6 and C7 and she recommends I visit her three times a week for the next month. So I go to my appointments while taking it easy at home in the evenings, to the results of feeling worse after the visits than I did when I started going to see them. So I finally decide to visit a doctor who in a matter of minutes diagnoses me with a strained and pulled rhombus muscle in my back that is causing the pain to go down my arm. The doctor prescribed pain meds and muscle relaxers and told me to take every last one of them while doing a set of stretches the doctor’s office showed me to do. Thirty days pass and still no relief. By this time I am starting to learn to live with it (which is scary) and by around July 2012 that pain had been just limited to my arm, with the back pain every so often.
Fast forwarding to February 2013 with still having the pain coming and going I decide to go for another doctor’s visit with a completely different organization. At this point my symptoms still remain right arm and shoulder /blade pain with the addition now of uncontrollable tremors in my right hand. This doctor sends me for an MRI on a Wednesday, the results come back on that following Monday, and I am sent straight to a neurosurgeon the very next day. Now is where it starts to get even weirder for me, in-between getting the MRI and the results my arm and back/blade pain decide to go away and has been replaced by numbness in my right fingers and hand. I get to the neurosurgeon appointment and he proceeds to show my wife and I that disc C6 & C7 have now ruptured and fragmented and are applying pressure to my spinal column. He told me I have three options, two of which are temporary. Option 1 He would send me to a pain clinic every other week for an epidural. Option 2 Physical therapy 3 times a week. Option 3, surgery where he would install a prosthetic disc at C6 and cadaver bone graft with fusion at C7 with a stabilization plate across the whole area, calling the procedure an Anterior Cervical Discectomy. This of course floored my wife and me, he wanted a decision right then and there but we could not provide him with one at that time. So we left the doctor’s office and after consulting family and friends while talking amongst ourselves we decided that I should have the surgery now and get it over with while I am still young (29 Yrs. Old). We called the doctor back and I am scheduled for March 21st.
I guess the input I am looking for is did I jump to the surgery option without giving everything enough time to work? Since the arm and should/blade pain going away and being replaced by numbness, is this a sign that it is getting better or my gut feeling that it is getting worse? This would be my first surgery ever and I am trying to be positive we are making the right decision.