I'm not even sure where to begine with this. 4 plus years ago I talked myself into having cervical surgery. 3 disks removed and a 3 level fusion from C3/4 throu C5/6 was the result. After surgery I attempted to do everything I possible could to be healthy and enjoy the rest of my life. I lost weight (almost 100 lbs). I work out (daily) and walk over 3 miles about 5 times per week. I eat healthy. I retired from work. Ok here comes the sucky frustrating part. For the last several years I have been having pain in my right shoulder, arm and hand and its been getting progressively worse. I finally decided to go for a new MRI and find out what was happening (oh first I saw a doctor who ruled out carpel tunnel. MRI makes me want to cry (correction, MRI makes me cry). I have a right parcentral osteophytic ridging compressing the ventral aspect of the cord at C3-4 and exiting right C4 nerve root. I have a disc osteophyte complex with a right paracentral disc protusion resulting in mild central canal stenoisis at C6/C7. My big concern is the osteophyte at C3-4. I believe it's most of the cause of the pain in my right arm and hand. I figure the one at C6-7 is just adding insult to injury (pun intended).
So what to do? As mentioned been there, done that. Since I am very arthritic and more surgery is most likely going to result in more osteophyte growth that does not seem like a good option. On the other hand this constant pain is not a heck of a lot of fun either.
Oh by the way I am a firm believer in limiting pain meds as much as possible. I can't take things like Motrin which actually do provide some help because they make my blood pressure spike. I don't want to take any of the heavy hitters that are perscription because I just don't want to live my life that way. So what do do?
Guess I will go see the doctor who orginally did my surgery and see if he has any good ideas (any good ideas short of more surgery that is). Why would I do something I already know is not a lasting solution?
Thanks for listening,
Fused and Frustrated
ACDF C3-4 C4-5 C5-6 Sept 17 2008.