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Is surgery warranted

If I don't have nerve pain? The majority of my pain is within an inch or two of my discs, both lumbar and neck. The doctor told me my MRI shows 3 bone on bone in my neck and it's up to me when I want to have surgery. I just wonder if I should keep on suffering until or if I have nerve compression issues or go ahead and get it over with. I'm 58 years young and retired now and would like to be able to enjoy myself a bit. Any thoughts from you "experts"?
Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil


  • FrancineSFFFrancineSF Posts: 318
    edited 04/06/2013 - 10:07 AM
    ...but I guess a few questions I had to ask myself when I was considering cervical surgery were:

    1) If I wait until there is nerve damage, is it irrepairable?
    (Note: I already had some tingling in my fingers and I did wait 3 years before having surgery, and won't know if the tingling will go away for a while (perhaps up to a year, if at all.)

    2) I am healthy now (at age 53) - and as I get older, will there be greater risk?
    (Things like fusions taking longer or not fusing because of age and life style habits)

    3) Is there an alternative to surgery for the symptoms I have?
    (I scoped out all possible alternatives and ultimately did have surgery in October 2012)

    4) Did your doctor say that there will be nerve damage at some point or is it possible that there will not be any?
    You used the word "suffering", so clearly you are already experiencing enough pain that it is the "suffering" category.
    I never had pain at all - just tingling and some occasional burning at my right deltoid, but no pain.

    For me, healing from surgery was 3 months, although I was doing everything (other than driving for the first 6 weeks) as soon as I got home from the hospital - and I was in a hard collar for those 3 months! Since I thankfully was never in any pain, it made it easier to do things on my own, although I did pace myself because I knew I was healing and my body needed my energy to go towards that. I intentionally waited until winter so that I could hunker down and not feel like I was missing anything. I went to a few holiday gatherings, but it was a good excuse to not attend, if I didn't want to head out :) -- and I laid low the rest of the winter. It was perfect timing. Thankfully, it was not an emergency and I could plan for it.

    I was fully fused and have been doing my life as I had been prior to my surgery. I don't feel like I missed much and I am grateful that I gave myself the time to heal and heal I did!

    I hope this helps.
    Let us know what happens!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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