Been working up to it for a few years. Three years ago my left arm went numb but PT was able to use traction and I got to the point only my first finger is numb.
Skip ahead to the end of March and wake up with the most horriable pain/spasm down the right arm and shoulder I could imagine - lasted almost a week - steroids & relaxers (those did nothing) so got switched to Tylenol 3 which still did very little. Finally around the 10 day mark it subsided some and went to numb/pins & needles with twinges of pain or the arm going dead.
Went back to the dr and he had a new MRI and 4 weeks of PT 3 times a week to see if that was helping...three weeks into PT - PT said time to go to another step because this is not working. I am still getting pain off and on as well and can not say the last time I slept well. Mornings are bad for me - the rest of the day is no walk in the park BUT I can tolerate more.
A gal on our search team (I run as a volunteer (as does the whole team)) said she had the same thing and used this neuro and he was fantastic - she has almost full range of motion in her neck - I would have never guessed she had anything wrong. Went to see him and he looked at my MRI's and I filled out a TON of papers on how I felt, what my pain level was etc. After reflex and poking me with a dull needle (well I know it was kind of sharp because the middle of my hand and some of my arm could feel more the pressure) he said I have pretty much run my course - the bone growth is now going towards the spinal cord as well as the stenosis and two discs that have issues I am not going to "magically" get better.
I am scheduled for ACD(possible)F of C5/6 & C6/7. When I saw him he said he uses an artificial disc (I am guessing I am only getting one replaced with that since we do not have two level replacements here in the USA) for the C6/7 and then a donor in c5/6 but they are cleaning up the excess growth as well.
It is weird - I can do some things depending on HOW I must use my hand. If it is under handed I am OK (not great but ok) if I try to push down or write I can barely do that. I sew for a living and that has come to a grinding halt pretty much. I can not run my dog for SAR training right now even. Thankfully another person is taking her lead and I am giving the vocal commands so we are continuing to train BUT giving up so much of my life because of this is frustrating.
Already told clients there is no way I am doing anything before I get clearance post op since I am not going to mess my neck up for a client.
Scheduled for ACD(and Possible)F on June 12, 2013 of C5/6 & C6/7