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Am I a candidate for back operation to relieve neck pain which is there all the time?

X-Ray Cervical Spine
Straightening of the lower cervical lordosis. Moderate disc space narrowing at C6/7 with endplate and uncovertebral degenerative change. Mild endplate and uncovertebral degenerative change throughout the remainder of the cervical spine. Mild degenerative changes involving the mid and lower cervical facets. Mild bony left C6/7 and moderate bony right C6/7 foraminal stenoses. Prevertebral and paraspinal soft tissues are normal.


  • I do not want to sound dissmissive of your situation but that question is not something that any of us can answer. This is a question for your surgeon and a personal choice for you. You need to weigh the pros and the cons. Ask your doctor his opinion on whether you will see relief of your pain symptoms from the surgery based on his opinion. What limitations will will end up with and if you are willing to accept those limitations. And what type of surgery he/she suggests.

    Have you exhausted other means of relief (such as physical therapy, massage, accupuncture, chiropracty, pain management) and di any of those give you relief? If not you need to try some of those first. Back/neck surgery is a big life decisions. If I had had a choice with my situation I would never have let them cut me open (sadly it was surgery or permanent parlysis so I chose surgery). It is for life and you will be limited in some ways and will have to accept a "new normal." For me I have had to give up my career in the military because of my neck surgery, give up martial arts, give up long distance running, and give up heavy weight lifting. I can still ride my bicycle which keeps me sane and I can still jog. I can no longer look up or bend my head side to side. Looking left and right and down are all limited and I have permanent nerve damage in both hands. My life is completely different than it used to be, and I am only 29 so I have a long life of dealing with my "new normal."

    As I said it is a personal choice after you weigh the input from your doctor against what you are willing to accept. It is not a choice to be made lightly and we cannot give direct medical assessments of your symptoms. Only your surgeon can truthfully and accurately depict what needs to happen for you.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 06/30/2013 - 5:20 AM
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

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    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

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    Here are some you should take a look at:
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    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

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    As bpreachers said, the decision regarding whether surgery is an option is not one that we can give you an answer to. Most surgeons would also send you for an MRI and or Ct scan to see what is really going on with your neck before considering surgery, as well as their physical exam findings once they have examined you, and of course the symptoms you are having, are all factored into the decision making process for the doctor.
    Check with your insurance and find a board certified spine surgeon, either an orthopedic or a neurosurgeon to see what they think your options are.
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