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looking at another fusion

Hello to everyone.

I injured my neck in 1992 when I was active duty military. I only had mild occasional pain until 3 years ago when I started having pain in my shoulder, burning in my arms and numbness in my small and ring finger. It normally happened when I was riding my motorcycle but would go away after resting. I now have constant burning through both shoulder blades down to my hands and have lost reflexes in my left arm. I don't think I have any muscle weakness but the constant burning is very aggravating. I am currently taking 400mg of Celebrex and 60mg of cymbalta per day and it helps with my lumbar region but is doing nothing for my cervical issues. The doctor also had me take prednisone for a month with no success. I had a spinal fusion with hardware at L5-S1 after the disc collapsed last October and don't look forward to being cut open again.

Here is what the MRI report said about the C5-6 level.

At c5-6, there is moderate degenerative disc disease at this level. There is retrolisthesis of C5 on C6 and disc-osteophyte complex with spurring of the uncovertebral joint on the right. There is also marked spurring of the uncovertebral joint on the left with severe enchroachment upon the left lateral recess and left neural foramen. Mild posterior spurring on right with mild narrowing of the neural foramen. There is no cord compression. There is some effacement upon the anterior CSF at C5-6.

So i'm wandering if the area is too far gone with too many issues to be solved without another fusion. All the google searches I've done seem to lead to the same conclusions (ie..spinal fusion). Any insight would be helpful.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    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.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • cadhopperccadhopper Posts: 2
    edited 08/11/2013 - 5:49 AM
    Thanks for the information. Looks like I broke one of the rules about asking for advise on the MRI results so feel free to delete the post.

    I go back to see the orthopedic surgeon on the 22nd and I'm stressing over what I'm sure he's going to tell me. The orthopedic doctor sent me to see a rheumatologist to rule out arthritis which I'm glad to say was negative. The rheumatologist sent me to have a nerve conduction study that showed I have a nerve issue in my neck which led to having another MRI. After looking at the MRI results the rheumatologist told me he does not think there is a non surgical solution and I should go back to the orthopedic surgeon. I had to take 3 months off last year to recover from the lumbar fusion and I'm nervous about telling my boss I need more time off for another surgery. At 50 years old it takes a little bit longer to recover. I'm continuing to exercise so I don't gain weight. The odd thing is I feel OK when I exercise (maybe it just distracts my mind) but the irritation returns after I stop.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    No need to delete the post, you realise now we can't advise you but you will find some members hopefully will reply with their own experiences. This may help you with your options

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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