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Suffering from Cervical pain


For the past year or so had been experiencing less strength in my right hand (good hand) and had even mentioned that to my regular physician during my annual checkup but he did not do anything about it. I had tingling in fingers that would come and go away etc.

A few weeks back, I had sudden neck and arm pain and went to the regular doctor (not the same one as above) and he gave me ibuprofen and had x-rays done. After receiving x-ray report, he asked me to get a MRI done which showed:

C6-7 right paracentral/lateral disc herniation with severe right neural foraminal stenosis and moderate spine canal stenosis
C5-C6 broad based right lateral disc bulge causing severe right neural foraminal stenosis. There is moderate left neural foraminal stenosis at this level.
C4-C5 right lateral broad based disc bulge causing mild to moderate right neural foraminal stenosis

I had literally no strength in my right hand, could not pick up spoonful of soup. Went to neuro-surgeon who gave me Medrol pack and said that I needed surgery, (injections or phsio-therapy were not an option in my condition) since the disc seems to be hitting my nerves. He suggested ACDF.

After the Medrol pack, I have regained strength in my hand. Can eat with hand and do my work. But do not seem to have same kind of strength in my triceps.

My question - Is it really the case that surgery is the ONLY option I have? If so, what should I ask and look for?

Thanks for your assistance in guiding me.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832


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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
  • hi nkaufman
    I also have compressed discs at c4-c6. I have moderate to severe neural foraminal stenosis at these levels. I have osteophytes mixed in just for the fun of it. Had mri, xrays for flex and extention and emg/conduction studies also. My symptoms are neck pain, bicep pain, shoulder pain and pain across upper back. I had two cervical steroid injections into spinal cord area. These increased my pain for first week but after that I believe they did help. I have loss of strength in left arm. Not to the degree you have. I have pain management dr. and was referred to neurosurgeon. Neuro said I needed two level acdf immediately. Had second opinion who said I could wait until pain was unbearable or weakness was worse. I chose not to have surgery. That was two years ago. I am getting worse slowly so eventually I will have to give in. Hope this helps, if I can help let me know
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