I'm a 33 year old male and had lower and upper back problems that have been getting worse over the last 3 years. My last MRI showed that my C6/C7 disc was herniated and is pressing on my spinal cord. My orthopedic doctor referred me to his neurosurgeon who said that surgery would probably help with my symptoms. I then went to get a second opinion and that doctor said it wasn't bad enough for surgery. The issue is the second opinion came from EDITED
who only read over my radiology report I never actually met anyone. I don't even think they looked at the film. I never got a chance to discuss my symptoms, pain, how long I've had problems, etc.
Symptoms: Can't touch my chin to my chest, hurts to turn my neck right/left,radiating pain down the back of my arms, tingling in my fingers, numbness. Some mornings I'll wake up and literally feel paralyzed for an hour or so where I can't move at all because it hurts so badly. As I mentioned before it has gotten progressively worse over the last few years. I first starting having problems back in 2007 where I'd have a few flare ups during the year, but as I got older the symptoms and flare ups became more frequent. Since 2012 I've had 3 MRIs, and you can clearly see the change in the MRI images (i.e. the herniation is far worse than it was 3 years ago). Some days or weeks will be better than others which based on my research seems normal especially since everyone presents differently.
I've been to physical therapy which has not helped, typical med regimen (anti inflammatoires, muscle relaxers, medrol dose paks, etc.)
Now with the two conflicting doctor reports I'm really confused as to what I'd should do...surgery or no surgery? I'm learning towards surgery considering I've not gotten any better given all the various treatments.
Has anyone experienced anything similar? Would you recommend the surgery? Can the herniation and/or damage get become worse if I wait and don't get surgery?
Standards agreement and posting rules
Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, health care facilities, web sites, or naming of health care professionals is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.