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How to to make the right Decision about C7 surgery

SAStelliesSSAStellies Posts: 2
edited 01/02/2015 - 12:38 AM in New Member Introductions
Help. I have been diagnosed with a herniated disc in my C6-C7. I am a 38 year old male and as i understand this is very common. now the option for surgery has come to the fore. I have had pins and needles in my left arm and shoulder pain at night. I do feel some weakness in my arm and turning over at night can be rather painful in the shoulder. here is the clincher, I am an artist and teacher (a printmaker) and work with my hands in rather touch and strength dependent processes, eg lithography, etching etc... My Neuro says the only time he would contemplate surgery is if the limb is affected in such a way as to not be functional. it has been a couple of weeks now but thinking back this pain was more of a localized spasm in my back for which i had massages, physio and acupuncture. to be honest i am not in that much discomfort but if i keep moving but prolonged work in one position and repetetive movements do cause neck and shoulder pain. I think it has finally made itself known. I have been on pain meds and antinflammatories but the loss of feeling in my index finger and the occasional arm numbness is driving me crazy and i think psychologically i am already starting to favour my left arm less and less. I feel it is compromised. I am worried about recovery and the procedure as a whole. I know i will have to make this decision but any thoughts or shared experiences about this would help me do this.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 01/02/2015 - 12:41 AM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • The concept is the same... Only it affects another limb in your case. If I didn't have emergency surgery I'd like to have had another opinion on the matter. I ended up in a situation where I would have been happy to have anyone take away the pain. It sounds like your life quality is being affected.
    Whether or not you have surgery or get another opinion is up to you and your doctors. I would also ensure that you get good physio and do those exercises. They will help in life... Especially with repetitive motion strength.
    Ask your surgeon about nerve damage and what your prognosis is on that with the tingling /weakness etc. Should you choose to postpone surgery but later decide how long is the wait? What should you look for in symptoms that mean immediate action?
    It's so hard while in pain (some the most pain in their lives) with eyes open. You need this now so you can make the best decision.
  • I am a firm believer in that surgery should be the last option. The biggest misconception is that surgery will take away ALL the pain. That isn't ALWAYS the case. At the end of the day, it is your decision, but I would get more than a couple of opinions and research the hell out of it before making an educated decision.

    Healing vibes sent and good luck.

    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • 6 weeks post op personally best thing ive ever done pins and needles gone ,arm strength back ,neck pain minimal
    The thought of neurosurgery terrified me but the surgeon was great very reassuring .before the surgery I had 2 years
    of pain ,weakness and worry my advice is find a good neurosurgeon and talk to them good luck
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