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Cervical Fusion vs Injections

It's been a while since I've been on here, but I know this is one place I can come where people really understand how I'm feeling. I just feel like my body is falling apart and with it I'm just giving up. I was diagnosed with four cervical bulging discs, and now it's effecting my sleep because my left arm is just throbbing, and if it isn't that my arms just go numb. They told me they were bulged three years ago, but on my latest MRI they said that my spinal cord was being compromised. I'm just wondering when do you decide to have surgery, how bad does it have to get. The problem being is my pain management doctor thinks he can fix everything with either drugs or injections, and my surgeon of course thinks he can fix it with surgery. They've actually argued back and forth with each other while I'm in the room, and I'm like, HELLO, I'm in the room. I'm just feeling like the injections aren't working anymore, actually making it worse, if that makes any sense. He wants to put a spinal cord stimulator in but I just feel like that's going to just mask the pain but really isn't going to fix anything. I also found out I have two more herniated disc above the bottom three that are already fused in my lumbar spine. On top of that I fell off my roof and broke my leg, now have had five surgeries on that in the last couple years, and have fallen down my stairs, and just fall for no reason because of nerve damage in my legs. I've now had surgeries on both my shoulders also. Oh and I was, in the last couple months, diagnosed with a heart defect that is going to require surgery to fix, but thankfully they can do it laparoscopicly. Sorry for whining, I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Actually I just wanted to overdose and be done with it, and then my son told us that I was going to have my first grand baby. So I really want to be around for that. It's like I turned 50 this year and I'm giving up, but I can't now with this news of becoming a grandpa. Any info would be greatly appreciated as I try to decide what to do. Thank you very much for listening!
11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders


  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    I also had herniated discs in my neck. I went through all the non surgical treatments...therapy, injections, meds... I finally got to the point that nothing was improving my quality of life, so I had fusion surgery. The first surgery didn't fuse, so last march I had another fusion surgery. This fusion worked but unfortunately, it didn't make my nerve pain go away. I'm now seeing a pain doctor. I think you have to come to your own decision about surgery. You get to a point when enough is enough. It's a shame that your 2 doctors don't consult each other privately & try to work this out for you. Good luck & keep us updated
  • Prior to my surgeries, they wanted to put the stimulator in my back, as the injections stopped working. That's when I went the surgery route. I'm now wondering if I put it off too long, but its also only been 4 1/2 weeks.......

    I waited too long, IMO, for surgery, to the point where I could no longer do the things I enjoy doing (mild exercise, fishing, hunting.....my work is on phone/laptop/travel) so when I couldn't travel for work and the other things, knife time.

    I sense your at same point I am/was.......just want fixed......IMO, the pain specialists treat that, while the surgeons attempt to fix it altogether.
  • Thanks for the comments. It's nice to come on here and talk to people that know how I'm feeling. My wife tries to understand but she also knows she doesn't have a clue what I'm feeling. She just knows I've had eleven back surgeries and is afraid I'll go through the same thing on my neck. But I'm getting to the point of losing function in my left arm, my neck freezes sometime to the point of I have to take my hands and pop it back in place to free it up. And when I do that it sends electric shocks down my arms and scares me. And the problem is my two sons got married so any heavy lifting around the house is left up to me. I just don't know how much more I can take. I'm losing my will to live a life of pain. Sorry to be such a downer.
    11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
  • Wow! I give you lots of props for what you're going thru. I am far from the expert and far from the suffering you've endured and i hope you get well soon to live life feeling happy and pain free. Like I said i'm not the expert but have heard that too many cortisone injections (if that's what you're getting) weakens bone structure. I did the chiropractor / injection method but for me it was only a mask effect and temporary so i finally decided to have ACDF on my C45 - 56. My symptoms were just dull pain/numbness & weakness on the right side from neck to right hand. i'm 10 weeks post op and it fixed my problem. The only thing left is recovery and its a slow one. that's the frustrating part because prior to this I was pretty active outdoor-wise...You've weathered a lot and now have something to live for in your grandchild. You don't sound like a quitter and everyone deserves to vent every now and again. - All the best to you!
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