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Neck Disc Herniation : Overwhelming Start

joseph_josephjjoseph_joseph Posts: 1
edited 01/24/2015 - 7:22 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Good day to all -

Exactly 10 days ago, I had very little knowledge about disc herniation, C6/C7 - and all the stuff that comes with it.
I am a 39 year old male, very healthy and successful active business man. With MAJOR posture problems growing up and through my adulthood.

3 weeks ago, I started to have "what used to be a typical neck stiff pain" and radiating into my shoulder... to become a sever stiffness in the shoulders. Just a few days later, I unfortunately got into a car accident ( I rear-ended someones ) and supposedly only suffered a few bruised vertebrae.

10 days ago, it all hit - a major pain : that started in my left shoulder, radiating down my elbow, forearm and fingers. Pain is stabbing like in the shoulder, immediately lost tricep muscle power and have numbness in my pointer and middle finger... Now for exactly 10 days the pain didn't leave at all...

I have seen an orthopedic / pain management doctor. He had me get an MRI... and that shows multi-level disc herniations that vary between 1 and 2 MM .... but the largest issue: is C6/C7 disc herniation measuring 4x9MM ... and protruding into the spinal canal causing mild nerve narrowing / pinching ....

My orthopedic doctor gave me cards for 2-surgeons and another 2 cards for steroid needles folks... Here comes my questions ....

-- I am a bit lost, i don't understand if there are a number of routes .... "Therapy, Shots, Surgery...."
-- I am sure a surgeon will say you need surgery and a PT will say let's do therapy...

The fact that i will have someone operate on my spine so quickly "even if minimally invasive" - just scares me. I keep saying there have to be other options, but don't know where to go for a single source of truth... I want help with answers ...

If anyone can help guide me with the path - i would appreciate it... Is this something where i get to talk to surgeons, doctors, PT and then decide which route i want to go based on my priorities?

Thank you all and sorry for the long-winded essay!



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Welcome to Spine-Health

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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
  • Although my story is not the same as yours, the neck diagnosis was very overwhelming to me as well. I did not have the pain, but had the myelopathy signs instead, so I was stumbling, numb fingers, etc. My MRI was on Dec 2, and I was sent to the emergency room on Dec 3, since I had severe narrowing of my spinal cord. Like you, I am 43, a healthy active professional that has never had issues, and had no idea this was going to happen. I'm still a little shocked at the turn my life has taken.
    If I were you, I'd get opinions from several surgeons, including a neurosurgeon and a spinal (orthopedic) surgeon. I'd also want to talk to some PT's and ask what they can do. I absolutely (absolutely, absolutely) would not go to a chiropractor. I believe his manipulation is what started the myelopathy ball rolling for me (I didn't have a MRI then).
    It IS very overwhelming...but since surgery isn't an urgent thing, take your time and get lots of information. Hopefully, they put you on some good meds in the meantime to control the pain. And if you need surgery, I suspect you would do very well with a one level fusion, if that is what's necessary.

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

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