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Herniated Cervical Disc C4 - C5 - C5 - C6

precious007pprecious007 Posts: 7
edited 03/30/2015 - 7:40 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hi - I have posted another thread a while ago but my MRI results for my cervical spine were not ready so I am wondering if my case would require a surgery, I know only a surgeon can decide but just looking for opinions from others that have had a cervical surgery for herniated discs.

My pain is excruciating - I cannot even sit without the pain (the pain is burning in nature, stabbing, electric shock like pain from the middle of my back to the base of my skull. I will see my rheumatologist soon to see what step I should take next but until then I would appreciate any opinion from people that have gone through this.

I am a bit confused of what I have read on another website earlier -

Surgery should be considered as a last resort, since many herniated discs heal on their own within six months. Surgery often is recommended when pain is severe enough to interfere with daily activities and requires strong pain medications, and when there are additional symptoms such as leg pain, weakness and loss of motion.

What do they mean the discs heal on their own?

My pain is incapacitating me from pretty much everything. Even sitting is painful, moving around such as walking relieves the pain, but once I sit down the pain builds up, laying in bed relieves the pain as well.

Best Wishes

There is nobody on the forum medically qualified or permitted to give medical advice or respond to an MRI finding.



  • I never understood the "heal on its own", either. Even though it's been explained numerous amounts of times, I just cannot wrap my mind around it.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • The statement "Surgery should be considered as a last resort, since many herniated discs heal on their own within six months." is commonly misunderstood. By and large it refers to the symptoms that can be caused by a herniated "ruptured" disc and is more true for the back than it is for the cervical area. Complicating matters is that the term is often used interchangeably with a disc protrusion when in fact a "bulging" disc is an anatomically different case than a herniated "torn" disc.

    I have no idea why that statement is made and is so prevalent but my guess is that they are trying to explain it in a way that matters most to people. While it is true that you may become symptom free for a period of time a torn disc will never heal and will in fact degrade over time. Whether or not that causes problems in your life is anyone's guess.


  • I just had ACDF on C5-6,C6-7 because of herniated disks. I also have congenital C3-4 from birth. The rest of my disks are dried and black. I'm not a doctor, just a very physical warehouse manager. They do not heal on their own. The material is torn and the disk fluid is gone. They are dead in a sense. I also have spinal stenosis which made my decision for surgery easier. I am 5 days out of surgery and a still in a little pain. Range of motion is not there yet. In many cases I feel surgery was not an option. It was a necessity. Please get second opinions if you must but please do not put off your health as I had to. W/C kept me waiting over a year before they approved anything...God's Blessings and be well....Phil
  • The bottom line is that they don't heal, I read somewhere that the symptoms MIGHT go away if the disc completely is destroyed and the spine starts to fuse on its own, but both theoretically and practically a herniated disc cannot heal. I have done some research on this and still don't understand why they say that the condition heals on its own.
  • Yesirp2007YYesirp2007 Posts: 1
    edited 09/13/2015 - 10:09 PM
    After chirp, PT, acupuncture, massage terapy, etc. Don't know what to do after 3 years suffering of neck pain. Please someone with the same problem? I am really depressed and always praying and trusting in God! But don't know what to do if Surgery or trying more profilactic treatment... Live in Los Angeles, ca.

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  • lcarlinllcarlin Posts: 1
    edited 09/11/2015 - 9:21 PM
    My experience is with cervical disc problems in C4,5,6 (spondylosis). I have been treated with epidurals twice which resulted in useless right hand and arm as I saw another person post the same experience. When my pain was excruciating I bolted from work went to an Urgent Care facility after not being seen the spine doctor who I'd been seeing (no appointment), the emergency room was useless so I was lucky to pay $600 for an injection of Depomedrol 1 ml and Lidocaine 1% 10 ccs into my shoulder area. My entire right arm was VERY painful shoulder, elbow, wrist concentration. That injection relieved the pain. It was miraculous for me. It is inhumane to leave someone in that kind of pain due to no appointment! Now, I can not work due to the uselessness of my right hand. Using it causes inflammation that can not be dealt with. I was advised to work 5 min on and 5 off! Naturally, no job like that existed. I take Ibuprofen for the chronic inflammation discomfort. I wondered if anyone knows anything about possibly carpal tunnel surgery would allow me to use the right hand even though it isn't the root cause? I can't work in retail, cashier anything due to repetitive movement creating pain that grows and spreads within 5 minutes. I have worked with my hands for 40 years and don't know what I can do without it. I look forward to any similar experience regarding a fix for regaining use of the hand.

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  • I am going to start decompression soon and HAD to come back to the forums to see if others have seen some improvement from spinal decompression. Surgery is out of question for now, and decompression it's not cheap. They also do some infiltrations in the package. 
  • Hi precious007 With reference to healing discs and confusion on this matter - When a disc first herniates there is a possibility that some of the disc matter is reabsorbed which in turn will take pressure off a trapped nerve, which can be seen as healing, as the nerve is released. This can be seen in the first 6 weeks after herniation so some consultants like to send patients for physio first before committing to surgery to release the nerve.

    This is information I have been personally told by a doctor in connection with trapped nerve and severe pain during a large herniation

    Hope this helps make sense of the 'healing' comments.
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

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