Been kind of a lurker for a while but decided to post about my upcoming surgery.
I had an acute onset 7 weeks ago c6 disc herniation where the disc basically went ballistic. It is now causing sever pressure on my c7 nerve route . I have weakness, decreased reflexes, and pain requiring me to take pretty strong narcotics to manage the pain. I am 49 pretty active play softball, ski, hike. I also hace slight herniations at c3 4 and 5 but my Docs do not seem concerned.
I got two opinions and both agreed that I should have the discectomy with the fusion. I have spoken with a couple of people who have had similar surgeries one level down with my neuro surgeon and feel pretty good about the results and the kind of rehab experience I will have ie no collar, no driving for 10 days no lifting not sure of weight as I have not gotten my packet yet.
My surgeon does not want to use my iliac crest for the bone graft-definitely need to clear up what he plans to use cadaver or something else. H e feels like why give you another area of pain to worry about. My second opinion Doc said he would use my iliac crest as he feels the fusion happens faster. He also talked about an actual disc replacement which I believe my crummy insurance still considers experimental and will not pay for .
The second opinion Doc mentioned that a large portion of the disc was putting pressure on my spine which is pretty obvious from the MRI. My initial surgeon said he noted the placement of the herniated disc on my spinal cord but was not as concerned about it affecting my Spinal cord.
Here are my questions-
1) I was just going to not use the iliac crest figured less pain in another area to worry about- is there actual proof or studies that have been done that proves that using your own bone decreases fusion time? What have been others experiences either way with cadaver or your own bone?
2) I am kind of freaked out about getting the new artificial disc as it is so new and we really do not have very much data supporting it's success rate. I do not want to have surgery again. Would love to hear from someone who had the one artificial disc replaced a year ago and see how they are doing. Just don't think they have been being done this long. Also with the fact that my insurance will likely not pay for it that helps me make my decision. I also do not think I am brave enough to sign up for an experimental procedure.
3) Signs of disc pressure affecting my legs- I have noticed that my legs seem to fatigue much faster than they have in the past and it may just be due to being less active. Single leg balance is good . So maybe I am over thinking the fatigue thing.
Would love to hear from others any input is greatly appreciated. Lisa