Hi everyone, I am new to this, but not new to neck pain.
About 10 years ago I was in a severe rear-end collision, and went thru over a year and a half of pain, going from doctor to doctor in my small hometown, all but one said there was nothing wrong. Even though my right arm was going numb, and had severe neck and right arm pain. FINALLY, my cousin who'd been thru just what I was going thru, told me about a good neurosurgeon in a larger town and he took an MRI at his hospital, and told me I had waited way too long for surgery and now there was nerve damage, but..... he thought he could help the numbness in my arm. He operated and when I woke up I had full use of my right arm, the arm the OTHER doctors told me COULDN'T be numb or hurting because their xrays didn't show any problems in the disc and nerve that affected that arm. Making a long story short, he fixed my arm , but the neck pain has grown extensively worse over the years and I have had physical therapy and finally on pain meds to control the pain. I have maintained very well over the years, with a good quality of life, tho I am disabled. till lately my nerve pain has gotten worse . I had another MRI and they say I have quote," accelerated disc space loss at C-5 C-6 with a left paracentral disc component with uncinate spurring left creating severe left neural forminal stenosis. At C3, C-4 a slight posterior disc osteophyte complex secondary to retrolisthesis of c-3 upon c-4 leading to moderate left greater than right neural foraminal stenosis. At C-4 C-5 there is retrolisthesis of C-4 upon C-5 with posterior disc osteophyte complex creating at least probable moderate to severe left neural foraminal stenosis." unquote. My pain management doc said I should get an operation but, I'M afraid that this operation could end up leaving me in even more pain than before. Statistics claim only a 16% success rate in patients whom had theses problems such as mine, and not been treated with surgery within 2 or more years of pain management. I n other words, if a person has had pain issues with disc problems and only been treated with pain management, opiates, phy. therapy, etc., when they DO have surgery in hopes of correcting nerve problems, there is a very low success rate. But now, yet, despite this information , my doctor thinks its a good idea. I'm actually scared to take the chance, because I can't physically take my pain level being any higher than it already is. Anyone have an opinion? I'm not even sure what all those big words REALLY mean. Thanks for any ideas.
Steven A. Collins