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Surgery or no?

chopsuicchopsui Posts: 12
edited 06/21/2015 - 9:10 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I was injured at 21 now I'm 26 and I still havent been able to move in with my girlfriend, finish college, or get a job... I'm always in pain "resting" and going to "therapy" but no solution. I have been dealing with a herniated disc in c5-c6 for 4+ years now... physical therapy, chronic pain programs, epidural injections, pain meds... its been taking a huge toll on my personality, family, and relationships.

It seems like im "managing" my pain but I am starting to be unable to do ANYTHING and my situation is getting very difficult.
I'm wondering what forums members think about surgery ...

I'm only going to have so many good years anyway, what would be the best way that I can get out of pain and live at least 10-20 good years out of my life? I really want to be able to have a family one day. I am beyond frustrated and my doctors aren't the most friendly or caring. I'm just worn out dealing with them and this issue, the years of pain have worn me down...


Fusion seems to have decent success but I don't know if the cons of possibly still having pain / having other discs bulging down later are worth the potential pro of possibly being pain free for a few years. Is my understanding correct?

Spinal Kinetics M6-C artificial cervical disc clinical study - I am very interested by this option, I only have one herniation and if it gets me out of pain, I will work like a slave and pay out of pocket to get my life back.. but are there other types of artificial discs as well?

I can't believe one disc could cause so many problems... help lol.

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

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  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/21/15 15:13 est


  • To see what options he or she recommends? Disc bulges, by themselves are not a big deal, and generally are not painful unless they are in contact with the nerve roots or canal/cord.
    Your best option is to consult with a board certified spine surgeon or two, see what they recommend regarding surgery or further treatment.

  • There is nerve pain, the nerve is pinched and it is visible on the MRI. The doctors say that the pinched nerve is the reason all my muscle in the area are tight/painful/knotted.

    I have seen my GP, Pain mangement Doctor, and a spine surgeon. The pain doctor and spine surgeon had conflicting diagnosis. My pain doctor attributes all the issues to the disc bulge while the surgeon said that it is purely a severe muscle knot that is causing all the issues.

    They have never spoken and I never got a straight answer, my pain doctor insists it is the disc bulge. However the disc bulge was, at first, barely noticeable on the MRI.. now it is much more noticeable on the new one.

    I've done PT, Stretching, Heat, Ice, and 3 Epidural Injections little to no relief).

    How did the pain start? I started having a pain in my neck on the left side after throwing my head around at a concert. It could have been the cause of the disc issue, but I was also in a pretty bad car accident after that where I was t-boned at 50mph on my side, not driving.
  • caroline2caroline2 Posts: 92
    edited 07/29/2015 - 12:43 AM
    he does this work in So. Cal where I live. He forever says, surgery should be Last Resort, unless an emergency. Could you at least get a consult from a PRP provider.

    I had dextrose Prolotherapy injections in shoulder over 7 yrs ago and got 3 yrs pain relief. I have shoulder injuries from gym equipment I used for many years.

    I've lived with OA since I was 18 and got thru life. My issue is not from accident, but a lot of dancing, and I think I had a hard fall when I was pretty young. Surgery cannot be reversed....should be last resort and I believe that one. I deal with a hip replacement that left me with many complications. Have you considered acupuncture. Good luck.
    Bodywide OA, Fibro and complications from Hip Replacement.
  • brandis77bbrandis77 Posts: 195
    edited 07/28/2015 - 9:17 PM
    It's strange that you are getting that input from your surgeon when your MRI shows a progression of the disc bulging.. Is it possible to see another surgeon to get another opinion? See if you can find a neurosurgeon who is experienced in both fusion and artificial disc replacement so you get a more informed opinion.
    It seems like you have tried everything else and things are not improving; that's where I was before getting my 2-level ADR at C3-5. I'm 5+ months post-op and am SOOOOO happy I went with this option! It was definitely the best fit for me.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
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