Hi, everyone. I've been reading tons over the last month or so, this forum is wonderful. I'm a 51 yr old woman was recently diagnosed by a neurosurgeon with herniated disks and stenosis w/cord compression at C3, C4, C5, C6, and C7. His suggestion was fusion between C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6 and C6-C7. SCARY!!! I'm having a second opinion next Friday but really don't expect much different in the way of treatment. The first neurosurgeon said no cream, shots, or pills will correct my neck - I'm having constant migraines, dizziness, tingling, pain, and weakness of both arms, losing my grip on items, and pain shooting down through both shoulders and biceps. I'm more than miserable, and due to allergies, cannot take many narcotic meds (I've only found demerol can be tolerated, but will see what doc suggests). I've been using Tylenol, but frankly it doesn't touch what's going on. I'm nervous and anxious for the appointment on Friday - for whatever reason I just keep waiting for the doc to say, "nah, you're fine, just give it a little more time" - um, yeah, wishful thinking. My GP put me officially on sick leave this past Monday until Monday July 13 - they referred me to this surgeon for a treatment plan which they feel will be surgery.
I had bilateral knee replacement January 2014 (after 7 years of having the shots and other meniscus surgeries), with complications afterwards due to inability to take NSAIDs and anti-inflammatories. I had to go back in for bilateral MUA's in February - knees were frozen from scar tissue at 53 degree bend which made walking excrutiating. My fear with neck surgery is I'll again have complications, and will again be in prolonged pain and have much decreased movement. This past year or so has been very, very difficult recovering from the knee surgeries. I'd just gotten back to somewhat of a "normal" life when the whole neck/back pains started. Initially, I attributed it to my gait changing so much from the knee surgeries. But, obviously that isn't the case. I also have DDD with dissicated discs, bulging disks, stenosis, and herniations in my thorasic and lumbar spine. The appointment on Friday will address ONE area only, so I opted for the cervical spine. The first neurosurgeon said if the fusion wasn't done, I'd continue to decline, the damage would become permanent, and I would be a cripple. Great diagnosis, eh?
I'm of the firm belief the next issue to address will be my lumbar spine - the pain is awful, my legs literally freeze up and I can't lift them when getting into a car, or walking, they feel so weak and heavy, I've been tripping and stumbling. I'm in Outside Sales, and simply cannot function in that capacity now.
I'm also in the midst of having thyroid issues checked, had a biopsy yesterday. My whole neck was so danged painful last night I was crying. I go for the biopsy results on the 13th, hopefully no cancer and the doc will be able to prescribe thyroid meds to get me on my way forward with that issue.
Anyway, nothing like having a full plate I guess. Hubby says not to worry, it'll all work out. Says to focus on taking care of myself, file for disability and just do what I need to do.