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Surgery Needed?

cookitimeccookitime Posts: 2
edited 08/14/2015 - 11:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello! I am a new member and this is the second time I am trying to write this post! ;)
I was recently sent for an MRI but little did know my doctor would be out of town until the 25th. I am in so much pain. I received the results of the MRI and it said I have 2 disc herniations of the protrusion type, neural foraminal narrowing, moderate spinal stenosis, and some osteophyte formation.

I know I need to wait for my doctor on the 25th, but have thos of you with the above diagnosis needed surgery? Is this the only option? I am in unbearable pain most of the time. I take 800mg IBprofin 3X per day along with Skelaxin 3 times per day and nothing works. I even tried taking one of my Norco that is for emergency relief from intersitial cystitis, and that didn't work.

I know he will need to refer me to a doctor but I am so worried about the pain in the meantime. I work a full time job and have 2 kids under 4 so this is pretty much ruining my life right now. I do hot and cold compresses-no relief.

Please, any advice you have. Will I need surgery? Will they give me some medication so I don't throw myself off of a bridge (kidding)?

No on one the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or
or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can always be applied.

  • MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
    MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
    SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary

Liz . Spine-health moderator


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'd go ahead and schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon to take a look at your MRI.

    My MRI sounded a lot like yours...almost exact. My level affected was C6/C7. Anyway, we aren't supposed to discuss MRI's on this forum (I don't think) so we'll talk about how I felt and what happened with mine.

    I also work f/t and have two boys aged 6 and 2. I, too, was in debilitating pain on most days and the pain was also constant, it never stopped. I saw a neurologist for an EMG first because the pain/numbness/tingling was going down my arm to my finger tips. Apparently I had the test done too early in my symptoms (it takes time for nerve damage to become apparent via the EMG from what I was told) because it came back clear even though I had no feeling in my two fingers :-) Next step, Neurosurgeon. The first one I saw said I, without a doubt, needed the ACDF surgery but that I had to "go through the motions" of conservative treatment first before insurance would approve the surgery. I saw a second Neuro and he said the same but he was more gentle with the approach and suggested I have a selective nerve root block (diff from epidural or cortisone injection) and PT twice a week. The SNRB was a pretty great experience. It completely took away the symptoms in my arm, including the numbing and tingling which super sucks when you have an office job. However, I still had the crushing pain in the back of my head and neck. I did PT twice a week and they did traction, U/S therapy, massage and sent me home with a TENS unit. When I decided on surgery I stopped PT and that's when I realized PT was actually making my symptoms worse.... The neuro said it probably would.

    I had my ACDF procedure on 05/20 so I'm almost 3 months out and I'd say 90% better than I was before :-) That 10% is random pains that come and go and doesn't always need to be medicated. 2 weeks post surgery I went back to work (desk job), 3 weeks in I was driving and 7 weeks in I returned to the gym.

    You have a long road ahead of you so getting to these Dr appointments as soon as you can will help move this process along. Only you'll know if surgery is right for you, even the surgeons will leave that up to you. They "suggest" surgery in addition to conservative treatments but it's whatever works for you personally. best of luck!
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
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