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My story so far...

I have 4 herniations between c2-c7, 2 large which are pressing into my spinal cord, and 2 smaller ones. Theproblem is that the two big ones are not next to each other so my neurosurgeon ,on my first appointment with him back in September ,said that I was a definite candidate for surgery but the operation would be huge with catastrophic risks!! His exact words!

He is concerned about my age -36- but as my MRI was 16 months old, he wanted an up to date one before further discussion.
I've had the MRI, (only a slight worsening )and at my next appointment he's going to discuss surgical options.
My next appointment has just come through....31st Dec & we're on holiday....typical :) going to rearrange later.

I really want to know what type of surgery he has in mind...anterior, posterior, fusion, replacement, the waiting is so tough! :)

Also I had a gp appointment yesterday & she's referring me for counselling as if the operation doesn't work, I've a long life ahead to suffer through! Surely I'd still be helped???

Anyway just wanted to share ;)

Would be good to chat to anyone with words of wisdom or anything!!
Kirsti x


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 11/25/2015 - 3:33 AM
    No question that a multi-level spinal surgery (cervical) is more complicated and presents more risks than a single level fusion.

    It does seem that more and more patients are having these multi-level surgeries I can not speak about surgeries when the bad discs are separated by good discs. I dont think I have heard of that before.

    More than likely their will be some instrumentation (cages, plates, etc) involved.

    Take a look at Cervical Spinal Instrumentation

    ACDF surgery ACDF

    But I am sure you want to know what approach and what type of surgery your doctor has in mind.

    As far as age, I really believe that is in your favor. I can track all my surgeries from the time I was 28 until the last one at 64. Each year that passed, the recovery was a little harder and longer. Youth has its advantages!

    Try not to look so far down the road. Take one step at a time. I am sure right now, all you want to know is what type of surgery your doctor has in mind. Once that is settled, then you can put a game plan into place. View a cervical surgery is being a success, so many others have had positive results. Dont worry about counselor at this point (unless you feel it is necessary)

    One last thing, I know its harder in the UK to get appointments, tests, etc, but having a second opinion is very important
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have to agree, I feel my age is in my favour...

    I said to my gp I feel that I have an excellent chance of a good outcome and that's when she referred me for counselling haha!!
    I understand what she means tho :)

    I read those articles, I didn't realise that they used to wire the spine!
    Thanks again for your reply.
    Kirsti x
    Kirsti x
  • Hey Kristi
    Sorry to hear about your neck problems. You didn't mention your symptoms so it's hard to say what you should do. If you aren't to bad off I would wait on surgery. When I was first told to have two level acdf surgery I waited. I wanted to be in such pain I had no choice. After a few years when I was ready to have surgery my neurosurgeon told me to wait longer. I have neck pain, muscle spasms and left arm pain. I take pain meds, muscle relaxers and nerve pain meds everyday. Over the last few months I have developed headaches that stop me in my tracks. Now I am pushing to have surgery and it is taking forever. Pain management dr says my discs that are bad c5-c7 are not causing my headaches.
    If I can help just let me know. I can tell you what I have been through with all my doctors
  • My symptoms are - arm pain, shoulder pain, numbness in fingers, neck pain, headaches, foot drop - the usual!!
    Some days it's so bad and other days are ok...
    I worry about permanent nerve damage as its been 3 1/2 years since onset of symptoms.
    I can only work part time now as I've a family and I struggle to do everything, also sleeping can be an issue -although I have started taking gabapentin as of September and it has helped me sleep.
    I also take OxyContin, imipramine and I have just been prescribed Oramorph for breakthrough but it makes me sick to my stomach :(
    I wish I knew the best thing to do.
    It's a choice we have to make & live with....for good or bad!!
    Why has neurosurgeon said to wait for your fusion?
    Kirsti x
  • I also am worrying about permanent nerve damage. I have had almost same symptoms as you for at least five years. When I was first diagnosed with c5-c7 issues I wanted to wait until pain was worse before having surgery. When I was finally ready I had a new mri and then my neurosurgeon said it looks better than last one so lets wait. Now a year later I started have horrible neck pain at top of neck where it meets my head. Pain travels up over head to my right eye. When this happens it stops me cold. I can't hold my head up or focus my attention on anything. Latest mri is slightly worse than last one. Now I am just waiting on appointment with surgeon to see what he thinks. Wish I could tell you what to do but I can barely take care of my own problems. We sound a lot alike. I am tired of so many meds everyday. Let me know if I can help
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