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c4-c5 and c5-c6 ADR or fusion

Hello friends,
I have both cervical and lumbar issues and have been to several doctors. My myleogram shows c4-c5 , c5-c6 disc bulges, nerve impingement, c6-c7 disc bulge, L4-L5 disc bulge, L5-S1 herniations with annular tear. I took several injections both neck and lower back, but nothing helped.

I received various conflicting opinions from doctors, some said 2 level fusion(c5-c6, c4-c5), some said 2 level disc replacement, one dr. said 1 level (c5-c6) disc replacement. My primary pain (sometimes burning) and tingling is in the right neck, rt. shoulder and rt. upper back. My right arm has minimal burning very occasionally. I have these issues if I work mostly on the computer, otherwise I can manage my pain. Doctors who suggested fusion claims that movement should be stopped to relieve back, shoulder and neck pain and disc replacement can only help arm pain. I am puzzled whether to take up fusion or ADR. Personally, after reading various posts, I am liking ADR but now skeptical whether it will help with my upper back and shoulder pain.

My c5-c6 is bulged towards right (and thus right nerve impingement) and c4-c5 is bulged is towards left (possibly left nerve impingement). Mostly my symptoms are towards right (rt. neck, shoulder, back) and I agree I do have left neck pain, but left upper back pain symptoms are very minimal. For this reason, one spine dr. wants to perform ADR only on c5-c6 and leave c4-c5 and c6-c7 (this disc is also bulged, but not as significant as c4-c5 and c5-c6) alone. This gives me another puzzle of whether to consider 1 level or 2 level ADR or fusion.

My lumbar pain is ambiguous to the doctors. I have L5-s1 disc degeneration and herniation (annular tear), left bulge, and my symptoms are mostly right lower back pain(constant), right upper thigh side ways (laterally), left lower back sometimes and left foot aching & burning (frequent) . I can't walk more than 15 min, no driving or standing. I have severe sacroiliatis, right more than left. None of the injections help. (SI joint, facet joint, epidural...etc)

I have been through minimally invasive endoscopic l5-s1 discectomy which did not help my pain or change the bulge (in the scans after the surgery). Many doctors are confused on how to proceed next and 2 of them suggested Microdiscectomy with laminectomy. One other dr. mentioned that microdiscectomy does not help at all , but did not have any other suggestions on the lower back. This gives me another question of whether to consider microdiscectomy or not.

If you can any suggestions on any of my issues, that would be of great help.

Thank you.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Curious...you said you've seen several doctors. Were they surgical consults?
    Are you working with a primary doctor? Or pain management specialist?

    Pain management overseeing my care for my spine issues has been best thing for me!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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