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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all,

I have just been diagnosed with disc herniation with myelopathy by a neurosurgeon from an MRI. It is cervical at C5 & C6. The NS also said that I have spinal stenosis. Basically the NS told me that I have to have fusion surgery because otherwise if I trip and fall or have a fender bender I could be partially paralyzed.

What is crazy to me is that I had had some shoulder pain but it had subsided. I wasn't in pain when I went to my GP and I mentioned tingling in my right shoulder, arm and hand for 4 months just offhand because it didn't concern me (I was there for something else). My GP sent me for an MRI because he thought it might be my neck. When my GP got the MRI results he told me that he was surprised with the results and thought I should see a neurosurgeon right away.

I'm surprised at the suggestion of surgery when I am relatively pain free and only have the tingling. The NS told me the only treatment for myelopathy is surgery. He told me that he doesn't use bone grafts or cadaver bones but instead just uses titanium. He also said I won't have to wear a neck brace.

I'm concerned because I'm not sure how long I will have to be out of work (desk job) if I agree to surgery.

I go for a second opinion with an OS on August 21.

Anyway, I'm glad I found these boards so I can get some real information about what it is really like from people who have gone through this.

Atlanta, Georgia


  • welcome to spine-health....
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you are very wise to be seeking a second opinion. the more information you have the better. you are fortunate to be in so little pain for your injury. you just never know how the body will respond. please keep us informed as you progress. good luck! Jenny :)
  • Hi Mooncat

    I have the same diagnosis and have similar symptoms to you. I have had bilateral hand numbness for 7-8 months. More recently in the last 5-6 weeks I have had right leg weakness that makes me limp and walk slower than normal. My neurologist and neurosurgeon told me the same as you...if I fall or get whiplash I could be paralyzed. Both recommended surgery.

    At first I thought my hand numbness was due to carpal tunnel returning. I had both hands done in 2006. The orthopedist sent me for an EMG and the neurologist exam indicated no nerve damage and that it was not carpal tunnel but he suspected something more central. He asked me about my neck. I showed him an MRI I had in 2005 for a pinched nerve. At that time I had right shoulder and arm pain which eventually resolved itself. He ordered a new MRI which showed the disk herniations at C3-4 and C4-5 had extruded and he diagnosed myelopathy and referred me to a neurosurgeon.

    This time around I have hand and forearm numbness and leg weakness. Like you I have no pain. The NS told me if I was experiencing pain it would indicate that nerve roots were affected and he would recommend physical therapy, etc. My symptoms of hand numbness and leg weakness (along with my MRI) is consistent with spinal cord compression which requires surgery. The decompression surgery should relieve your symptoms and stop your symptoms from progressing.

    I am scheduled for a partial corpectomy of C3 and C4 and placement of a titanium cage with plates on August 13th. I was also told I will not need to wear a neck collar.

    My neurosurgeon told me 99% of neurosurgeons looking at my MRI and my symptoms would agree that surgery is necessary. I have a lot of faith in him as he is a respected neurosurgeon at a large teaching hospital.

    I was told I could be off up to six weeks from work. I have a desk job. He said I could possibly go back to work after three weeks if it was an absolute necessity but recommended that I take the full six weeks to recover.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Brenda Southern California :) :) :) :) :)
  • are always a good idea. Good luck and please keep us posted with your progress.
  • I too had a cervical fusion and the healing time wasnt that long really to get back and do the things I use to do. ^ weeks is generally all you need.

    Best Wishes,
    Christina :)
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