Do I get Surgery? C5-C6 herniation/bone spur

Do I get Surgery? C5-C6 herniation/bone spur

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Anonymous (not verified)
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Do I get Surgery? C5-C6 herniation/bone spur

Hello! I'm new to this post and looking for some advice.

I'm 29 years old. 1 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with a herniated disc between my c5-c6. I've been through physical therapy twice, drugs (steroids and muscle relaxers), chiropractor, and pretty much eliminating all strenuous activities out of my life. Certainly not a normal 29 year old life style! I can't sleep on my right side without waking up in pain either.

My pain resides on my right side and consists of sharp pains in my neck, burning in my shoulder area, and sharp aching muscle pain down my right arm. I used to get tingling sensations but don't much anymore.

I've seen an orthopedic doctor who referred me to their surgeon. Then I waited a few months and decided to go to a neuro doctor who referred me to a neuro surgeon. The ortho surgeon said after looking at my MRI I had a herniated disc. The neruo surgeon after looking at my MRI seems to think I have a bone spur more than a herniated disc. They both mentioned I was really young to have surgery but with no relief in 1 1/2 years it seems to make sense.
I'm confused!!!! I have scheduled surgery for December 10th with a neuro surgeon for a Microendoscopic discectomy (MED).

Should I go through with the surgery or am I missing something else I could be doing??? I'm scared and don't know if this is the right choice!

dbullwinkel
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Joined: 08/27/2008 - 8:08am
should you have surgery

hello..sorry you are having a tough time. No one can tell you to have surgery or not have surgery. If both doctors OS and NS recommended surgery....you have been in pain a long time.
I had the same symptoms as you, so I understand about the pain waking you up at night! It is terrible. I had other things going on as well as bone spurs and had a discectomy, fusion with donar bone and titanium plates at C 5-6 July 31st. My arm pain and numbness was gone immediately. Am I correct in thinking the surgery you are scheduled for is less invasive? Has the doctor explained how long a recovery is expected? The more you know before the surgery the better your recovery is! This is a good place to learn from others! Good luck! Donna

Robin
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Joined: 08/17/2008 - 9:45pm
Hello Donna

Welcome to S~H smiley

Because you have two Drs telling you 2 different things-I would want to know if the problem is a herniated disc or a spur.
**I COPIED & PASTED THIS FROM SPINE HEALTH-LINK BELOW**

*If the arm pain gets better it is acceptable to continue with conservative treatment, as there really is no literature that supports the theory that surgery for cervical disc herniation helps the nerve root heal quicker.

*All treatments for a cervical herniated disc are essentially designed to help resolve the arm pain, and usually the weakness and numbness/tingling will resolve with time.

**I read this in the article under herniated disc here on the site*~ http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/cervical-herniated-disc-symptoms-and-treatment

Bone spurs are different and of course handled differently.I've had a herniated disc in my cervical area..but have not had spurs,also I have not had surgery on my spine.I was told that surgery(in MY case) is only a last resort.

24-7 stiff neck
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Joined: 08/12/2008 - 2:26am
welcom pookie21cats

sorry to hear of your pain and also weall have fear of surgery, thats a normal thing. i cant and noone else should be telling u what to do. i do recomend u have a talk with your surgeon and another docs opinion if necessary. i wish u good luck and if u decide to have the surgery, i wish u a sucessful sugery and a speedy recovery. i also will pray for u regardless of which road u take.

pookie21cats (not verified)
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surgery

Thank you for the replies thus far! The surgery that I have scheduled is for a minimally invasive Microendoscopic discectomy (MED). I guess the NS would go in and pull out the herniation that is touching the nerve root or chip away a little at the bone spur to make room for the nerve so it doesn't touch the vertebrae. It's confusing b/c the NS says he's not 100% positive what it is. One or the other but he's confident it's definitely one of them. How can they not tell from the MRI??

I'm just so confused because I'm 29 years old and everyone keeps telling me I'm too young for this type of surgery. But I've had these symptoms for 1 1/2 years and it's not getting any better. To me, this seems like a definitive answer.

dbullwinkel
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Joined: 08/27/2008 - 8:08am
Pookie21cats:didn't mean to recomend surgery

Hello I responded to your post..I was pretty sleepy when I answered and didn't really explain myself fully...sorry!
No ONE can tell you to have surgery, that is a personal decision, after ALL other options are exhausted. Any surgery is a big deal....maybe a third opinion would help. Good luck.
donna

Robin
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Joined: 08/17/2008 - 9:45pm
lol-Donna

I didn't mean to welcome Donna to S~H either.I saw your name on your post and said HELLO DONNA in my first post.. smiley ..I guess you were not the only one tired lol.

I should have said:

Welcome to S~H pookie21cats smiley

PS~I don't think anyone was saying to have/not have surgery-only opinions and such...but the info I copy/pasted may have been misconstrued as advice.If so that was not my intention..I was trying to lead the OP toward an article here on S~H.It helped ME in making my decisions easier.

Jenni0614 (not verified)
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24yr old with similar issue

Sorry, that really sucks!! I am 24 years old with a similar problem, except I have a herniated disk between the L4-L5 and also some spurring from the L5-S1 and T12-L1 to L2-L3. My pain management Dr. told me that they found some osteoarthritis in there also. I was devestated to hear that smiley , seeing how I am only 24! The thing about it is I am only 5'2" and 124lbs! I don't understand. I have been taking pain meds and muscle relaxers for years since I was about 19-20yrs, had x-rays, but no MRI's and they couldn't find out what was wrong, I didn't even know I thought it was just some muscle problems, because I said to myself that hey I am too young to have anything seriously wrong with my back, until finally 2 months ago I got a MRI done, and found out the sad truth. I went to my family Dr., rehab and to pain management, I am scheduled for an injection on Tuesday the 9th, I am trying to get more info on this spurring, as of now I am not to concerned with the disk, but I know with spurs they will continue to grow and I am worried smiley that I will need surgery in the future. Does anyone know if that is a possibility? Thanks.

P.S. Good luck on your surgery, hope everything goes well!

Lo
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Joined: 08/28/2008 - 10:10am
...

Spine problems don't discriminate... There are overweight people with spine problems, and underweight people with them. Generally a person's weight doesn't CAUSE spine problems. It is POSSIBLE, however, for the weight to aggravate problems if they already exist. I'm not overweight, either. Also, I'm only 22. But I've had two back surgeries this year, a MicroD, then a Radical Discectomy, scar tissue removal, and anterior/posterior (360 degree) Fusion at L4-L5. I also have a herniation at T11-T12, and Cervical bone spurs, Stenosis, and an irregular curve, along with mild Scoliosis. So I'm a perfect example of how back pain and spinal issues do not discriminate. At all.

Also, I don't think there is anything wrong with someone giving others their own personal opinion on their situation. I know for me, personally, when I post a topic, I AM asking for everybody's advice and personal opinion. If someone wants recited answers, they can just google it. Everyone knows that no one can tell them what do to regarding surgery, and it's a personal choice... But they're looking for input and advice from others who have experienced similar things. That's the point of a forum in which you can converse with real people, not just read page after page of medical text. Ya know? I dunno. That's my take on it. Anyone who feels differently is free to feel that way, but that doesn't make my opinion wrong. It is what it is.

Tatiyana
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Joined: 11/09/2008 - 1:55pm
C6/7 herniation w/ arm pain

I was scheduled to have the cervical fusion on C6/7 4 years ago. I was 36 at the time and they told me the same thing..I was too young to be having the surgery, blah blah blah.
I decided against the surgery & was able to cope with
steriod injections, PT, pain meds & prayer. The arm pain decreased over time & all has been well for about 3 years..until now. It is flaring up big time & I am wondering if I will end up having the surgery anyway.
Nothing is worse than nerve pain! I am having my lower back surgery in less than 2 weeks and now I am faced with possibly having to go forward with the cervical surgery.

I guess my point is, if I were to do it again, I would have went ahead & had the surgery. In my case I think I am just putting off the inevitable.

Robin
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Joined: 08/17/2008 - 9:45pm
I agree Lo

Quote:
That's the point of a forum in which you can converse with real people, not just read page after page of medical text. Ya know? I dunno. That's my take on it. Anyone who feels differently is free to feel that way, but that doesn't make my opinion wrong. It is what it is.

Especially when the OP asks for advice and/or opinions.There is no such thing as a wrong opinion-only different ones,and that's exactly what makes a forum interesting.

I try to be direct and honest with everyone I come into contact with on here and in my RL,but of course people never fail to amaze me.

There is a difference between an opinion and a remark that is meant to be critical of another person.I'm not referring to your post which was well recieved.

As far as the subject of google(search)goes,the reason I copy/pasted the little bit that I did was because I agreed with it,but I wasn't telling anyone not to have surgery..I let it be known that what I copy/pasted was what I read in an article here on S~H.Although I do happen to agree with the article.

I'm 48 yrs old and have had 13 operations and many opinions.It is my opinion that surgery should be pondered diligently and only as a last resort,after exhausting other avenues should we put our bodies through the trauma that an operation will bring.It is my belief that some people do not like that opinion.And that is ok too ☺

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