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Necessity of Surgery

Help, I am not sure if I need surgery.

My MRI reports state the following: 

There is a mild reversal of the mid to upper cervical lordosis.

C5-C6 - Minimal diffuse disc osteophyte complex and uncovertebral hypertrophy are noted with partial effacement of the ventral subarachnoid space. Minimal central canal stenosis is noted. No significant neural foraminal stenosis is noted.

C6-C7 - Mild diffuse disc osteophyte complex and uncovertebral
hypertrophy are noted with partial effacement of the ventral
subarachnoid space. Minimal central canal stenosis is noted. No significant
neural foraminal stenosis is noted.

Spine surgeon thinks I need surgery ASAP. He says I need a two-level anterior cervical distechtomic (?) fusion and plating for what he calls two-level stenosis with kyphosis and myelomacia. I'm petrified as I don't even have that much pain. I've had numbness and tingling in my extremities off an on for years. I was in PT about 8 years ago for this issue, but my MRIs show that it's much worse now. I just experience LOTS of stiffness in my neck and back -- I rarely take meds. The reason I had the MRI was because I had an episode where my right side (from breast to toe) was warm, painful to touch, and weak/numb for 10 days. I thought it was MS (it's in the family), and so do the neurologists, and am the diagnosis process for that. However, my MRIs reveal a messed up cervical spine. The spine surgeon says that because of the bone spurs, PT will not help me to correct it. I guess because they are already formed? They are actually visible and you can see how they connect across discs. Sigh.

I have appts for additional opinions, but I am wondering about other people's experiences.

Thanks in advance!



  • hi jodes123

    welcome to spine-health

    there are no medical professional on this site, so any replies you get will be other members experiences and such be received in this way.

    you have the best answers from your specialist and due to your extended symptoms, it would be best to take these very seriously.  i hope you are able to get the other opinions as soon as possible.

    you may find it useful to use the search box at the top of the page to help you find older posts by members that have had similar surgeries.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 681

    Hi. Jodes,  just wondering if you were still around. Wondering if the Myelomalacia, is still a concern of yours.

     I hope to hear how you are doing.  

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  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 947
    jodes123 -  I've had three ACDFs and am fused from C2 to C7.  It's a quality of life question.  That said, I have a few other comments.
    Did your spine surgeon give you any reason why s/he was so quick to recommend surgery?  Are you at risk of some permanent spine injury if you were to delay surgery?  Maybe you deserve it to yourself to get a second opinion?
    You must do what is appropriate for you, so testing for MS (since it is in our family) sounds reasonable.  As my neurosurgeon told me, if the pain is manageable and the diagnostics do NOT show immediate threat to spinal cord and related nerve roots, most times it is prudent to delay surgery.  Every case is different, so please do NOT take my comment as medical advice.

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