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Hello all, I just joined this site after reading posts here for quite some time. A little background, I had a L5-S1 fusion on 7/17/17. Everything went great and I went back to work just about exactly 12 weeks later. I’m not exactly sure when my neck symptoms started, as I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and a tendency to just push through and work because I have no choice.
Probably around September or October, I noticed that my right arm hurt. A LOT. I was dropping things all the time, and I was feeling sensations in my neck that felt like I was wearing a TENS unit all the time. In January I went back to my surgeon with those symptoms. He ordered an MRI of my cervical spine, and the results shocked us both. Turns out I have 5 herniated discs from C3-C7, 2 of which (C3-C4, and C4-C5) are ruptured. That is combined with moderate stenosis at C3-4, 4-5, and severe stenosis with complete obliteration and spinal cord flattening at C5-6 and C6-7.
It seems that in the 6 weeks since that MRI, my symptoms are worsening every day. I now am having constant headaches and intermittent shortness of breath. Today I had my 1st of 3 ESIs. There was NO relief at all, and my surgeon said there would most likely not be. I have another ESI on 3/7, and the last one on 3/14, followed by a surgical eval on 3/29.
When the injection was over I looked my surgeon in the eye and asked him how bad is this? He told me that my spinal cord is in a very dangerous position right now and I am definitely going to need major surgery to fix it.
I’m terrified. I’m not understanding why we are even doing 2 more injections and waiting 4 more weeks to even discuss surgery if he is so sure I need it. I’m not questioning the need for surgery, as a nurse, I know anatomy and I know that this could paralyze me or even kill me with a wrong move or God forbid, a car accident.
By the way, I’m 45 years old, and I’ve never been in a car accident with injury, and I’ve never fallen from a great height. My surgeon said he thought he was looking at the MRI of a 90 year old, or someone who suffered a great trauma.