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Moderate c3-4 cord compression

howlhhowl Posts: 12
edited 04/30/2019 - 11:53 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I found out last fall that I had moderate c3-4 and c4-5 central cord compression and moderate-severe c5-6 central cord compression (from an extruded disc). I had Lhermitte's sign and hyper-reflexia in my legs, along with gait issues, tingling in my arms and hands (radiculopathy) and an abundance of severe pain in my neck, shoulders and arms. I also had a constant burning pain down the back of my left buttock/thigh. The neurosurgeon suggested 2-level artificial disc replacement (Mobi-C) in my c4-6, and leaving my c3-4 because that disc was dried up and bone spurs had self-fused the vertebrae, and "it probably won't get worse". I was happy to keep my mobility and had the surgery 4 months ago. After the surgery the surgeon told me the c4-6 disc herniations had been "fresh" with no bone spurs, so they were recent herniations.

The problem is that I believe the c3-4 may have been causing me great suffering for over a decade. After my children were born in the early 2000's I began having terrible neck pain and stiffness and a huge, disabling increase in my chronic migraines. I also suffered from severe fatigue and muscle pain and weakness. I complained to the doctor for 8 or 9 years, trying to get some help. They tested me for lupus, ms, lyme disease, thyroid issues and others. They gave me a bunch of different migraine preventatives, but they all came with horrible side effects and never helped my migraines a bit. But they never x-rayed my neck. Eventually I gave up and I've just suffered while over the years I've gradually gotten worse and worse. My limitations have increased and I've lost the ability to work full time. I'm unable to use my arms without triggering migraines and days of severe weakness and pain. 

Anyway, I was optimistic that the doctors were right and my moderate c3-4 central cord compression is no big deal and that my surgery 4 months ago would solve all my problems. But I still have signs of myelopathy, including hyper-reflexia and nerve pain and weakness in my legs, along with gait issues. And now even just working with my hands doing something like typing or knitting or drawing is enough to trigger a migraine and days of weakness and pain. My legs hurt much worse now than before the surgery, and stairs are becoming more and more difficult. Of course this could just be part of the healing process. I understand that. 

I see my primary physician tomorrow for the first time since all this happened last fall/winter. I'd like to bring up the c3-4 and my concern that it's been the root of my health issues and possibly still is. I wonder if anyone's been in a situation like this and has any advice on how to approach this? I really don't want to have the c3-4 fused if the risks outweigh the benefits, and of course going through another neck surgery with a whole separate incision sounds like hell. I suppose I'm probably in a "wait and see" type of situation since my surgery was only 4 months ago, but I can't imagine all my past problems were just a coincidence. I haven't been able to work for 6 months now, and I'll do whatever it takes to be able to support myself and my kids. Any similar experiences out there? 

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