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C5-C6 cervical disc surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone,
I read some of your responces and postings and lots of them are as if I would describe my problems. I have c5-c6 moderate disc herniation with compression into my spine(about 25% into the spine) which blocks the interspinal fluid from floating around my spine. I am always weak, when I walk a bit my whole body gets weak and all muscles seems not to work.I am in chronic pain, I always feel pain. I complain so much to my doctors that they started to think its because I am very anxious person. They put me on bunch of anti anxiety and anti depression pills,but I am not getting better. My hands are weak,my legs are weak,I have vertigo. I am chronicly tired. In morning I can not make a fist. I cant sit, walk, lay or stand for extended periods of time- talking about period of 3+ minutes without being bothered by pain and forced to switch position I am in. My neurologist says I have to have the surgery done to prevent possible permanent damage.
I am so scared of surgery. I am diabetic for last 28 years and I worry I will not wake up,or get infection or just any other complications. I also have skipping heart beats,so I am worried even more that my heart could just stop under all those drugs I will be under. I am not sure what to do. I have 2 and a 1/2 year old baby boy and I am unable to do anything with him and that is why I want to have it done. But I am afraid of thr risks. If anyone has any input togive me advise, or just some reassurance or share their experience I would be very greatful. Thank you for reading this.


  • I too have Diabetes. I take Toprol XL to control my episodes of rapid heart rate that have put me in the ER. In June of 07 I had C5-6 discectomy, replacement with cadaver bone, and fusion with titanium plate and screws. My surgery went very well, and I was back to work in a month. If you have confidence in your surgeon, you should have the surgery done as soon as you can. It should help with your symptoms a lot. At least mine did. With a one level fusion, you should not lose any range of motion. You owe it to yourself and that baby boy to take care of yourself, and do the best you can do to be healthy. Think of all you are missing out on. While surgery is not fun, and you will need help afterwards as you can't lift over 10 lbs, the time you will need to recouperate is nothing compared to the next 16 years or so that your son will be at home. Good luck. Please post when you decide. I'll be praying for healing and a good outcome for you.

  • for your positive comment. I really appreciate to see that someone with Diabetes and problems as mine had this surgery done and reccupurated well. I feel the same way you wrote about me getting better for my son. I also see in list of your conditions few I'd like to talk to you about.
    I also have t4-t12 disc herniation, but it was not pressing on spine yet last year thay made MRI.
    What I am very curious about is the lesions you have - I have 2 lesions in my brain and noone can tell me what they are - they look like fuzzy stars you see in skies- i have one in the front and the other in back of my brain. Did anyone tell you what they were and why they are there? They diagnosedit as possible demyelization process ( MS ) , but when I had tests done by my neurologist - evoked potentials it was not really confirmes - he also sais if I'd have 5 lesions then he would announce it as MS.

    Also, doyou recommend I have the cadaver bone put in - I believe that what my doctor said he'll do for me so I'll accept it better.
    I am sooo happy you responded to me. I think we have a lot of common problems and maybe we could chat more.
    I am on 3 high blood pressure pills - lisinoprilHCL, labetalol and norvasc - they keep my pressure very well, Iam happy with them. I am on tramadol as well.
    I am also on Cymbalta ( supposedly helps with neuropathy ), but I take it for depression, abilify, nortriptyline and lorazepan - all for anxiety and depression. I've been having this uncontrolled sweat attacks - standing in front of AC and sweat is still pouring down my body and face. Sudden high heart rate and often skipping of heart beats. My psychiatrist believes I have panic attacs.

    As i see you also have carpall tunnel. I have had such a bad case of carpall tunnel that i lost my reflexes in my left hand. I had surgeries on both hands. They healed very well, but I have still numbness in my hands and weakness- my hand surgeant said its bcof my back issue, not the hand surgery - well, I think its a combination of both. But at least I dont have that excrutiating pain in my fingers I've had before the surgery- I went nuts from that pain, walked all nights like insomniac, couldnt sleep for even a little while, bc of stabbing pain in my hands. So if you should do the surgery on your hands - do it - it does help a lot with the pain .

    Hope to hear from you soon. Andrea
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  • I sent you a P.M. blessing Patsy
  • Yes on the cadaver bone. That way you don't have two surgery sites. Most people who use their own bone say the hip surgery site hurts more, and have more problems, than people who use cadaver bone. It is sterilized, so no possibility of transmitting anything. If the EP test didn't absolutly confirm but suggested ms, and with the lesions in your brain, it does suggest the possibility of MS. Vertigo is a major symptom in some people for ms. Will your neuro do further testing? Or repeat MRI's of brain to check on more lesions? If it is MS, the quicker drugs are given reduces the long term effects of ms. I'm not trying to scare you, but it is something that should be checked out further. Your neck is probably causing some of your symptoms, but maybe not all of them. Fatigue is a killer. So hard to do anything when all you want to do is crawl back in bed!
    Sorry, I have to go now, but will add more later. I have to pee the pup, eat, and go to work. I get home about 11:00 pm, will check back later, and answer more of your questions. Try to have a good day.

  • Thank you again. I am taking Antivert for Vertigo - now I am really freaking out. I had bad cases of vertigo since last December, where it was going on sometimes up to a week with me throwing up from being so dizzy. Now it happens occasionally, but its happening, so I have this Antivert to stop it. I am so fatigue. I wake up in the morning and I am tired..... I had to go on medical leave from my job, bc I had very responsible possition, where I was in charge of over 50 offices and I was so sick that I was passing out in meetings and was using so much of my energy to concentrate and resolve problems which arrised, that when I finished work I was ready to just lay down and die. I kept forgetting important appointments, etc..... I cant even remember my doctor's appointment now. I leave an office with the appointment card and by the time we get home I forget where I put the card and I cant remember when the appointment is even though they told me about it 15 minutes ago.In the past I remembered everyones names, phone numbers, addresses. My brain was like a computer. I cant believe what is happening to me, bc I was always on top of everything and everyone. Now I feel completely helpless, hopeless and clueless. I cant make easiest decissions, where I was deciding for hundreds of people in the past.
    I cant wait to chat with you later. Please,let me know when you get on. (by the way, this email took me on and off like 2 hours to complete, I am in a lots of pain today....I guess its the weather :O) )
    Thanks a lot
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  • I have very similar symptoms to yours. I have herniation of C5/C6, and very mild herniation of C6/C7 and some stenosis of T1-4. I feel weak and my neck and upper back hurt all the time, my legs feel heavy, and I have mild Vertigo sometimes. My left hand is weak and I get muscle spasms in my thumb and index finger. My first doctor suggested that I start taking Prozac, that is when I found a new doctor. I am on Toprol for rapid heart rate and Benicar for high blood pressure which both started about the same time as my neck pain. I wonder if there is a connection between heart rate and C5/C6? I have had 3 spinal MRIs and 2 Brain MRIs. I have seen a Neurologist, a Neurosurgeon, and an Orthopedic surgeon. The Neurologist suspected MS, but said that I did not have any lesions on my spine or brain and I did not respond to Provigil so it is not. He told me there was a test he could do to rule out MS that was 90% accurate, but required a spinal puncture and he did not recommend it for me. The neurosurgeon told me that my herniation was too mild for surgery, but the Orthopedic surgeon told me that the damage to my thumb and index finger could be permanent if I did not have surgery. I tried a place that did laser surgery, instead of fusion, but they did not think I needed surgery at the time (I have gotten worse since). I am thinking about revisiting the surgery option, because my symptoms are not going away. I think I have had every test known to man with no conclusive results. I have also researched surgical options for months, so I can tell you about the tests, and the research, but I have not actually gone through the surgery; so I am sure others know more about that than I do.

    Good luck, I hope it goes well for you. You are not alone.
  • are you new to this site? well if so i wanna say hi and im glad you found it, and happy to meat you, i have some things in common with you, at one time i tried the provigal too and did not like how it made me feel. (i have a diagnosis of possible M.S.)i do not believe i have ms. all my MRI'S and i have had many more then you done they have all come back negative no lesions, but they keep looking even after over 2 years i have had the spinal tap done and this also came back good, but i still have this diagnosis of possible M.S. and i cant get it off my records. its very frustrating, i have been to many neuro's and surgeons because i need surgery i have no other option because i have myeolpathy and the symptoms are just getting more and severe as the days go by. my problem here is with all the surgeons i have seen 2 in last month they are in my words afraid to do this surgery i need because they think i might have M.S.and im to big of a risk and in there words i have to many diff issues going on, i just know all my issues are coming from my neck im not sure if im making any since but maybe you might have a suggestion for me or something
    it seems to me that when the surgeons see my MRI of my neck they are ready to do emergency surgery to stop the progression of myeolpathy, but then they see that possibly M.S. they back off and have even told me to please go get another opinion (well at least i don't think very often does the doc say please go get another opinion) i always thought it was the patient asking for another opinion. i live in IL. and i have tried many different areas around where i live. last disappointment was when i was told no to having a appointment at mayo clinic.
    if you have anything, ideas or anything that might help me i would appreciate it much. thank-you again very much...patsy
  • First and foremost I want to say, "I am sorry that this has happened to you." Next I need to say the usual disclaimer, I am not a medical professional so I am not qualified to give medical advice. I will be glad to share my opinion and my experience. As a matter of fact I would be very happy if someone could benefit from my experience, I sure did not enjoy having it. Provigil did nothing for me. I felt no effect at all.
    I am new to this site I have not posted here before yesterday. I have not yet worked up a medical bio like others have, but I have been through a lot in the last 3 years. Before that I was fine. I will be 45 in two weeks.
    There I got that out of the way: Now to your questions:

    What exactly do they see on your MRI that keeps them going back to M.S.? Myeopathy means damage to the spinal cord, usually caused by an injury or stenosis. I am sure you already knew that, but I am wondering if you did not have any injury and do not show stenosis, maybe that is why they cannot come up with a diagnosis other than M.S. If I were you I would try one of the places that specialize in spinal surgery: ****EDITED****and get an opinion from one of those. I went to EDITED to get laser surgery, but they thought that my herniation was not bad enough to operate. (I was very surprised that they recommended against something that made them money.) I took their advise, but I am feeling worse now. EDITED do free second opinions (not sure about EDITED), just send them your MRI.

    I hope this helps you!

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  • Thank you for your comments. I am now scheduled for surgery - in 10 days. Now, my neurologist cleared me for surgery. Even though he suspected MS due to my 2 lesions in my brain. He did evoked potentials - 3 of them. I asked him if they eliminated the possibility of MS. He said they were negative results, but in order to fully eliminate he would have to do spinal tap. He said to me not to do it. He wants to closely monitor brain MRIs and have one done soon to see if anything else shows up. He said he will not confirm MS untill I have 5 lesions. Now I have only 2.

    Now, you guys are really giving me some worries. What can happen to me, if I should have MS, but its not confirmed and they do this surgery?......Please, if you know what could happen, please tell me. I have to call my doctors again then. I never even brought up this issue and they said nothing regarding it eighter.

    Lance, your problems sound exactly like mine. I also had every test imaginable. I even had Holter monitor for my heart for 24 hours - it came back as premature atrial contractions. They say it is benign, wont hurt me. But the feeling that your heart is taking a "break" for few seconds can drive you crazy - I guess I didnt mention in my problems that I also had skipping heart feeling allthe time, every 4-25-40 beats. So now I have PAC, they say cant cure it, cant take pills for it. They say its an extra beat - to me it feels as missing beat. They say lots of people have it, but only few feel it. I guess I must be that "lucky" one to feel it.

    Lance, if I get thru this surgery fine, even with my 2 lesions on my brain confirmed, I believe that you then can do yours as well, since you had no lesions - how did they come up with the MS disagnosis anyway???? since you had no lesions to see....

    Anyway, I hope everyone is doing as good as they can with all our problems we have. We needto believe we will feel better.
  • Andrea, does your surgeon know you have a possibility of having M.S.? or is you neurologist keeping that so to speak on the back page for now, just wondering like we have all said im no professional in medical field(well sorta i feel i am)-haha got still giggle once in awhile-i know this is serious-so back on the topic- the reason i ask is- last 2 surgeons i have seem are all yea yea and then they see a pss, diagnosis of ms and its no no.
    my sister is one year younger then i (i know this is gonna sound strange to any one that knows anything about ms but here goes)she has a diagnosis of M.S. had the diagnosis for like 7or8 years (shes doing ok)but about 1 year before they even had a inkling to her having ms she was having cervical problems (minor compared to where mine are now)she did have stenosis and a few bulges that doc went in and fixed i think c4-5 c5-6 no complication in her surgery, well shortly after her surgery she started having some ms symptoms,I told her get to docs. she went and seen my rhumey and from there on she was tested and MRI'ed crazy, she has positive diagnosis. now like i said im no doc. but the surgery could of brought what she allready had out meaning it caused her a flare of the ms. I ALSO BELIEVE THE SURGERY SAVED HER FROM MORE SEVERE COMPLICATION WITH HER M.S. from the fact she can still walk run bend and so on ... she has her cognitive difficulties but has learned and learns everyday how to deal with this-shes great-I went and seen her surgeon to see if he might help me but no-way.
    i think it would be a little on the rare side if two sister have MS. my mri clearly show if sumthing is not done with my cord being compressed on it will most likley get worse in the mean time i gotta be scared to bump fall anything and i all ready have bad balance weakness in many parts of my body. im gonna really end up in a you no what and paral----. sorry ive gone way off ...andrea if you trust your neurologist, trust him ask him. i wish i could keep the ms word off all the note these docs have cause i just know my symptoms are coming from my neck
    lance just all my symptoms are what they have to go on for the ms diagnosis, which all these symptoms are what you would expect from a person that has a cervical MRI that loked like mine.. see what i mean this all stated almost3 years ago it all started with patsy you have sev stenosis and some minor bulging this is causing your balance issues well that led me from one doc to another and so well i think one doc thought hmmmm maybe ms so my neck so to speak got put on hold forgotten about and the ms search got started while all along my neck is getting worse but not being lokked at cause they are thinking i have ms causing the symptoms when all along its my neck, sorry i dont get things typed out how i like them too but.. i have had one the las neurologist i seen in Madison say patsy you do not have ms, she stated it in here notes so im hoping this might be a start... im gonna leave you two alone thanks for all your help, thanx for caring patsy
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