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surgery or not

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello All,
I have been pretty busy since I had to have an MRI after a good sneeze. I have had Epidurals, Physical Therepy and am currently on 300mg Lyrica and 1000mg Naprosin. My latest MRI results are:
Unchanged Hemangioma in the left C5 vertebral body, left C5 pedicle, and left C5 articular process.
C3/4: Unchanged disc bulge in the neural foramina and resultant severe bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. Mild posterior disc bulge mildly impresses on the spinal cord. Mild retrolisthesis of C3 on C4 by 2mm.

C4/C5: Left facet overgrowth with resultant moderate C4/C5 neural foraminal stenosis.

C5/C6: Moderate circumferential disc bulge. Partly capping osteophyte. Mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. Minimal impression on the spinal cord by the bisc bulge.

C6/C7: Bilateral neural foraminal disc bulge is present with resultant moderate to severe left and mild right neural foraminal stenosis.

The rest is fine. The only constant symptoms I have are severe neck pain, headaches, and numbness in last two fingers on left hand. All kinds of symptoms that come and go but never hang around for long. Like both hands going tingly when I drive, right hand going completely numb when I shave my neck. Twinges of arm pain, shoulder, hand, and finger pain.
I have seen two surgeons and both do not want to do surgery. The first just pawned me off to the PT people and the second didn't even look at the current MRI results and said he would operate when I had severe arm pain. He referred me back to the pain management people. Around and around I go. No one seems to care about my C3/C4 issues everyone talks and checks for C5/C6/C7 issues. I guess they are waiting for serious problems to arise.
Sorry this is so long.


  • :) perhaps it would be best to put on a positive attitude and do all you can to avoid surgery. :) why are you dissatisfied with surgeons giving their medical opinion? pt is a called for treatment, as well as epidurals and all the rest. and many times they don't work and you still have pain. ~X( if surgery is not an option then that is that. i suppose you can go from doctor to doctor to find one who would do a fusion. that doesn't feel comfortable to me! :? Jenny :>
  • Welcome to S.H. I'm sure you will get some helpful information here. you can P.M. anytime. Patsy
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  • it seems you came to the right place for support. I wish you luck.
  • I can deal with the pain for now. The only thing that worries me is that with all of the problems I have going on in my neck. I'll end up an invalid before anyone does something. I mean what comes after severe? :S

    The Second Surgeon I saw opened up my MRI studies and was looking at the old one. I asked him if he was going to look at the recent results. He opened that up and said no change and said "Lets see what the Radiologist said". He was reading the old report I asked him if he was going to read the new one. He didn't even have it with him. Needless to say, I didn't have much confidence in him. :/ How can I trust them to give me an honest answer?
  • Hi LadyBug,
    I live here in southern Arizona and from what I can tell, there are a lot of Surgeons that really don't know what they are doing. As for myself, I learned all that I could from the internet about the nerves at C3/C4 and the rest. Also learned to read my MRI's. I really think they are afraid to work on someone with High Cervical issues, as the two that saw me were interested in arm pain and said they couldn't help with the neck pain. :)))
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  • thanks, I really do get that feeling from the N.S.'s I have seen they do seem scared, well I sure dont want them operating on me. but I have no other choice right now but surgery.this myeolpathy seems to be moving fast. i have to get that disc off my cord or i could become completely paralyzed. c6-7 is worst but other areas above that are also in bad shape and are compressing the cord also. I have to keep searching for the right surgeon, I just hope its not gonna take to long. and the doctors need to get M.S. out of there minds cause I DO NOT have it, it makes me so upset with everything i have gone through to prove i dont have it, i feel it was a waste of time and while they were worrying about that my neck was getting worse. im going to see doctor on the 30th, fingers crossed he can get me into a diff. surgeon,N.S.have said I have no other option but surgery, but with all my symptoms complications make them nervous, I already have swallowing problems(which came on right after my epidurals 2 years ago)I know it happened from epidurals but N.S. don't want to think that they say it is cause from M.S.I have seen my share of diff. doc's that's for sure. I'm gonna ask my doc. tomorrow about the Boston area, I hear some good surgeons are there. I might need something to knock me out for the long drive but I'm willing to do anything to stop my arms and legs from getting any worse. not only for me. bit this is not fair to my wonderful hubby my great kids, and my grand babies, my family and friends!I used to be the one helping them. now i cant help them with nothing and they have to help me with everything. I have to quit now im getting to sad but thanks Mr.B patsy
  • Mr.B
  • and I hope that you find relief with conservative treatment.
  • I can't give you an answer to that question but I can give an honest reply though. I had almost the same exact symptoms as you described> numbness in the index and middle fingers and thumbs for both hands. A deep pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades and also daily headaches. The mri and myelogram reports seemed to be worse then what your results were but that doesn't matter. Surgery should be your last resort. I did have the surgery (c6/7 level)3 weeks ago tomorrow having them use an artificial disc (www.prestigedisc.com) and I am ecstatic. I can not believe the short recovery time and of course my symptoms are totally gone. I haven't had a headache since. I was up and walking 3 hrs after surgery, home the next day and driving 2 days later. I am glad that I made the decision to have the surgery but once again everyone is different and that decision needs to be made by you, your family and the surgeon. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just want to talk.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    enough about any medical condition from the Internet. If that were true, many of us would not need doctors. It is very important to become as knowledgeable as you can and the Internet is just one source.

    If you know doctors who are a little hesitant about performing surgeries on upper cervical discs, then I suggest you continue to look for surgeons who are comfortable doing that procedures. While it may be more common for cervical problems form C4 down to C7, there are plenty who have had upper cervical procedures.

    I would also be very careful about interpreting ones own MRI's or others. While one may be able to pick out some specifics, there are a lot of other things that are not so obvious to the non-medical folks.
    Having the knowledge as you said you do, is an assist when you do have discussions with medical professionals.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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