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C6-7 fusion, disc replacement - Any alternatives?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

Really at the end of my rope and terrified.

After a freak accident, I've just been trapped in the house for over a year in burbs (can't drive with the pain not under control) and I am getting desperate for a solution but I don't want to rush into something that will make me worse.

My entire left side is weak and my left shoulder blade is so tender if someone brushes by on a crowded street it hurts so much it makes my eyes tear. It is painful to sit or put weight on my left hip so I have to sit perched on my right side. I can't sleep because I only get prescribed a certain amount of vicodin per 28 days from the pain center so I run out by the time it is bedtime. The pain cuts right though the sleeping pills so that can't help. My hand and arm just gets lighting zings of pain for no reason. I can't even pick up a cat.

For months I saw different neurologists. They all said there is nerve irritation between c-6,7 and there was nothing they can do. That one day the nerve may just decide to stop firing pain sensors or that it may be never get better.

But my pain center found me a neurologist who took a look and said that he could fuse my c6-7 to take the pressure off my nerves and to insert a artificial disc to cushion the fusion.

The problem is my c6-7 is healthy and so is the disc between them. I don't know if it is a good idea to do this when this is purely a nerve issue.

Does anyone know of any alternatives to this?

I've already had epidural spine injections, physical therapy and facet joint injections and they have not helped much.

I just hear horror stories about people needing fusion touch ups every ten years and i am barely out of my 20's. Also, that fusions cause weaker spots in your spine to need future fusions from the added pressure.

Any advice will be appreciated.



  • Hiya
    Welcome to Spine Health >:D< . You will find us helpful and friendly here :) .I am sorry that you are in so much pain :( . I agree with pain gabapentin works well for the nerve pain @) . I dont know if you should have the fusion or not, thats up to you and how much trust you have in the surgeon :/ If you have nerve pain dont they have to sort that out first? :O maybe thats somthing to ask your doctor next time you see him :) . I do know that a fusion will help with the pain :D . Good Luck! Let us know how you get on. Pm me any time you want to rant. :H

    Angie x
  • Hi Angie,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. :))) I tried Gabapentin in the beginning, but it made my arm twitch and intensified the nerve pain.

    They also gave me Nortriptylin, Carisoprodol, Voltaren, and Flexeril. They all did not help that much.

    When I go in to the doctor I will ask specifically about the nerve pain. I never know what to ask them. I just hope the mri will speak for itself but that is not working!

    Several of the doctors just tell me when people get spine injuries the nerves just keep on firing pain off and that they can only send to to pain management to get medication since physical therapy did not help.

    They don't seem to understand that when they send me home life for me does not go on. It's completely stopped for me. I have to time my vicodin dose to accommodate when i have to walk to the mailbox so i can go without limping. My left side cannot be touched without pain- really pathetic.

    I try to hold on and wait for my next doctors appt and maybe the next doc will have a solution, but its been over a year.

    Do you know if fusions last? I've read on some posts that after one fusion usually more surgery is required to maintain it and that is frightening!
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