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3 docs with 3 different surgical opinions-what should I do???

ouchoouch Posts: 107
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
As you can see below, I have a lot of cervical issues needing attention. I have been to 3 surgeons: the first recommends microdiscectomy WITHOUT fusion at C4-C5. He said the other levels above and below C4-C5 are either bulging, herniated, have degeneration, bone spurs, or have loss of disc space height (C6-C7 is herniated in both directions with loss of height, has bone spurs and a 4mm herniation). So, he doesn't want to fuse at all--just let nature kind of fuse it. The 2nd doc said that I am a perfect candidate for an artificial disc replacement at C4-C5, but failed to see that my neck is straight as a board (kyphosis). 2nd doc also said if I do one level fusion, I can practially guarantee that I will need surgery later on at either C3, C5, and or C6. So, if I fuse, i should do a triple level fusion surgery. The 3rd doc caught that I had a straight neck with the apex at C4-C5 which is really pushing on my spinal cord and deforming it. He said he isn't too worried about C3, 5, and 6 herniating further and that there is only a 1 in 4 chance of that happening. He had an SSEP test done to test for myelopathy and radiculopathy. Test showed slowing at the tibial nerve (my right leg gets weak) and radiculopathy at the C5 dermatome on the right arm. That is all it showed, even though I have burning in the left arm and tons of pain in the L suprascapular area and sometimes L shoulder. He says I have depressed reflexes on the L while the 2nd opinion doc says I have depressed reflexes on the R! Geeze I just don't know what to do! Bottom line, my cord is deformed at C4-5 shown by MRI due to the severe 5mm herniation threre. I have tingling in my legs and weakness in the R leg especially. My forearms are tight/spasm sometimes. What do you guys think????? Please, any advice is invited before I see 3rd opinion doc again this Friday. Thank you so much.


  • Did the Neurologist say anything? Like that you have weakness caused by a certain disc? Maybe if you ask os what discs control the symptoms you're having? Take care and keep us informed. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • All of the docs feel pretty certain that most of my symptoms are from the C4-C5 disc herniation, but are not sure. NS said that some of the symptoms (like burning in the arm) might be from the C6-7 disc herniation--not sure. *shrugging* But the leg tingling and weakness, the 1st surgeon said that is from low back stuff. I had an MRI of thoracic/lumbar and it has some issues, but no herniations.
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  • I saw different surgeons prior to my back surgery and got different opinions. I was scared and confused. I did alot of reserach and asked people about the surgeons. I ended picking a dr that would not do a fusion as I decided I would wait and see what happened..I won't go down into details but in hindsight, I made the best decision I could with the information I had at the time..Best wishes on picking the best surgeon for you :) ..take care..jade
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