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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
So my symptoms are much improved, no more pain (most of the time), few tingles when/if they happen, no numbness... Im supposed to see the NS again Dec 4th (Thursday) although Im not sure its worth the drive out there. Last time he came in asked if I wanted ACDF I said NO! He OK'd my working with a Chiropractor, the appointment took about 3 minutes but cost 150$ which I had to pay only 8$ but still!! Seems like a waste to me. He said follow up in a month, well then he started doing surgeries on the day that appointment was scheduled so I got bumped another month, and really dont see any reason to go see him this week, but then again if/when I do have to go under the knife I want him to do it! ugh... for now it just seems like a waste of time and money unless I start having problems again.


  • Why have you refused surgery? I know it's definitely a very personal choice for everyone. You don't really have to answer me if you don't want to. For me it was do it or sit in a wheelchair so my decision was pretty easy. I see your C6-C7 is in your spinal canal does that not scare you? It did me. I would suggest though that if you like this doctor and you trust him you do whatever it takes to keep him. From the posts that I've read on all of these boards and elsewhere a good Doc is hard to come by. So if you know that at some point you're going to have surgery then (just my opinion) keep your appointment.
  • aetown--glad to hear your symptoms have subsided. Mine started off really bad, then subsided. Now they come and go.
    I haven't had surgery,either, and my next nuerosurgeon visit is on December 9. I think I'm gonna go just to follow up on some questions. For me, surgery is a last resort! Keep us posted.--Mazy
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  • It is wonderful that your symptoms have subsided! As for your appointment, maybe it would be a good time to have some questions answered. If it were me I would keep the appointment and discuss the 6mm herniation and if there are any imminent risks by not having the surgery. I personally feel that spine surgery is a last resort. It would be wise to keep your relationship with this surgeon open. If you keep the appointment, make a list of questions to ask him so that you know when it is time to come back for a consult. Ask him if the herniation is causing myelopathy.

    Just my thoughts. Good luck with your decision.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I injured my neck this summer, but was able to completely eliminate the symptoms in my arm and about 80% of my pain with spinal decompression and anti-inflamatories. I was working full time and getting along fine. But I knew I would have to be careful when it came to recreational and physical activities. All it would take is a bump or jolt or twist the wrong way and all my symptoms could come back. I didn't see the point in postponing the inevitable and wasting months or even years of my life trying to "be careful".

    With your disc pressing on your spinal cord, you are risking permanent nerve damage the longer you wait to have it fixed. I talked to several people who had ACDF prior to my surgery and at least two of them (both with 2-level ACDF) regretted postponing their surgeries. One ended up with permanent nerve damage in his left arm. The other one woke up pain free and realized she had wasted two years of her life being miserable in pain when the surgery could have put a stop to it so easily.

    I know surgery can be scary....I was because I had never even spent a single night in the hospital before, much less be under anesthesia with someone cutting into my spine! But at 6 weeks post-op, I have normal ROM, almost no pain, and no regrets about my surgery. I guess I'm not one of those "surgery as a last resort" kind of people. I saw it as a way to fix the problem, not just treat the symptoms. With any luck I should be rowing boats and riding horses by next summer. The only downside to surgery so far is no snowboarding for me this winter and the $$$$ I've spent on deductibles and co-pays.

    I'm not telling you that you MUST have surgery, I just wanted to share my experience with you and let you know it isn't such a bad thing (in my case, anyways)
  • I'm very glad to hear others have the same issue I do. In June I injured myself while docking our boat and thought that I had pulled a muscle. After my FP ordered an MRI, she snt me to an Orthopedic Surgeon who offered several options-physical therapy, injections or surgery. Of course I took the therapy route!! But I also went to a NS for a second opinion in September. He said if the therapy hadn't worked by then, it wasn't likely to work and that he never suggested injections for cervical problems-feels it is much riskier than thoracic or lumbar injections. He urged me to have surgery ACDF - C5-6 and 6-7) and actually I did schedule it but then canceled it because I felt I just wasn't ready. Now there are days when I have very few symptoms-the numbness and tingling are just a fraction of what they once were and the pain is more discomfort than real pain-most days I take nothing, other days a couple of Tylenol. I am really torn over the whole thing-I'm terrified to have surgery and since I have always been healthy, I just can't believe that I won't get better with just positive thinking and time!! I can't really see getting yet another opinion and I do have confidence in the NS. I am in a quandry and it helps to read that others are having the same problem!!
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  • Had my injury and symptoms not been so severe I probably would have tried anything to stay away from the knife. However, I must say that now, after having my spinal cord injured I would have anything that was even remotely endangering the cord repaired immediately. There is too many things that happen in everyday life that can make it go so very wrong.

    If your surgeon says that you are not in any danger in regards to your spinal cord then I fully understand your decision. Please make sure that that is the case though and you fully understand the possible risks of waiting.

    I think it's awesome that your symptoms have so dramatically decreased. What is your secrett????? LOL!

    Take care,
  • Did you have any pain management injections to stop the pain? Just wondering. And I agree with Cindy asking if it is possible to get nerve damage waiting or do you have to be symptomatic to get surgery? Take care. 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
  • Surgery for me was a no-brainer. The biggest factor was my neurosurgeon telling me I was forbidden from riding my bike. The danger of me breaking my neck if I crashed was too great.
  • So after all the debating, I went to the appointmnet, I was still debating when I got in the car to go to the appointment! My spinal cord is not compressed at all, otherwise I would probably have not been given the options I was from the NS. I have been off the anti inflamitories for almost 2 months now, at first it was more achey but now it feels almost normal, most of the time. I can and have overdone things like scrubbing the shower but some heat and a couple Advil seem to do the trick. I have my chiropractic exercises that I do with 5 lb weights, and visits to the chiro have decreased to once per month unless I want to see him, then I have a standing appointment all I need do is show up! The NS said NO snow shoveling, no amusement park rides (usually hit Orlando in January, not this year!) No falling down! So the next morning getting into the shower, doesnt the rubber shower mat slide right across the tub?? AHHHH I managed to catch myself and only bashed my shin but I didnt care about that, was more concerned with the neck, which didnt seem to mind the morning trauma LOL... My NS said when the time comes, I will know it and I all I need to is call the office, he will take it from there. He was happy with my progress, Im just happy the pain is gone! The NS believes the day will come where I will be ready for the surgery, I explained I hoped that would be far enough down the road for disk replacement, he said that was a promising technology but it still had some long term issues that are slowing down the approval for multi levels. Even with replacement he wants to get the C-5 (arthritic) out of there when he goes after the C-6. For now I will keep doing what Im doing, hope for the best, and pray my feet stay under me this winter!
  • No I havent had any injections for pain, and the NS is pleased with my progress. He said some people live the rest of thier lives without the surgery, although he thinks eventually I will have to have it done, he agrees right now it is not necessary unless I crash the car, fall, or do anything causing a "good" jolt to the area. I dont think that jolt would be "good" lol.... So for now Im fine without fusion and hope it stays that way until another option is available. Good luck to you!
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