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Newbie from Portland Oregon

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
Hey folks, just a quick (long) introduction and some observations from my recent doctor visits together with questions:

My status:
Diagnosed with herniated C5 and bulging C6
Symptoms had been mostly in neck and left arm with severe pain and weakness, which at the peak actually rendered my left arm completely useless around the holidays.
I have been to see a family doctor, neurologist, physical therapist and finally a surgeon (in that order) over a period of about 5 weeks or so.
Friday was my first (and hopefully last) visit with the surgeon, who after reviewing my MRI, said surgery was not recommended and that I was a young (40), fit guy, who should continue to improve with PT. Left feeling pretty damn good about the whole situation.
Today was my second visit to the Neurologist. Left feeling pretty down. He said the reason there is no surgery needed is that the nerve is dead (there are 2 more that are OK though), herniated discs do not heal, and there will be no full recovery, and I quote "if you were a professional swimmer, you'd be done"
Tomorrow will be my 4th visit to the PT with good results so far........

Questions (and confusion)
PT will help rebuild the muscles in my arm and shoulder, but cannot cure the actual herniation or death of the nerve, right? soooooo whats to stop the pain and muscle atriphy from coming back whenever it wants?
Has anybody actually had a hernia reverse itself and release the nerve?
Has anybody been in this situation and then been thru extended symptom free periods of time.
If this is not curable and wont heal itself, am I just going to be in PT for the rest of my life?

Although I feel a thousand times better than before, it all seems a bit grim; I have a 3 year old and ride motorbikes!!!!!!!!

thanks for any and all info. cheers



  • I would say that it is good that you are not a pro swimmer, huh? Since you are not that may not be such horrid news. Are you saying that the compressed nerve is the one that is dead? It seems to me that might be OK. The only thing that I can compare it to is when I get nerve burns. They actually kill the nerve which is wonderful for a while until the nerve grows back. Sorry that I could't be more help but I did want to welcome you. I wish you much luck and please keep us posted.
  • Welcome to S~H :H

    I herniated a disc in my cervical area last summer and it's a lot better than it was.Not perfect-but better.

    *All treatments for a cervical herniated disc are essentially designed to help resolve the arm pain, and usually the weakness and numbness/tingling will resolve with time.(*This info is from a Dr here on the site)

    If you put your mouse over CONDITIONS at the top of the page and click on herniated disc-you will find a LOT of answers regarding your situation.

    Of course everyone is different and getting other opinions & hearing their stories can be helpful too.I found it to be a kind of long time healing,and my left arm seems weaker...but I'm right-handed and I dislocated my left shoulder several times,so I'm never sure how much that might have to do with this-if anything ?

    Hope you enjoy searching,reading,and posting here on S~H.I'll look forward to reading more from you..as our situations are similar... :H

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  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer any questions we can.. i do not have your exact problems but we do share chronic pain!! ~X( it may be possible after awhile for you to develope a "pt" plan you can do on your own. talk to your pt about that!! your personal pain program will probably include some type of exercise that you will do forever! everyone needs exercise so look at that as a positive! good luck as you seek pain relief! :D Jenny :)
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