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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi All,

Hope everyone is doing good.

My wife is having severe neck pain from last 3 months. First we went to normal physician who gave over the counter pain medication which is not of any use.

Then after seeing for 3 weeks we scheduled an appointment with Neurologist and visited him. When we went to Neurologist it is almost 2 months pain started.

Neurologist prescribed MRI and nerve test. After 2 weeks in our next appointment, he said there is mild to large disc bulge (C3-4) with spinal nerve impingment :( , small bulge in C5-6 and suggested to consult Neuro Surgeon. My wifes symptoms are Left side neck pain and left shoulder numbness.

Neuro Surgeon suggested to get surgery immediately for C3-4 bulge. He suggested anterior surgery. But we wanted to try conservative methods first and then our neurologist prescribed Naproxen 500 mg, muscle relaxant and physical therapy 2 weeks back.

From last 2 weeks Physical Therapist tried Traction and other things. Nothing helped. She is saying that Surgery might be the only option for us. Even tablets are not helping my wife with her pain. Neck brace and cold pad are working when they are on. When they are removed its back to pain.

Its already two weeks and I am are worried like hell. It is getting hard for me to see her struggle with Pain. it seems only thing I can do is Pray GOD.

I appreciate any suggestions on below doubts:

Will Chiropractor be helpful for cervical disc bulges?

Do any one heard of conditions like these. If so can you please let me know what procedures followed to reduce pain and numbness.

Any suggestions/recommendations on what might help my wife relieve her pain.

Seeing her pain and my fathers struggle with kidney and heart problems for 3 years (he finally gave up 2 years back)




  • My wife's age is 26 years and we are not sure what caused this problem. She is not involved in any accident and did not lifted any heavy weights.
  • Hi Prasad,

    So sorry to hear your wife is in so much pain. It must be very upsetting for you and you never said a truer thing than, 'Health is everything'!

    I wonder whether your doctor has exhausted all the conservative approaches?

    My problems are lumbar, not cervical, but the principle still holds true wherever possible ie exhaust conservative approaches first.

    Your best bet is to wait for someone who's had similar problems to those of your wife and perhaps read up on her condition?

    Hope that helps!
    Bye, Val
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  • Hi Val,

    My wife started using medicines and PT for last 2 weeks. There is no improvement but there is also no more pain than 2 weeks before. Basically it is not getting worse.

    But our therapist is saying that results from medicine and therapy if any should be there by now. So I am not sure if we can try them for some more time or we can switch to something else. So curios on whether there is anybody who is in same boat or who can give some suggestions


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,726
    Hi Prasad

    I am glad you have found this site, you will find support and information that will help you and your wife.
    Someone who has experienced or is experiencing what your wife is suffering may have an opinion to help your wife decide what to do next.

    Take care



    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You're a great husband to be so concerned and I can tell you love her very much.

    I have had the symptoms that your wife has and mine were actually a bit more extensive. I had tingling (pins and needles) in my right arm 24/7, and muscle weakness, pain and numbness in my left arm. I also had severe upper back pain that was caused by muscle spasms.

    What your wife is experiencing is not uncommon with cervical spine issues.

    Unfortunately, sometimes the conservative methods don't help and the only solution is surgery. You have to be careful because the symptoms your wife has can get worse and become permanent if not treated. And since the PT isn't helping, I'm not surprised that surgery has been recommended.

    As for a chiropractor, please please do NOT have anyone manipulate your wife's neck as it can cause more damage. I'm not against them and they can do a lot of good, but when you have spinal disc problems, any manipulation is not wise.

    As you can see by my signature, I had an ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion) on three levels in my neck. I'm assuming that the surgery your doctor has suggested is the same as mine, but with only one or two levels.

    Prasad, the surgery is really not too bad. I know it's very scary, but I can tell you from experience that it does help with the symptoms and is done more than you'd think. I know a lot of people that have had an ACDF and have been very happy they had it done (I'm glad I had it, too).

    I would suggest getting another opinion with a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, someone who only works on spines. It can be either a Neuro or Ortho surgeon (mine was an Ortho). They will be able to tell you exactly what's going on with your wife's neck and what options you have, whether conservative measures or surgery. The main thing right now is to find the right surgeon for you that you trust 100% and have total confidence in.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I've been through what your wife is experiencing and understand how new and scary it all is.

    Take care.
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  • Liz and Cath--thanks for replying, hope you all recover with no much pain.

  • Cath,

    It seems yours and my wifes problems are almost same. I am sorry you got lower back problems after cervical surgery

    PT did cervical traction yesterday for my wife and today she had pain on upper back side because of traction and pain, numbness is not reducing with current prescription.

    So PT said traction is not an option for us.

    Neuro Surgeon that we saw also recommended Anterior surgery for my wife but I did not remember full name he said.

    I have a couple of questions if you don't mind:

    Was ACDF succesful for you. How are your cervical discs doing

    Your lower back problems...are they resulted from above surgery

    Only concern I am having is if surgery may give problems to Spinal cord.

    Also can you please suggest how you selected neuro (or ortho) surgeons, like criteria and all

    can you please add me as your buddy because right now my mind is full of doubts :) and may be talking with you helps us

  • Hi again, Prasad. I'll be happy to answer your questions, but please keep in mind that even though your wife and I have a lot in common with our problems, every person's spine issue is different and the same treatments might have different outcomes for each of us. But, with that said, I'll answer your questions the best I can.

    My ACDF is considered successful in the respect that I no longer have the symptoms I had pre-op and my spine is stable. As far as fusion, my C4/5 and 5/6 are fully fused, but C6/7 has not. That's the most difficult level to fuse because it moves every time you move your head, so it's not uncommon. I have resulting neck pain and continued back spasms due to the non-fusion and I'll be discussing this with my surgeon in December to decide if he needs to go back in posteriorly (back of the neck) to put in a cage.

    My lumbar issues are not a result of my cervical surgery. They're completely separate issues.

    Actually, the surgery should help the spinal cord, not hurt it. A good surgeon will go in and remove anything that's touching the spinal cord or nerves, and the statistics show that only 1% of spinal surgeries result in spinal cord injury.

    This Spine-Health website has a spine surgeon search function, so I'd start there. Just go to the top of this page and click where it says "Find a Doctor". Also, if you have a Spine Center in your city or town, that might also be a good place to call. You can search for Spine Centers in the "Find a Doctor" area, as well.

    You might also want to post here in the forums where you live and if anyone knows of a surgeon in your area. It's against Spine-Health rules to post any doctor or spine center publicly, but someone might PM you with a referral.

    Good luck to you, Prasad. I'll add you as a buddy and again, I'm more than happy to help you and your wife through this.


  • Thanks Cath

    I live in Reston, VA. Please let me know who are good doctors in this area.

  • I'm terribly sorry that your wife is suffering like she is, and it is commendable that you are trying to help in the capacity that you are. The support you are giving your wife is excellent as I'm sure it means a lot to her.
    I agree with Cath and will echo her on the points she's made. She has given, what I believe to be, sound advice with keeping in mind that every situation is different. I would like to re iterate finding a doctor that specializes in conditions of the spine and spine surgery, whether it be a orthosurgeon or a neurosurgeon is your choice.
    Please keep us posted and let us know how your wife is doing.
    I agree, God is Great.
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