I had a discectomy at c5-c6 in June 2007 after a mva in 2006. Prior to surgery, I experienced increased weakness then numbness and burning sensations in UE, eventually reflexes were diminishing and spinal cord was compressed and had difficulty with balance and walking. My 2nd opinion at Penn Neurosurgery said schedule asap! So in 6/2007 the first fusion was done. It was very successful, as I regained my strength and activities with little limitations in movement of my neck.
Now after a mva in 2/2010, just hours afterwards I experienced that familiar slight tingling in my right arm down to hand...I am conservative but eventually after multiple mri's, unsuccessful cortisone injections at c5-c6 and c6-c7 I am scheduled for second series this week, my neurosurgeon at Penn is reccommending fusion at c4-c5, revisit c5-c6 with new hardware and fusion at c6-c7 to alleviate neuropathy, etc...He advised the same in 9/10, my second opinion had reccommended cortison, and now says maybe a disc replacement at c4-c5, revisit c5-c6 and fusion at c6-c7. Second doc says insurance co. will likely not approve disc replacement especially as I have a prior fusion so unsure why he even suggested it other than wanting the case. The Penn doc said patients with fusions do slightly better and again disc replacement with old fusion and new fusion (3 levels affected)is new territory as usually disc replacement is done on patients with just one level affected. My concern is I am only 38 years old, a mom of two who feels weaker than ever but doesn't want to have another surgery that will lead to yet another...and so on...Also, how much mobility will be lost and what are the realistic outcomes and quality of life issues? Any replys would be greatly appreciated as I have cancelled my surgery this week to have more shots and more time to think about my options....