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Surgical Solution For Headaches

If anyone out there had symptoms similar to mine I would appreciate your posts as to your diagnosis and treatment. Much of the time I have aching at the base of my skull which radiates to my forehead. It varies in intensity from 1 to 8 on a scale of 1-10. I also have chronic numbness and tingling along the outer portion of my left arm which extends to my little finger.


INDICATION: Head and Neck Pain

TECHNIQUE: Axial CT Scan of Cervical Spine using contrast material.

FINDINGS: The vertebral alignment is normal. The vertebral body heights are preserved. Artificial discs are noted at C3-C4 and C5-C6 levels. There is no evidence of periprosthetic lucency to suggest loosening or infection. Mild loss of disc space height is noted at C4-C5 level. Otherwise, the intervertebral discs are maintained. The spinal cord is normal in course and caliber. Prevertebral soft tissues are within normal limits.

At C2-C3 no spinal canal stenosis. No foraminal narrowing.

At C3-C4 mild posterior disc osteophyte complex and bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes. Mild spinal canal stenosis. Mild bilateral foraminal canal narrowing.

At C4-C5 posterior disc osteophyte complex and bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes. Mild spinal canal stenosis. Mild to moderate bilateral foraminal canal narrowing.

At C5-C6 level posterior disc osteophyte complex. Bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes. Mild spinal canal stenosis. Mild left and moderate right foraminal narrowing.

At C6-C7 at C7-T1 no spinal canal stenosis. No foraminal narrowing.


1. C3-C4 and C5-C6 artificial intervertebral discs.

2. Multilevel degenerate disc disease with mild spinal canal stenoses at C3-C4, C4-C5
and C5-C6 levels.

3. Varying degrees of foraminal narrowing, most pronounced at C5-C6 level on the
right where it is moderate.


I visited the Spine Dr 12/16/2013. My CT images indicated a lot of bone growth on the vertebrae. He suggested Physical Therapy and injections; I had those prior to my disc replacement with no pain relief.

For a surgical solution he suggested a 3 level fusion with no guarantee of pain relief. After reading posts on this site from fusion patients, fusion is something I want to avoid.

I had the disc replacement in 10/2009 and had immediate improvement and was pain free until 10/2013.

I frequently read about bone removal procedures, laminectomy, foraminotomy, etc. which I would think would apply to my case. I will be seeking additional opinions from other Spine Drs.

Grayslake, IL USA


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584
    that people suffering with cervical disc problems can experience.

    No question, that any spinal surgery is not a simple task, but if you look deeper into our forums, you will find that the majority of people having ACDF surgeries come out remarkably well.

    Read more about cervical surgeries. For your situation, everything identified as MILD, many doctors would suggest physical therapy and other conservative treatments before considering surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 12/17/2013 - 8:51 AM
    Here is a link to the Step by Step guide to getting chronic spine pain treatment. The bone overgrowth is a concern, at least , for me because of the artificial discs in place , at the same levels that you had them installed. I have seen that occur on other posts, seemingly because of the facet joint degeneration that was present prior to them being put in.....
    I would probably like you, talk to a few other surgeons and see what they recommend, although since you are showing nerve related issues, surgery might be the only option. I understand your fear of having to undergo surgery again, especially after undergoing adr surgery to avoid fusion but that is , from my understanding the option available after having the adr installed. I hope that you can find out something different, I would be interested to hear what you find out.
    Take care,
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