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Cervical Disc Protrusion. Please help

cdny170ccdny170 Posts: 2
edited 08/08/2014 - 4:15 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hey everyone,
My names Chris, I’m hoping by posting on this forum I could gain some MUCH needed help and hopefully some hope regarding my current situation (bear with me as this post may be a little extensive). On 7/22/14 I was working out doing pullups and as my last rep approached I swung a little to get myself up which resulted in my neck popping. Needless to say as the days went by the pain became worse and worse so I went for an MRI. The report came back saying

*At C3-4, There is a mild disc bulge without significant spinal canal or neural foraminal stenosis
*At C6-7, There is mild disc bulge and small left foraminal disc protrusion and there is mild left neuroforaminal stenosis
*IMPRESSION:
Mild degenerative change without significant spinal canal stenosis. There is a small left foraminal disc protrusion at C5-C6.
Diffuse nerve root enlargement consistent with known diagnosis of Charcot Marie Tooth.

I am aware I’ve had the neuropathy Charcot Marie Tooth type 1A since I was diagnosed at a younger age. It has affected mostly my feet, legs, balance and fine motor skills.

The pain of this injury has been becoming progressively worse and is unbearable at times. I am starting to feel more pins and needles/shocking and burning sensations/twitching/ down my left trap into my arm and hand/fingers. My neck has also been stiff as a board for the past 5 days now and I also feel as if there is slight atrophy in my left arm(hard to tell at this point because my left arm was always bigger than my right) I started physical therapy yesterday 8/6/14 and they have me doing sets of Mckenzie exercises (chin tucks) every half hour. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon scheduled on 8/20/14 and I am at a complete loss. I am only 24years old and despite my neuropathy I have made it my mission to remain very active. I promised myself I would excel in the fitness world and not let it hold me back. I work out daily, became a personal trainer and even boxed for 5 years and went on to train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu until a knee injury forced me to stop(ACL). I am looking for any advice or help that anyone could give me as I wish for nothing but to recover from this injury. I have read nothing but horror stories about surgery and not many success ones about recovery without it. I have also come across non-surgical Spinal Decompression online but am very skeptical about it. ANY information or firsthand stories would be of great appreciation. Thank you
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1345

Comments

  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 08/08/2014 - 5:05 AM
    First, relax...........while MRI reports can be long, they are filled with medical jargon that in many cases isn't as serious as the report reads......disc bulges simply mean that the disc is sitting a bit outside it's normal margins. The difference between a disc bulge and herniation are that a bulge is a wider outpouching of the disc while a herniation is a smaller area that is bulged out in a smaller area of the disc. If you think of an oval , the sides are usually of the same dimensions on both sides of the oval, a bulge simply is that one side is a bit larger across the width of the disc.. in the same oval, a herniation is one small area of one side of the oval protruding through the annulus ( covering of the disc).
    Seeing a surgeon does not mean that you need surgery. But they are the best equipped to examine, and come up with a treatment plan for your specific condition.
    As far as the outcomes of surgery go, yes, there are risks and I won't tell you otherwise, however, most of the people who undergo spine surgery are back out living their lives, once they are done recovering. In forums such as these, you see people who are undiagnosed, who are waiting for surgery, or just had it.......so it presents a rather limited picture of the outcomes of surgery.
    Wait until you see the surgeon and don't buy into any decompression treatment options offered by chiropractors unless and until you were told it is okay by the surgeon.

    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/whats-a-herniated-disc-pinched-nerve-bulging-disc

    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/alternative-treatments/defintion-bulging-vs-herniated-spinal-disc
  • Hey Chris! I have a similar story. C5/c6 left side herniation. Mine creeped up on me starting with shoulder pain and a numb thumb in March. After 1 month of chiropractic care and massage therapy, I started PT in May and had an mri done. I have radiculopathy (from my understanding atrophy usually develops out of non-use such as after surgery, when you are truly immobile). Like you I'm very active and do heavy weight-lifting. I'm a female and 30. Anyway, July 3rd I had to go to to ER because my pain was so bad but since then (after managing it with pain meds) for the last two weeks I have improved a lot. I stayed active except for days On which pain was detrimental. Core exercises really helped and yes those him tucks are good - you are lucky you can do them - I can now but for a month hose were so painful I couldn't do them, Mckenzie
    Might be all you need so stay positive and patient!!!! Also, in my opinion most people who post in forums like this have bad experiences or just underwent surgery but think about it why would you be in a forum if you are recovered and can go about your daily life?! Anyway, I saw several surgeons. The first told me to get a disc replacement, the second haves all 4 options and the third said to wait -time may heal it - or get a fusion. I stuck with doc 2 who was the most logical and caring. I opted to go for a decompression surgery and have a cervical foraminotomy scheduled 8/19. I will talk to my doc next week about feeling much better but as of now I feel like it will be worth it to "clean it up". I'm not looking forward to recovery - I'm sure the pain can be handled but not being able to lift and workout will be tough. I hope yours will heal on it's on. Everyone is different but don't be stupid like me and do handstand walks or any pulling (pull ups, toe to bar etc) or overhead lifts. I didn't stop with those before it got really bad. Also running, boxjumps, jumping or boxing (whiplash!) are probably not the best idea right now. But again,everyone is different and your docs can give you clear suggestions on dos and donts! Hope you feel better soon!
    C5/C6 herniation
    Radiculopathy left arm
    Posterior foraminotomy 8/19/2014
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  • joshkim178jjoshkim178 Posts: 33
    edited 08/12/2014 - 10:31 AM
    Hey ANKEJS,

    I have a similar situation like you. I have a C5/cC6 disc herniation. Please let me know how your procedure goes. I am havingi the same one done in october. I'm also 30 and very active. I dont know how i'll go without being able to hit the weights
  • HymanTHHymanT Posts: 2
    edited 08/23/2014 - 4:08 PM
    Please, many of you are contemplating surgeries that can be life-changing for the worse.


    Post edited for inappropriate forum commentary.........medical bashing is not permitted on Spine Health. Naming of medical facilities or practices is not permitted on Spine Health.
    The moderator team reserves the right to edit any post

    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/forum-rules

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    6.02 Do NOT identify specific places of business or establishments
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    5.10 You agree not to post specific physician names or health care facilities names on Spine-Health.com.

  • AnkeJSAAnkeJS Posts: 49
    edited 08/23/2014 - 9:28 PM

    I get what you are saying but trust me, I personally tried EVERYTHING and saw EVERYONE! For me, surgery is the last option and I am VERY POSITIVE it will be the right thing FOR ME! In hindsight, I wished I didn't go the conservative route but wished I had surgery 6 months ago when it all started.

    But again, everyone is different.
    I'm optimistic and I do a lot of mental strength talk to make sure I am not hindering my body from dealing with and healing this situation. The power of the mind is underestimated. People rely too much on pain meds which are just masking the source of pain. I have been off all pain meds for 3 weeks now and even though I have been doing better and stayed active I am positive surgery is the only option that will give me my active life back.


    Post edited to remove the quote from previous post which had been edited...Liz spine-health moderator
    C5/C6 herniation
    Radiculopathy left arm
    Posterior foraminotomy 8/19/2014
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  • joshkim178 said:
    Hey ANKEJS,

    I have a similar situation like you. I have a C5/cC6 disc herniation. Please let me know how your procedure goes. I am havingi the same one done in october. I'm also 30 and very active. I dont know how i'll go without being able to hit the weights
    Yes, not being able to work out like I used to is truly the worst part! However, dealing with this frustrating situation for 6 months now I have found a way to see the positive in it. I am squatting and doing pistols daily and I do as much as I can at the gym - but I learned to listen to my body! And although I hate it when people say "this will make you stronger" bla bla - I see now that it's true. I haven't had surgery yet -
    Granted - and it may not look as bright the first few weeks post-op but imagining myself being able to lift without pain and getting stronger again with better form and core strength than before is pretty calming to me. I am doing a lot of core-strengthening workouts now and I am 100% I will keep doing them post op and to be honest even though those wods do not make me break out in a sweat and are primarily boring, I feel
    How well they are working. I would not have discovered that if it wasn't for my injury. Stupid? Maybe but go to your gym and watch people: I guarantee you most people do not do those boring planks, Lsits etc... But they all should.
    Long story shirt, yes, not being able
    To lift sucks but prepare yourself mentally and read up on form and skills and internalize the imaginary side of good form and fitness. Do what your can but listen to your body. I'll try to keep posting during my recovery. A
    C5/C6 herniation
    Radiculopathy left arm
    Posterior foraminotomy 8/19/2014
  • Hey AnkeJS,

    do you mind telling me about your procedure? was it bad? how was the pain? how long until you resumed normal activities? etc

    thanks
  • joshkim178 said:
    Hey AnkeJS,

    do you mind telling me about your procedure? was it bad? how was the pain? how long until you resumed normal activities? etc

    thanks
    I will keep you posted!
    Surgery is Tuesday at 8am!


    C5/C6 herniation
    Radiculopathy left arm
    Posterior foraminotomy 8/19/2014
  • fardaaftabffardaaftab Posts: 34
    edited 08/17/2014 - 2:49 PM
    Hi AnkeJS
    I'm also interested on the outcome of your procedure. My surgeon recommended this but I got better and have very mild pain and numbness in my left hand and fingers. and I think I better wait longer. good luck on your surgery and please post your recovery as often as possible.
  • AnkeJSAAnkeJS Posts: 49
    edited 08/17/2014 - 4:13 PM
    fardaaftab said:
    Hi AnkeJS
    I'm also interested on the outcome of your procedure. My surgeon recommended this but I got better and have very mild pain and numbness in my left hand and fingers. and I think I better wait longer. good luck on your surgery and please post your recovery as often as possible.
    Yes, I will :). The third surgeon I saw also suggested to wait and hope for it to heal in it's own but I talked to surgeon two who is doing my procedure on Tuesday and even though he said it can heal on it's own, he was more concerned about my radiculopathy; though, I think this has improved I am still struggling with some mobility and certain movements and get episodes of pain. Not nearly as bad as in june/July but I can't afford putting it off and then potentially reinjure. I'm starting a new job in September and I really want to go back to heavy lifting. Everyone's situation is different and I really hope you do not have to get surgery!
    Two nights away from surgery, I started washing my neck with that lotion stuff the nurse gave me and I am not nervous. I may be underestimating the impact this surgery will have but I hope being only 30 and in pretty good shape will be for my advantage. My surgeon said I will be at the hospital over night and I think that's good. I'm most nervous to come home and be walked all over by my two dogs. A 130# mastiff and a 100# obnoxious Saint Bernard puppy... And then there is our cat but he just stares :)
    I'll keep y'all posted!
    Thanks for your interest and again, I hope you'll be ok without surgery!!
    C5/C6 herniation
    Radiculopathy left arm
    Posterior foraminotomy 8/19/2014
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