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How to to make the right Decision about C7 surgery
Help. I have been diagnosed with a herniated disc in my C6-C7. I am a 38 year old male and as i understand this is very common. now the option for surgery has come to the fore. I have had pins and needles in my left arm and shoulder pain at night. I do feel some weakness in my arm and turning over at night can be rather painful in the shoulder. here is the clincher, I am an artist and teacher (a printmaker) and work with my hands in rather touch and strength dependent processes, eg lithography, etching etc... My Neuro says the only time he would contemplate surgery is if the limb is affected in such a way as to not be functional. it has been a couple of weeks now but thinking back this pain was more of a localized spasm in my back for which i had massages, physio and acupuncture. to be honest i am not in that much discomfort but if i keep moving but prolonged work in one position and repetetive movements do cause neck and shoulder pain. I think it has finally made itself known. I have been on pain meds and antinflammatories but the loss of feeling in my index finger and the occasional arm numbness is driving me crazy and i think psychologically i am already starting to favour my left arm less and less. I feel it is compromised. I am worried about recovery and the procedure as a whole. I know i will have to make this decision but any thoughts or shared experiences about this would help me do this.