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Neck pain with bulging and possibly herniated disc

CorickCCorick Posts: 2
edited 01/22/2015 - 6:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, if this is the wrong forum I am sorry. I will repost my thread to the correct forum should I be instructed to.

I have had a tightness / soreness in my upper traps and the back of my neck which I have been trying to work on through stretches and exercises. The pain is not very bad and I am posting here mainly seeking advice on what to do in my situation.

I have had neck issues / pain to varying degrees for roughly 3-4 years now.

Here is the short version:
1) Had an MRI of my neck done November 2014, report says I have bulging at C4-5 and C6-7 with a mild disc protrusion at C5-6.
2) My original doctor referred my to a "specialist" aka a neurosurgeon.
3) The neurosurgeon was surprised that I am 21, as he said my MRI looks like the cervical spine of someone much older. Great.
4) Neurosurgeon says he does not really feel that I have a herniated disc but that some of my discs are "stale" or partly dehydrated
5) He said he would hate to fuse parts of my spine together due to my age. He discussed artificial disc replacement but also seemed to have reservations about this if I needed more than 1 disc replaced.
6) He said I could try cortisone injections, but that he honestly feels it would not be a long term solution.
7) Lastly, when I asked him what he felt caused my issue he said that he is not really sure.

Should I seek an orthopedic doctor and consult him? I am unsure of what my next step should be. I have an appointment with pain management next week for a consultation, but given the neurosurgeons opinion of the cortisone treatment for me I am not overly hopeful regarding the cortisone route.


  • Hi Corick,

    The short term relief answer is to proceed with the cortisone injections, but I would absolutely contact a Board Certified O.S and a second opinion with another N.S. It never hurts to get 3 or 4 opinions to ensure that you are making the right decision. After all, it's your life. Definitely get some other opinions and let us know how it goes.

    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
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