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kmjohnson1971kkmjohnson1971 Posts: 1
edited 01/26/2015 - 8:05 PM in New Member Introductions
I am so glad I have found this helpful forum!! My name is Kathy, I just turned 43 and was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease a few days ago. I am from Omaha, NE. After 2 years of on/off neck stiffness and pain that I associated with a typical "crick in my neck or slept wrong AGAIN" my right arm began hurting. The dull ache turned into severe pain, pins and needles up and down my arm and eventually my index finger and thumb were numb. Saw my general physican who precribed me with Hydrocodone and 750mg of Nabumetone and set me up for PT thinking I had a pinched nerve. I went to PT that same day and the therapist tried everything possible with no relief at all. I do have a fused right shoulder from a sports injury so it was very difficult to manipulate my arm when I have VERY little ROM. She told me she was not able to help me and due to the severe pain I was having with certain movements she callled my doctor back and gave her report. I received a call to get MRI which showed the above diagnosis. Saw an orthopaedic spine surgeon today who recommended anterior cervical disketomy and fusion (ACDF) C4-7. I know NOTHING about this.... I don't even know what "ACDF" means... I have a very high pain tollerance and have been in horrible pain for the past 12 days. I haven't missed a day of work in 3 years and was gone all last week and will more than likely not be back until after surgery now. YUCK! They can not get me in for surgery for 2 weeks so started me on Medrol pak and Gabapentan to help ease pain until surgery. I took both tonight and now have a horrible headache! Side effect of one of those? I am so incredibly nervous about surgery and have no idea what to expect. Everything I have found so far seems to be from lumbar surgery. I am anxious to get to know others that have gone through or will be going through this procedure. And more than anything, I look forward to helping others get through this after I have words of wisdom and advice for them :)
Any thoughts, adivice welcomed.
PS. I absolutely dispise all these pain meds!!! I feel horrible and STILL have pain.
Cervical Spinal Stenosis
degenerative disk disease
scheduled for Anterior Cervical Disketomy and Fusion C4-7


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Use that above hyperlink to help you get started with Spine-Health and navigate through the system.

    If there are any questions, you can always post them here, send Liz or myself a private message or contact Ron rdilauro@veritashealth.com

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Due to myelopathy (so spinal cord issues) vs you having radiculopathy (pinched nerve) back in December I had a fusion of C3-6. Mine was also very overwhelming. My MRI was done Dec 2, my doc called me at work and told me to leave and go to the ER, so I did. I'm not sure I've even taken a sick day in 15 years, and I walked out of work, and I'm the manager! I start back next week, so a total out of almost 9 weeks....8 weeks post op. There's lots of good stuff here and some on the rest of the internet to read up on to see what's happening to you.
    Honestly, the surgery itself wasn't that bad (to me), I thought my C-section pain was way worse. (I also had a corpectomy, so they took the vertebral body of C5 out - you'd think that would be more painful...) The recovery has been quite difficult though, since I am slow to heal. Hopefully, since yours is a pinched nerve, you will do better! Just remember, it takes time for injured nerves to heal! Be good to yourself, and listen to the doctor.
    I can't comment so much on the pain meds (except post op) since I really wasn't that painful before hand, just neurologic. Maybe someone else can give you input on that. Post op I was on Ativan (I guess as an antidepressant it makes you relax, so helps the muscles relax), oxycodone, and Tylenol. I'm switching back over to the cyclobenzamine now (muscle relaxant) Nothing but Tylenol as a standard OTC painkiller for 6 months.

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

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