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Need help/advice after meeting my NeuroSurgeon

I came back from a NeuroSurgeon. I have severe stenosis on (C4-c5, c5-c6, c6-c7) and I have pain between my shouldblades and shoulders that come and go (with anti-inflammatory medicines). Sometimes its severe. He tested my arms and legs and walks (those were good).

Now he says I am on border-line. My MRI is severe, my symptoms are not severe enough on the test. How do I deal with back pain and headache? He says to go back if I cannot manage the symptoms/pain. As I was driving back I was having severe pain between my shoulder-blades (I was fine when I was at the doctors office).

Those of you did surgery, did anyone do it for shoulder/chest/between-shoulderblade pain and occasional neuropathy? He is a conservative doctor (who does not do surgeries if the symptoms & MRI both do not look severe) and in my case, he seemed undecided. What should I do?

MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    You indicated that your MRI results indicated your condition was severe but your actual pain is not

    What does your doctor say about that
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205
    He said "its up to you. You have to make up your mind. Or if you cannot manager the symptoms you have to do the surgery". I was hoping that shoulderbhlades and pain on upperback/chest would go away with medicines (advil/aleve/declofenac). It has been a while I am trying those meds and its not going away.
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
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  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205
    I hear someone with just one osteophyte can have a lot of symptoms (it hits one nerve area, then spasms,that effects other nerves) and someone with a lot stenosis may have less symptoms . I do have symptoms (severe pain I have been to ER a few times this year with severe pain, I just did not have it when I saw the NS).
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • having severe stenosis and compression of the canal and nerve roots at multiple levels , the nerve pain was horrendous for many years, now many of the nerves are so extensively damaged or have died off, and the nerve pain is diminished.
    A very ,very recent consult with two surgeons said that the canal is only open the width of a sharpened pencil tip.

  • For me it was my neck, arms, hands and fingers. All of those are completely gone, but now I have pain in my shoulders and shoulder blades. My pain now is from my recent surgery, 5/26/15. I' m not even 2 weeks post op yet. The pain in my arms was so bad that I couldn't dress myself, bathe myself. My poor wife was doing most of it. I. Think you have to decide if the pain is severe enough to warrant surgery or not. I had 5 levels fused, C3-C7. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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  • Sukhre everyone's case is different so I can only speak from my own experience. In 2012 I had a severe episode of neck/shoulder/right arm pain that actually kept me out of work for 8 weeks. At the time I was told by an orthopedic surgeon that I had a near-complete collapse of disc C5/6 and 6/7 and that he felt my only option at that time was to schedule a cervical fusion surgery. I went for a second opinion to a neurosurgeon who encouraged additional more conservative measures. It was a routine of cervical traction twice a day every day using this very specific device called a Saunders Pneumatic Cervical Traction unit. I used it 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening and I never missed a day for two years. So I was able to postpone surgery during that time but was most remarkable is that I was COMPLETELY pain-free until my most recent episode when I did end up needing to have surgery. The discs had completely collapsed and I was beginning to lose function in my right arm, the pain was much worse and the traction was no longer helping. But at least I had the benefit of buying myself some time. Technology and surgical procedures change and improve constantly.

    My reason for sharing this is I believe in seeking a second opinion when it comes to important medical decisions. As far as this traction device, if you are curious if it's for you then you should discuss it with your doctor.

    Hope this is helpful.
    C5/6, 6/7 acdf Jan 2015
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205

    I appreciate your feedback. Did you have a Surgery? I think you did. Are you doing well on your recovery?

    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205
    You fused 4 levels? Is there a concern of neck motions if 3 or 4 layers are fused?
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205
    I have so many symptoms. I probably have to have a surgery. But if I can try with physical therapy for six months or so that would be great!
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • grammaof9ggrammaof9 Posts: 263
    edited 06/10/2015 - 11:14 PM
    I needed a 4 level for impinged spinal cord. I had arthritic cervical stenosis with mylemalcia. If not fused risk of complete paralysis. Not sure about my spelling on the m word it's been awhile. I will tell you this I had no choice if I had had a choice and know what I know now I would not have had it done. The long term pain is probably forever and them I am told some people have no problem after healing not true with me. I went for 4 different opinions and I would highly suggest that, Neuro as well as Ortho. Every few months I am back in therapy for the headaches and dizziness. Pain meds daily but not just for my neck. Never on pain meds before surgery. Research, research and discuss with all your doctors long term pain. If a doc told me not severe Inwould have been so happy and out the door.
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