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Reality of neck down paralysis

SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205
edited 09/03/2015 - 2:32 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have severe stenosis and some damages in my C4-C5, C5-C6 area. I have some pain/numbness on hands, legs, upperback area. I am trying to figure out whether to go for surgery.

1) neurologists and my PCP thought I should be able to try to live without surgery and try conservative treatment (is there any such thing?)
2) I have seen two surgeons both think I would need surgery at some point in my life. They both felt it was not urgent. One felt there are some risks in waiting.

Now I met this famous surgeon who did thousands of surgeries and he thought "neck-down-paralysis" was a real risk and I should get the surgery ASAP. The surgery he described seemed to be one of the better options (fusion with peek spacer using the patients bone from the area). While he was a very intelligent person, he described my situation in really scary terms. (I understand you are not giving me medical advice, nor do you have my MRI or xRays), I would like to hear patients perspective on how surgeon's describe the situation.

Thanks
Sukh
MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
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Comments

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    Why was there so much of a difference between 2 surgeons, a neurologist, your primary care doctor and then this other surgeon? It doesn't make sense.

    Assuming they are looking at the same diagnostic results why the big discrepancy??

    I can not tell yo how many times I have read or heard neck-down-paralysis . Sure, if something big was to happen that caused a bigger problem, its always possible. The fact of having cervical disc problems in itself does not mean that neck-down-paralysis is going to happen.

    I would go back to this famous surgeon and really ask them for the reasons that they feel surgery is critical. Then with that information, I would talk to your other doctors to bounce that off of them. They are miles apart here, some how you want to close that gap.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205
    edited 09/03/2015 - 2:06 PM
    I have a congenital narrowing & more flexibility in my neck than normal cervical patients. My stenosis caused spinal cord damage (C5-C6 T2 signal, C4-C5 black dots in the spine root). But I do not have too much vertical space lost.

    Unfortunately I cannot get to see the famous surgeon unless I decide to have surgery with him.
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    I would be very hesitent of any doctor who states

    In order for you to see me, you have to decide to have surgery with me first!

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 205
    edited 09/04/2015 - 2:46 PM
    He gave me a CD about ACDF and told me call his assistant if I have any question and then see him if I decide to have a surgery with him.
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • I agree with dilauro. I'd be a little nervous about a doc who basically demands you have surgery with him to see him. I am having an anterior corpectomy C-6, with strut and possible posterior C 4-5 discectomy on Wednesday the 9th, so I understand your concerns, pain, numbness, etc. After so many years of dealing with neck pain (there's more things wrong with my spine than a leopard has spots..) following a car accident 20 or so years ago, the shoulder, arm, hand pain and numbness sent me to the neuro. As frightened as I am to have this surgery, it is much needed. I'm a little confused as to why all the different opinions from your doctors. As soon as my spinal cord issue, weakness, numbness,etc were mentioned, along with xrays, and mri's, my docs agreed surgery is the best option. Bottom line, though, is how you feel and what is best for you. Personally, I wouldn't go back to the "famous" doc, sounds like he's only in it for the money. Best of luck!!
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  • :-(
    Julie Barber
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