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Second surgery needed on my neck

Hi I am new to this site and I noticed that you discuss topics that I can relate to.  I had an anterior discectomy and fusion surgery at level C5-6 in 2004, at that time I did not really do what I was suppose to after surgery so therefor, I have been suffering from chronic pain for last 12 years, we tried everything and eventually I ended up with an infusion pump that feeds my spine Morphine on a constant basis and also I take oral Morphine and muscles relaxers and I still have significant pain.
 
Well a few months ago I sneezed and blew out the disc at C 6-7, since then my pain has been unbearable and I am starting to notice that the numbness and pain in arms, back and right leg are getting worse. In addition, the joints in my hands and mainly right side of body are starting to ache very badly.

I met with the surgeon who did my 1st surgery last week and he says it is a very significant herniation which will only get worse.  My fear of having another surgery is that it will not help me and of course he cannot guarantee that it will take my pain away.  He will need to take the 1st plate out and fix the 2nd herniation and put a longer plate in and honestly it scares me to death, If I do decide to have surgery I will follow all post-op instructions this time however, I live alone and it will be difficult. 

Has anyone else experienced what I am going through and if so can you tell me what was your out come?

I am only 50 years old and do not want to live like this the rest of my life.  I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. 

Sincerely

Linda
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Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello rmscrsjms !
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 920
    Did you ask if you are a candidate for a ADR (artificial disc replacement) at your C6/C7 location?  Unfortunately, when you have a fused level like you have at C5/C6, it puts more stress on the next levels above and below the fused level.  I have a fused disc at C3/C4 and C6/C7 had live with that concern.    
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  • rmscrsjmsrrmscrsjms PennsylvaniaPosts: 18
    Hi nutcase007 I know I am a candidate for a disc replacement but it will be fused from C5-6 and C6-7 which will put pressure on remaining discs. Just wondering if anyone had both done and if so has it helped at all.  I am noticing a lot more nerve problems in extremities now than I did prior to 1st surgery. Plus I live alone, I know what to expect from the surgery so therefor I am more scared that the 1st.  Thanks for your feed back. 
  • rmscrsjmsrrmscrsjms PennsylvaniaPosts: 18
    I am sorry Savage what link do you mean?
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    edited 09/06/2016 - 1:23 AM
    rmscrsjms
    savage means this link she posted to your comment...here it is again, click on the blue link

    Liz, 

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    rmscrsjms

    You might want to read my story, follow the link below in my signature.  After my first ACDF surgery, we discovered that there was another disc causing problems for me.  it took a little work and a great PCP to help me get the diagnosis.

    I am not saying that is what your problem is, but suggesting that it is worth pushing doctors to work on figuring out what is wrong.

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • rmscrsjmsrrmscrsjms PennsylvaniaPosts: 18
    Hi Bruce

    I did read your story and understand your frustration, I do know what is wrong I herniated the disc below the plate I had put in in 2004 at C5-6. which I was told that the plate can compromise the remaining discs and that is my fear.  As of now I have scheduled surgery for November 1.   I just cannot deal with the extra pain I get since herniating the 2nd disc. Pain is 24/7 never below a 6 and at times hits a 10 and I am in tears.  I never had any luck with a tens units or PT as they have always irritated the nerves and the same with the neurostimulator they also tried before putting in an infusion pump. But since I sneezed and herniated C6-7 the pain has been unbearable.

    Good luck & thanks


    Linda
  • I have a similar story starting with my first surgery of C5/6. Only 5 years later I had re-herniated the C6/7 making the C4/5 push forward. The original C5/6 also moved toward my spine creating a ton of pain. I went back to my original surgeon who remained conservative only addressing the C6/7 issue scheduling me for my second ACDF. Unfortunately that did not take away my pain and I suffered for over a year before coming to the realization I would need more surgery.

      I exhausted all conservative treatment while seeking out the best surgeon for me. I am blessed to find a great surgeon and now almost 4 months post-op from a posterior laminectomy & fusion of the C4-7. I am back to work full time with a weight restriction of 20 lbs. I am starting to feel semi-normal with a ton of hope for my future!

       I would ask question to your surgeon and others on here. I would not let fear make your decisions but I would ask the questions, Can I live like this ? Am I living a full life? My only regret was not doing it sooner !

      Good Luck !

      

    Tracy~
  • rmscrsjmsrrmscrsjms PennsylvaniaPosts: 18
    Hi Tracy

    Thank you for you story and I am glad that you found relief as for asking can I live like this NO I cannot, it is not a life since herniating the other disc.  I didn't have much of a life prior but I could at least take care of myself, watch my Grandchildren, and do other things that I cannot now.

    Just typing is killing me. I use to type 90 words a minute.  I would love to be able to go back to work even on a part-time basis and I am hoping with this surgery I can do that.  I can only stay positive and do what I am told post-op.

    With the support of friends and family I believe it will help me.  

    Thank you,

    Linda


  • rmscrsjmsrrmscrsjms PennsylvaniaPosts: 18
    I have been reading a lot of posts and peoples surgical experiences. One thing I don't understand is most remember waking up in recovery.  The 1st thing I remember is waking up in my room 2 days later. Apparently, as my sister told me after surgery they put me in a semi-induced medical coma and I was in ICU.  That is why I don't remember waking in the recovery room.

    I have surgery scheduled again for November 1, after herniating the disc below, the pain and numbness has started to affect my hands and is only getting worse. Everyday is different.  My main concern and that of my other doctors is pain control after this surgery. I have been on 180 mg. of Morphine daily for almost 10 years now.  In addition I have an infusion pump that feeds my spine Morphine, which he increased by 15% last week, which is a significant increase.  I don't meet with my doctor for pre surgical visit till Oct. 13 and I do have a list of question but I was wondering if anyone else had this issue.  I have spoken to a good friend who is an er nurse and he advised that I should ask and receive Fentanyl patches. Please note that I am allergic to N-Saids and any other medicine in that category, i.e. Aspirin, etc. that is why my pain was not controlled. 

    Also, is it possible that nerves never regenerate after surgery?  I believe that is why I suffered from chronic pain since my 1st ACDF at C5-6 in 2004 and I am afraid the same will happen again.

    I am pretty much alone here, my family won't even stay for surgery and I know that will affect my recovery, but there is nothing I can do about it. Any input or help would be greatly appreciated on any of the subjects I discussed above.

    Thank you


    Linda. 
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