I started feeling a lot of pain in my neck about 2 years ago. I would wake up in the middle of the night in excruciating shooting pain just from turning my head to the other side. I couldn't even sit myself up out of bed. I went to urgent care and even the ER (it was the only place open at 2 AM) and I was told I was just sleeping funny, that I was fine. I finally saw a doctor who wanted to do an x-ray of my neck to make sure nothing was structurally wrong. Turns out, I have a congenital fusion at my C5-C6. I started seeing a spine specialist, who eventually did a cortisone injection which helped for a few months. I then moved half way across the country and did not see another specialist for over a year. I started getting really bad pain again, headaches, shooting pain down the back of my arm and into my hand, numbness of my arm, and a lot of days where I couldn't turn my head. I found a specialist here who wanted updated imaging. My new MRI showed that I have a severely herniated disc at C4-C5, another herniated disc at C6-C7, swelling of my spinal cord at 4-5 where the disc is pressing on my cord, nerve impingement, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and if left untreated I'd have another herniated disc at C3-C4. My specialist referred me to a surgeon. I will be 26 years old on Sunday, so the thought of neck surgery this early on in my life terrifies me.
I finally had my surgical consult yesterday. My surgeon says we can't leave it alone, we do in fact need to do surgery. He does not think looking at everything that fusion is the best option for me. I already have the congenital fusion, which is the biggest cause of my problems now, and he thinks at my age a fusion will just cause me more problems down the road than disc replacement would. He wants to completely replace both the C4-5 and the C6-7 disc. I have right tricep weakness, my handwriting has not looked the greatest lately, I have some balance issues, I get frequent headaches, the numbness down my right arm has continued to get worse, as well as the pain that goes down the back of my arm. I am looking at an April or May surgery date, possibly sooner if my surgeon can get it approved through my insurance without them putting up too much of a fight.
Has anyone had a 2-level replacement surgery? What was your recovery like? My surgeon says my recovery time will be very short, and I'd only have to stay in the hospital overnight just for observation.
Does anyone on here have a congenital fusion? And have you had any problems because of this?
I'm pretty nervous and anxious about everything, my problems seem to have gotten much worse in the course of a year which seems very quick to me.