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I am a 45 year old female with good relative overall health. I have had a few problems over the years. The biggest have always been neurological- musculoskeletal, migraine, scoliosis etc. I found out I had Chiari I (asymptomatic) and a couple bad discs in my neck about three years ago but no insurance to do anything about it. Symptoms got worse... numbness & pain in left neck, shoulder and blade, mild weakness in right hand grip, some bladder dysfunction. Finally got insurance and went to a neurosurgeon last week- three bad discs AND cervical stenosis. :-( If trauma of any kind (car accident or fall) occurs, paralysis is probable o.O I am actually a surgical PA so I was able to read the MRI film with the MD. It was pretty clear that there was NO fluid around my spinal cord at the three areas in question (C3-4 - C5-6). I had gotten all prayed up and was ready to do this thing. Made a decision to get more info. Then I was on my information gathering mission when I found this message-board. Holy SMOKES!!! ! I need some more time to think and pray again after reading this. I will be praying for you all and praying for me. Please you all do the same also...

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I am a 42 year old female. I have had neck stiffness from a car accident (I was t-boned) in 2003. Since that time, I noticed I could no longer sleep on my stomach (my favorite position) without my left arm getting intense "pins and needles" feeling. I learned to sleep on my right side since if I tryed to sleep on my left..pins and needles up my left arm. In the last 3 years I have been to a Chiropractor (which did not help the pins and needles feeling) to a Message Therapist (which also did not help).. Let me inform you that the message therapist did releave the stiffness in my neck, but that was it. I have no pain what so ever... during the time I was seeing the message therapist, in the last 6 months, I decided to go to my Primary care physician who wanted me to have an MRI. When I went for the MRI, I was in such pain...with my head laid flat..I almost hit the button to get out of it! But I survived and was referred to a Neurosurgeon. According to my MRI, I have degenerative cervical disc disease along with bone spurs at C-4-5-6. The "pins and needles" feeling (now numbness up my whole arm) is caused by the nerve being compressed. Along with this, my spinal cord is also being compressed at these locations. I had 3 Dr's. tell me the only cure is surgery. I have surgery scheduled for next Wed. 1/20, and Do Not want to do it...I have no pain!!!! Has anyone else NOT done the surgery and if so, how long before pain sets in? Or other bodily functions start to fail? I am confused and very scared..I need some feedback on this. I feel damned if I do, and damned if I don't. Also, I am a smoker...on Chantix but just got news today that I must go off of it because it is giving me high blood pressure. I have read that the fusion will not take if you are a smoker...someone, please advise!!! Frustrated in Sarasota, FL.
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I am a 44 year old female and I went to the drs in September of 2009 because I started to go numb in my arms and they scheduled me for an MRI. I had the MRI done in October and my legs went numb by then too. The MRI showed two herniated discs and one had compressed the spinal cord with no fluid flowing through it. I was told I didn't have a choice to have the surgery and so I did. Well, it is a year and a half later and I have more pain now than I had before the surgery because I never had any pain. Now I went to the drs last week and found out that one of the screws is coming out and another one is cracked. So here I go again, another MRI and CT scan to see what is going on and then I am going to be sent to the Philadelphia Spine Center to see what they tell me. So here we go again and not knowing what will come of it and if I will have to go through another surgery.

I wish you luck, because mine certainly did not turn out great but I know others who have had it done but they also say that it wasn't the answer. But if it is a matter of being paralyzed then I would get it done as that is why I had to get mine as well.
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