For me, personally, I am glad I had the surgery done, but also am surprised how long it is taking me to recover from it. Each person is different, and you will hear many different opinions from your friends and others about what you should do. The bottom line is wanting an acceptable quality of life - can you continue physically the way you are going? If you have done your homework, have done some self-reflection about what you can withstand, and have discussed implications of surgical procedures over thoroughly with family members (they play a big role in helping you recover) you'll feel much better about whatever decision you make. If you do have the surgery, make sure you have a family member with you at all times in the hospital, who can be there to be your advocate, and to ask the questions you may not feel up asking yourself.
Also, (this is from my own experience) make sure they fit you properly with the correct sized neck brace before you leave the hospital.
The best of luck to you.
I am a 45 year old woman who has 2 bulging disks C5-7 with compression on the spinal cord and stenosis. i've had it for 4 years. Some doctor's say it's too late to fix. Do you think this is true? Most of my complaints is leg weakness and left arm, hand joint pain that comes and goes for 4 years. The doctors want me to have surgery but will not guarantee it will get better. i also have a sciatic problem. The legs scare me the most because I am worried I won't be able to walk one day.
what should i do?
I have had 2 neck surgeries in 3 years, so trust me.
I have not done physical therapy because the doctors say it will only mask it, it will only prolong the inevitable, it will relieve the pain but temporarily. IS THIS TRUE????
All the doctors have said if i don't get the surgery, if i get hit the wrong way, I could be paralyzed. and if i don't do it, it could get WORSE and there's no turning back the clock. IS THIS TRUE??????
I work at a computer for very long hours in a very high stress job. I was also informed that it would prob be only 1 1/2 weeks -3 weeks to get back to work. It took me 6 weeks and then I was starting with just a couple hours at a time. I did 20 sessions of physical therapy until I ran out. I kept my collar on for the whole 6 weeks as told to and took lots of small breaks & do my PT exercises at work. ( You might want to get an extra collar or extra cover, they do get dirty) Any way, I have very slowly been able to ramp up to nearly full time. By 2 pm I start slightly hurting with the lower back part of my neck burning and then it gets worse and I start leaning over to give in to the pain. By 3:30 or 4 I am past the point of being able to put up with the burning pain and various pains in my upper chest and neck area.
I am glad I had the surgery as I'd rather trade this pain for the use of my hand, but I'd think carefully what the weight of either decision holds as possibilities. I seem to be so much better when I'm not at the computer. I've tried EVERY position, ergonomic set up, etc, and I'm wondering if anyone else has lingering pain after so mush time has passed - esp from sitting at a computer? A break away from the computer does not seem to have a really good effect unless it is for 2 hours or more, which is impossible in my current 9-5 job so I just tough it out until I can't take it any more.
I can sometimes feel like inclement weather or changing weather makes me hurt more. Would love to talk to anyone else who has had similar and has found relief ideas.
Prior to surgery, I've had back pain for 6 years. It was not excruciating most times, but very annoying and it made it hard to concentrate and focus, especially at work. I am in IT and spend many hours in front of a PC.
I had an MRI 4 years ago that showed a bulging disk at c5-c6. I had sought out all form of non-surgical treatment, including chiropractic, accupuncture, physical therapy, herbal drinks and cortisone injections in the neck. I didnt use prescription pain meds at all. I got the best pain relief from the physical therapy, which i practiced at home in the form of LOTS of stretching exercises.
However, about 3 months ago, i woke up with a stiff neck that got progressively worse. I went to chiropractic for adjustment, and the condition worsened. I began to feel excruciating pain in my left shoulder and tricep area and my left arm felt weak and i had some tingling and numbness in my fingers. Oddly, i had never felt pain in my left arm before , my pain was always in my right arm. My right arm was now completely pain free, I'm not sure why. I got a prescription for MRI from chiropractor that showed a new injury that wasnt present on the MRI from 4 years ago, a severely herniated disk at c6-c7 with stenosis. The condition at c5-c6 had also worsened but not to the same degree. Stretching brought no relief, i was unable to do most of the stretching exercises i had done before due to the pain.
I consulted several nuerosurgeons, all reccommended surgery, and soon. I was told that waiting could result in permanent damage to the nerve root being compressed, where i could lose the use of my arm completely. Pretty scary. I scheduled surgery.
Immediately after the surgery, I could tell the excruciating pain in my arm was completely gone. I did have severe pain in base of my neck and across my shoulder blades and in my right armpit. The surgeon said this was expected and would gradually diminish. I spent 3 days in the hospital and was sent home with a collar and prescription for pain (oxycodone).
10 days removed from surgery now. I had one of top neuro guys in US, I felt comfortable with the surgeon and his credentials, which were very impressive. I still have pain in base of my neck and in shoulder blades, but it is definitely getting better each day. I'm hoping to return to driving in 2 more days and back to work 7 days from now. I do still have some weakness in my left arm for which I will be treated with PT. I'm optimistic that I'll get most or all of the strength back. Its definitely stronger than before the surgery.
Now, I feel the most discomfort while trying to sleep. the pain is considerable when I lay down. When I wake up, i feel quite a bit of pain in my shoulders and base of neck but as the day goes by and I'm moving around, the pain is almost completely gone.
I worry about future complications due to new pressure on disks above and below as a result of the fusion, but I try not to think about that. I try to stay positive. I'm taking 1/2 tablet of percocet every 12 hours where i had been taking 2 tablets every 4 hours right after the surgery. I'm concerned about being dependent on percocet. They do make me feel good (happy ;-) ) in addition to helping with the pain. I will scale down to 1/4 tablet every 12 hrs beginnging tomorrow. I'll update again in a couple of weeks, but I'm glad i had this done. It's almost spring and i'm so looking forward to working in the yard and sitting on the beach with a good martini listening to the waves roll in. I really felt like this was a crossroads of my life and at this point, the future is looking pretty good.
I had lumbar spinal stenosis for 7 years. Numbness and burning in my feet and legs--no pain. Went to Dr. Piepgras Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Univ. of PA Neurosurgeons. Told me "If it does not interfere with your life style, surgery not necessary. " They were all full of c**p. When I finally did develop severe pain, I had surgery at Mayo clinic. Pain gone, but came out of surgery with a drop foot, weakness in my hip, and balance problems, which I did not have pre surgery.
I now find out that the longer you have symptoms pre surgery , the more likely the years of pressure on the nerves lead to irreversible damage. I am convinced if I had surgery when I first visited Dr. Piepgras that I would not have sustained permanent nerve damage.
Now I find that I have severe cervical spinal stenosis, and am headed for surgery on 13 Sept. Symptoms two years old but never picked up by various physicians. Wouldn't you think that with my history of lumbar stenosis someone would have said, "Hey, you really should get an MRI of the cervical area." Nope, did not happen.
Moral of the story. We really have to be our own watchdogs and guard our own health, because even the good Doctors are too busy to do it properly. I am afraid that after my surgery next week I will find that the nerves , once again, have been compressed for so long that there will be irreversible damage. Hope I am wrong.
Hi, I'm looking at an ACD with two level fusion and just would like some cameraderie on the subject. I am quite nervous. I am 60 years old and have had right arm radiculopathy since April 11, 2011 and haven't had this since 2007. Any advice would surely be appreciated.
Wishing everyone the very best.