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Hello all,

I am a 24 year old male. In January of '05, I had a martial arts accident that caused a cervical disc herniation. I didn't get an MRI for it until this past August, and I'd tried chiropractic and physical therapy with varying success. The pain would go away for a while, but it'd come back.

After the MRI, I've been to two different physical therapists. The pain has pretty much been a daily constant since then. I'm taking Aleve twice daily (two in the morning, one at night), a muscle relaxant to help me sleep, and on days when it still hurts, ibuprofen. My orthopedist gave me a shot, which has helped, but it's started to tingle around my shoulder and the base of my neck.

I really want this to end and I've been pressing for surgery. My orthopedist, whose conservatism I can appreciate, has said we shouldn't take it too fast. PT isn't working. How can I convince him to advise and perform, or recommend someone to perform, a surgical procedure to correct this? I have disability insurance enough to cover living expenses as such, so no problems there.

Any pointers?


I am new to this forum and facing some heavy cervical surgery myself. Let me share a story about the need to get a second opinion.

I have had back issues over the years and about 15 years ago suffered from a piece of my L4-5 disc that broke off and was pressing on my nerves. I had drop foot, intense pain that required hospitalization with morphine every 4 hours. My original orthopeadic doctor put me in traction in the hospital with the morphine for two weeks and I thought I was going to die. He kept warning me about having any back surgery at that time and said I would have to have my disc removed and fused and this was serious and should try all other methods before doing so.

He never saw the piece that broke off and if I would have allowed him to do anything he would have gone in, removed the disc that didn't have to be removed and fused my spine. I was in my 30's then. I found a neurosurgeon who was the head of neurosurgery at a good hospital here in New Jersey who looked at me, saw my foot dropping and then my film and knew what was wrong immediately. He saw what the other doctor missed. He operated to remove the piece and clean up the remaining disc. He save my life at that time as there was no way of improving my condition since this piece of disc was squeezing the nerves. I can tell you there were times the pain was so intense, I prayed to die.

Now I am having problems with my Cervical vertebra, have DDD and Spinal Stenosis and have seen two heads of Spinal Surgery one a leading Neurosurgeon and one the head of Spinal Surgery at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York.

Do not screw around with local doctors, they just miss too much and don't do enough of these operations to gain the knowledge they need. If you are insured, your insurance will cover a second opinion, so use it. Go on the net, find the Chief of Surgery at one of your best hospitals that perform this surgery and see them. I can tell you the initial consult costs around $5-600, so if you are not insured you may want to save the money...DON'T. You get what you pay for these days.

You should also not stay local to see the best in the field. If it means getting on a plane to visit the top NY doctors, then do it. If a doctor screws up, there is no turning back. Go and do a search. I can tell you I am using Doctor Frank Camissa, Jr. in New York.

If you do a google on this man, you will be impressed with his background. The Neurosurgeon in New Jersey is Dr. Gregory Przybylski Director of Neurosurgery at the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute, JFK Medical Center, Edison, New Jersey. other thing. I was taking 200mg of Celebrex a few years ago, one a day and felt much better until I had stomach pain and thought I was having a heart attack. Just about the time they came out with the reports of problems with these drugs. I then began to take one Naproxin (Alleve) per day. Bought the huge 400 pill bottle at Costco. When I finished this one (over one year) I bought another and finally read the warning on the lable. Do Not Take For More then 10 days. All of these anti-inflammatory medications are to be used for a short period of time and as needed. Not to treat a chronic condition.

I would ask your doctor about taking the Alleve for the length of time you are now and also about the quantity. I had a real scare when my urologist told me by blood test showed there was a problem with my Kidney. Thank God it turned out to be minor, but I was scared that these meds screwed up my kidney or liver. You have to be careful, they are not all safe when taken for extended periods of time.

Good Luck

**edited by moderator**


I too have a story. I have had headaches for years infact since i was 8 I am 33 now. my story begins at UCI medical center. I seen a neurologist there and he looked in my eyes and said that my headaches were all in my head and that my headaches were due to stress. the neurologist never took x-rays or anything.
I am now in Las Vegas and have a new neurologist. I have a history of lower back problems and have gone through surgery once on my L4-5 for a bilateral laminectomy. Well she was concerned about my headaches as well and made me do an mri of my whold spine and my brain. Not only that but had blood tests done. I found out that not only is my lower back messed up again (the disc that they repaired is now bulging again) but my neck has DDD and my C5-6 and C6-7 both protrude on the left side. which my neurologist is saying what causes my headaches. Not only that i have found out that i have the rheumatoid arthritis gene.
surgery does not always help and even if it does it may not help forever. you really want to think this over. I have done surgery for my lower back and it helped for about 6 months but I am now worse than before.