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Hello. I have been seeing a Chiropractor for several months for neck and back pain. Several weeks ago, I woke up with severe pains in neck again but I forced through it, thinking it would get better (it had last time). Two days later, the pain spread to my left shoulder and arm, accompanied by weakness. Went to ER. They referred me to a shoulder specialist, they referred to Ortho Surgeon, they scheduled an MRI. Ortho surgeon sees the MRI and says there's a herniated disc in my neck at C4/C5, causing referred pain and weakness in my left arm. He suggested a Anterior Cervical Discectomy. I held off and spoke to my chiropractor the next week. He sent me to a Neuro Surgeon for a second opinion. Met with that surgeon today and he also recommended surgery on the herniation but suggested I have a Posterior cervical decompression (microdiscectomy) instead. Mostly because I am young (twenty-nine yrs old) and the fusion involved in the anterior may not be needed. He did inform me of all the benefits and negatives between the two surgeries, like that I may need a Anterior operation anyway if the posterior doesn't help with pain relief.

Basically, I have read a lot of posts on here of people who have had both surgeries and are still having pain and weakness (or new symptoms) months or even years post op. Is there ANY good stories that might help me? Anyone who had the Posterior surgery work and they were able to recover from a weak limb and their pain?

All the horror stories are scaring the life out of me and making me wonder why surgeons even perform these surgeries... I need a ray of hope! So now two surgeons say I need neck surgery but I am scared the pain and weakness will not improve or get worse- I have a 6 month old daughter who needs me and I want to get better.

Thanks for any positive stories that might give me hope,
Rodney

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Hi Rodney,
I have the same thing but in the Lumbar area. I had the surgery myself and I must admit was down flat on my back for 4 months. However, I did recover and was like brand new! For 3 perfect years no pain, no nothing! It truely was a miracle! Through my own stupidity I lifted something very heavy last August. I have triedmy darndest to avoid a second surgery but have concluded that it is best. I am only 45 years young and feel like I am 85 years old, you just can't live like that darlin! Stop listening to everyone and speak with your doctor on what both surgeons have suggested and then just go for it. Ask a woman who has given birth to a child what it is like, you want to see horror stories, oh my god!!! We still love children us woman though and still choose to bear them! Everyone's story and outcome is always different. Don't worry, keep a posative attitude, ask your doctor, and especially pray! You will make the right decision for you! Good Luck!
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Hi Rodney,
on 12/25/07 I began with me symptoms I kept having lots of pain and numbness down my left arm and hand. I went to ER twice in less than a week. I went to see my doctor so he order an MRI. The MRI results was that I had Herniated Disk (C5/C6). I was sent to the ortho and the ortho sent me to neurologist. Then to the neurosurgeon. when I went to see the neurosurgeon he wanted to try other things before surgery because was so young (28 yrs. old). So I tried physical therapy and was sent to a pain management doctor. The physical therapy just made things worst so I stopped going. The pain management doctor tried the steroid injection but that didn't work because they weren't able to get the liquid through. So finally the neurosurgeon said that I need to go into surgery. I was giving the option between the anterior or posterior. But he mention to me that the posterior would be better because of my age and it would be less invasive. So I went on the computer and I kept reading about the horrible stories of the posterior surgeries. So I was scared because I have a son at the time he was 4yrs old. But I got to the point that I wasn't able to move my arm as much and the pain got so bad that I would end up crying because of it. I couldn't deal with it anymore so on 8/26/08 I had the surgery and it worked for me. I was able to move my hand again and the numbness went away I have pain once in a while but not as bad like before.
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I am 37 years old and 6 weeks post posterior microdiscectomy for a severly herniated C5/6. My symptoms are now worse than before the surgery, not to mention no one informed just how bad the first two weeks of recovery are. I felt like I had been shot in the back of the neck.

I have seen multiple neurosurgeons and they all said the same thing - ACDF. I additionally was recommended to a orthopedic surgen who informed me that 95% of herniated disc heal on their own in 12-18 months. I made great strides in the fith month, only to be swayed by a neurosurgeon for posterior microdiscectomy. A very poor momentary lapse. I was thinking it was better than fusion and worse case I would come out unchanged. What a mistake. Now the neuro says this proceedure can take up to a year to heal from. A far cry from the back to normal activity in 6 weeks and playing sports in 12 weeks. I now look at it as best case scenario a 5 month set back. He says that the good news is that we can always do ACDF, the surgery I was trying to avoid.

Last point. I would not have any surgery for your herniated disc untill you have given it at least a year to reabsorb on its own, unless you are having major loss of body funtion.
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Dear RodneyL,

There are two problems that cause similar upper extremity or lower extremity pain...or both, but they might be, clinically, separated by time.

One is an autoimmune disease, focused on the brachial plexus or the terminal nerves of the sacral plexus, and it causes the majority of the problems people have in their upper and lower extremities. That is why so many spinal surgeries fail to cause people to improve.

Since the same underlying disease causes enough spinal abnormalities a "symptomatic" herniated disc can develop...although patients with both sources of pain from both sources will have spinal arthritis, at least, to some degree. You see, arthritis itself, is autoimmune in nature.

If you havn't had surgery yet, or even if you have, but still have problems you can have your doc provide you with an intramuscular infection of 80 mg of triamcinoloe: upper arm or buttock. The location doesn't matter since the medicine will go throughout the body via the blood stream. If you get 10 days to 3 weeks of meaningful decreased symptoms that indicates that you, likely, have your primary problem in the brachial plexus. Also, if you have had back pain in the past, or currently, at any level, or some symptoms in the "other arm/hand", well that also supports autoimmune brachial plexitis as a diagnosis. e


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Hi Rodney, I've just been told the same and my story is the exact same as yours. Did you have the posterior surgery and if so, how did you make out?
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