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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi - this is my first time on this message board and I am very thankful for the information I have read.

My pain started about a year ago and was strictly in my neck. I constantly felt like I needed to twist and stretch it out, with alot of popping and cracking, and of course headaches. It then traveled down to the upper back (approx 3 months later) with the same need to try and twist and stretch and a feeling like the shoulder blades were stuck. My PCP sent me for physical therapy and unfortunately there was no relief. I then went to an Orthopedic who requested the usual tests (nerve testing, MRI, etc) The MRI showed bulging C5-6, but the nerve test showed no nerve damage. (they need to make a few more doctors go through that test so they come up with another way to test it) I have tried the shots with no help and about 4 months ago the numbness and tingling started down the left arm. 6 weeks ago I began getting a shooting pain that starts at the back of the shoulder and stops in the forearm (about 2 inches below the elbow) My job requires most of my time spent on the computer, and I make it about an hour into the day before the pain in the arms kick in. The doctor has just taken me out of work for 2 weeks to try and clam down the arm pain, but he has suggested fusing C5 & 6.
I am really concerned about the surgery, the recovery time and of course how life changes after. Any comments would be appreciated

Hi Sportsmom,

Yeah, you sound like me, except I didn't bother with shots or nerve MRI gave up immediately. I had bulging discs, bone spurs, and the NS discovered arthritis once inside.

Both my GP and my NS reassured my how commonplace ADCF has become, many thousands are done every year. The science of anesthesiology has become very sophisticated. But the whole idea of surgery is scary; I was terrified the day of surgery, then woke up a couple hours later and thought "thats it?". I was given a morphine drip I never used and painkillers for home I never needed. One of the wonderful things about this operation is it leaves you pain-free and romves the numbness.

I went in the hospital 6am on a Tues and walked the next day at 10 am after a 4 hr surgery. You can figure a solid month for recovery. If they remove the discs, your NS will replace the disc with donor bone or bone harvested from your hip (donor bone is highly preferable as your hip wiil take longer to heal than your neck). But that's a bone graft, and you want it to take, so be good to yourself for month.

I'm 3 weeks post-op, didn't want to do it, but between the pain, the numbness, restriciting my life, I'd had enough. All that overcame my fear of surgery. Was it worth it? At this point, a resounding yes.

Beware of alternative medicine at this point, most of it will only aggravate your condition.

Good luck, Bill

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