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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Re: Need Support
Oct 27, 2006
Hi Looksee1~

The cord impingment tells me that if they are offering surgery, TAKE IT! It's only one level and it will only get worse. I just had ACDF at levels C4-5- and 5-6 and will eventually have C7. I have severe spinal canal stenosis (narrowing at all three levels, worse at the ones fused) and all the other horrors of the neck! I should have had this done ten years ago but the HMO Gods wouldn't approve it. And besides, they have come a long way in ten years with C-spine surgery.

I exhausted all conservative treatment available ie traction, tens units, physical therapy multiple times, posture modifications, relaxation, muscle relaxants and nothing worked! If it is cord impingement none of the above is going to open up your spinal canal. I just became worse and worse until I ended up in the emergency room with a completely numb arm and hand. Well the HMO Gods could no longer tell me I was inoperable. My Neurosurgeon was really ticked off when he saw my MRI and EMG reports from ten years ago because they were so bad way back then. He shook his head and I could tell he couldn't believe the inept treatment I received.

You don't want permanent damage done to your spinal cord and the longer you wait, the more damage will be done. I am 8 1/2 weeks post surgery and doing much, much better. The surgery itself was a breeze, honestly. I didn't have to wear a collar because I have a plate, I had no incision site problems and I am fusing well. My biggest complaint is the extreme muscle spasms but he had to change the contour of my neck (lordosis) because from so many years of damage the slippage and muscles turned my neck into a frontward C shape instead of a backward C shape. What he did to help change that was to tighten the middle screw in my titanium plate and draw my entire neck forward in the middle and you wouldn't believe how it changed the shape of my C-spine. It looks completely normal now on my x-rays.

If you didn't have the severe impingement I would suggest conservative treatment since it's been a realitively short period of time, but since you do, I say go for the gold and get it fixed now.

Good luck to you on whatever you decide to do.

DD





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