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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hello everyone, my name is Dave and I am new here. I was diagnosed last month with multilevel degenerative disc disease with herniations at C5-C6 (mild stenosis) and C6-C7 with broad based right foramina protrusion resulting in severe right neuroforaminal stenosis and compression of the right C-7 nerve root. Although I have lost some strength in my right tricep and have been experiencing numbness in two of my fingers, I am not in much pain with the exception of occasional "electric shock feelings" in my shoulders and middle back. However, the concern is obviously not pain but the disc protrusion that is compressing my nerve root. I am an active 35 year old teacher, weight lifter and scuba dive master. Although some of the strength in my right arm has returned during weight training over the past few weeks, I am unwilling to risk further injury to my nerve in the future. Complete muscle atrophy is my ABSOULTE worst fear of all. My neurosurgeon suggested that we try to get artificial disc surgery approved by my insurance before fusion but it was denied due to another small disc protrusion at C5-C6 which we are not operating on because it is not currently compressing the nerve root. The insurance company did not want to pay extra for a disc that may get thrown in the trash if I need a double level fusion in the future. That said, I am now scheduled for ACDF surgery next Monday 4/15/13 and was approved by the insurance today. Now that I know this is actually happening, reality is beginning to kick in. I have done TONS of research on this procedure and I have one of the best neurosurgeons in the state. However, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't scared to death. :( I have NEVER had surgery in my life and this is pretty major for a first timer. After googling and finding this board, I feel a better sense of comfort knowing that there are others in my situation. I am wondering if anyone here is having this surgery around the same time as me?? I reckon it will be less stressful and lonely knowing that there are others going through the same thing that I am :) Anyway, its a pleasure to meet you all and I appreciate any advice you can give me.

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