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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

As the radiologist says, the thing to focus on is the impingement on your right C7 nerve. This might cause pain at the point of the impingement - right side of neck - but would also likely have symptoms running down the back of your arm and into your index and middle finger.

The car accident and the carpal tunnel complicate things, though. The accident may very well have caused muscle damage (whiplash), which can be painful and rather intractable. The carpal tunnel, of course, affects your hands. Hopefully, you can distinguish symptoms coming from C7 nerve impingement because they'd be right-side only, and affect only index and middle fingers, not thumb or ring/little fingers.

One operation for this would be the ACDF, which means coming in from in front, removing the C6-7 disk, and fusing the C6 and C7 vertebrae together. This is a fairly routine operation, and your loss of range-of-motion should also be quite small. Of course, you'd want to get absolutely the best surgeon you could find for this. I can't emphasize that enough.

Another operation MIGHT be a foraminotomy. This is a much less invasive operation than the ACDF, where the surgeon comes in behind-right and specifically attempts to clear out the obstructions in the right C6-7 foramen, where the nerve is being impinged. Only thing is, I don't know if the surgeon can access those obstructions, because of the posterior approach. The surgeon might also believe that the foraminotomy might not be a permanent fix, but in that case a foraminotomy could be tried first, then an ACDF a few years later, if necessary.

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