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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I am very much like you but no surgery yet for me. Hopefully never, but that is most likely wishful thinking.

If there is actual spinal cord compression causing progressive myelopathic symptoms, and it sounds like there is from your description, then surgery may be your only option. In my opinion, whenever surgery is on the table I would get multiple opinions from the best spine specialists you can find. People who work with folks with back problems all the time. You will often find a difference in opinion on when surgery is indicated and how to approach the surgery, and even how to interpret MRIs amongst different experts. Getting opinions from multiple spine specialists will help you get a "consensus" and help you identify the folks you are most comfortable with.

Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) is now FDA approved for a single level replacement and as such should be approved by most insurances. Unfortunately, 2-level and greater replacements are not approved. One of the surgeons I talked to is in the 28 best spine surgeons in the US list and performed just the 3rd two-level ADR in the US. He said that they were able to get the two-level surgery approved by the insurance company but I don't know how they did it. I'd definitely recommend a university affiliated surgeon if possible as they are most likely to be familiar with the ADR and do lots of surgeries in general. You are not that far, relatively speaking, from WA where there are some awesome surgeons affiliated with the UW (including the guy I mentioned), and Swedish hospital. I can PM you his name if you want.

BTW, numbness and tingling in your face is pretty common. Look up "cervicogenic facial pain (it doesn't have to be pain, but numbness and tingling as well)".

Why would anyone think you have a movement disorder with the presentation you have? I would think the severe radicular pain along with the MRI should point far enough away from MD that they wouldn't bother...

Your GP is correct that it could get worse but you do want to make the best decision you can. The two most important things are "do you need surgery", and "who should do the surgery". You want to make sure you get these questions answered in the best way possible.

Good luck and let us know how you get on...

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