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  #1  
Old 05-28-2004, 10:00 PM
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Anyone have neck vertebrae fused?

I'd like to hear people's stories. I had an MRI last week after visiting my primary care physician with a complaint about feeling 'electric shocks' down my arms when I cough sometimes. It shows the disk between C5 and 6 pushing into the spinal canal and compressing the cord. My primary care physician immediately referred me to a neursurgeon, but I am going to visit a neurologist first. My primary physician seems to assume the only choice is removal of the disk and fusion.
I have a lot of questions about the wisdom of spinal surgery when the symptoms are as benign as mine. I have no pain, it was just unusual to feel short shocks when I cough sometimes.

I'm particularly curious as to whether anyone has had a similar diagnosis to mine, but foregone the surgery. I've read some stories on the net of people with a lot of continual pain after fusion surgery.

I'm off for a canoe trip, so won't be able to check on replies for a few days.
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2004, 10:14 PM
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A friend had that surgery and has not complained and says he is free of pain. He has lost some rotation of his neck in both directions, more pronounced in one.

I have a c6-c7 problem nearly identical in description to yours. I chose not to have surgery (yet). Instead, I took anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxer, and a mild opiate of some sort. I also started a tough PT regimen that hurt like hell several times a week for several weeks. But the combination has worked for me--no pain, full movement, and I have regained muscle mass in areas where muscles had atrophied. I no longer need PT nor drugs (well, rarely). Its not all rosy, I still get occasional episodes of pain and I really shouldn't lift things as that compresses the nerve root and may cause a return of pain and inflammation.

I may still require surgery, but my neurosurgeon suggested that I try everything else that's reasonable first and when I can no longer stand the pain, then get the surgery. My hope is that techniques will improve, as medical sciences and arts have improved, such that treatment wont have such terrible risks associated with it.

I think several moths ago we had a similar thread. Perhaps MedMech started it? I know he gave some of his personal experiences.

B
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2004, 11:33 PM
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My 81 year old neighbor had some work done on his neck 1 1/2 years ago. He was having numbness in his fingers and lower legs. Also having trouble with raising his left leg.

One thing I learned is wearing that wearing that neck brace would be murder in summer so I'd schedule it another time of year.

Last I heard he was having to go in for another MRI as there is some concerned one of the screws has worked loose! I'm serious. Overall I cannot tell much difference in him. Of course, the doctor's told him if he hadn't had it done then he would have gotten much worse off and that now he is stabilized. I really don't know what to think except I'd proceed with great caution as these doctors are trained in their area and as they say.. to a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2004, 11:43 PM
MedMech
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check your mail and get a new primary care doctor. I happen to be an expert in this field. Saying that fusion is the only remedy may be a common remark but its also the stupidest.

I've been to over a dozen spine clinics throughout the world and deal with the best cervical doc's in the world, it you catch it in time before serious spurring develops you maybe a candidate for nucleoplasty which is a very conservative procedure and recovery is only 24 hours versus 1 year.

Last edited by MedMech; 05-29-2004 at 07:58 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2004, 11:52 PM
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a fused spine is the quickest way to old age the is.
before surgury there is exercise, pt, yoga, chiropractors,
and accupuncture.

don
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2004, 08:00 AM
MedMech
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Quote:
Originally posted by Botnst

I may still require surgery, but my neurosurgeon suggested that I try everything else that's reasonable first and when I can no longer stand the pain, then get the surgery. My hope is that techniques will improve, as medical sciences and arts have improved, such that treatment wont have such terrible risks associated with it.



B
Now thats a smart doc!!! Damn good advice. You should try the epiderals or ask him about nucleoplasty.
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2004, 09:06 AM
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Bosnt is correct, there was a thread about this a few months ago. In fact, I started it. Here is the link:

Anyone else have a hiernia in the upper spinal cord?

Anyone else have a hiernia in the upper spinal cord?

I have a hierniated disc between c5-c6. I had the pins and needles in my left arm along with serious pain!!! I was seriously thinking of pushing for surgery. But in the end, after trying different meds I got to one that helps. Now all I take is a muscle relaxer at bedtime and my pain is about 95% gone. Small pain returns when I do things that I should not like lift heavy objects and so forth. Along with the muscle relaxer I do traction twice a day for 15 minutes each time also. This has helped very much.

As to the surgery, as I mentioned I was pushing for it but, now that I feel much better and at least can live with what I have now, my plan is to wait a few more years. The thought of a doctor playing along with my spinal cord gives me the heebie jeebies. Also, medical and surgical advances are progresisng at a very fast rate therefore, it is my feeling that I wait a little bit more, better surgical research devlopment and techniques will be implemented - therefore reducing risk and improving odds that the surgey will be successful.

Iggy
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2004, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by euronatura


As to the surgery, as I mentioned I was pushing for it but, now that I feel much better and at least can live with what I have now, my plan is to wait a few more years. The thought of a doctor playing along with my spinal cord gives me the heebie jeebies. Also, medical and surgical advances are progresisng at a very fast rate therefore, it is my feeling that I wait a little bit more, better surgical research devlopment and techniques will be implemented - therefore reducing risk and improving odds that the surgey will be successful.

Iggy
READ IT KNOW IT LIVE IT, YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE A SMART DOCTOR.

Have you checked out nucleoplasty?

http://www.nucleoplasty.com/dpat/dpat.aspx
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2004, 01:24 PM
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Please take the time to see at least one more doctor. If UC has a med. school I think thatís always the best place to get the most forward thinking attention. Medicine is a business like any other and itís surprising how treatment frequently revolves around your bank account or quality of insurance presented to the girl at the front desk. I would think an Orthopedist would be where youíd look. Iím not into chiropractic unless I have very good reference, but I know a paraplegic chiropractor (true) in LA that is able to affect great spinal improvements with exercise alone. Heís so good Iíd almost recommend a trip or at least a phone call.
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2004, 01:39 PM
MedMech
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If you want to be on permanent disability letting a chiropractor manipulate and further injure you neck would be a good idea.
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2004, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MedMech
If you want to be on permanent disability letting a chiropractor manipulate and further injure you neck would be a good idea.
Jon does everthing with exercise and some massage- and only after X-Rays. Many of the Raiders live in the area, and most go to him. Maybe that's one of their problems.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2004, 06:12 AM
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If the disc is on the cord you don`t have much choice , but to have the surgery.

See my comments on the link euronatura provided

John
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2004, 06:15 AM
MedMech
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1991 560 SEC
If the disc is on the cord you don`t have much choice , but to have the surgery.

See my comments on the link euronatura provided

John
That's old school BS, did you even bother to use the link I provided?
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  #14  
Old 05-30-2004, 06:16 AM
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when you can`t walk and are becoming incontinet it`s not bs

John
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  #15  
Old 05-30-2004, 06:23 AM
MedMech
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1991 560 SEC
when you can`t walk and are becoming incontinet it`s not bs

John
He is walking, he also happens to be canoeing this weekend.
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