My neurosurgeon did lumbar/cervical MRI & cervical myelogram, and reported cervical & lumbar stenosis, with spinal cord compression at C4/C5 causing myelopathy. After these diagnostics, and only a brief discussion of basic symptoms (back/neck/arm pain, numbness, paresthesia, loss of coordination) he recommended ADR with the ProDisc C. My primary care doctor seconds this. I am not scared of surgery; I am 40 yrs old, fit and stay in shape, and motivated to take care of myself. I just wonder if we've been thorough enough? I suspect that I have had some symptoms of myelopathy for years...and his report to me was not as specific as I've seen posted here. I don't know exactly what is causing the compression, although I could see it on the x-ray and MRI myself. Also, he says that since my lumbar problem (completely degenerated disc in my lower back, don't know exact location, sorry) doesn't involve my spine, I should hold off on surgery there "till the end of the road". Does this mean until the pain prevents me from getting out of bed? It's mostly manageable now, with meds, as long as I can exercise and don't sleep in bad places...Is he right about waiting on this? Thank you!
The role of disc replacements in the spine is emerging and still in its early stages. Published results are positive, especially for cervical. I can not make any recomendation here as to whether or not you are a good candidate for that particular surgery. Most surgeons do not recommend disc replacements for patients with myelopathy but consider fusions or laminoplasty.
I would suggest getting a second opinion from a spine surgeon (ortho or neuro) that limits his practice to spine only and has extensive cervical experience. Your primary MD is not qualified as a second opinion for a complex spine case.
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