Back and Neck Surgery Expert Forum
Do I need surgery
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Do I need surgery

30 year old male c5/c6 herniation.
Ongoing 5 years first started as muscle spasms in neck shoulder and chest spasms would get so bad neck would lock up and I couldn't move it for days without pain. Currently back of my neck and upper back always throbs with a never ending headache and pain radiates into shoulder/tricep. Numbness in tricep, forearm and fingers but intermittent. If I roll my head back or to the right to far its like I'm sitting on the nerve and my arm starts to go numb with added pain. I have noticed strength loss as well. I work out a lot and take logs of my weight reps and this is where Ive noticed it. (But everyday use I don't notice, yet).
I have been to physical therapy for 2 rounds. 3 years ago for 4 months 1x week and currently for a past 6 months 2x a week with traction. I have taken muscle relaxers, NSAID, narcotic pain meds (used on off days from work for a bit...but cant use really as I'm a nuclear security officer), prednisone pack, and had two epidural injections.
The injections did nothing for me, really nothing has and it continues to get worse, but I can tolerate it.
My main concern is that in the short-long term it will just get worse + all the different medications to help with pain are not healty for long term use, also arent any sort of "fix" but just attempting to cover the problem.

There is straightening of the normal cervical lordosis.
Multilevel disc dessication (desiccation) is noted throughout the cervical spine. there is mild to moderate loss of disc height at c5/c6 where there are small marginal osteophytes.
Endplate degeneration changes are noted particularly posteriorly at c5/c6. Marror is otherwise unremarkable.
At c5/c6 disc bulge with posterior osteophytic ridging eccentric to the right partially obliterates the anterior csf space. In conjunction with uncovertebral hypertrophy, there is mild to moderate right neural foraminal narrowing. Disc osteohphyte complex at c5/c6 may contact the right ventral ramus at this level.
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Dear Justin,
You should get an MRI of the whole spine done with special screening of the Cervical Spine. You look an ideal candidate for Surgery, as all of the other modes of treatment appears to be failed (esp the steroid shots).
Please discuss further, once your MRI results are ready.

Our main concern is to -
1) Get the pain levels minimized, and
2) Rehabilitate you, for a better lifestyle.

Hence am confident about the positive results of the surgery.
I had anterior cervical fusion 3 weeks ago. The first week I was miserable. Immediately after the surgery, the sides and back of my neck hurt. And my throat. The throat pain has been the worst side effect for me. I had a morphine pump for about 12 hours. I am very immune to pain relievers, so I never felt I was fully out of pain with ANY medicine. I had the neck brace on in the hospital. My doctor did not order me to wear it at home. However, I wore it for the first few days, and whenever I felt my neck would be threatened, riding in the car, avoiding hugs at church, etc. My throat still hurts a bit from the intubation, and overall invasion of my neck and throat parts. I slept in out recliner for the first 5 nights. I found it hard to raise and lower myself on the bed without pain. It took quite a few days for my neck to LOOSEN up. My neighbor is a physical therapist. She came over the first 8 days, and did therapy on me. THIS HELPED IMMENSELY! I highly recommend therapy after this surgery. My doctor didn't however. Fool. The nerve in my left arm is no longer pinched. Therefore, the arm pain is gone. It did take a few days after the surgery for this to happen. On day 3, I began having numbness, tingling, and aching in my left hand. My PT told me it was stress. In 2 days, those sensations left and haven't come back. The incision is barely noticeable. When I touch my neck, it is still a bit puffy and sore, but it is bearable. I would recommend this surgery for those who have a problem that can not be fixed other ways. I had severe arm pain for 6 months before I told my doctor. She sent me to physical therapy for 4 months. Then I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon (wish I would have gone to a Nuero). Finally an MRI was ordered and they discovered I had ruptured disc at C4 and C5.
What would a special screening show that a regular MRI wouldn't? My doctor said that he possibly wanted to get a CT scan done...again what would that show that a MRI wouldn't and is it even beneficial to get a CT scan at this point?

He has said because my pain in the arm is not constant that surgery would only benefit me 60-70%...

Also I have another apt. on Nov 17th so I might have more info then.
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