I am a 42 year old male Marine Corps Officer, stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
I am experiencing persistent numbness in my left hand (fingers) after performing pull-up exercises.
A Myelogram revealed bilateral foramenal stenosis at C5 and C6. The neurosurgeon
recommends a dual discectomy, removal of the calcium deposits, and fusion of C5-C7.
I am an active person and am worried about loss of movement and stability in my neck.
With all the advances in laser-based surgery, are there any less destructive
surgical alternatives available? We only have one neurosurgeon on staff at the Naval
Hospital, so obtaining alternate medical opinions is a logistical challenge.
Thank You for your time.
Typically this problem should be managed conservatively first with Physical therapy, pain medication etc.. If symptoms persist, then surgery may be indicated. If you undergo the procedure that your neurosurgeon is recommending then you will lose some (not all) mobility in your neck.
Your neck will be in a collar for 6-12 weeks after the fusion. Once there is fusion of the bone your neck will be stable and you will not have to worry about this problem.
These surgical techniques are well established and work quite well. It would be ill advised to experiment with laser surgery or other unproven techniques as this may result in permanent neurological damage including paralysis of arms and legs.
I hope this helps. Good Luck!
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