I have a question about a ruptured C6-C7 disk. I suffered an acute attack of right-sided neck pain that ran all the way down my 3 index and middle fingers close to 2 weeks ago. I had a cervical X-ray, CT, and an MRI done. My image studies showed a ruptured disk at C6-C7 and bone spurs. A cervical diskectomy was offered to me 5 days after my acute event. My symptoms were random and severe knife-like searing pain that went down my arm mainly in my index and middle fingers. Also weakness in pronation and triceps extension in the right arm. My symptoms have gradually alleviated and I decided to monitor myself as well as following up with my neurologist and neurosurgeon.
My question is. Is there any chance that I will fully recover without surgery? If not, then when I decide to have the cervical diskectomy will it restore my sensation and strength to full capacity? What is the time frame I should wait for improvement? I do not want to wait too long and risk not ever being able to recover normal sensation and strength in my right arm. I still have some decreased sensation in my 2 fingers, but the pain is much improved. I am mainly concerned about my motor strength in right triceps and pronator teres. They have gotten stronger than before, but is very much weaker than my left arm. Thanks in advance for your response.
The majority of herniated discs when treated with anti-inflammatories and physical therapy will resolve. This is due to the fact that the disc shrinks. However, in patients with acute moderate to severe weakness a decision to proceed immediately to surgery is sometimes made. If you decided to have surgery acutely or sub-acutely there is no guarentee the symptoms would be alleviated. Surgery is performed to prevent further decompensation, and to hopefully improve symptoms. The amount of time to allow for recovery varies depending on your clinical scenario, however a trial of anti-inflammatories would be reasonable. If you do not improve, or your symptoms become worse then surgery may be needed. Good luck.
I was sched. for a vertebrectomy (think that's what they called it), but went to another type of specialist for another problem and he said do not get that surg - in no uncertain terms! He said there are 3 outcomes, 1. you are better, 2. you are the same, 3. you are worse. You never know which you will end up with. The neurosurg told me he hopes that I would get the surg before perm. damage or atrophy, so he has me seeing a neuro. regularly.
I did have 3 epidurals and they have helped very much! I weaned off narcotics and now just take Advil and for the spasms it causes I take zanaflex. If it ever becomes acute again I will return to pain mgt. and again try the epidurals. Good luck!
I had surgey done on the C6-C7 disk where it was removed and replaced with a bone graft from form hip. I am ever so happy that I had the surgery. Before the surgery, I had a sharp "stabbing" pain in my right arm that traveled down my arm to my hand. Eventually the pain got much worse and my arm would stop working every once in a while. I would end up dropping stuff that I was holding and had to stop picking up my baby since I might have an attack and drop her.
The surgery went great and I was even up and walking around the hospital after only 6 hours out of surgery. I was on bed rest for about 2 weeks and went back to work after only a month of being off work. It has been 2 years and my arm and neck feel great. However, I do get a simliar pain in my arm every once-in-a-while that lasts for no more than 30 mins and the pain is GREATLY reduced. Further, that pain only comes around about once a month. I also have limitations on looking straight up (due to the fusion of the spinal bones at C6-C7) and about every 4-5 months my neck muscles will hurt a bit. I feel it is very worthwile and I would suggest you consider your situation and consulant as many people as you can in making your descion.
about one and a half years ago, I was lifting my son above my head and it felt like I tore my neck and shoulder muscles. I was prescribed a muscle relaxer, pain meds, etc. and found no relief. My primary doctor prescribed PT, which I had little to no relief as they were treating me for a rotator cuff tear. About 5 mos later, I woke up with a very stiff neck and had pain in my neck and lower subacromium area. I went to an orthopaedic surgeon who did an MRI, X-ray, EMG and prescribed PT again for radiculopathy in the neck and shoulder. The EMG noted slight carpal tunnel.They also found 2 ruptured discs in my neck at C5-C6. A neurosurgeon said that my case was not operable at that time, and referred me to a neuroconsultant for neck injections. Therefore, I was being seen by both an neuroconsultant and an orthopaedic surgeon. After determining that the PT was not helping, the Orthopaedic surgeon injected corticosteroid 3X in my subacromium region and in the top of my shoulder. It did help the subacromium pain for 2-3 months, but not in the upper shoulder region or my neck.
They did neck injections with an X-ray machine,which also helped minimally for a short time. I found myself frustrated and back a the orthopaedic's office who put me through another MRI, X-rays, and another EMG. Tendonitis was noted as well as extensive degenerative disc disease in all of my cervial disc areas. I went to another orthopaedic surgeon for a 2nd opinion, who referred me to a spine specialist. The spine specialist stated that I needed surgery on my C6 disc, but wanted to wait on my EMG reports for furhter discussion. After he recieved my EMG reports, he was not certain that surgery would help me, as the 2nd EMG stated my test was normal with no carpal tunnel syndrome.
He does not want to do a discogram at this time, as he feels that it will come back with pain in all of my disc areas, and the result would not provide much of anything. He is recommending that I see a Pain consultant that will perform trigger botox injections, which I know little to nothing about.
It has been a year and a half, and I am in constant pain. There is much grinding in my subacromium joint as well as clicking, and the pain at night is unbearable, allowing little rest. I have been on several anti-inflammatories, and would like additional resources. The neuroconsultant feels it is my shoulder and the orthopaedic doctors feel it is my neck.
I recently had surgery on my C6-c7 about 6 weeks ago. I am still in my recovery stage and now I am experiencing pain in my left leg since having the surgery. I have numbness in my toes and sometimes pain. The only difference is that it is not as severe as the pain that I experienced in my right arm. I was first diagnosed with a herniated disk in my C6 vertebrae back in 1995 and I was able to live with it until this year. The pain became so unbearble that I was not able to rest at night and little rest was my only options. I was on pain Rx and muscle relaxers that caused me to be able to adapt and get used to the pain. I still have a ways to go before I am able to really see how well the surgery has worked for me. My post op appointment showed that everything was healing well but that my bones were still fusing. I made it almost ten years without having surgery but to my dismay that is when I find that my c7 had reached very near to my spine. Without my surgery, I could have been paralyzed from the neck down from just one false move or one big fall. I was blessed to find this and so anyone who is contemplating the surgery, I suggest praying for relief of pain and having the surgery.
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