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Prior Cervical Fusion and now another Herniated Disc C3
Prior to this Injury, I had 2 ruptured C5/6 and C6/7 disc that I had surgery for (two synthetic disc and a titanium plate installed/Fusion).  

Diagnosis/Current Treatments:
Now with this present injury, the Dr. stated I have slight disc herniation of my C3 through MRI (Dr. automatically came out and said to me prior to getting an MRI, that he would not do surgery?), I have been out of work for almost 4 months now, I have had Physical therapy for 6 weeks and 2 epidural cortisone injections with no relief.  I have a demanding career as well.  The neuro also stated that if the 2nd epidural injection did not work or bring me up to 90% better then there was nothing else he could do? Anyone know if they can not do a second surgery in the same area of neck?

Pain management Dr. also noticed some arthritis around prior surgery and some bones spurs.  Dr.'s said that it's nothing just minimal.  

Symptoms:
Symptoms that I am in, I have chronic pain, get a stabbing sensation at the bottom of my skull when I turn my head right or left, constant dull radiating pain that goes from the bottom of my skull/neck to my right shoulder and into my right arm/hand, I have numbness in my right ring and middle finger.  Can't sleep at nigh, I Wake up at night every hour due to arm numbing up. Headaches everyday, I also notice a popping/crunching noise in my neck when I move it up/down and left/right.  In can not sit in a chair or lean up against a headrest for long periods of time it will irritate my neck and speed up the pain that radiates down my neck and into my arm.  

I have been steadily researching this and I could fall under a couple of categories from Degenerative Disc Disease, Cervical Spondylosis, etc... I even brought up DDD to Dr. and he did not answer my question.  This also falls under worker's comp as well.  

Anyone out there that has gone through this or who may have a better understanding this my first time on any forum or blog, I finally wanted to get other peoples opinion.  Thank you for anyone that can advise me or give me any info.  
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6 Answers
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1093617 tn?1279305602
Hi, Thank you for your question again. Usually, recovery from a discectomy procedure takes time (standard is six weeks) and as everyone is different it may vary as well.  Most of the times, one may experience back and leg pain during the recovery period. However, essentially you should avoid prolonged sitting, lifting heavy objects, bending, twisting and excessive exertion for the first three weeks. It is not like that you restrict all activities but you should gradually increase your physical activities over this period. Additionally, common complication of a discectomy is that there is a possibility that another fragment of disc will herniate and may cause similar symptoms. Therefore, endoscopic microdiscectomy is appropriate in some specific situations, and you may check this with your treating neurologist. Hope this helps.
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1093617 tn?1279305602
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Im sorry I should clarify.  I had the first surgery done in February 2007.  Now I have another herniated disk at C3.  I am also 33 years old as well.  
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I'm not clear on the type of surgery you had,  you wrote "two synthetic disc and a titanium plate installed/Fusion" Did you have 1 level with an artificial disc and the other fused?

Did you recover fully from the surgery back in 2007, has your pain and symptoms just returned in the past 4 months?
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No I had 2 levels C5/6 and C6/7.  Yes I recovered fully from my first surgery in 2007.  No these are different symptoms from another herniated disc at C3.  I was questioning why my Dr. will not do another surgery.  I have been in pain for the past 4 months, numbness in my right middle and ring finger pain in right arm, sometimes almost feels like dead weight, etc....  I see my Dr. tomorrow for my next step.  But he said if the 2nd epidural injection did not work there was nothing else he could do?????
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I just wanted to understand what you had done, because it wasn't clear. Probably, the reason the Doctor didn't respond to your question about DDD is because its just a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the disks in your neck and the same thing with Cervical spondylosis. Those terms really mean nothing.

I have a disc herniation at C3-4 pinching a nerve root and slightly compressing the cord. And I can tell you that unless you have fairly significant cord compression, a small disc bulge at this level isn't going to affect your shoulder, arm or hand. It'll cause neck pain and headaches, but all levels do. It also causes facial numbness and tingling and pain in the traps.

Yes, they do surgery in the same area, I'm going to have C4-5 and maybe C3-4 done in a few months,  but in your case their not going to operate when they don't know what's causing the problem. And you shouldn't want them too.

You need to look at the levels you've had done, I had C6-7 fused and that does cause shoulder, arm and hand pain, so does C5-6. I had surgery in 2005 and several of my fingers are still numb, if the nerve was compressed enough before surgery, the feeling might not ever come back.

If this Doctor won't help you any further, get your pre and post MRI's and go see another Surgeon or a Pain Management specialist.


Take Care
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Thank you for your response and information!
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