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Questions about Cervical Herniations
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Questions about Cervical Herniations

Dear Doctors,

I am 2 years post C5-6 anterior decompression and fusion. New
surgeon has recently explained to me that it didn't heal correctly and the pin is loose.  I also have at C3-4 a large central herniation and to the right with compression against the c-4 root.  At c 4-5 I have a diffuse bulging disc compromising the left forament.  I have spurring also at C5-6 and at C6-7 a large central and to the right herniation.  Recently i have been
told also that i have lumbar problems too-mri next week.  My questions are:
Sometimes i cannot lift left leg and have pain and tingling in feet, is that from lumbar or cervical spine.  This past week I'm
experiencing new pain in both legs (more in right) sharp pain raditating down legs and then they give out.  Also i am curious about what pain is caused by which herniations.  For example my upper back, neck area gets completely numb and i have a searing pain on left back neck area..which herniation causes that?  Also
pain in arms and left hand (two middle fingers). I have other pain also.but can you give an idea of what symptoms correspond with herniations.
I'm 47 years old..do you think i should have surgery again?

Thank you and God bless
jo-ann
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Jo-ann:

It is difficult to tell you whether to have surgery again.  Having surgery once already sort of predisposes you to more, as I would assume that you failed rehab.  Unless the herniations compromise the spinal cord itself, the upper cervical cord probably is causing the neck and arm pain.  The description of the MRI suggesting foramen compromise would fit that these lesions are causing your neck and arm problems.  The pain radiating down your legs is likely lumbar or sacral.  Modest herniations usually do not cause pain as they do not compromise the spinal cord.  We feel that surgery is always the last option and unless the pain is caused by mechanical problems such as a compromised cord, rehab should be the modality of treatment.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I was given a Vitamin B-12 March 10, and the nurse hit a nerve and since that day I have had numbness & pain on the outside of my left leg all the way to my ankle.  I have been taking celebrex  and pain medication at night.  I had an MRI it showed a bulging disk L-3 lumbar.  It is getting better.  My question......Will I always have problems with this?
Thanks, Lin Sheffiel
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Avatar_n_tn
Could the CCF Neuro MD please look at my comments at the Neck Pain section below. I have tried to post for over six weeks and cannot get on. Thanks, Danny Duncan
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Avatar_n_tn
I was in a car accident two years ago,I have discs that are herniated in my cervical spine 3-6 I have also been told that I have arthritis setting in and bone spurs in my upper spine. I have some herniation in my lower back as well. My Question is this Iam 43yrs.old and the only people I know that have my type of problems are much older and it makes me feel sad to think Iam on the same medications as people that are 80, I hate to complain to family members and I don't like talking about the pain I have to close friends. I really wish I could tell people how I really feel but I've always been the happy go lucky one in the family that tries to make everyone else happy.Do others feel this way?????????????????????????? Ang
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Hairwiz,

Yep, other people feel the same as you!  It's hard for others
to understand and in some cases even believe pain they can't see.
I was a waitress for 25 years and very active. (i had the original post).  I'm relatively young too..47 and my grandmother
90 is in better shape than me, so i know.  I don't ask why this
happened to me, I know why.  We all will have our crosses.  I use
this pain and disability and offer it up in union with Jesus's on
the cross for the conversion of sinners..believe me that makes all the difference in the world.  Your pain and even the way others treat you is valuable.  You may not be as "valuable" as you were in the world-working-but honey you are to God.  In the mean time, the Federal Government has a program called VESID which helps the disabled in opening up a business.  They give financial help..in fact, they will give you everything you need to be self sufficient.  You just have to come up with a business plan.  Don't lose hope..while you can't do everything you used to do and chronic pain is a pain, you can do many things differently.  Sorry Doctors for taking up so much space.  Say the Rosary and meditate on the life of Jesus and Mary.  
God bless
jo-ann
Ps..don't forget to have joy in your heart..Jesus loves you
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for the comments.

CCF Neuro MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I have osteoarthritis in the cervical region. I had micro surgery to rid problems of herniated disc at C7 two years ago,
nerve root compression. A year later I had micro surgery for occipital neuralgia, C2 decompression, an enlarged joint capsule
was compressing C1,C2,ganglion and post ganglionic nerves.
The MRI shows i still have a bulge at C5-C6 impinging on the thecal sac of spinal chord, I still have problems in the mid region of left side of neck, the two surgeries got rid of the problems in the upper and lower part of the neck, but my surgeon does not want to operate on the bulge nor do other surgeons.
I have tried traction, physical therapy adjustments by a DO and acupuncture. ps I have heard of doctors using lasers to go into
bulge(can not be done with herniation)with a needle then using a burst of heat energy to shrink or contract bulge so it no longer
impinges(remember disc is mostly watery tissue like substance)on
nerve root or chord. The problem is I do not know any hospital or
doctor that does it the cervical area, most are only done on lower back.Do you know any?
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, cervical injury was started.
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