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PINCHED NERVE

I WENT TO DR AND THEY SAID I HAVE SEVERE PINCHED NERVE IN C6 N C7 N SAID I NEEDED SURGERY...I NOT A FAN OF SURGERY OF ANY KIND....IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN DO SO IT DOESNT CAUSE PERM. NERVE PROBLEMS FOR ME IN THE FUTURE
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I had precisely the same problem, with C6 C7, and had surgery to remove the slipped disk and replace it with a bone fusion.

My experience is not necessarily what yours would be. But mine was a total disaster, even though it was claimed to have been "successful" surgery.

The surgeon must have somehow nicked or damaged a nerve (which is NOT hard to do in that location, where the nerves are much smaller than in, say, the lower back), because the surgery made me into a permanent pain patient. Tests showed no nerve damage, but several years later, they DID, and it pointed DIRECTLY to C6 C7.

My pain, which got worse rather than better, has been gradually worsening over the years (my surgery was in 1990), and I can now hardly walk at all. The pain starts as soon as I get on my feet, and worsens very rapidly. In fact, since they couldn't FIND anything wrong after the surgery, they refused to let me have any pain meds after a time. Without them, I would quickly begin to dream of dying. I was now in BIG trouble.

In 1994, I was accepted for SS Disability and promptly moved to Mexico, and I've been here ever since. At least their doctors are permitted to treat permanent pain, so I've had good care all these years. I'm quite comfortable, and Mexico is a lovely place to live, but I haven't been able to work since 1990, and my life, in all respects, has been reduced to a bare minimum. Nowadays, I have no social life. I live alone, because I can't get OUT of the house often except to do banking or see my doctor. So I'm a hermit. But at least a relatively comfortable one.

So here's my advice: Be VERY, VERY careful. Sometimes this surgery works out beautifully, but when it doesn't, it can tear up your life and leave you in a permanent state of HURT. Followed by abandonment by your doctor and a fight to get pain meds you need.

So get many opinions before accepting surgery. Don't even think of it until you've run the gamut of tests, not just X-rays, but CAT scans and MRIs, too. Go through extensive physical therapy, which might relieve your pinched nerve, and might, if you have one, put a slipped disk back where it belongs. Your case just MIGHT be dealt with without surgery, so make a big point of asking why surgery is deemed necessary.

Do NOT accept surgery except as a VERY last resort! Then choose your surgeon well. I chose one who was one of the most famous in the D/FW area where I lived. Big mistake. He was an arrogant, conceited SOB. My daughter said I was only in the operating room for half an hour. I don't know if that has significance, but it does seem to me a bit swift for spinal surgery. Choose a doc, instead, with a very good reputation and LOTS of experience with this kind of surgery, but not a famous one - in other words, someone who IS very good, but not so good that he has developed an attitude of an aristocrat. Don't have surgery until you KNOW there really is no other option. Then try to prepare yourself, just in case your surgery goes the way mine did. If it does, don't forget that Mexico can treat your aftermath better than anywhere in the States.

I wish you good luck.
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Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello dear and welcome to the medhelp forum.  I understand you have surgery related fears. How are you clinically? Do you have neurological symptoms like tingling, numbness and weakness in hands or lower limbs? There are other modalities of pinched nerve management and can be tried if the symptoms are not severe and there is no spinal canal stenosis.
Consult a neurologist to investigate the possible causes of pressure, which could be form the bone, cartilage or other tissue, which has accessed the nerve’s space like a bulging or herniated intervertebral disc or degenerative disc disease. The doctor may advise you exercises, physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medicines. Corticosteroids are injected epidurally to reduce the inflammation.  Depending on how you respond to these and how severe your symptoms are now, surgery would be the treatment of choice. Best wishes and take care.


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562511 tn?1285904160
Hi.  I would get a second opinion on any surgery of the back, especially in the cervical area.

What symptoms are you having now?
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