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herniated disk in neck

is there any treatment besides surgery for herniated disk in neck my mri report reads non contrast-cervical spine demonstrates reversal of the normal curvature of the cervical spine with degenerative disk signal at c4-5,c5-6,and c6-7 and central and left paramedian disk herniation at c4-5. this is a fairly broad-based area of herniation that is about 1 cm in width and about 4mm in maximum ap diameter. this does compress the thecal sac. at c5-6, there is also disk herniation that is central and bilateral paramedian. this also compresses the thecal sac significantly. c6-7 demonstrates disk bulge/protrusion that is central and left paramedian and a little to the right paramedian but primarily to the left. this is not quite as prominent as the other 2 levels but is still abnormal. there is no frank chiari malformation, but the tonsils are borderline low but are felt to be within the realm of normal limits.
my symptoms i have are pain in my neck, shoulders, upper back, hands get real cold,numb,tingle,also have pain in lower back,at times it feels like restless leg syndrom,also jerk and wake myself up as i'm going to sleep,and it feels like i need neck support my head feels heavy to me.
36 Responses
Avatar universal
the indications for herniated disc surgery in the neck are usually progressive neurological disability such as weakness or spasticity or urination problems, or intractable pain unresposive to other treatments or in certain rarer situations such as broken off disc fragments etc. In most other cases treatment is conservative ie non-surgical, in many instances after a period of rest, physical therapy, steroids etc symptoms settle down. You have to be sure that your symptoms are also attributable to the disc as opposed to something else, otherwise surgery on the disc will be ineffective. Surgery on the disc can prevent future neurological disability if bad enough, but may not deal with musckuloskeletal pain and can destabilise the spine resulting in problems at other levels.
Avatar universal
There will be a series of conservative methods you will possibly have to go through unless you have bowel or bladder incontinence, which requires immediate attention. At first they will try different meds for inflamation and possibly epidural steroid injections. then physical therapy. If none of that works then they might recommend surgery. I have herniations at c5-6 and c6-7. I have gone through all the steps and am now going to have ACDF w/plating on Thursday. I am only having C6-7 done since C5-6 is getting better. It could possibly be a long and rocky road but hang in there. I've been suffering with the same symptoms as you since mid June. Last Oct. is when I had minor symptoms start and work just thought it was carpal tunnel. One morning I woke up and couldn't hardly move for the pain I had in my shoulder and down my arm. Approx. a monthe later my index finger was completly numb. I could go on but I think you probably get the picture. Hope it goes well for you and surgery is not required.
Avatar universal
Hi, My 22yo daughter fell when she was 6mo pregnant and ruptured a disc at L4-L5 and after she had the baby they did those injections in her back about 4mo ago and she is doing great. So if there is no malformation of any kind I would try that first if it was me. Hope this helps. God bless.
Avatar universal
thanks for your comments, i also wanted to know i've got other things going on if that sounds normal for my mri findings, i've been dropping so many things seem to have gotten real clumsy,i don't have the grip in my hands that i use to have i can't open jars and bottles like i could.
i'm a certified nurses aide,i have been off from work since september, i don't think i will ever be able to do that job again, i had taken about a year off from cna and that helped some of my problems, i went back to being a cna in may and everything started coming back to me as to why i took the time off.
i fell off monkey bar when i was 7 years old i am 38 now but my parents didn't take me to a medical doctor they took me to chiorpractor who did x-rays and said i had cracked a vertabrae i don't know which one it was.
so i have had problems with my neck for along time but they have really started affecting my life now
i'm more moody and get real short with my boyfriend now. i've even thought about that i think i need help with depression.
Avatar universal
If you are having problems with clumsiness then you are probably having some sort of cord compression. If you are real curious look up radiculopathy and myelopathy. You should see a doctor in the very near future.
Avatar universal
Hello, I'm A neurosurgon in Germany, and i just have to say that you are not yet fully diagnosed. there have to be an elektromyogram to see if the nerves in the cervical spines are injured by this disc prolaps, then you can ask about an operation. and the operations in your case and in a lot of the spinal problems are not so fast indicated. it is optional that means in all the methodes fail (as pain killers and physiotherapie)then we can talk about the minimal invasive methodes (injection) and then after that if all fail we can talk about an operation.and from my experience alot of case would be resolved with the physiotherapie.
Avatar universal
Hi, I don't know about the screws but the disc can get better . I had  one at L4-L5 that is slightly better, I'll take that as a good sign. You just have to be careful not to do repedative injuries over and over that is wherethe trouble is like ladies keep your heads away from the headboard!! For your neck discs!
God bless
Avatar universal
Had ACDF c-4 through c-7 4-04. Have had problems every since. Just found out I have herniation at c-3 c-4,I haven't done any rehab stuff,dumbells or walking for about 2.5 months and symptoms have decreased  in my shoulder and arm. Before it was like it was bein pulled out.It would come on with no warning and would last sometimes for days at a time. The first time was about 3 or 4 weeks into rehab,I think thats when the current disk went, but doc did mri upper thoractic and found nothing.with that and other symptoms he finally ordered another mri in 10-05 that showed the herniation, also fusion is questionable at c-6 c-7, also 2 bottom screws are loose which makes me think the fusion at 6 and 7 was at least bad for a time, might have taken hold since. He ordered a cat scan and says looks like the fusion is probably ok at 6 and 7. Also wants to let the herniation go for now, will this repair itself, or is surgery inevitable? And what about loose screws,cervical not cranial? Any feedback would be appriciated. Quite a few other symptoms,one of which is my hands are still a little numb, so I wont list them. It's a pain to type.    Thanks    Mike
Avatar universal
Thanks Denise, It's much better since I stopped doin the workouts.Based on that, I agree with what u said about repetitive motion. Well...I cant claim personal knowledge about the headboard thing! Funny girl. Thanks again and good luck to you.   Mike
Avatar universal
What should person do so as not to make cervical c5-6 disk herniation and mild cord displacement at that level worse?Does large c5-6 herniation with mild cord displacement at that level ever shrink and thus get better without surgery?I read in some magazine that it is desirable to have mild cord displacement.Any truth?
Avatar universal
I am trying to find out what to do. 7 months ago i started experiencing slight cramping of my right arm (bicep area). 3months later it turned into total numbness starting at my thumb to my shoulder on my right side. when i do neck rolls to loosen tension i can hear grinding and crunching. my x-rays showed mild degeneration of c-4 to c-7. but my mri showed a massive herniation c-4 to c-5. it is pushing against my spinal cord profusely. on dec. 7 i see the surgeon (dr.winer @aultman in canton ohio). Here's the problem i am told no therapy will help and i need surgery before i am paralyzed in 6 to 9 months as told by doctor. i am only 27 yo and my dr. said she has only seen this in 5 cases of 30 and less in 20 years. i take naprxsen, neurontin, flexeril, vicodin. i can not sleep due to the discomfort of my arm unless i have the meds and if i sit still for 10 mins or longer i get pain like pins and needles in my arm and hand. i am scarred of the surgery. should i be? any feed back would ease this husband and father. PLEASE!!!!!!
Avatar universal
Mike, thanks. i am going for the second opinion in a week. hopefully this all goes away after surgery (the pins, needles and pain.) thank you again for input. are you in ohio and if so who was your doc? my dismay comes from i am very active and have never had an accident so how this happened is confusing me.
thanks, doug
Avatar universal
hey Morris, Read the docs answer at the top of this page to cndyygr. My comment above will explain my condition. My neuro told me when first examined esentially the same thing. Be aware, the longer you wait to have this corrected the better the chance of the symptoms being permanent, the hand/arm pain. Doc also said 95% of the nerve/neuro problems will be relieved immediately after the surgery (decompression of the nerves affected) the other 5% of the recovery will occur within one year. I've found this to be true in my experience, although I've had other complications. When I went for the surgery(three months after my accident) I had a hard time walking, my right leg was like shutting down. My hands were both numb, sometimes my right hand would take about 5 seconds to close,very scary and annoying. Also my neck was crunching and somtimes had a mushy feeling in it when I turned my head, kinda like you. Some of these symptoms would come and go as well, so the whole thing was pretty bewildering. Listen to your doc, get a second opinion, cruise this site and others and find out as much as you can about this problem. I wish I would have sooner. I wish you the best man, your a young guy and got alot of livin ahead.Take care of yourself.   Mike
Avatar universal
i have a herniated dic at my c5 c6 and my doc told me not to ever bend my head backwards always keep it slightly tilted forward and when it aches she said to bring my chin to my chest and slightly stretch. when you tilt your head back, it presses the bones together causing pain and inflammation. this is just my advice, i am not a doctor, just seeing one. good luck to you
Avatar universal
Do you have symptoms from herniated disk at c5-6,like nubness and weakness from elbows to fingers,especially in the morning upon awakening? Did doctor recommed surgery? Herniated disk surgery at c5-6 is a big operation and it does not garantee that person will be better.Some doctors recommend it only when person cannot raise their arm,and even if successful it can cause other cervical disks to herniate later.Does anyone know whether mild displacement of cord at c-5-6 ever disappear without surgery?
Avatar universal
morris, I'm from Ohio originally but now live in the Chicago area. So dont know what to tell you about a doc. Dont panic, you have youth on your side which makes recovery alot easier. Go into search on this site and type in cervical fusion for more info although that may not be what you need. That second opinion will probably clear things up for you. Good luck, Mike
Avatar universal
i have herniated disks from c4 to c7 with severe spinal impression in each one, I also have pain in legs and lower back and part of my muscle in my arm has deteriotated away from the herniated disks in c5 i was told..I am having surgery on tomorrow and am very scared...i really dont know much about what they are going to be doing or even how long i am going to be in the hospital...just thought i would let you know what i was facing..I am also having problems with holding my urination...it hurts if i dont go all the time and my legs give out while i am walking....just thought i would let you know what i was facing...
Avatar universal
Sorry about the typos in my last post....

Doug, my maiden name is Morris...
Avatar universal
Hi Doug,

I'm like you when you said, 'very active and have never had an accident so how this happened is confusing me.'

My problem seemed to come out of the blue about 14 weeks ago with numbness in my left fingers..... because I have M.S., I thought it the likely cause.  But then I started having arm pain (including elbow) and top of shoulder and down shoulder blade---just left side.

I find out tomorrow from the DO at the Orthopedic office what the recent MRI results really mean.  My neurologist assistant looked at the report yesterday and said my problem is not from the M.S.  I took that news with a bit of gratefulness because I know what to expect.  With this, I don't know, if indeed it is herniation at C5/6.

Looking back over the weeks or months prior to the numbness, I was fighting with my bed pillow to get comfortable at night while sleeping.  My neck was not comfortable, so I bought one of those neck pillows from Costco.... it seemed to help at first, but not for long..... it's a little better, but still not fantastic.

Here are some of the comments from the radiologist report:  Disc space loss, desiccated bulge, and paracentral-to-left 2-mm herniation and spurs at C5/6, as previous.  Foraminal narrowing, stenotic on lerft.  C6 complaints?

'C6 complaints'  HA!  

The first test was an EMG and it showed a problem in the muscles near my neck..... now he'll be able to correlate the EMG findings with the MRI exam.

(Here are the comments from an MRI taken two years ago when I had a different problem:  At C5-C6, there is a diffuse disk osteophyte complex eccentric toward the left, associated with mild flattening of the ventral thecal sac and mild to moderate central canal stenosis. Left greater than right uncovertebral hypertrophy is also present associated with mild to moderate left and mild right-sided neural foraminal stenosis.)

If I remember, I'll post back what I find out tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Avatar universal
Hi there,

I've been reading some of the posts.  I'm scheduled to go to the Neurosurgeon on Jan. 10, 2006.

My MRI results from 2 weeks ago said:

Broad-base disc bulge at C5-6 with a left paracentral component, which effaces the anterior aspect of the thecal sac.  There is minimal compression of the left hemiaspect of the cord. Mild left neural foraminal narrowing, secondary to lateralization of the disck.  There is also some disk height loss as well.

My doc read that report and compared it to the MRI results in 2003,said:

On multiple sagittal as well as axial images, there is noted to be a disc herniation at the C5-6 level centrally and to the left.  This is impinging upon the subarachnoid space but not impinging upon the cord or roots.  

On magnetic resonance imagine study of the cervical spine, there is disc herniation centrally and to the left at the C5-6 level as described above.  The cervical cord itself shows no evidence of abnormal signal.  

I have been experiencing excruitiating neck pain which goes down both shoulders and into my arms.  Also, some back pain that radiates down my back from my neck.

I'm not sure what I should be expecting from the Neurosurgeon OR should be asking him.

The thought of surgery scares me, but at the same time, like my doctor said, its time we treat the problem and not just the symptoms. I've been on muscle relaxers and pain killers since the beginning of November due to this.  It's making my life a living nightmare when it comes to being able to do my job.  I'm a youth care worker, and I deal with about 20 kids (teens) per day.  It's frustrating as I'm barely functioning at my job now due to the amount of time I'm having to spend on my feet.

We've already gone through physical therapy and ROM exercises, which only seemed to aggrivate the problem worse.  

Any suggestions?


Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with disk herniation at C5-6 with nerve impingement which causes burning pain in my left shoulder and nerve burning and sensitivity from my shoulder down my left arm. I have been through physical therapy and use special pillows for my neck and under my knees at night. I have no recolection of an injury - though I have been a "doer" my whole life. "Of course I can do it".

I am treating my symptoms at night with flexeril and during the day with regular ibuprofen. Sometimes I use a heating pad and/or ice. I have trouble raising my left arm and moving it around. I hear and feel crunching in my neck when I turn it.

I also do not want to undergo surgery and am attempting to live with the discomfort. I am in discomfort all the time. I have heard of a new treatment with a piece of equipment called the DRX 9000. Does anyone know of this? Any experience with it? It is supposed to allow the disks to move back into place. It is fairly new.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Avatar universal
I have been having pains in the lefthand side of my neck for about 18 months. I also have been experiencing a crushing sensation on my chest at night while I am trying to sleep. Sometimes I stop breathing for a few seconds and it frightens me, I can feel my heart miss a couple of beats!

When I try turning my head to the left, my neck seems very stiff and the pain shifts to the right hand side of my neck.  When I try turning my head to the right, my neck still seems stiff and the pain still remains on the righthand side of my neck.  When I am looking straight ahead, the pain is in the lefthand side of my neck?

When I tuck my chin into my chest, the pain shoots down my spine and stops in the middle of my back between my shoulder blades.

I saw a doctor about 12 months ago and told her my symptoms, but my doctor told me it could be stress causing these pains.  I explained to my doctor at the time, that I am also getting pins and needles in my arms and legs especially of a night time in bed. I find it hard to get comfortable in bed and am loosing a lot of sleep.

I have seen a chinese complimentary medicine therapist. She gave me an examination and told me that the artery (or something like that) in my neck was thinning?

She advised me to go back to my doctor and told me to ask my doctor for an mri scan, but my doctor said, how could she possibly know what is wrong with me without giving me a proper examination (scan or xray).  

I personally believe that its something more than stress causing the pain in my neck, but if I can't get the doctor to send me for a scan, what should I do?

I had every confidence in the chinese doctor because she was recommended to me by my father. He had a cancerous tumor and this chinese doctor gave him a prescription and after taking various medicines the tumor got smaller and smaller and eventually disappeared.  The hospital were amazed when my father told them how the tumor had disappeared!

Is it possible that I could have a herniated disk or anything similar?
Avatar universal
My husband was diagonised with a bulging disk at c5 and herniated disk at c7.  His symptons started with a pain on his left shoulder blade that began radiating down his biceps, dagger like pains in his arm pit and down his elbow.  After 48 hours of this pain he finally went into the ER when he lost sensation in his left hand and was having chest pain.  After numerous tests from non-stress (thinking it was cardiac related), chest x-rays, MRI, EKG and others they finally diagonised him last night.

He has since been given a steriod epidural and we are waiting to see the results tomorrow morning.  Although it can take weeks for the full results to be seen, usually you begin to feel relief within 48 hours, we are being told.  The dr is open to him coming home and continuing PT as an out-patient basis but we can't seem to find any pain relievers besides the IV narcotics that relieve his pain.  If no relief is offered by tomorrow morning, they will be scheduling him for surgery.

I have read so much about this and my biggest concern is that surgery will not offer him as much relief as we hope it will.  My husband is 44, used to be very active and is the new proud father of our first child who is 4 months old.

Do we risk having surgery knowing that another surgery is in our future?  His current room mate is recovering from his 4th surgery in 2 years.

Worried wife
Avatar universal
Just want to know if anybody out there has had a similar experience. My husband is 34. He was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis when he was 14.He had a thymoctomy shortly after diagnosis.He has taken mestinon,imuran,and prednisone. He also had a plasma pheriese in 1997. Symptoms got better he has been on prednisone therapy ever since.In 2004 he fell and ruptured C- 5-6 and had a slap tear of the glenoid labrum in right shoulder. Did mri and found disc ruptured and pushing on nerve. Doctor also stated he had degenerative disc disease and his spine looked pretty bad. (This is worker comp injury so he was only worried about specific injury, not other problems)4-1-04. He had anterior cervical discotomy with interbody fusion with anterior cervical plate insertion and left iliac crest bone graft. He went to another Dr for shoulder and had that surgery 6-15-04 they performed a debridement and repair of the glenoid labrum and debridement of the rotator cuff.
   Some of his pain was cured after the neck surgery(tingling and numbness) but some symptoms were just as bad . His neck just ached. Kept telling the Dr.I did quit smoking for a few weeks after surgery. He said that smoking was causing my pain. But he also said if I smoked I wouldn't heal. But when he did my x-rays every month or so he said I was healing fine.How can that be when he just that was causing the pain and stuff?
  By 6-29-04 he released him at maximum medical improvement with no restrictions for cervical spine. Did I mention he has been on prednisone therapy for 10 years. Dr. expects him to heal like everyone else when he has no immune system. Do people with regular health insurance get treated this way? Who does major surgery on someone and doesn't want a 1 year check-up?
  Shoulder surgery  went great. He went through physical therapy for a while.Worked good but kept having neck pain Dr kept telling him it would go away.
By October both Dr.s released him to go back to work even though he was still in pain. He went back to work (he works in construction)and tried to work like he did before he got hurt. He said that was a joke. They said he was normal again but he said no way.He kept complaining to workers comp they sent him to a couple different therapies( water,massage,he brought home an electric shocker,gel pack you heat up) they helped some for short periods but nothing has cured the pain.Finally they said he is just going to have to live with the pain. He tries so hard to take care of our family. Six years ago his myasthenia was bad and he had to get on disability for a few years.
Finally in april of 2005 worker comp would not pay for another Drs opinion.  He says somethings wrong and I believe him and not them. We had to hire a lawyer in April and we are still trying to get medical treatment at a pain management clinic.The new Dr. wants a current mri of cervical spine but we are fighting to get them to pay.
  My main question is has anyone had cervical fusion while on this long of prednisone therapy? I know that he doesn't heal like a normal person.The Dr. acted like being on the prednisone would not affect the healing!
I have been trying to do my own research but I'm not a doctor.With the degernative disc disease maybe another disc has blown out. It could be delayed union or non-union,hardware fracture, implant migration,pseudarthrosis.
  Watching him trying so hard and after all this time he is still in pain. THe Dr. that did surgery has released him so we can't even see him.
  People DO NOT understand someone in cronic pain. Maybe this new pain Dr can help me. Please post any comments if you know any information. Or if anyone out there has MG and has had cervical fusion.  
Avatar universal
Hello dmorris91478,
I am curious to find out how your surgery went with Dr.Winer. I recently had a MRI and my doctor was going to refer me to Winer but instead referred me to Dr. Tabet. I see him next week. My doctor went over my MRI with me over the phone very fast so I was not able to get all of the details. I know he mentioned C5-C6 and bone spurs on the right hand side. He was suprised because all of my pain is on the left shoulder, shoulder blade, neck, and most recently tingling and weakness in left and right arms down to my finger tips. I am currently taking vicodin for the pain but it does not help enough that I can continue my daily activities at work. My doctor had prescribed skelaxin but I started getting more headaches (2-3 a day) than usual so I stopped taking the skelaxin and now I get headaches as I always have. Maybe once a day. I was taking advil (25) a day before my doctor told me that was not good. But I still need to take about 12-18 advil a day along with the vicodin.

Let me know how it is going with Dr.Winer and how you are doing now.
Avatar universal
Hi, this is my first time on this site.  I had a cervical fusion with bone graft 3 years ago.  I had three discs rupture after seeing my Dr. for neck pain and tingling sensations in my arms and legs.  He said I had severe muscle sprain and sent me home.  The rupture occurred the next morning.  After 5 days of laying in a hospital bed, I was finally operated on, but because of the compression on my spinal cord, I have been left with a permanent spinal cord injury.  I have also been diagnosed with "patchy" Brown Sequard Syndrome.  Drs. say I am lucky to be mobile at all.  I take 4200 mgs. of Neurontin daily for burning nerve pain in my left leg and to control muscle spasms in my right leg.  I never knew I had bulging discs and I will never forget the morning they ruptured.  Anyone who is aware they have this problem, please seriously consider the surgery if your doctor is suggesting it.  My life will never be the same again and what's frustrating for me is that I have met others since this happened who had the same surgery (minus the rupture) and they are fine now.  Best wishes to all who read this.
Avatar universal
I am a graphic designer from Jacksonville, FL.  I am not a doctor or medical person. However I had severe disc herniation on C5 and C6 in 2003. I didn't know it at the time. Several months prior my right foot and leg began to feel cold and asleep. I went to a doctor and explained in detail my problem. She told me I was over weight and needed to lose some pounds. I lost 25 pounds and the numbness became worse. My first clue something was seriously wrong was when I was running and suddenly lost complete feeling in the lower half of my body. I fell down hard and decided to contact a neurolgist who, after several test, suspected I had disc herniation in my neck. We had MRIs done to confirm it. My spinal cord was compressed in two places so thin that he was concerned if I fell II would be left paralyzed. So I had surgery three days later. I was 35 at the time. They removed the disc and had two doner disc fused in. It took about 3-6 weeks for full recovery.  Three years will have past this March. I still have severe numbness in my leg and it always feels cold. I sleep in socks all the time and the ocean feels like a different temperature on my right leg. However, I am happy that I  went to the doctor. I feel like I got a second chance to accomplish things that I used to only dream about. I had surgery, some people don't want to do that and I respect that, but I needed it and things are much better for me now. Keep in mind my discherniation was heredity. My father had the same surgery. I never had an injury to the neck. Peace be with you.
Avatar universal
I posted a previous note on 1/29/06 concerning findings of my cervical MRI. I have since seen a nerosurgeon and he explained in greater detail what the findings were. I have a very large herniated disc in the C6 region. He told me that none of my pain on my left side could be caused by the herniated disc because it is way on the right of the disc. Because I don't have as much pain on my right side as my left side he referred me to a pain management doctor.

Has anyone else had a similar experience as mine? I don't know what else to do.

Avatar universal
Your symptoms sound the almost the same as mine. I have pain in my left side of my neck, shoulder and when I put my head down the pain shoots down my back to my shoulder blades. 95% of my pain is in the left side. I have what feels like daggers in my left shoulder blade and a lot of stiff necks. When I have pain on my right side it is a much deeper pain and more painful that the left. Recently I have pain down both arms and tingling in down to my fingers. But yet the doctor tells me that my herniated disc on my right side is not the cause of all this pain???

You should ask your doctor again for a MRI and if they refuse I would go to another doctor who will order the MRI be done.
Avatar universal
Have you seen a neurologist?  You may want to consider a second opinion and an MRI on your cervical spine.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Hello, I am a student at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville and I am on the wrestling team, or should I say was on the wrestling team. It was discovered about two months ago that I had a ruptured disk in c5-c6 and I am not seeking second and third opinions at different hospitals as to what the cure will be. They have attempted physical theropy and the problem is not the pain (although their is some pain down the back of my right arm) they are more concerned with the weakness in my right tricep. The Neurosurgon I have spoken with has told me that i will need surgery, but that after the surgery is over I will no longer be able to wrestle. He explained to me the reasons why saying that the surronding disks are made to have more pressure on them by the surgery. Also the fussion may not hold up to wrestling either. So my question is this. Is their any way of fixing this without surgery and make it so that I will not have a greatly increased chance of being paralized if I contiue to wrestle. OR, is it possible to wrestle after this surgery?.......any help would be greatly appriciated....thank you!
Avatar universal
Tell Whelan I am still waiting for him to get back with me with some teams. I had ACDF 5-6 6-7 with plate and screws 10/6/06.
It is feeling alot better but the mobility is obviously restricted now. I hope to be able to demo technique next year but I have not been on the mat in three years.I will not wrestle live anymore and would caution you against it. Good Luck and Tell Khris I need two more teams!
Avatar universal
My husband and I was in an auto accident in 2001 after ER visit and referal to Neuro I was seen by a well known Dr in fl. I was told I had a cervical herniated disk as well as lumbar herniated disk. I was told I needed surgery. I was given the option for implant or cadaver bone. I was told the Implant would be best because I was young 36 yrs and because I was a smoker I would heal faster. I agreeded had all pre-op work done. 2 weeks later the surgery was done. I spent 3 days in hospital and during that time I was choking on food,vomiting, having problems swallowing and talking. This went on for some time and during my post op visits I complained of this problem. I was told by my NeuroSurgeon this is not uncommon but wanted to have it looked at by an ENT Doctor who informed me that the right side of my vocal cords were not working. He said sometimes not often this does happen but should clear up within a few months. If not they could do surgery by injecting teflon in to the cords. My NeuroSurgeon said it was due to the fact I have a short neck and he should have maybe done it the traditional way. Well it is now 4 yrs post surgery and by noon my voice is bearly hearable. I still choke on food, have problems breathing and sore throats all the time. If I was told this might happen or was a side effect I would have never agreed to this type of surgery and insisted he do it traditionaly, As of today I now have a disk herniated from the Implant as I was told this does happen because the cage/implant can shift and even cavein and damage above or below disks. I also have not had surgery for the herniated disk in the low back because I am scared to death of the out come let alone have no insurance because no one will touch me. After the report came back from the ENT my NeuroSurgeron relased me and told me to follow up with ENT.

So please anyone considering this type of surgery please reseach, get second opinions and make sure you have all the PROs and COns as well as know the complications and side effects of this type of surgery. I know many people who feel worse after the surgery with limited neck movement, pain, and numbness after the surgery. Often getting hooked on pain pills because they get dosages increased because they become tolerante to the dosage, thank God I refussed to become addicted to pain pills and stopped them all. Today I live with the pain daily with Ibeprofen and also because of no insurance.

I mean no disrespect to any Doctors I just want to make people aware or the Pros and COns of having Implants as well as this type of suregery. My best to all of you.
Avatar universal
No I have not seen a neurologist yet. I have an appointment in two weeks with a neurologist who also a pain management doctor. I will be curious to see what he says about my cervical MRI that I had done. It is hard to believe that nothing was found causing pain on my left side but that I have a severe herniation only on my right side.

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