Successful Cervical Stenosis Treatment (so-far)

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/18/2009 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello. I have been following this and other boards, and wanted to tell my story and success. I'm a 50 YO man, pretty active with young kids (12/9). Probably 3 weeks before Thanksgiving of 2008, I started having a combination of pains. Annoying pain. My hands has stinging and tingly sensations...mostly my left hand. And, my right arm was becoming severely weak. After a week, I got some information about Therapists to treat me and chose the Mayfield Clinic here in Cincinnati. I first went to a Physical Therapest in the practice. After a number of tests in the office and listening to what I had, he sent me on to get an MRI and a variety of other tests. Based on the MRI, I was moved to a Neurosurgeon quickly.
I was diagnosed with severe cervical stenosis. 2nd opinion confirmed it.In my case, there were issues at C3/C4 (worst), C4/5 and C5/6 (least worse). The fear was without surgery, the arm would get worse and I could lose the use of it over time. The idea was to do a 3 level fusion, a very difficult operation. It was so severe, we decided to do the surgery December 16. about 1.5 hours of trying to get me intubated, that was done, but with the potential of significant trauma to my throat, the surgeon aborted surgery. Sent me to his ENT. I also went to a sleep clinic.  Seems I have redeveloped sleep apnea, even though I had surgery in 1991 to fix it. Also was discovered I have an omega shaped epiligotis versus a normal V shaped. He suggested we intubate by nose and surgery should go well. This just did not show up in the MRI or the various x-rays they did.
My surgeon, now with a bunch of added new data, suggested we only do the C3/4. My arm had been getting better, as was the tingling, so we got some "divine intervention" for the Xmas holidays. He said we'd go through the neck, fix this level, see how it does, and if we have to fix the rest, he could do it through my back. Surgery was January 16.
Pain afterwards for a few days. Had good pain meds though. Going back Friday for the 6 week look. All seems to be good. Tingling is gone. Arm is strong.
After reading some of the terrible issues folks have had with doctors, I caonsider myself lucky to have had such a good surgeon. He ran into a problem, and decided to stop the show until he got more info. He put a real good team together for my surgery. I'm blessed.
No, I'll start thinking about when to do the rest of this surgery!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/18/2009 6:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the chronic pain forum, although it sounds like you may not need to stay here - which would be great. It's so good to hear of a successful surgery. Many of us weren't so lucky, but there could be lots of folks out there we don't know about because they're out living their lives.

Thank you for posting your success. And feel free to keep posting, or join in anywhere.

Again, welcome.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 2/19/2009 2:34 AM (GMT -6)   


I have had 4 cervical spinal surgeries....have had fusion, cadavour disc placement and I'm now on my second plate. Like you, they were able to go through my neck for each proceedure. I have had great success with each surgery and I love my neurosurgeon! He is so  kind and not "knife happy" at all. He will only operate if it is the only answer. He is in Columbus, Ohio. I did have to stop working after this last surgery in May 2008. I have several  restrictions now. I have a hard time driving because the physical use of my arms turning the wheel makes me want to vomit. I've also had several cervical epidurals and I'm scheduled for a thorastic epidural next month. I hope it helps. I try to help take care of my mother who has advanced Parkinson's Disease and help with our small grandchildren. The surgeries have been life savers for me though. I'm glad that you are doing well.



Degenerative disc disease,osteoarthritis, status post 4 cervical spinal surgeries with plate insertions and fusion, Lupus, Sjogren's Disease, Fibromyalgia, chronic heacaches and chronic pain.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16423
   Posted 2/19/2009 11:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Daryl and welcome to Healing Well. Wow, what a success story especially after having the setbacks that you did. You are so right, you have a  great neurosurgeon, a very smart man indeed. Its so reassuring to know there are still many good surgeons out there.
I am so glad that you came to Healing Well and shared your story. The reason I say this is most of the people here that have had surgery were not successful ones. So, then when a person pops up that may need surgery they are terrified because of what they read here. We do need more people posting on here that have been successful. That way its not such a one sided jaded story.
Who knows once your neck heals up nicely the other levels may settle down more and you may not end up needing more surgery right away. Wouldn't that be something. I do certainly hope you continue to do well and wish you nothing but the best in your future surgeries.
I hope you will come back and hang out with us here at Healing Well. I think you have alot to contribute to the forum......Susie

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 2/19/2009 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Daryl! Thank you for posting your story. Yes, the right neuro surgeon makes the difference in most cases. Mine has retired and I am at a loss should I need surgery again.

Having cervical neck surgery is more complicated than lumbar because of the closeness of the nerves.

Wishing the best for you, Andrea
Women who behave don't make History!

C3-4 herniation
C4-5 disectomy & fusion (anterior)
C6-7 & C7-8 L laminectomies (posterior) (need R)
Partial removal of supporting Cervical Posterior Ligament
Constant shoulder pain & tightness.intermittent neck pain
bulged discs at C6-7 & C7-8

Vicodin 7.5 for pain
Atarax 50mg q 6 hours for pain
soft collar and heating pad best friends


New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/19/2009 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks all for the kind words. One of my fears when I had to make the decision on surgery was in dong research here and on other boards, I found very few successful stories...or ones in which the doctors were terrible. I also saw one thread on Healing Well where because of the whole issue of insurance, the guy did not have the kind of options that I believe we as everyday working Americans ought to have.

Yes, I am truly convinced that the Neuro makes the difference. You get the feeling all these folks want to do is cut on you. It took me a few days and some reading up on the subject AND having a family friend (who's an x-ray tech) look at the MRI/X rays to get me to believe my guy was not one of those folks. When he stopped the surgery the first time for my well being (and his desire not to be sued for malpractice...LOL), me and my wife knew for sure, we had the right one.

Will keep ya'll updated with my progress! Thanks for welcoming me.



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/21/2009 5:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Andrea: Is it because the nerves are closer together or that its close to your brain that makes this surgery more complicated?

And on a off topic.....someone want to tell me why when a person gets TTD lump payment from Worker's Comp for their injuries that a leg or an arm is so much more important then a back that they have decided to give a better impairment rating for these appendages? I mean can't a person live without an arm or a leg? I don't think I've ever seen anyone live without a back or a spinal column.

What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16423
   Posted 2/21/2009 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Daryl yes I am sure it was scarey deciding on surgery especially after reading posts here and on other forums. Most of these people did not have good results after surgery. I agree with you that you have an excellent dr. So glad to hear things are going good for you. Please keep us updated on how you progress...Susie

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