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Pioneer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/22/2017 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Meeting with surgeon on Wednesday. Would like to wait on surgery till July. I am 50 and very active. Symptoms are in left side, shoulder pain, tingling in left hand and arm. Also right leg numbness when standing for 15 minutes or longer.

This has been off and on for 2 years. Regular doctor said after looking at both MRI, one in 2015 and one in Jan of 2017, that this is progressing.

This is what the impression of newest MRI says.

1. Progression of the left posterior disc osteophyte at รง5-c6 with severe left lateral recess stenosis and left neural foraminal stenosis. There is indentation of the left aspect of the cervical cord at this level but no underlying signal abnormality. Osteophyte measures 10x7x13 mm.

2. Otherwise, some progression of moderate neuroforminal stenosis at the remaining levels due to facet disease.

Surgery scheduled for Feb 7. However, symptoms seem to be getting better now. I would like to wait till July but surgeon says that is a long time. He did tests on my arm and left arm is noticeably weaker than right. 2cm smaller at bicep.

Could this get worse or can I wait till July?

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15307
   Posted 1/23/2017 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Pioneer, look at paragraph 1. of your MRI. You have some spinal cord involved & I feel sure this is why the surgeon is advising to have the surgery now not later. A good surgeon will not recommend surgery unless there is a risk of more damage. The folks that get told there are options other than surgery are ones that are not considered at risk. Also the deficits in your arm you spoke of has nothing to do with that being your dominate hand, you have some serious issues going & no they are not going to go away.

You are on a high dose of Ibuprofen, which taken long term will eat a hole in your gut then you will have another problem. Been there done that. The Ibuprofen is helping with the inflammation too, like you I respond well to it.

Since you say your surgeon comes with good recommendations are you not trusting his judgment?

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Post Edited (straydog) : 1/23/2017 6:48:48 AM (GMT-7)


Pioneer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/23/2017 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for responding. Really am having questions if I should do this. I actually slept on my side last night for first time in a month. Not my sore left shoulder but my right side. I haven't been able to do that either do to making my left shoulder hurt. I haven't had to take a ibuprofen for 36 hours.

I know I'm grasping at straws here. When we meet with surgeon this Wednesday, I want to do the strength test again. That just floored me when he did that. I played college football and grew up in a farm and strength is still pretty important to me and to see that difference. Wow!

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15307
   Posted 1/23/2017 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
If you were not rocked by this news I would be worried !! It comes as a complete shock. Talk to the surgeon in detail about paragraph 1. & the spinal cord being involved please. Make a list of questions to take to the appt so you forget nothing.

One of our mods here named WhiteBeard hopefully will be able to get online & comment here. He has had extensive spine surgery & can explain that MRI much better than I. He is having issues getting online.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Pioneer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/23/2017 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for stressing the paragraph one. I will bring that up. Any more advice is welcome

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15307
   Posted 1/27/2017 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Pioneer, would love to hear from you on how the appt went with your surgeon.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Pioneer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/27/2017 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Met with him. Looked at MRI with him again. Cord is really pinched at c5-c6. I did some research on chiro visits..2 in fall of 2013; 8 in 2015; 15 to.pt in 2016. Neck has always started feeling better in spring but bad periods are getting longer. Surgeon explained risks of waiting. I have talked to several people around here and all has positive experiences. I'm going forward with this on Feb 7. Any other help would be appreciated

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3673
   Posted 1/27/2017 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pioneer, sorry it took me so long to get on! I'm sorry for all the trouble your having but from what you have said I'm really glad you have decided not to wait to have the Surgery! Spinal cord involvement is nothing to mess around With! Back in 1985 I had very severe spinal cord involvement disk at C6/7 was pressing so far into the spinal cord it was like a horizontal U shape. The surgeon couldn't understand why I wasn't paralyzed and a quadriplegic! His words not mine! Anyway had desectomy and fusion and was good for 25 years then the C5/6 disk went bad and had to have another ACDF. This is serious stuff! It's good your listening to your surgeon and getting this taken care of, before it gets worse and you get some real damage Done! I've also had stenosis of the neuro foramen in my lumbar spine and had a foraminotomy at L2 through L5. Anyway I can definitely empathize with you! If I can be of any help to you just let me Know!

I wish you Well! Good luck to You!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
USAF retired in Sept.1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg, Disabled in late 1999, was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD and Multiple herniated Disks; Foraminotomy L3/4/5 Jan 2013; Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF 1985; Implanted pain Pump Jun 2014.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15307
   Posted 1/28/2017 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Pioneer, very glad to read you spoke with your dr about the cord being involved. That was a concern when reading what you posted.

If you will look in CP101 at the top & scroll down towards the end you will find a post made by members here that has had surgery. They have given their input on things that has helped them prepare for surgery & after surgery.

Many of them recommended having a recliner to sleep in at first or an adjustable bed. Trying to lay down in a bed at first was too painful. If you don't have one, try borrowing one for a bit. Ice packs seem to be a good friend too.

Another thing I will bring to your attention is once you are home take your medications on a schedule for several days. Your surgeon will rx pain medication for a short time. Take the pain meds, this will not be the time to try & tough things out, it will back fire on you. You need to stay on top of the pain, do not let it escalate out of control. Becoming addicted to the pain meds is not anything for you to be concerned with because you will be on them a short time. Follow your post op instructions to the letter, this is where some people mess up & end up with problems as a result. You don't want to go there. I say this to you in a well meaning way because I figure you are one of the tough guys.

Keep us posted. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Post Edited (straydog) : 1/28/2017 10:27:04 PM (GMT-7)


Pioneer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/28/2017 5:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Got the recliner yesterday. The big boy version as I am well over 6'. Looking back, I played football thru college. Power volleyball for 20 years. My son has done golf in high school and I am so glad for that. The volleyball probably didn't help but football was probably the worst thing for my neck. Thanks for the advice everyone

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3673
   Posted 1/28/2017 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad you got the big heavy duty recliner I think it will prove to be one one of your most valued possessions! Hind sight on things you've done doesn't always tell the whole story, does any one in your family have back or joint problems? Sometimes these things have a hereditary component too?? I guess it really doesn't matter allot the important thing is getting it taken care Of! As Straydog mentioned just don't over due it after surgery and follow your surgeon's post-op instructions to the Tee!
Good Luck to You!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
USAF retired in Sept.1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg, Disabled in late 1999, was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD and Multiple herniated Disks; Foraminotomy L3/4/5 Jan 2013; Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF 1985; Implanted pain Pump Jun 2014.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15307
   Posted 1/31/2017 7:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Pioneer, I am sure it has been mentioned in CP101, bendable straws to drink with. You are going to be limited with movement for a bit. Swallowing can be a little difficult at first, so think soft type foods at first. I am guessing your wife will be home with you so that is a big plus.

After surgery I do hope when you feel up to it you will come back & let us know how you are doing. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Pioneer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/14/2017 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Surgery went well. No pain pills after 3 days. Tingling and shoulder pain mostly gone. Still have some numbness in legs. Been doing lot of research on collars . Surgeon wants me to wear one for 4 weeks. I know of several people personally who had same procedure and had no collar. This sounds like surgeon preference.

Right now I wear it at night and when walking around. His nurse said the brace is to remind me not to move my neck fast.

Had first appt yesterday after surgery and fusion looks good.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15307
   Posted 2/15/2017 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pioneer, so glad to get an update after surgery & to read that you are doing well!! Keep up the good work. Yes, it is a preference thing on the collar, but keep wearing it as you are & always when riding in a car. Hopefully in time the numbness in the legs will go away too.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Pioneer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/24/2017 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Doing very well overall. One problem still is there. The numbness in my legs. Right leg will go numb after standing for 15 minutes. That has been happening for several months. about 3 weeks before surgery, left leg would go numb when sitting down; but just in upper thigh. It's been only 17 days but will this go away now that I've had the surgery?

Before surgery, surgeon didn't think leg problem was related at all too neck problem

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3673
   Posted 2/24/2017 10:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I tend to agree with your surgeon have you ever had an MRI done of your lower back as in Lumbar Spine? Possible that you may have more than one problem with your Spine? Problems with your Lumbar spine could cause your problems with your legs. SO you might want to get that checked Out? Has your leg ever just given out on You? Or caused you to fall or have difficulty walking or Standing? Especially since your upper spine surgery I would be extremely careful until I knew what was definitely going on and causing the problems in your Legs!

Good Luck to you!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
USAF retired in Sept.1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg, Disabled in late 1999, was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD and Multiple herniated Disks; Foraminotomy L3/4/5 Jan 2013; Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF 1985; Implanted pain Pump Jun 2014.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15307
   Posted 2/25/2017 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Pioneer, I too think your surgeon is right about the leg situation. Neck problems cause upper extremity issues, the back lower extremity. When you are more comfortable with your neck situation, speak to the surgeon about doing an MRI on your back to see if anything is going on there. Until then, be really careful.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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