Spinal Disorders & Back Pain For discussion of all spinal cord injuries, spinal issues, back-related pain or problems.

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Old 10-15-2008, 02:02 AM #1
Loulou_in_LA Loulou_in_LA is offline
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Default C6/7 herniation with cord compression

Help! I am being told that I need to have a discectomy and fusion because my MRi shows spinal cord compression at C6/7, and also at C3/4, but less severe. I have told that because of this, I have an increased chance of spinal cord damage...
But I have NO SYMPTOMS--no pain, no weakness--I had a numb left index finger, but that has gone away.

The only symptom seems to be that I am "hyperreflexive".

I am 45, and VERY VERY active--ski, windsurf, etc. I don't want to have surgery if I can avoid it...Anyone out there know of alternative treatments for this? The neurosurgeons just seem to want to rush me into the operating room!
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:47 PM #2
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Don't be in a rush to do this. Get a couple of opinions from certified spinal orthopaedic surgeons. I just had similar surgery and have lost partial use of my left arm. I'm told with 3-6 months PT it will come back but no guarantees.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:39 AM #3
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I went for many years with minor symptoms of spinal cord compression until suddenly it was too late, had to have an emergency spinal decompression operation, but damage (myelomalacia - softening) had been done to the central nerve. I'm left with chronic severe neuropathic pain and poor mobility. I'd say take more advice and, at least for now, don't rule out an early operation.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:17 AM #4
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Good advice...a couple of second opinions would not hurt. Let the docs show you the MRI, and explain to you what they are looking at, so you can see it yourself. Our bodies react differently to pain. Some people may be in a great deal of pain while others are not. You really don't want to mess around with spinal cord compression. I, too, have seen people lose function because they waited too long, or rather, their docs did. Hang in there.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:50 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistiis View Post
Good advice...a couple of second opinions would not hurt. Let the docs show you the MRI, and explain to you what they are looking at, so you can see it yourself. Our bodies react differently to pain. Some people may be in a great deal of pain while others are not. You really don't want to mess around with spinal cord compression. I, too, have seen people lose function because they waited too long, or rather, their docs did. Hang in there.

What is the difference between a neurosurgeon, specializing in the spine, and a spinal orthopaedic surgeon?
I have now seen Dr. Ron Rich of Bay Neurosurgical Group ("fusion, now-Artifical discs are a bunch of junk"), Dr. Patrick Hsieh of USC Neurology ("If it was my neck, I'd be looking for a surgeon to do fusion-fusion is the Gold Standard") Dr. Avrom Gart, Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders (I've seen worse, no need to operate-but if you do, not fusion, you're too young) and Dr. Justin Paquette, also of Cedars (I'm not going to lie to you--you need surgery-but I would suggest Artificial Disc replacement, not fusion).
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:07 PM #6
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Expert chiropractors should know of alternative treatments.
notice I said expert...= experienced , advanced and not pushy
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&n...ic&btnG=Search

If you try chiropractic "interview" many & have evaluation visit first, get/take a copy of your films to show them. If nothing else just to get some other kinds of opinions...

Have you looked at your films yourself with a dr to show you the areas they're talking about?

[Differences
There are a few areas where there still is a difference. Only neurosurgeons are trained during their six or seven year residency to perform procedures inside the lining of the spinal canal called the dura. Thus, spinal cord tumors, arachnoid cysts, syringomyelia, Chiari malformation, spinal cord arteriovenous malformation, diplomyelia or diastematomyelia, tethered spinal cord, spina bifida or myelomeningocele, lipomyelomeningocele, tumors at the junction of the base of the skull and upper cervical spine, nerve root tumors, and a few other diagnoses still fall under the domain of the neurosurgeon. Similarly, both pediatric and adult scoliosis and other spinal deformities are still primarily treated surgically by orthopedic spine specialists. ]
http://www.spineuniverse.com/display...ticle2471.html
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:44 PM #7
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LouLou....yu are in LA right?

Try to go see Dr Robert bray at DISC in Marina del rey. He is also the head spine doc at St Johns spine center and doc for the LA Kings. He is the doc that in LA that most of the chiros would only let operate on them.

He has a full comprehensive team that can work together to either recommend surgery or a proactive non surgical program. His non surgical doc is Dr. Vlachos and she will likley be the first to see you.

I saw Dr Bray for a C5/6 retrolithesis and while he said I may someday need surgery they worked with me to avoid until absolutely necessary. I was also dx with TOS (thoracic outlet syndrome) which I have but was not the cause of my numbness in my thimb and index fingers on both hands. And Dr Bray was the first to actually figure out what the issue was.

If you can consult with them for a second opinion I highly recommend them

www.discmdgroup.com

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:54 AM #8
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Crazy Be Careful!!

Hi, I'd be very careful. I had a disc out at C5-6 and it was impinged into the spinal cord, causing compression. When I looked at the MRI the doctor explained to me that the disc was completely out and it was wedged between the vertrabrae and the spinal cord, you could see on the MRI where the disc was being pushed into the spinal cord leaving a dent...the doctor, Neurosurgeon, explained to me not to let anyone slap me on the back or jump off anything because this could send the disc into my spinal cord and most likely it would cut the spinal cord in two pieces, leaving me paralyzed from the neck down, Now really do you want to take a chance on this? Windsurf your way to a wheelchair or even worst, a complete quad? Wise up my lady, I was in LA when mine happened too, 1990, and had Dr. Averon Feldman do my fusion surgery. The only regret I had was I should of used my own bone and not bone from a bone bank. That mistake caused me a lot of pain thru the years, but I'm still walking and moving about just fine....you might want to wake up and realize that the days of Windsurfing might be over, or you better be darn careful what you do...one mistake and you'll wind up not moving at all, much less windsurfing. I love all that stuff too, I love Roller Coaster's and that's about as far as I'll go. I try and mix a little common sense with what I do and realize I could lose the very thing I so dearly cherish and that's the use of my arms and legs...Hey Good Luck and keep us up updated on how things turn out, and don't wait too long either!!
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:23 PM #9
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Confused Question

I had C5-7 removed & spinal fusuon 4 months ago.

Last month I had an appointment scheduled in hopes of removing my neck brace. I took it off a week early, believing I was ready. Then I was told I needed the brace for another 2 months. About 5 days ago I began to have constant pins and needles in my hands. I never felt this, before or after surgery. I'm nervous and my surgeon and his team is not very friendly or easy to speak to. Is this normal or maybe just caused by inflammation & go away? I also noticed today there was a rip in my pants near my inner thigh, which I didn't feel. Its hard to tell what is numb when you can't feel your hands, but I am assuming this means my inner thighs are numb too.

Is this possibly caused by inflammation or could I have reinjured myself by taking my brace off for a week too early????
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