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Posted in: Herniated disc, Neck pain, and Surgery.

Neck Surgery-Help!

Started by terrified on 03/03/2010 1:57am

I am new to this and as my user name says I'm terrified! I am scheduled for surgery March 31, 2010 and although I love my neurosurgeon and he really has spent at least two hours with me explaining the surgery, I am still scared to death! I am 56 yrs. old and my tale of woe began 2 years ago because of someone doing 95 miles an hour trying to pass 6 cars on my side of the road. Thank God, I managed to avoid the head on collision but did leave the road and began hitting trees, etc. As a result, the c-5 disc in my neck was destroyed. The pain has been incredible for the past 2 yrs. and I have numbness, tingling, and pins & needles in my arms and now starting in my leg. My surgeon told me that I only have a 50% chance of my pain being relieved as well as a 50% chance of the numbness, tingling etc, in my arms being relieved. But at least the surgery will prevent any further spinal damage and prevent possible paraylisis. I've heard so many horror stories about having to have multiple surgeries because of the pressure put on surrounding discs and screws getting loose that I just don't know if I'm doing the right thing. But yet, I certainly don't want to lose the use of my arm. I read goldie's response and she mentioned some kind of stimulator, what's that? Could someone who has had this surgery please let me know what to expect? I was told that it is not a complicated surgery and that post-op varies but that at most 6 weeks and I should be back to normal.

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6 Responses


With out having the details, it sounds like you are an appropriate candidate for surgery. I don't think a stimulator would be appropriate at this point as it sounds like your have pressure on your spinal cord that needs to be relieved, a stimulator only reduces / masks pain and does not solve any anatomical issues.

Are you have disc replacement surgery or fusion?


Without knowing more of your medical problem it is hard to say but my advice is I think you need to see another neurosurgeon even you like the one you have seen. Hear is my story Oc t 2008 I had my C3-7 fused and a metal plate put in this gave me back my life the numbness I had in my right arm came back at 100% and pain which was controlling my life was gone. Things went well until Dec of 2009 when I got pain and numbness back and they discovered the C6 did not fuse and the metal plate fractured at that site. I have since had surgery to repair the C6 and the numbness has been taken care of, I am still in the process of healing since this surgery was just last month. The only problem I had was allergic reaction to the Bone morphognic protein and I am on steroids to tell my body to accept it. Yes there are risks to any surgery but I think a second opinion might make you feel better, best of luck.


For starters, in the situation you describe, your odds are WAY better than 50/50. Most literature would support a 93-95% good to excellent outcome with what you describe. Many surgeons are able to use less invasove techniques from the front of your spine so that you can pursue the above on an outpatient basis or with an overnight hospital stay. Your arm symptoms will probably be better right away, but the neck pain component will take longer and will likely need some physical therapy once your fusion has really healed (10-12 weeks). You'll have a sore throat after surgery (like having your tonsils out), but no too bad, and things like popsicles, mashed potatoes, smoothies are all helpful. Get a second opinion if you are nervous, just for the sake of different perspective, but I'm sure your surgeon is great if he's spent that kind of time with you...maybe spend an additional visit an ortho or neuro surgeon with fellowship training in spine surgery. Also, many people ask if there is a role for a nutrition or vitamin regimen to support best recovery after neck surgery. There is absolutely a role, with abundant literature showing more rapid and higher quality healing and outcomes, and decreased complications. There are a handful or dedicated surgery recovery products available, though the best I've seen so far is SurgiKit-Bone&Joint. It's expensive, but definitely top-tier for those interested in really optimizing tissue repair and recovery. Available atwww.topdoctorschoice.com Worth a look. I'm sure you'll do great...keep asking questions a the more you know, the better you'll do!


Chech out this site
http://www.laserspineinstitute.com/?pagename=home.aspx&ISC=1 best thing I ever did.

My procedure at L.S.I.
We got to Tampa at noon the 26th of Dec and went straight to LSI. We had our new patient Orientation and got the paper work done, they sent me down had some lower back X-rays taken, had a EKG done, and also had a nerve conduction study (that was not fun at all). Instead of coming back the next day they went ahead did the Surgeon consultation and talked to the anesthesiologist. Next met with the business office and scheduled for surgery for Friday morning. We had Thursday off so we just hung around the beach and went down town down and ate. Friday morning we got there early and got ready. My Doctor Bericrzki ,they called him doctor Z, had two ahead of me and they both took longer then expected, but before I had chance to complain they hit me with a happy shot and I felt great. They took me back about 11 o’clock. They did about nine different things to me and that lasted about hour and half.

This is what they did:

1. Laminotomy/ Foraminotomy/ Decompression of the Nerve root (L/F/D) on the left and right L4/5 to relieve the foraminal stenosis (creating a larger opening for the spinal nerve to live)
2. Facet Thermal Ablation (DTA) on the Right L4/5; Bilateral L5/S1; Bilateral Sacroiliac Joints ( using Lasar to destroy weed like nerves that grow between facet joints)
3. Ligamentum Flavum: finding: released removed due to enlarged ligament.
4. Go tohttp://www.laserspineinstitute.com for full descriptions and images of all procedures.

The operation was unique in the fact that I was awake during the whole thing. There was some minor pain, much like you would experience at the dentist for a root canal, but for the most part it was painless, Recovery was fast I actually walked out of LSI and back to my hotel room about hour after the surgery and later that night Donna and I went for walk on the beach. The pain I went in there with is gone, I left it on the table. I have some minor discomfort from the surgery that is just about gone. My left foot has some tingling; the Doctor told me it takes about 3 weeks for the nerve to completely regenerate. My hips are a little soar from all the walking that I have been doing but, that is also going away. All in all I feel great; it is just amazing what they can do now. I will keep you guys informed on my recovery.


Please update us on what you have done since you're post. I would like to know because you sound really worried and i think you have reason to have fear just because spinal surgery is scary. But if you have a chance of getting your life back it would be worth it. If someone would do something for me - I'd do it to get rid of pain of long time duration. You and I are same age and you are too young to have this much problems.
Please tell me how you are.


i want to know how jeff frank feels now! please respond to robertalso@yaHOO.COM
ALSO IF YOU ARE HAVING A 2 LEVEL FUSION its not that bad and revovery is very good 99%