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Possible neck surgery...advice!

Started by realitymaster28 on 11/28/2015 2:15pm

Hello everyone,

I am a 35 year old female and have had neck issues (bulging discs and degenerative disc disease) since about 2010. I went through physical therapy back then for 6 weeks and it didn't help too much. I am getting married this April 30th, 2016 and of course want to feel good for my wedding! I am so tired of being in pain and it's gotten to the point

Things had dubsided a little bit until about 2 weeks ago when I woke up and could barely move my neck. This was on a Thursday.
By Monday afternoon, the pain was shooting down my left arm and into my shoulder. I was also having very bad and constant headaches. I ended up in the ER where they gave me A LOT of IV drugs (including Dilaudid, Valium, Torodol, etc.) They did a CT scan (which I'll tell you the findings after I explain what happened.) They sent me home with Norco, Valium and a Medrol dosepack. I got the presciptions filled and started taking the steroids the next day (Tuesday.) I was still in so much pain. I continued the meds as needed but took the Medrol as prescribed.
By Saturday, the pain was terrible again! I was also having ringing in my ear and more pain shooting down my arm. My fiance took me back to the ER and they called someone in to do an MRI. They compared the MRI that I had in 2011 to now and things have definitely gotten worse.
Here are the findings:

C3-C4: 3 mm broad-based posterior central disc protrusion without significant neural compromise.

C4-C5: Nominal disc bulging without neural compromise.

C5-C6: Disc desiccation. Moderate lobulated circumferential disc bulge with uncovertebral spurs. No central canal stenosis. The disc osteophyte complex mildly encroaches into bilateral foramina

C6-C7: A underlying circumferential disc bulge and tiny uncovertebral spurs. Superimposed broad-based, approximately 3 to 4 mm left paracentral disc protrusion. The disc osteophyte complex and disc protrusion encroaches into the spinal canal partially effacing the subarachnoid space. The dural sac measures 8 mm AP. Asymmetric stenosis of the left lateral recess. Mild encroachment into the anteroinferior portions of bilateral foramina.

C7-T1: Small 3 mm broad-based left paracentral disc protrusion causing a mild asymmetric flattening of the left lateral recess.

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice about the surgeries and if you've had them. The doctor did tell me he doesn't see many 35 year old females with the level of problems I have. I want to know about the recovery time and if this is something I should do. I want to be out of pain and be able to move again!

I saw an Orthopedic surgeon last week who was very good and went through ALL of my tests and spent quite a bit of time with me. He specializes in the neck and has been doing surgery for 35 years now. He is suggesting that I get a cortisone shot in my neck Monday or Tuesday this next week and then recommends I do one of the following surgeries (which I'm assuming he will decide which is best!)

1.) Anterior Cervical discectomy and fusion-instrumented
2.) Cervical Arthroplasty LDR Mobi-C

Thank you in advance!

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4 Responses


Hello - I had anterior discectomy and fusion with instrumentation 7 years ago on 3 levels. I truly understand your pain (I still have degenerative discs above and below). All I can say is it is worth a try to fix it. Nothing will make it completely go away but I recommend it to anyone going through severe pain if you have a very experienced surgeon. You are headed in the right direction with cortisone shots but be aware it does further break down tissue if you have too many - discuss with your doctor. Be sure you do everything exactly as your doctor tells you to after surgery. Unfortunately their arent any quick fixes. I wish you all the best. Keep me posted.


Hi again!

I am scheduled for Mobi-C Cervical Arthroplasty on January 15th. 10 days ago I had an epidural shot of Kenalog where they went through the side of my neck. I feel GREAT right now as 95% of my pain is gone! I know this is a temporary fix but my question is if it would make sense to get another shot before my wedding on April 30th and wait until afterwards to have the surgery? I will be in Mexico for 2 weeks as we are having a destination wedding and am now thinking, "why would I have surgery now when I feel so great?"
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!


I would get another injection with your docs approval :). I am so glad it helped. Most definitely you want to be able to enjoy your honeymoon. If it were me I would definitely wait!!!! Congratulations and best wishes on your future surgery. I had an epidural 5 days ago and all was fine until this evening then pain hit full force again. So back to the drawing board! Good luck!


If your dr approves and the epidural helps your pain, I would wait until after the wedding to have the surgery. Surgery is a major event and it will take months to feel good enough to enjoy a destination wedding and honeymoon! Your doctor may say that recovery will take X weeks, but that means recovery from the surgery itself ... Not necessarily from the pain and nerve injury. Best wishes!