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iSpine Discuss Facing 2 Level Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement vs Fusion in the Main forums forums; Well, I have been down this road before with the lumbar spine, now the cervical spine. I believe I had ...

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Old 08-27-2016, 05:06 PM
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Default Facing 2 Level Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement vs Fusion

Well, I have been down this road before with the lumbar spine, now the cervical spine. I believe I had mild symptoms with shoulder blade pain that would come and go for months, but had no idea at the time it may have been related to bulging or herniated discs in the neck. I appears C-5- 6 is ruptured and C6-7 bulging with stenosis at both levels. Mainly, left upper arm and shoulder blade pain extending down to the thumb, index finger and middle finger.

So, here I go again down the road of taking NSAIDS around the clock, 2 rounds of oral steroids which did not work, physical therapy that did help maybe a little, but only temporary, and now looking at epidural spinal injections in the neck, which I don't have much faith in. In the interim, trying to get an appointment with a neurosurgeon both locally and in Cincinnati, Ohio thus far, (due to insurance) but again have a bit of a wait to obtain my first appointment. September 28th is the soonest I can get an appointment locally unless someone cancels their appointment (I 'm on the cancelation list) and the one in Cincinnati - I have been referred, and I believe they just received my information, records films, etc. They have a process where they have the surgeon overlook the medical records and films and then make a decision on next steps before they even see you. For some, they will make an appointment to see the surgeon, for others, they make other conservative recommendations, then if those things don't work, then schedule the appointment to have face time with the surgeon.

The pain is hard enough to deal with, then the waiting which seems like forever. I know I can manage this, especially when I dealt with chronic pain in the lumbar region for at least 2 1/2 years before going overseas receiving a 2 level Prodisc ADR.

Anyways, this is where I'm at. I'm sure there are others out there that can identify with me.

If any of you know of any spine surgeon in the Ohio area (that performs ADR)Ithat seems to have good outcomes, I'm all ears. I may be looking at the Texas Back Institute as well. We'll see.

Sending less pain / pain free vibes out to everyone.

Sincerely,
Poncho
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:12 PM
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Default re cervical ADR or fusion

Hi Sue
Sounds like your cervical condition progressed pretty quickly or at least from point of symptoms to this point. I hope that you will be able to get in soon to see someone that perhaps does both ADR and fusion. That would be great and even more so if you're a candidate for either.

I'm guessing you've not yet not gotten hold of Mark tho if you have already hopefully he knows of someone and/or might be able to push you thru to someone not quite in your immediate area that you could see.

Meanwhile hoping your symptoms are manageable and will hang in there until you get the answers you feel necessary to make that next big step re surgery.

take care and keep us posted!

Maria
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:56 PM
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Thanks Maria,

I appreciate your response. The surgeon I think I want to lean toward (we'll see) is the one in Cincinnati.

I have PMd Mark from here, but haven't heard back from him yet. Perhaps, because is out enjoying life finally after all he has been through too.

Hope you are well and not having continued or worsening symptoms with your back.

I will keep you and everyone on here updated. Hopefully, sharing such information will help someone else on here too.

Take care,
Poncho
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:46 PM
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Well re my back it's always touch and go.. like the week before last my back started giving me probs on a Weds, went out on Saturday and I was in bed for almost 3 days. Slowly but surely it started to improve and this weekend I managed to have a bit of fun tho while trying to do some very light yard work on Saturday my back was screaming at me. You know bending forward even if doing everything correctly. I didn't spend that long in this activity before going in and resting my back in bed for about an hour. Later in the evening went to a dance and yes I danced. I left very early to come home and put a Thermacare magnet wrap on and go to sleep hoping to wake up without any problems. Thankfully I have been fine!

Sometimes my back just goes.. sometimes it's super cranky and takes weeks on end to resolve. So it's pretty much the same only I feel I have lived with it all so long that I am used to what it's like. A strict departure from what it is and has been would definitely have me running to the doctor though (besides my twice annual OSS visit and my every 3 month PM visits). My neck is hanging in there. Seems not to bother me as much as it used to tho I can easily aggravate it by carrying a heavy package on my shoulder or holding the phone to my ear and shoulder while trying to multitask or falling asleep with my neck in a less than desirable position.

Thankfully I am hanging in there. I am reliable to do things on my own schedule pretty much that allows for all this (and my feet flare ups with bilateral posterior tibial tendonitis) so I feel good about that!

I do hope you're not in too much pain and I wish you the best with whatever the plan will be. I think you might have to give Mark a call as that is probably the best way to reach him. I have not spoken with him in a while now (months) and I too hope he is doing well.

take care!
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:31 PM
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Maria,

I'm glad you are able to manage your pain well.

Anyways, here are the results of my cervical MRI:

Impression:
Bulging disc material with superimposed disc protrusions along the left lateral canal and left foramen at C5-C6, less so at C6-C7, resulting in significant left lateral canal and foraminal stenosis at both levels, possibly related to the stated complaints. No evidence of acute abnormality or convincing myelopathic signal.

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Old 09-06-2016, 05:24 PM
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Hi Sue,
Did the doctor who ordered the MRI have a plan re surgery for C5/6 and C6/7 based on results? Re the level of stenosis is it expected that your symptoms will progress/worsen? Just wondering what your pain level given the report findings.

Any luck reaching Mark?

Again wishing you the best with what's going on now and how you'll proceed. Would love to stay informed if you're so inclined..

take care~ Maria
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:57 AM
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Thanks Maria, well where I live locally, I'm just looking for an opinion due for that date end of September. Now for the other neurosurgeon in Cincinnati, I sent my films to him. I have not seen him yet, though tentative speaking, he is recommending ADR at C5-6. No comment yet on C 6 - 7. I have a consultation with him October 20th - first thin in the morning. 0740 - I live in a rural area so will probably he hotel stay overnight the night before. In the interim, flexion / extension x- rays which we all know what those are for. Anyways, I'll see what ADR he recommends. Working through this and politics at work (yes, I'm considered administration now, but not liking the politics - eeewww!!! Sue.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:46 PM
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Well, I had a appointment with a neurosurgeon this past week. He has recommended a fusion or artificial disc at C5-C6 and C6-C7. He did admit to me though that he has not placed many artificial discs but would do it if I chose him. I really liked him and appreciated his transparency with this. I did admit that I was to have another appointment with a different neurosurgeon in a different market. That right now just looking at options/opinions.

I guess these levels must have been going south for some time because this neurosurgeon said that he did see spurs as well. First time that I had heard that. I don't recall that being on my MRI report. Interesting.

Now on to the next appointment in Cincinnati called the Mayfield Clinic. It appears that they do a lot of research / clinical trials. I will need to sit down and come up with a list of questions for him. That will be October 20th.

In the meantime so far, the medications I am on are helping me get through this waiting period. In the mornings, I don't feel so bad, but as the day goes on, the shoulder/shoulder blade / arm pain increases.

I will try to keep everyone up to date when I know more.

Wishing everyone on here less pain / pain free vibes.

Poncho
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:43 PM
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Default re consultationtlys

Thanks Sue for keeping us posted on your most recent consultation. I hope the next one will offer perhaps greater experience with ADR and/or hybrid surgeries as it sounds like from the consultation you posted about you're a candidate for either. Looking forward to reading how the next consultation goes!!!! take care! Maria
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:21 PM
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Thanks Maria,

Ya know what's weird about this is my arm pain has settled down quite a bit over the last couple days (that's when I start thinking.....Am I bad enough for surgery yet?) However, the weather around here lately has been really nice and I do think that has something to do with it. I'm not completely pain free.

I will try to keep everyone posted on here. We'll see what happens between now and October 20th.

Take care,
Sue
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