Seriously OT: Cervical Disc Decompression Op

Wheelspinner Posts: 6,609
edited May 2016 in Commuting chat
After a few years of steadily deteriorating neck and arm nerve problems, the neurosurgeon has finally recommended I have this operation.

Anybody here have any experience, positive or not?

I recently had cortisone nerve root injections in the neck, which failed to achieve any relief, and if anything have made it worse. I have numbness in extremities, permanent aches and discomfort in the shoulder and arm, pins and needles right down my hand and am losing strength on one side now noticeable.

Desperate doesn't begin to describe my need to get this sorted and go back to a (semi) normal life, but given it's not a simple thing, I'm just wary of making it any worse than it already is. Surgeon is upbeat about the prospects, but as the saying goes, "Go to a barber, and you'll come out with a haircut"... so I'm interested in other opinions!

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  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    A friend recently had a similar op on disc lower down, bent double to open the spinal gaps up, under local anaesthetic (he watched the op' on a monitor!), operation went very well, no issues at all, biggest issue was that it took about 18 months to rebuild the muscle they had to damage to get to the spine. He's certainly much better off has his spinal cord was compressed by 80% and severely impacting the nerves below the problem disc.
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  • jamesco
    jamesco Posts: 687
    My mother underwent lumbar fusion last May. It was an 11 hour operation that included reconstruction of a few prolapsed and fractured vertebrae using bone grafted from the hip. To put it simply, it was life-changing: she went from being in an immense amount of pain and being unable to walk to being able to pirouette in front of the surgeon six weeks after surgery. It wasn't undertaken lightly as the assessment was 50/50 that she'd survive the operation.

    If the surgeon and your specialists recommend it and you have a good opinion of the surgeon / medical-team, I reckon it's worth it; my experience of the NHS is that they're not likely to push unnecessary operations for fun and giggles :)

    Whatever you choose, best of luck with the outcome!
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,562
    Friend of mine had his lower back done and as others have mentioned it made a huge difference and he is now far more mobile. Good luck with whatever you do Spinner.
  • warreng
    warreng Posts: 535
    I had a double micro-discectomy and a laminectomy in 2002. I'd had 3 years of pain and was reluctant to have a back op - as I thought it was a last resort and potentially dangerous. It worked and it's the best thing I ever did. I'm sure there are risks with all operations but can you seriously carry on like you are? If they've tried the usual non-invasive and pharmaceutical therapies and you are still suffering then you may not have another solution. Good Luck!!
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