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Anxiously awaiting surgery

hello everyone, my name is Loreta.i am new to this forum.this is my story. Thank you in advance for reading.i am 48 yrs. old and I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.i have been having neck pain off and on since I was in my early twenties. It would flare up , I would treat it with muscle relaxers, ice and heat and rest. It would usually get better in 2-3 weeks.this carried on for over twenty years.this past December,2016 it flared up really bad. I could hardly move my neck. I also began having tingling and numbness in both arms and hands and very intense headaches starting from the back of my skull.i could not sleep so I was becoming exhausted.ii have never felt weakness like this before,I have always been active and physically strong.for the first time I sought medical attention. I was sent for an x-Ray which revealed severe neural foraminal stenosis bilaterally C4-6 due to posterior osteophytosis and unconvertebral hyper trophy.also, reversal of cervical lordosis and a 3mm retro listless C5 upon C6.i had no idea what any of this meant! The doctor at the walk in clinic who had ordered the X-ray told me these where significant findings and that I should find a family doctor and seek treatment for my condition. I did find a family physician, which is not an easy task where I live. She ordered a cat scan on my neck. I had to wait 2 months for that appointment. Dr. Office called me in for ct results. This test result further revealed large osteophyte complexC4-6 contributing to severe central canal stenosis reducing my AP diameter to 7mm at C5-6. Probable cord compression. She called for an urgent neurosurgeon referral and urgent MRI. This FINALLY got my attention! I started researching . I had the MRI in 2days, which is unheard of where I live. That gave me the additional clue that my condition was serious.i got into the neurosurgeon in two weeks. (His wait for consults are up to 18 .months) I went to that NS appointment expecting to be given options for my treatment. Boy was I wrong. He showed me my MRI image on the screen and pointed out how my spinal cord had abnormal signals. He emphasized how large the osteophytes were and pointed out the OPLL also present at C5-6, along with the subluxation. He tested my reflexes and strength and told me I had myelopathy. Within 15 minutes he was handing me a clip board with consent forms for surgery. i just don't understand how this progressed so quickly! 8 months ago I was surfing waves on holidays, doing aerobics. I thought I was in the best shape of my life! My surgery date is August 10, 2017. I have been reading anything I can about my condition,my surgery and what to expect from experience is the opposite of a lot of people on this forum. It seems like people suffer in pain and have a long road to diagnosis and treatment. In my case it has all happened so pain is quite manageable for the most part. (I only take Advil) I am trying to prepare both physically and mentally for this operation. Anyone out there with similar experience to me? I am having an anterior vertebrectomy C4-5,,C5-6 , and fusion using vertebral spacer at both levels,plate and screw fixation as well because of the spondylolishesis..thanks again for taking the time to read my story. I wish all a happy day.



  • That's good to hear you had the MRI and NS appointment so quickly! I'm in contact with a private clinic in Vancouver to hear what they think of my bulging disc.  Best of luck with your surgery. 

  • Thank you . I hope you get the answers and treatment that is best for you.

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  • I'm so glad they were able to get you help so quickly.  Waiting for the surgery is the hard part I think. There are fourms for people having surgery in each month. Part support group and part cheering squad.  There is also an excelent post about preparing for surgery. Its a list of things to consider.  Right now I have a call into my hair dresser.  I had a short cut done before my surgery May 8, but it has grown and I have 3 more weeks in my neck brace.  Hoping if I come in with it wet, she can give it a quick trim.  Know I can't lean back inth shampoo sink. Enough about of heaing.

  • Thanks, Mhugs. I did read the post on preparing for surgery. There was definitely items I hadn't thought of! I know what you mean about the shampoo sink! I think I had a muscle spasm just imagining using one! Lol

  • My hairdresser called back yes she'll take me for a wet hair quick trim. No style i couldn't sit long enough.  Hope you are doing okay.  Did you find the surgery buddy section over on the right side when you scroll down?

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  • Thanks mhugs.... I did join the August surgery buddy group.I am feeling humbled as there are others that are so much worse off than me. My condition has never given me 10/10 pain. Makes me wonder how I will handle it post op.Cheers and have a lovely day.

  • In the long run I think you will probably do well in recovery simply because you have been so active and haven't had to deal with some of the slow degeneration symptoms that prevent many from being active.  My cervical journey has been very long and slow developing including numerous nerve blocks a laminectomy and 7 years later a 3 level fusion c4-c7 as I was losing use of my left arm.  The recovery took months, I was in a neck brace for 3 months but back to work at 6 weeks.  I still have pain issues but I believe the years of dealing with the issue are the cause. Best of luck to you in your surgery and recovery.  

    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014, pseudo arthrosis suspected 2017, diagnosed  2019.  Revision C6/C7 pending. Multiple ruptured discs lumbar, l2-s1.
  • Thank you davrunner,Very kind of you to comment.I can only imagine how chronic pain like that would take it's toll on you both physically and emotionally. I hadn't thought of that.

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