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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: C5-6 Discectomy and fusion

 dgri - Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:42 am

I went 2 1/2 years with what was thought to be a muscle injury to my shoulder and back. When the pain went to my neck, an MRI was done and showed a very large herniated c5-6 disc, pressing on the spinal cord and nerve. After more PT and 3 epidural injection, I worsened and 6 months after the MRI I had the surgery. Surgeon said he found 2 pieces of the disc had since broken off and migrated. I had the surgery a month ago. Post-op healed well, but the nerve pain has changed and at times is unbearable. Pain was down the right arm to thumb and first finger. After OR it is both arms and down the outside of arms to last 3 fingers with numbness, pain also to legs. Had a 2 week MRI due to symptoms, and it was fine said the doc. "I just have to wait it out". Are these symptoms due to the 3 years of pressure? And how long do you think this will go on? The doc said he never had a patient that went so long in such pain before the surgery, so there could be permanent damage.
Female, age 48, no med hx, only minor past surgeries, on vits, calcium, E, Pain meds prn, lyrica, flexeril, dilaudid, take one of those once a day
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:28 am

User avatar Hi Dgri,

Unfortunately, the spine does not particularly like to have pressure on it. Even after being fixed the symptoms can persist for some time. If the injury was prolonged, as in your case, there is some chance that it may not fully recover.

My best advise for you is to continue to follow up with your doctor and continue any physical therapy that is being prescribed.

Try to hang in there. Recovery from spinal injury can take a long time so there is still most definitely a chance that you will get significantly better. The hard part is getting there.

Best wishes.

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