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Question re: cervical stenosis....

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Question re: cervical stenosis....

Old 01-12-2007, 07:06 AM
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Default Question re: cervical stenosis....

And NO - I don't mean stenosis of the Cervix~! HA!!

Anyone else had/have this condition? I have stenosis in C5 and C6 (with spurs ) and have been given several "options".

Would like to know if anyone else out there in THT-land has had similar experiences and what you did/do to curtail having surgery.

Thanks~
FJ
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Old 01-12-2007, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

I had it. finally had the surgery two years ago. I kept putting it off until I could no longer hold my head up, and had to sit slumped back to see people. When I had the op I woke up and immediately knew I was good again. I regretted putting it off for so long.
Sometimes they can go in at the back and simply shave the sponge. With me they had to go in at the front, move my vocal cords out of the way and implant a cadaver bone with a small plate and screws.
It is now a regular, normal procedure. I know a dozen or so people who have had it done to one extent or another.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

I know nothing Jane, but that doesn't stop me from saying, "man that's got to be a pain in the neck".

I hope things work out for you, I truly do!
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

DOH~! I KNEW I could count on YOUR two cents, Garett!!

That WAS pretty funny, BTW!~ And I need all the humor I can get right now - cuz things ain't been too funny around here as of late....

Not to mention that I didn't HELP my condition when I fell and hit the pavement while going out to my car this morning.... Wrenched what was left of my "good side". Oh, man....Daddy'O's gonna kill me when he reads this!!

I'm okay - just sore~

Thanks, Menzies - for your take on it. Care if I ask how long it took AFTER the surgery to get "back to normal"....? I, too, am looking at having the cadaver bone and plate put in, but the surgeon said he'd go in at the back of the neck to do it. Oh, YEAAAAH....~!

Oh, well.....things COULD be worse~
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Old 01-12-2007, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

There is no possible way I could have passed up on that one Jane.....I know you wouldn't have! You should have seen how fast my fingers were moving in my attempts to be the first one to say it!

So how good of a cook is Daddy-O? Does he know to separate the reds from the whites? When you make him out that grocery list you make sure you are brand specific or you know full well he'll screw it up! So are you sitting on the couch like Al Bundy does?

You would probably well served to be with a neck brace on to ease the discomfort a little!

Jane promise me one thing though ok girl, when you are all better, you post a big picture of yourself with a great big smile, ok! That way I'll know it's time that I can ditch you from my prayers for the next person that needs them!
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: Question re: cervical stenosis....

Jane,

My wife has had 3 upper spine fusions done, one of the locations had to be done twice.

You cannot even see the scar, although it has been entered through each time. You cannot tell from watching her that she ever had any neck surgery.

The second time she used cadaver bone, and that repair did not fuse. For the 2 fusions that have worked, she has used her own bone (from her hip). Her recovery time was about 6 weeks each time. The first two times a plate was not used, but this last time it was. No ill effects from the plate. The hip will tell you about incoming rain for a year or so afterward, and the healing process on it is a bit painful, and takes longer than the fusion.

Her surgeries were as Menzies described, entering from the front of the neck and pulling the esophagus and vocal cords to one side. Yeah, not the most pleasant picture. She also knew, each time, immediately upon coming out of anesthesia that she we "fixed".

She rides her horse several times a week, and does all of the bending and stooping associated with horse care, without incident.

Your doctor is still your best source of advice, and you should strongly consider getting at least 2 opinions, if not a third. There are always risks, and NO TWO cases are the same.

Hope this helps.

Big Al
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:27 PM
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Default RE: Question re: cervical stenosis....

i have the same problem mine is 6,7,and 8 i have been scared to get the surgery also.i have had mine since the late 90's old race car wreck.i just take the pain but now the nubmness in my arm is getting worse so i may try some time this year to have it done since work is slowing down.good luck!!
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

Re the recovery. I was in no pain. My wife told me to take a pain killer before bed that first night I was home. But after that I didn't need to. I was ready to go back to work after a week. The insurance company wouldn't let me but they did let me go back half days after the second week and full time after week three.
To clarify what Snapper said, they use one of the folds in your neck for the incision point so you can't see the scar unless you look real close.
I would recommend against using your own bone. You will recover quickly from the neck surgery but your hip/thigh will be sore for a long time.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

Menzies - 1/12/2007 2:50 PM

Re the recovery. I was in no pain. My wife told me to take a pain killer before bed that first night I was home. But after that I didn't need to. I was ready to go back to work after a week. The insurance company wouldn't let me but they did let me go back half days after the second week and full time after week three.
To clarify what Snapper said, they use one of the folds in your neck for the incision point so you can't see the scar unless you look real close.
I would recommend against using your own bone. You will recover quickly from the neck surgery but your hip/thigh will be sore for a long time.
Yep, the neck surgery did not cause her much post-op pain. The hip was a different story.

Big Al
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:04 PM
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Default RE: Question re: cervical stenosis....

tommyr904 - 1/12/2007 2:27 PM

i have the same problem mine is 6,7,and 8 i have been scared to get the surgery also.i have had mine since the late 90's old race car wreck.i just take the pain but now the nubmness in my arm is getting worse so i may try some time this year to have it done since work is slowing down.good luck!!
Tommy,

Sooner or later you will get miserable enough from that deep bone pain that you will make the move.

Look on the bright side - in your particular case, there is ZERO chance of ANY further brain damage!


Big Al
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

Jane I had the fusion C-5 C-6, plate not bone, process. Graft blood from the hip for the bond/fusion. Not as involved as yours, they went through the front and I didn't have Stenosis. Was running, literally out of the hospital the next morning. A little stiff sometimes in the morning but I am almost 40, no biggee. Surgeon answered all my questions before I could ask prior to surgery. There ARE good surgeons and then there are GREAT ones. Worst was wearing the Velcro immobilizer for 30 days. Scar in front 2" long. I have my first wrinkle now. I had NO doubts about my surgeon and everybody is different. Will say a prayer you for...
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: Question re: cervical stenosis....

[QUOTE]Snapper Head - 1/12/2007 4:04 PM

tommyr904 - 1/12/2007 2:27 PM

i have the same problem mine is 6,7,and 8 i have been scared to get the surgery also.i have had mine since the late 90's old race car wreck.i just take the pain but now the nubmness in my arm is getting worse so i may try some time this year to have it done since work is slowing down.good luck!!
Tommy,

Sooner or later you will get miserable enough from that deep bone pain that you will make the move.

Look on the bright side - in your particular case, there is ZERO chance of ANY further brain damage!


Big Al










true so true








but a few weeks of no fishing







menzie did you have it done locally?if so who? if i may ask
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

Thanks, guys - for all the input. Yes....even YOU, Garett ~

Believe it or not ~ my fall yesterday has turned out to be a GOOD THING. I woke up this morning fully expecting my body to be quite bruised and stiff - much less my NECK!! However, the body, while a little sore, is fine and my neck feels better than it has in months!!

Guess God's little "SHOVE" to the ground worked things out.....

Whatever it is - I'm GRATEFUL!!

The surgeon I'm seeing is one of the best in the country and is NOT one to want to do surgery until ABSOLUTELY necessary - so that makes me feel better.

We'll just take things as they come and do what we have to do. No biggie.

Thanks for all the THT support!! It always helps to know that there are others out there in the "same boat"~
I'll keep everyone updated ~
FJ
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

For starters I'm happy to hear that you are feeling better today Jane!

I'm curious, have you tried any traction, has Wayne slowly and gently tried lifting you by the head to see if the discomfort eases when thing are sore? I'm definitely not suggesting lifting you until your toes are flapping OR you trying this by yourself in the garage with a rope, but a mild stretch......you would be probably well severed to have 5 lbs or so in each hand to help with this stretch, just keep the weight in both hands equal so you have an equal pull on the shoulders. At first I would try without the weight then I would try with a little weight. Contraction might be part of your problem, if so, traction could possibly help. Are you doing any forms of neck stretching exercises on a regular bases? ....side to side, lowering your head as if you are trying to touch your chin to your chest and then tilting it backwards. I would like to hope at any rate that slow controlled movements of the head would help stretch the muscles in the neck enough to help ease the discomfort, but I know a spur in the wrong place can be very uncomfortable/ painful.

Here's a thought for you to Seriously consider Jane....I know I would be all over this one now that I'm thinking about it!
- Ok I understand what a spur is (I've known a few people other then my mother with one) and I understand that a spur can put more than it's fare share of irritation to the surrounding soft tissue.
- I understand a spur can grow back after it has been shaved for some people. What I dont know is there an absolute way to stop a spur from growing back!
- A number of years ago I just about went under the knife for a serious sciatic never problem, but I was able to forgo the surgery because of a very successful A.R.T. treatment program.....9 relaxing visits at approx. 5-7 minutes a piece in a few weeks. A.R.T = Active Release Techniques.
- I would be strongly advising you to be reading up on what this A.R.T is all about. I say this because I clearly see the relationship between what the spur is doing to the soft tissue in your neck, scaring of this soft tissue which equals contracting soft tissue and the strain that puts on the neck bone joints! IMO this is SO linked together I see a chain!
- It is a Fact that scare tissue contracts soft tissue! If mailmen carrying a heavy mail bag around for 5-10-20 yrs complain about sore necks, shoulders and back how do you think your C5 and C6 vertebrate are coping with a 24/7/365 day strain put on them? ! Ill tell you, they are not faring well, as you already know!
- I Know I Would Be Taking My CAT Scans and X-rays to a qualified A.R.T. practitioner and discussing options as part of my second and third opinion process!
- One of my principal concerns here would have to be, regardless of what type of doctors you go see for their opinion, what "if" the spur grows back???? IMO Jane, and I mentioned right off the bat that I know nothing, but "I think" the root of your evil is that spur and it's relationship with the scaring of the soft tissue in the immediate area! That scar tissue would be putting a tremendous amount of pressure on the C5 and C6 vertebrate! Scare tissue is strong enough to deny a person from bending a knee at the knee joint......thats a VERY STRONG FORCE! Laws of physics says that scare tissue in the immediate area of C5 and C6 has to be causing you problems, it has to be!!!
- I wouldnt be the least bit surprised if your problem is stemmed from that spur causing the soft tissue to scare and that scare tissue is putting a greater burden on your vertebrate than they can bare.
- All I know is that I should be with a number of my vertebrate fussed together right now, but instead I function perfectly without because I listened to those which were giving good advice! With what I know about A.R.T. now, if the only practitioner in North America was in Waynes barn, Id be on a plane right now if I needed their services today. !
- Im not saying this is applicable in your case, but it is common for people to have to go back in for a second or third surgery to get things right. So maybe for you going in and just having the spur removed and then following up the A.R.T. is a good first step?......you dont always have to hit home runs to score runs.

- Another question Id like answers to if I were you......how invasive is it to go in and remove the spur compared to going in and having a graft done or a plate installed? If the surgeon goes in a second or third time, what are the complications of surgical scare tissue? Your surgeon has already said that he doesnt want to go in and strap things together until things are absolutely necessary. Well maybe going in and having the spur shaved and then doing a follow up treatment of A.R.T. is the ticket? I know I would be all over in favor of this approach, even if it were my neck!
- Im just offering up some advice on matters that I do know about, or I should say, that I know a little bit about.

As always I wish you the best with whatever decision you make.

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Old 01-14-2007, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

GEEZ ~ you're yakky!!

Thanks, Garett and all you GREAT THT'rs! for all the input. I feel fortunate that even this morning I'm STILL able to move my head to the left with little discomfort. YEAH!!! I honestly think that God had me trip and slam to the ground for a REASON! I believe I'll also make sure that I don't cause God to feel the "need" to get any future "messages" across to me in such a "physical" manner.....

The surgeon I'm seeing is one of the best in the country and FORTUNATELY is NOT one of those that feels that surgery is the "best solution" in every case. We had an extensive visit and I've never seen a doctor write as many notes as this guy did in the hour that we were in his office. Anyway - long story short(er than yours ~ HA!) is that we are going to start with behavior modification on my part (shut up Welder~ ) along with exercises and then on to physical therapy, possible traction, possible injections and THEN possibly - if the pain is worse or becomes intolerable, we'll think about surgery.

Oh, and BTW ~ if traction becomes necessary I think I'll probably leave it to the PROFESSIONALS and NOT to Daddy'O ~ I know this man loves me beyond all that I can imagine, HOWEVER, there's just SOMETHIN' about havin' his hands around my throat while lookin' me directly in the eyes and liftin' me s-l-o-w-l-y up off the ground that just kinda makes me.........well..............UNEASY~!

In looking at my MRI I can see that not only do my two discs have spurs but they are REALLY worn down in thickness. This is what is also contributing to my discomfort and irritablity. They are starting to sink down causing the nerves that run through the foramen to get "squished" - thus causing some other problems.

Thank you for everyone sharing their experiences with me. I'll keep everyone posted on the outcome ~ which I'm SURE will be a good one!

Heads UP!!
FJ
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

Jane , if ya need someone to slap you head around I'll do it for ya

Just funnun ya FJ , remember I got my spurs out the hard way .

Ya better get better soon cuz fishing season is comming real soon.

Hey, maybe we can get an EZ rider for the boat for ya.

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Old 01-14-2007, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

farmerjane - 1/14/2007 1:31 PM

GEEZ ~ you're yakky!!
Oh really...........ok, then hows this for keeping it short.

Jane you do your exercises and get in have some A.R.T. treatments. If you don't I'll be stand right behind Les for that head slapping of you!

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Old 01-14-2007, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

farmerjane - 1/14/2007 1:31 PM

In looking at my MRI I can see that not only do my two discs have spurs but they are REALLY worn down in thickness. This is what is also contributing to my discomfort and irritablity. They are starting to sink down causing the nerves that run through the foramen to get "squished" - thus causing some other problems.
Jane if you use a handful of elastic bands to hold a glass lid on a glass bowl it will be hard to remove the lid, well that is what the scared tissue is doing to your discs/ vertebrate! The scare tissue IS contracting the joint and causing premature wear of the discs!!! And that's physics! A.R.T. breaks up scare tissue and therefore relieves the strain on the discs and therefore relieves the discomfort!
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

Now Garett thats just how I treat her ,don't take any lip off her or she will keep dishing it out .

Jane , is it ok to say that.
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Question re: cervical stenosis....

FJ, good luck. I haven't had it but know plenty who have. There is also a new procedure, not sure if it would work for your case, but it's called a percutaneous discectomy. I am not even sure if it's legit, but I see tons of them done in my line of work. Some people swear by them, other say the feel nothing. However, in comparison to "real" surgery, this is a breeze. You are in and out same day.

Good luck to ya.
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