Chart to help you understand each level & symptons

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I found this chart to be very helpful in helping you understand the symptoms associated with each level of your cervical spine if damaged has occurred. I had a fusion 6-7 in 2000 now my 4-5 are herniated and they say I need surgery again, also my thoracic spine T1-2 is herniated. If I could go back I never would have had the original fusion done as it has not relieved any of my symptoms and has caused me to be disabled, unable to work, I can't even imagine having a 4 level fusion done! I am so depressed as I was told on my first surgery I would be good as new or better! I worked in healthcare and believed in the doctors I worked with. I hope this chart helps you all. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Nancy.

    I too am in the healthcare field. I have Advanced DDD is long with arthritis. Thank you the chart was very helpful. I do not wish to have surgery. I've tried PT and no result. I'm scheduled to see specialist the end of month for an injection...I hope it helps! I'm done with the constant ache and pain! I'm currently in disability until I can get into see specialist and get an injection...just hope it relieved this pain

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    • Posted

      I hope it works for you. I had probably over 15 injections, accumpunture, physical therapy, I even went to a Christian healer, changed my diet, meditation, yoga and no help with the pain so I decided to have the surgery in 2000. It did not help in fact it made things worse, I worked in Quality, Risk, patient Satisfaction, Jacho readiness and was the manager of the Midas Clinical Data System. So I only took off 4 weeks and they set my computer up at home the week I got home. So I don't think I ever healed as one year later was hospitalized with what I thought was a heart attack but it was my T1-2 that had herniated. I was hospitalized several times just for pain control. I managed to work those long 12-14 hour days for another 8 years and then had a Morton .Neuroma removed from my toe which was suppose to be a week and back to work well it triggered something as I started getting these shooting pain in one leg then it started in the other leg. It was the most intense pain I ever had, it felt like vices were on my leg and I was being tortured so they did a nerve conductive test EMG and as the doctor was putting the needles in my legs I was crying on the table as he hit every nerve in my leg. I kept telling him that I was in pain but he didn't seem to care. I was then sent to UCSF and met with the top neurologist there, they were so kind and they said I have peripheral neuropathy and small fiber neuropathy plus like you DDD. The fusion which they don't tell you just causes the spine to weaken in the areas below and above the fused spine. So now my C4-5 is  herniated and my spinal cord is compressed I have difficulty walking, standing and the pain has never gone away. I am just tired of it all. I know they are doing laser surgery and maybe that might help. My neurologist said if my spine compresses 1 more cm I will be premantely damaged well I am permantley damaged. I had to retire 7 years after my fusion that the surgeon promised me I would be snow skiing that winter, instead I was in a wheel chair. I don't trust the medical field that I loved so much and spent 30 years working in. Their just has to be another way for me to get better, everyday is a struggle. Best of luck to you I hope they use radiology when they do your injection so they make sure they are putting it in the correct area. Otherwise it is just a guess. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Nancy,

    I am in the U.K. and found your post very interesting. My goodness you have been through it and more.

    I had an accident in 2011 and was diagnosed with cervical problems in 2013.

    Although I was offered surgery three times fate, or whatever, conspired against me and all three were cancelled before hand.

    My cervical problems are under pain control management and I have twelve monthly check up with neurologist.

    Of all the posts I have read on the Web there seems no real difference between success and failure.

    I was told by my GP and neurologist not to look up my symptoms on USA websites, don't know why, but you get more information than in the UK.

    I must have had 6 mris, 2 ct scans, X rays and electric nervous system test, from all of those I personally have no results sent to me which I can show to other specialists.

    Some days I am glad I didn't have my c5-6 fusion e cause there are also problems at C4 and c7, I think I would eventually have ended up with c4,5,6 and 7 fused.

    Hope you have some relief from your pain, best wishes,


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    • Posted

      Mike if I could save one person from having a fusion then it would make me feel better. In the US they are doing disc replacement surgery where they take your herniated disc out and replace it with one that is suppose to last 70 years. I think fusions will be soon seen as a barbaric way to treat this problem. They took bone from my hip to put in my neck and 20 years later I still can’t lie on that side of where the bone was taken. Fusions just cause more problems than they solve.

      good luck. Nancy

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    • Posted

      Nancy--thank you for that chart--that explains a lot of symptoms I get that i didnt know whether it was part of my cervical stenosis or if it is something else like fibromyalgia etc I have mild c. stenosis from c3-4, moderate to severe at c4-5, mild at c5-6 and moderate c6-7--its worse on left in couple spots. Bulging discs, ddd, djd, osteophytes and in past hypermobility after overadjusted in 90s. Been struggling with this for over 25 years and decided against surgery when surgeons had different opinions. but have lived as partially disabled with it now for more than half my life and before that could do what I wanted--in that have had to lie down intermitently to manage discomfort and weakness all these years, pain wax and wane that can be awful, had to give up everything but walking....have gotten hypervigilant from living so carefully all these years. Have positive babinsky and hypereflexia. I am thinking again want to reconsult surgeons ...but posts like yours make me take pause. there are folks tho with similar issues that have surgery and do go on to have a more active life. I am curious about your mention of disc replacement, is there a place in US you have heard good things about to evaluate and do surgery? Really sorry what happened to you but it hasnt been a picnic either choosing the conservative route I did...having some coworkers or peers think its some sort of neurotic depression not understanding how spinal stuff manifests.
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