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Health & Medical UnderGround >> Artificial Disc?

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6/6/09 11:26 AM
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Member Since: 7/15/02
Posts: 6620
About a year and a half ago, I had some bone spurs removed from C5-C6 and C6-C7. Afterwards, the strength in my right arm recovered somewhat, but it never got back to normal. I recently went back to get it looked at again, and the conduction test and MRI showed that a herniated disc at C6-C7 is still pressing on the nerve.

I'm going in for a myelogram this Friday, and if there are no additional problems at C5-C6, I'm a candidate for an artificial disc. If there are problems also at C5-C6, then a fusion is the only way to go, apparently. (For whatever reason, you can't do consecutive artificial discs? This is what the surgeon said, but I don't see any mention of that restriction in my brief web searches.)

I sort of know the pros and cons of a fusion, but has anyone ever had a disc replaced? Besides the normal risks of surgery, it seems like it has no drawbacks.

Just curious.
6/9/09 2:51 PM
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Member Since: 9/27/03
Posts: 2751
I cant speak for the artificial discs but i can speak about fusion.

My mother was carrying bags in the house one day about 6 years ago, when 2 discs in her neck popped. She was about 40 at the time. She had to have fusion surgery, they took bone from her hip to make bone discs, and fused it all together. They go in through the front as it is easier access. After the surgery she was in agony for weeks. She went to PT several times a week. Even after a year, she still had nerve issues of numbness in the hands, aches in the neck and hip etc. The neurosurgeon told her nerve damage was possible as they go in and remove things, they can hit other things.

Bottom line is she is always in pain, everyday. Sometimes mild sometimes moderate. Her age may have played a factor in it, I do not know.

I would avoid fusion like the plague personally, unless it is your only option.

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