A serious pain in the neck

Saw the neuro surgeon today about my neck/shoulder/arm issues. He recommended immediate surgery. Given the last several years of this kind of pain, physical therapy, chiropractic care, medications, he is convinced that in order to recover the strength in my right arm, immediate surgery next week is the best option. Another option is steroid injections and physical therapy. His concern with that is the time–he doesn’t want the arm weakness to become permanent which can happen with the C5 nerve. Says its not a forgiving nerve. The surgery is not uncommon at all.

Now, for the worst part. Aside from the typical surgical risks, this procedure enters through the front of the neck and will most likely damage the vocal nerve. My voice would be irreparably damaged and I would probably not be able to sing again–well, at least as far as performing or worship teams go. They can attempt surgery through the back of the neck which may give some relief but it is not a procedure commonly done anymore since its not as effective.

Doug & I will meet with the doctor again on Monday morning 10:45. We are investigating a second opinion and are leaning towards the injections and therapy first. This is not a life threatening issue but a quality of life issue. So I’m grateful that nothing worse was found.


10 responses to this post.

  1. Wow…count on my prayers for decisions and the surgery!!


  2. Posted by Beth on May 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    You are in my prayers. Please be careful with the weakness in your arm! I have permanent numbness in my leg due to back problems. I also have problems feeling the top of my left foot. If the numbness/weakness lasts too long, it does become permanent.

    You are in my prayers with this major decision. I will tell you that my back surgeries were very successful and I gained my life back. Chronic pain can completely change your personality – dragging you down, living under a cloud, and making you have a shorter fuse. I pray for relief.


  3. I found a great resource online at http://www.spine-health.com if anyone out there has a need.


  4. You’re for sure in my prayers Joni. Can you get a second opinion??


  5. Posted by Joni on May 10, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Yes, we are in the process of setting that up.


  6. definately in my prayers for sure! does mike know? maybe we can get together and pray for you as a team.


  7. Posted by whatsyrproblem on May 11, 2008 at 1:52 am

    I was told a long time ago that my fascial muscles may be affected, it didn’t happen. All the best, and I hope the injections work if you decide on that.


  8. Praying for you.


  9. Posted by Kathy on May 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    My husband had a double cervical fusion in August 2006 due to a degenerative C5-C6 disk and a herniated C6-C7 disk. He was losing use of his arm and in extreme pain daily. If you would like more info about our personal experience I would be happy to share it via email (too lengthy for a blog comment!)


  10. I pray that God will provide the right answers and the right surgeon. That all will go smoothly and recovery will be swift and successful.


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