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  1. #1

    Dr. Young, please help.

    Hi Dr. Young,

    I was hoping that you could give me an off the record suggestion as to whether or not I should undergo spinal surgery. After I looked at the below MRI it seems to me as though I should.... lots of pressure and indentations into my cord from C-2 or 3 to C-6. I don't have a copy nor have I read a copy of the radiologist's report or 'impressions' of my MRI results. All I know is what my neuro-surgeon told me in the few minutes that we were together and he recommends surgery.

    Due to my left arm getting weaker and weaker and smaller and smaller back in 2008 - 2009, my neuro-surgeon then thought that I should have surgery. But since the radiologist's report didn't see much wrong with my spine/cord except for some mild arthritis I opted out of the surgery at that time. I was hoping that I damaged the nerves outside of the spine and that they would heal on their own. I read that those type of nerves can grow or regenerate themselves at a rate of 1/8 inch a month. But after 3-4 years things have remained basically the same.... well things have slowly gotten worse. It's the bicep and deltoid muscles of my left arm that are now mainly effected, but no pain whatsoever. Though now both of my arms and also my neck are/is getting pins and needles in them and the size of my left bicep is about half that of my right. My left forearm, hand and fingers are just as strong as ever.

    I'm scheduled for surgery on the 10th of December. I'll be seeing my neuro-surgeon's Nurse Practitioner on December 4th, who will at that time "walk me through" the surgery. Then I'll know more about what's actually going on in my spine and spinal cord and what the neuro-surgeon is going to do. But I'd like to know what you think about this MRI and that if your spine was in such condition would you personally have surgery performed on it?

    I've been a T-4 para for 33 years. When I'm alone I have a tendency to hold my head forward and down. I think this may in part be the reason why my c-spine is so messed up.

    Thanks a lot for your time, expertise and clinical trials and for everything else you do for us here at CareCure.

    Bob Clark.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  2. #2
    I would strongly urge you to get at least one other opinion from a different neurosurgeon before you make a decision about a surgery like this. It is not without risks.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    bob clark,

    I think that you should have had the surgery in 2009. If I were you, I would have the surgery soon to stop progression and hope that you get some return. When the neurological symptoms are as clear as yours, surgery should have been done even if the MRI did not show severe compression of the spinal cord. That is because MRI don't show everything. Most experienced neurosurgeons know this when they operate and find out that the compression and tethering is worse than it appears on MRI.

    In general, the best spinal surgeons I know will not operate based on MRI alone or pain alone and will operate only when the symptoms of neurological loss are clear, localized to one or two segments, and are progressive. If a patient shows these symptoms but MRI do not show severe compression of the roots or spinal cord, the experienced neurosurgeon will typically go ahead to operate anyway. What you find on exposure of the spinal cord often is better or worse than what the MRI shows.

    Wise.



    Quote Originally Posted by bob clark View Post
    Hi Dr. Young,

    I was hoping that you could give me an off the record suggestion as to whether or not I should undergo spinal surgery. After I looked at the below MRI it seems to me as though I should.... lots of pressure and indentations into my cord from C-2 or 3 to C-6. I don't have a copy nor have I read a copy of the radiologist's report or 'impressions' of my MRI results. All I know is what my neuro-surgeon told me in the few minutes that we were together and he recommends surgery.

    Due to my left arm getting weaker and weaker and smaller and smaller back in 2008 - 2009, my neuro-surgeon then thought that I should have surgery. But since the radiologist's report didn't see much wrong with my spine/cord except for some mild arthritis I opted out of the surgery at that time. I was hoping that I damaged the nerves outside of the spine and that they would heal on their own. I read that those type of nerves can grow or regenerate themselves at a rate of 1/8 inch a month. But after 3-4 years things have remained basically the same.... well things have slowly gotten worse. It's the bicep and deltoid muscles of my left arm that are now mainly effected, but no pain whatsoever. Though now both of my arms and also my neck are/is getting pins and needles in them and the size of my left bicep is about half that of my right. My left forearm, hand and fingers are just as strong as ever.

    I'm scheduled for surgery on the 10th of December. I'll be seeing my neuro-surgeon's Nurse Practitioner on December 4th, who will at that time "walk me through" the surgery. Then I'll know more about what's actually going on in my spine and spinal cord and what the neuro-surgeon is going to do. But I'd like to know what you think about this MRI and that if your spine was in such condition would you personally have surgery performed on it?

    I've been a T-4 para for 33 years. When I'm alone I have a tendency to hold my head forward and down. I think this may in part be the reason why my c-spine is so messed up.

    Thanks a lot for your time, expertise and clinical trials and for everything else you do for us here at CareCure.

    Bob Clark.

  4. #4

    Thank you very much

    Hi Nurse KLD and Dr. Young,

    Thank you both very much for taking your time to reply to my post. Although it looks like I should have acted sooner, at least now I know that getting the surgery, with all of its risks, is the way to go.

    I'll keep you informed. I just hope that I'm able to type after the big day!

    Bob.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  5. #5
    Good luck with the surgery Bob. I hope it goes well!

  6. #6
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    Good luck.
    Alan

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  7. #7
    I, too, wish you well and hope you will have a good result.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Damn BobKat, sorry to hear this. Really hope you do well in surgery, I know you don't like to have them cutting on ya. Hope everything else is going good in sunny Fla for you.

  9. #9
    Thank you peeps Patton, Bonnette and my ol' buddy John for the well wishes. I'm gonna need all the help I can get.

    Things have been hell here in Florida John. Last April my Mom died from complications of COPD and a month later my older and only brother hanged himself about 150 yards out my back door. He was found dead after 6 days of being there. Now my only sister is taking care of her husband down in Tampa (they live in Crystal River) who is getting radiation treatments for pancreatic cancer using a "cyber knife". Of course the "knife" broke down and they need to travel an additional 15 miles everyday. After only 2 treatments he fell very ill and is now hospitalized for unknown reasons and my sister is alone in the hotel room. She's taking time off from her work (she's an RN but helps run her hospital's computer system) so this has her schedule all screwed up. Oh, I broke my right leg last August and it's still in a brace, elevated and sticking straight out so it's very difficult to navigate this ol' tank they call a wheelchair! My next visit to the orthopedist is 2 days (the 12th) after my c-spine operation so I'll have to make special arrangements regarding that. These are only a few of the things that have gone wrong around here this year. I live alone so just everyday things are difficult to do. I want my leg and neck fixed so I can get back into my ol' sport chair and get the hell outta this prison of a house for a little while.

    Hope all is going well for y'alls!

    Take care,

    Bob.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  10. #10
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Geezus Bob, not a good year at all. I remember you talking of your mom and brother .. I'm so sorry to hear you lost them both in the same year!

    Please keep us updated here on your surgery! We still have a date for lemonade on your porch .. whether you want it or not. lol!
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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