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Loss of Hand Strength

Started by tomnguyen on 03/01/2019 9:21am

I've had an ACF on my C5, C6, and C7 on September 2015. For the most part, I felt fine with a day or two of soreness in about 3 years. At the beginning of January 2019, I woke up with a soreness in my neck and disregarded and just worked through it. That weekend, I scraped some tile with a tile scraping machine that vibrates. It's also very heavy and I pulled it up the stairs slowly. That Sunday night, I couldn't go to sleep because laying down caused excruciating pain.

I'm seeing a physical therapist now which I feel has been helping a little bit. I can sleep with two pillows, but I go through pain every morning. The physical therapy exercises do bring me some relief. I recently got an MRI, and it definitely shows a pinched nerve. The same spinal center that performed my surgery in 2015 is suggesting that I have another surgery. I'm having problems typing with my left hand, and I've also lost some strength as well in that hand. I did have that Dr. give me a steroid shot in my shoulder to give me some temporary relief, but I think the steroid has worn off. Every night, I wake up anywhere from 3-4:30 am to add ice to my neck because of muscle spasms.

Here is the radiology report:

C7-T1: A left paracentral disc extrusion versus fragment moderately stenosis the left subarticular space and abuts the anterior aspect of the cord, and severely stenosis of the origin of the left neural foramen. Right uncovertebral hypertrophy results in moderately severe right neural foraminal narrowing.

Impression: There is a C7-T1 left paracentral disc extrusion versus disc fragment, stenosing the left subarticular space and severely narrowing the left neural foramen origin.

Here is an image of my MRI:


I'm not sure if I have an extruded or sequestered disc. Do you think this is treatable without surgery? The doctor said that if I wait too long (like 6 months), my hand strength may never come back because my nerves will be too damaged. I'm really skeptical about having another fusion level added, and I feel like this problem was caused by my first surgery. I don't know if the doctor is saying that because he is trying to sell me on the surgery? He also said that if I had the surgery, I would be good for another 10 years. I can't keep having vertebrae fused together. I won't be able to bend.

In the next two weeks, I'm meeting with two other doctors to give me a second and third opinion. Are there any other alternatives besides ACF?

Thanks for your help.

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