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@upstatecountrygirl

Hi @grandmar
I have had 2 neck surgeries, one was 10 years ago (if my calculations are correct) and the other about 3 years ago. The first one was a fusion at C5-6 then the worst case happen, the discs above and below ended up bad as well. This left me with 2 fusions and an artificial disc. My surgeon at the second surgery told me that eventually I will end up having the artificial disc fused as well because they don’t last a lifetime. I was very hard on my body when I was young and didn’t realize what I was doing to my spine. I now have spinal stenosis in all areas of this spine, bulging discs, with pressure in parts of the spinal column. I deal with headaches, arm and joint pain on the left side along with stiffness and muscle spasms. I wish I had your courage of getting shots but I am scared to death of anything going in my spine (a cortisone shot in my elbow was bad enough). I commend you for your bravery!

Thank you for sharing your experience in a positive note.

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Replies to "Hi @grandmar I have had 2 neck surgeries, one was 10 years ago (if my calculations..."

One way of looking at it is if you were brave enough to have not one, but two surgeries on your cervical spine, an injection is much less risky?! If it’s the idea of a needle that scares you, they can possibly give you some sedation to help you tolerate the procedure. Just something for you to consider.
I’ve had a cervical fusion at two levels. Ten years ago. Now the areas above and below the fusion are messed up. My discs above are collapsed and “autofused” – they did it themselves – I guess not unheard of, body’s way of trying to protect itself from excess motion. I have a bulging dic below my fusion and “severe” stenosis per MRI.
My neck makes lots of noise and hurts – I think sometimes it gets “stuck” and I feel a sort of crack/pop. I have discomfort in my upper shoulder, base of neck, etc.
I have been offered another neck surgery but it would be involved, require a posterior approach (which cuts a bunch of muscles, longer recovery than going from front) and higher risks to my arm because of the nerves involved. Have had 3 opinions from different places – several years ago. So I refused more surgery.
I get neck injections aka occipital nerve blocks, done under ultrasound with local anesthetic, in MD office by a Pain Management/anesthesiologist. Other than the local stinging, it’s fine. Definitely helps. I can have them every 3 months and can definitely tell when my appointment is coming due!

Hi
Yes, fusions don't last forever and for the discs to collapse is a common and expected problem.
So far, so good.
It really amazes me that needles into the spine frightens you more than surgery.
They really aren't so bad.
They inject numbing meds first. It's a quick pinch.
When they do the procedure they use a special camera to guide them exactly where the needle goes.
They don't go in blindly.
My very first shot I was put out.
After that, I switched docs and had nothing.
I was expecting the worst, but it wasn't.
Some docs will give you something to calm you.
Don't not get shots because you fear the pain.
Research for a good pain specialist.
There is always a consult first at which time you are able to doscuss your concerns and how he or she will deal with that.
Good luck!!

Good evening, welcome @upstatecountrygirl and hello once again @grandmar. It was great to see your post and
@upstatecountrygirl, I was welcomed and sincerely helped by @grandmar when I first logged on to Connect.

My neck surgery and fusion has been a wonderful choice for my neck issues. I fell down 16 stairs and along with bone spurs needed to be free of pain. The medical team got together and decided to do the neck first and then the shoulder. I spent three months in a post-surgery brace. When I complained, the surgeon just said….you need to wear the brace for 3 months if you want the fusing to take place. And he was right.

Then I freaked out because I could feel the ligaments making noise and sort of popping like a rubber band. That was then and this is now. I use medical cannabis at night, a cervical cradle when needed, and have two MFR sessions every week to keep those things in shape.

At this point….6 years later…..I have very little pain or discomfort……the ligament popping is gone and I use a tincture of medical cannabis at bedtime for all my aging issues. My goal every day is to be able to lie down and turn my head from side to side without straining or experiencing pain. I also do yoga poses using my neck for stability

Please let s know about you and your neck ……we are here for you.

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris