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Fri, Nov 29 5:11pm · Curcumin after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in Spine Health

@colleenyoung I will absolutely ask the surgeon. I certainly don't want to take anything post surgery to effect the outcome. Thanks!

Fri, Nov 29 10:00am · C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder? in Spine Health

@ken82 it was never mentioned. I am guessing it's because of what he saw in the MRI and because I sometimes get tingles in both hands/fingers (mostly in the left though). Without researching it, I am not sure if I would have symptoms in both hands if it were cubital tunnel syndrome.

Fri, Nov 29 8:06am · Curcumin after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in Spine Health

I am having an ACDF on my C4-C6. I believe anti-inflammatories are not to be taken after surgery due to how they can affect the fusion. Does anyone know if it’s still OK to take things like Curcumin/Tumeric? They serve as a natural anti-inflammatory so I wasn’t sure. I order mine online and because of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, there is a great sale on it right now. I was going to stock up but wasn’t sure if I will even be allowed to take it post surgery (surgery is Dec 19th). I am sure the day of surgery I will be given a list of what I can and cannot take. Anyway, just curious if anyone here happens to know.

Thu, Nov 28 8:56am · C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder? in Spine Health

@hopeful33250 I will definitely keep you posted! I do see my shoulder doc next week about the left shoulder one more time. That is not the one that will be getting surgery. I had a MRI on it months ago and although he reviewed it (quickly) and didn't seem to think anything needed to be done, I want him to look at it again. Obviously, a radiologist here read it. I also sent it to Mayo and had a radiologist there read it. This was when I was still in the confused phase of is it a shoulder issue or a neck issue. The radiologist at Mayo noted two things the local radiologists didn't. These things are minimal but I still want to discuss with the shoulder doc. 🙂

Thu, Nov 28 8:30am · C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder? in Spine Health

@hopeful33250 – thanks for checking on me. I am scheduled for cervical spine surgery on Dec 19th. During my second meeting with the neurosurgeon he went over my MRI again and answered all of my questions. I feel confident in his skills and truly believe he wouldn't be recommending surgery if it wasn't needed. My neck has lost it's curve and one vertebra is slightly pushing in the other direction. He feels all of this is the reason for the disc herniations and said that if it doesn't get fixed then down the road I could easily herniate some of the other discs due to how pressure is being distributed throughout the neck. I know others who have gone to him (or had a loved one) and everyone says he is phenomenal. Once it is done and healed than I can have the full thickness tear in my right shoulder fixed. I am curious to see how much of the shoulder issues I have on both sides go away after cervical spine surgery. Because of the discs involved it can cause shoulder dysfunction and it has. I am having issues on the left shoulder and am praying that it's all from the neck, as one shoulder surgery is going to be enough. Thanks again for checking on me!

Sun, Nov 10 8:57am · C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder? in Spine Health

@jenniferhunter yeah I don't know what I am going to do. The more I read up on cervical spine surgery the more I am not sure I want it. Having said that, as I sit here typing and things don't feel right and the tip of the left index finger is still numb, I know there is a problem. I feel so much pressure because I need to get my right shoulder fixed due to the full thickness tear in the supraspinatus (it's started to retract some) but need to get this issue taken care of first. I may ask the spine doc about trying physical therapy again like i did three years ago. I have been in physical therapy for my shoulder but had them do dry needling on muscles in my back, shoulders and the last two times on my neck. Tried traction three times. Prior to that one of the therapists did a little manual work. I remember back when I had PT years ago telling the therapist that it wasn't helping much. He said sometimes there is just too much crowding going on, which is due to the bone spur and the narrowing I have, among other things.I start knee PT tomorrow and can't wait to chat with that therapist about all of this. She is amazing and highly respected. Anytime I have had a surgery or a doctor sends me to PT they always ask who I plan to go to. When I say her name they note how I am in good hands. In fact, the surgeon who did my right hip labrum repair sends all of his patients there unless they are unable to go there due to insurance reasons. She doesn't do dry needling but does do ASTYM. She also does not do spine PT…unless that has changed from three years ago. I have to respect that, as I know there are therapists who think they can do spine work and really shouldn't be.

Anyway, I will specifically ask the surgeon in a few weeks about TOS. I may have my husband meet me there if he can get out of work early enough. He works 2 ½ hours away right now. The frustrating part about that appointment is it's at 4:45 p.m. and the scheduler said to plan on him being 1-2 hours behind, as she is overbooking him due to wanting to help patients get in prior to surgeries, etc. I guess in December he's only doing surgeries. Ugh. On a positive, I am walking without my walker today. Not bending the knee much when i walk, as that is when I feel discomfort. Which I can't bend it much anyway even if I wanted to because of how it's wrapped. Again, THANK YOU for taking time to respond and offer guidance. I will absolutely keep you posted on how all of this goes.

Sat, Nov 9 2:52pm · C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder? in Spine Health

@jenniferhunter thanks for the response! Yes, I had knee surgery yesterday. There was a band of scar tissue in the area that was causing pain and then some in other areas. All of the tendons and ligaments looked good though. I am now just sitting around hooked up to the ice machine and hating it. LOL. Sitting in the recliner and bed is aggravating the nerves in my neck (assuming), as the pain meds I have help with the knee but do nothing for that area in my upper shoulder blade. Also have the left hand tingles and today, I woke up to find the tip of my index finger is numb. That hasn't been the case up until now. I suspect it's from bad positioning and then using the walker to get around. I put pressure on my arms when using it so the surgical leg isn't weight bearing. I image this is funneling up to the neck. The walker has a seat on it and I have been trying to scoot around instead. I have crutches but don't like using them. Hoping to be walking without any of this by Monday. The tip of the finger thing is frustrating.

I did meet with the spine doc and he is recommending ACDF surgery. He would add a spacer to the C5-C6 and then move the vertebrae above it back in place so I have the curve back in my neck. He does not think the issue is coming from my left shoulder, which is a relief since I will need to get the right shoulder fixed. I wasn't prepared for the surgery recommendation so I didn't have a list of questions. I scheduled another appointment in about two weeks to see him again and ask the 12+ questions I have. I need reassurance he is 100% confident that's my issue and surgery will fix it.

The ankle…had a MSK done on it. That doc said my ligaments and tendons are in pristine condition. He thinks it's a neuropathy. I am not sure how that would explain the snapping noise it makes sometimes. And, it's not one snap. It snaps with every step for a while and then stops. I know the physical therapist that looked at it prior to the MSK said both ankles weren't all that stable. He noted a little fluid in the ankle joint as well. He suggested an ankle brace and a few stretchy band exercises, noting it should be better in 5-6 weeks. I see a different therapist on Monday that will be doing my knee PT. I've gone to her for many other post ops and she has 20+ years in the profession. I plan to get her take on the ankle as well. I almost laughed though when the doctor said everything was in pristine condition. Having been a runner and then into weight lifting for two decades I doubt anything in my body is in pristine condition. LOL. Oh and he said that he thinks all of my issues are related to something and named a few diseases (can't remember the names). He asked if I have been tested for them, which I haven't. He doesn't think my cervical spine is an issue and is putting it on whatever these diseases are. It should be noted he is the radiologist who did the MRI review on the cervical spine. His report wasn't detailed and i remember being disappointed in it. So Monday I saw the spine doc who said I need surgery and then that afternoon I saw this other doctor that said I do not. I was so confused. I will do whatever blood tests he thinks I need if my primary care doctor wants me to. I don't think that's it though. The spine doctor explained my MRI in detail, showing what was touching what, etc. I tend to believe him over the radiologist but who knows. If I have cervical spine surgery I will do that first and then the right shoulder. I did let the two physical therapists who have been working on me and doing dry needling know about those appointments and my confusion afterwards. They discussed my email and both said if they were in my shoes (having seen me over the months) they would have the ACDF surgery. Like I said, I have lots of questions for the spine doc first. I see the shoulder doc that same day just as a follow up, as he wanted to know what the spine doc had to say.

This upper back shoulder blade discomfort and hand tingles/tip of the finger numbness is frustrating. I can't believe the pain meds aren't touching it. I hope once I am more mobile in a few days the nerves or whatever the issue is will calm down some so that at least the tip of my index finger has feeling again. Sorry this is so long. 🙂