This morning I went to my back doctor. The picture of the human body where you are supposed to show the areas that are hurting all had little marks all over it from me. However, the nurse told me that the way it works, despite having various degrees of pain from neck to tailbone, is starting with the area with the most severe pain. That would be my neck/cervical area.
I have such little movement looking down or side to side. I have to turn my back to look over my shoulder when driving. I have had pain radiating down my arms going on months now. I have had 2 epidural shots at the end of 2015 and mid 2016. The first did nothing to help the pain. The second caused excruciating pain down my arms that I had to take extra medication for. I have tried physical therapy and chiropractic sessions for months. So, I had to go full circle back to the orthopedic doctor.
Today, I had new xrays of my neck taken. I have cervical spondylosis in C5 through C7, pretty severely. Normally, he says, he would recommend epidural shots and PT to start. Since neither helped and it has been an issue for so many years, he said surgery is my best bet. According to the surgeon, it is a pretty simple surgery: For this procedure, he will make an incision in the throat and movs the windpipe and esophagus aside to get to the cervical spine. He then removes the discs, replacing them with bone grafts or artificial implants. It is a one night hospital stay and 6 week recovery. It sounds gruesome to me!
The pain down my arms is getting more severe, more painful, and more frequent. Also, my fingers fall asleep each night numerous times all do to pinching nerves. This seems the best solution. Since the recovery time is so long, I have opted to wait until the end of the summer to get the surgery, so we can still go swimming a lot. In the meantime (once insurance okays it), I will be getting an MRI, Physical Therapy, and a lumber epidural injection.