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surgery even with no symptoms?

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  • surgery even with no symptoms?

    I have absolutely no symptoms of cervical stenosis--no weakness, tingling, pain, trouble balancing, walking, etc. Found on an x-ray while looking for something else, then confirmed with a CT scan and an MRI is that I have severe cervical stenosis at c1-c2, c2-c3. I should have 14mm of space, but I have only 4mm. The neurosurgeon told me I should be in a lot of pain and that he shocked that I am not. In a nutshell, my choice (my dilemma) is: Do I get surgery to relieve the pressure and deal with all the risks of surgery even though I have no symptoms?

    The neurosurgeon told me that if I suffer a whiplash or even a small standing fall, that I could be paralyzed from the neck down and on a breathing tube. That is scary, but so are the risks of the surgery; which may not be successful and, one doctor (my GP) told me that I will surely be in pain after the surgery for the rest of my life.

    Any thoughts? Should I get the surgery so that I am not at risk for paralysis? Or should I wait for if and when I get symptoms?

  • #2

    I am UK based and have several patients with mild to moderate pain. They have opted to wait for surgery, knowing that the neurosurgeon will see them urgently should their symptoms/signs progress. I also have patients who have had extensive spinal surgery and have ache/pain consistent with ageing and lifestyle.

    Intraoperative and post op pain control is improving all the time, my post op patients are in no more pain than anyone else and may go months between visits to my practice.

    My patients live life as they wish, but take reasonable care and precautions. One has reluctantly stopped riding his motorbike. He is an expert rider but has injured himself several times getting the bike on and off it's stand.

    Falls are always risky. As an ageing female, I try to make sure that my balance and saving reactions are as good as I can get.
    Jo Bowyer
    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi