Does Oakland Neurologists use laser surgery on C-6 herniation?
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 55
Pain in right shoulder and arm, no muscle strength in upper arm. Had MRI done on Monday.
Hi there. I'm sorry you are having a problem with your neck. You have a C-6 herniation shown on MRI?
What exactly did the MRI show? Are your symptoms on both arms or just one side? Are you otherwise healthy? Have you neck/arms problems before? Did you have an injury? Any additional information would allow me to help you.
I am not sure who "Oakland" neurologists are? However, if you have a C-6 disk herniation that is symptomatic and has failed nonsurgical treatment, then you would be a candidate for diskectomy and fusion of that level of the neck
Please understand that the information I provide is for educational and informational purposes only and does not substitute seeing a live physician.
You should see an Orthopedic Spine surgeon or could see a Neurosurgeon.
Do you understand what a herniation is? The spine (back and neck) is composed of spinal bones that are stacked one on top of the other. The also have a canal behind them that the spinal cord runs through. The spinal cord shoots off branches of nerve to various parts of the body. The ones in the neck go to the arms. The disks are the cushions between the stacked spinal bones. When a disk "herniates" it has a break/rupture in it and the disk contents protrudes back into the canal and where the nerves exit the spinal cord. That is why the disk causes symptoms.
There are various types of herniations - central (straight back), lateral, far lateral, etc. They denote the location of the herniation and give an idea of which nerve roots will be affected.
If you have a symptomatic herniation that has failed other treatment, diskectomy and fusion is an option. Fusion is the stabilization of two spinal bones and the disk space between them that will remove any motion from that level. Fusion is the bridging of bone between two levels.
Laser surgery is generally not done in the cervical spine because the surgical approach is usually from the front. There are very important structures in the approach from the front of the neck including nerve that innervates vocal cords, esophagus, etc. So laser is not used in the cervical spine.
The success rate of diskectomy from the front for cervical spine is very high. It is also called an ACDF (anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion).
Feel free to message me or ask follow up questions. You can accept the answer at any time or ask follow up questions. I hope I have addressed your problem.
Thank you for your response; the nerve that is pinched is on the right side. Finding an Orthopedic Spine surgeon or a Neurosurgeon that my insurance "cofinity" covers. My reference to Oakland as I would like to find health care at the University of Michigan or Beumont Hospital or perhas Henry Ford. It is my understanding from your messages ther are two cures that I would like to know more about. There are nonsurgical treatments ( please provide me a description of non surgical treatment) and a sucessful diskectomy, which I believe is surgery at my neck line? All is very overwhelming at times. I fell about 7-8 years injuring my right hand. Some of this new nerve pain is in the shoulder, spine and right arm and numbness in two fingers. Having practiced yoga for 10 years; probably aggre
pressed the wrong key. So I am not sure what ruptured the disk other than the falls on the wrist those years ago. I sit in my job (computer consulting business and accounting. so maybe that career has had some effect. Stand up desk. Ok must move, too much sitting is not a good thing. thanks, Crystal
Hi there. Thanks for accepting my answer. To follow up on your questions, nonsurgical treatment would comprise primarily of physical therapy and strengthening of your neck muscles. The literature shows that some disk herniations shrink after time and after the acute inflammatory phase of the herniation, the pain and symptoms may improve. A diskectomy is when they make an incision at your neck line (usually transverse in the crease so you cannot see it) and they dissect down to the disk and remove it. Now that it has been removed the two bones that it usually separates must be fused together as one. If they were not fused after the diskectomy then it would hurt to move your neck. On the other hand some partial diskectomies are small and thus fusion is not necessary. I hope that answers your follow up questions. Thanks.
I am currently looking for a neurosurgeon at the University of Michigan Neurology department. In the meantime, my chriopracter is having me do traction which lifts my neck up to create space between the disks. Having had some people in the medical office tell me not to see a chiropracter. Actually she was the one person who had the right diagnoses and sent me for an MRI.
Other than surgery I have explored and found inversion tables are helpful. Is my thinking correct that other than surgery: there are physical therapy, steriod shots or pain shots and that is about it.
The MRI says the following finding: Veterbral body height and alignment are normal. Large right-sided herniation is present at the C6-C7 level with disk material extending into the right lateral recess and foramen. This produces displacement and deformity of the spinal cord at this level. There is no evidence of cerebellar tonsillar ectopia. Spinal cord signal is normal.
Your information has been helpful. I am trying to avoid surgery but the choices won't change the problem, maybe just put a band-aid on the problem.
If the MRI indeed shows a large herniation into the foramen and recess and deforming the cord and nerve roots then that would be an indication for surgery to remove the part of the disk that is pressing on the cord. This would likely relieve radicular symptoms down the arm such as shooting pains, numbness, or tingling.I would have to see the images to be able to say for certain. However, yes it does seem based on the MRI read that this is surgical. I must be clear that only if you are having right sided symptoms in the C6-C7 distribution that matches the MRI would surgery help. Good luck to you. It would not hurt to exhaust nonsurgical options first. I think patients who do this ultimately gain more relief and satisfaction from their surgery if it comes to that.
Hi, what would be nonsurgical options; inversion tables, traction, other physical therapy? Your information has been very helpful. I have been referred to a neurosurgeon at University of Michigan. There has not been anyone who really understands the MRI who has read it except for the general practicing doctor in our community. No one has pointed me to non surgical methods of relieving pain; is that what a neurologist would do? In pain and not sure what else to do. I am only having pain on the side of the disk herniation. Thanks, Crystal
Nonsurgical options would include physical therapy, chiropractic traction, and injections. All of these would produce variable results for impinging cervical herniations. The problem with seeing a Western medicine type of physician is that he or she may not believe in these nonoperative treatments, so you really have to find a physician who focuses on nonoperative treatments of the spine. This would be either a spine surgeon, physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, or a pain specialist. It really varies by locality so you are going to have to dig around to see who is good in your area. Good luck to you. You know where to find me.