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Joined: Jan 2008
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Sue22 Offline OP
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Has anyone here had surgery involving the cervical spine / the neck?

More specifically, has anyone here had bone spurs of the facet joints (in the neck) removed?

Or bone spurs in the facet joints anywhere in the spine removed?

If so, how effective was it at preventing the nerve compression / pain / muscle spasms?

And how long did it last?

I ask because its something for me to consider. I already do so much for my neck and have been since 1998, but its getting harder and harder to manage it. Sitting gets harder and harder all the time, and I gotta do it for my job. I'm not ready to retire or take disability yet....can't afford to and really don't want to.

My husband's old boss had bone spur surgery and had really good results. Its a dream of mine.



sue

Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
chiro
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no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)
Joined: Feb 2011
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Pea Offline
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Hi Sue,

I haven't had surgery there but my neck is fusing, well, almost done fusing. It is pretty bad pain there isn't it? Bone spurs are pretty bad aren't they? Are they spiny and prick and rub the tissue around them? I would see a specialist who does this surgery and at least check into it. I don't know what health insurance you have but we have Blue Cross and they pay to go to the Mayo and John Hopkins if that is where you want to go. I would. Sorry you are going through this.


Pea
Diagnosed with A.S. 29 year's ago.
Diagnosed with Fibro 10 year's ago.
Remicade, Intrathecal Pain Pump 2013
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Sue22 Offline OP
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thanks pea. planning on making an appointment with neurosurgeons.

my pain specialist / interventionalist wants me to.

he also ordered new MRIs for me; its been over 3 years since i've had them.
of course they are done when i'm laying down with my neck in neutral so that doesn't show the impingement nearly as badly as it probably would if i had one while sitting. but the nearest functional MRI is in NYC and that's a plane ride away.
But the new MRIs should say something.

Also, based on these results, the interventionlist may do cortisone injections up higher; he did C4-C5 and C5-C6, and that has helped the upper back a lot. But where i'm getting the pain is more related to C2-C3 or C3-C4; he said he could inject there, but wanted to see the MRI results first.



sue

Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
chiro
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 9,845
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Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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Not to be undertaken lightly. A 'good' surgeon will not go in unless absolutely necessary. Please go see the papers I have posted on this exact surgical procedure, should be in either surgical section or in the spondy research section (forum).

Cortisone will do *nothing for bones. Will help with tendons, ligaments and soft tissue injuries, not bones. Osteophytes are bone overgrowth.

Yes. Osteophytes can be clipped back. Op can be most successful - but be aware the osteophytes can also grow right back. Often and usually 'do' grow right back - in time that is. From four yrs on to expect a regrowth.

This is not an op to be undertaken lightly.


MollyC1i - Riding OutAS
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Pea Offline
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That's disturbing Moll's. Glad I'm going for the pump. I can't face the future anymore. It is only going to get worst.

Glad you are getting the new M.R.I.s Sue. I hope they find some relief for you.


Pea
Diagnosed with A.S. 29 year's ago.
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Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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Here ya go guys - this might help -

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489212/


MollyC1i - Riding OutAS
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i had the facet joints removed on the bottom three lumbar joints. that is a lot less risky because the spinal cord is more compact in your neck. my surgery was not bad the recovery was 2 to 3 months. i wish you luck. mike


Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time for that's the stuff life is made of Benjamin Franklin
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Sue22 Offline OP
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Thanks for the info Molly. Yes, I know not to be undertaken lightly. Probably why I've only been toying with the idea for so long. But I should at least talk to people, that can't hurt, just talking. For sure will get second and maybe even third opinion (if anyone suggests too quickly to do the surgery, but don't even know if that's an option...that's why we go talk to the specialists, I suppose).

Yes, cortisone does nothing for the bones, but it does reduce the inflammation swelling in the joint, allowing less compression of the nerve. I don't get them very often. This was the second time. The first time was like 2 years ago. And both times, worked well. This time, in fact, very little involvement most days of the upper back muscle spasms (upper trap, rhomboid area, infraspinatus are pretty well behaved) - that tells me that the injections into the C4-C5 and C5-C6 region were helpful.

But still, I have problems higher up. From the pain (in jaw, front of neck, behind ear, occipital muscle / nerve / headaches) it appears that it might be C2-C3, maybe C3-C4, but we're all wired a little differently. For example, doesn't seem like most people get the jaw numbness and front of neck muscle spasms that I do. Usually its more just occipital. But that's what the MRI is for, to see where the problem is. But, its fine when I'm laying with neck in neutral as I will be for the MRI, what I really need is a functional MRI while sitting, but that's not an option (here). I can't sit up at all, soon as I try, I get the terrible pain behind the ear, and this horrible "electrical storm" type of feeling up into the head and down into the upper back. The doctor did say that he often injects C2-C3 for occipital headaches, so it can be done. But he wants to see the new imagining first, then we can decide how to proceed.

But at least I can sit in the recliner and a chair at work where I can sit "curved" so my cervical spine isn't being compressed (I guess). But having to sit elsewhere, that's a huge problem, and classes and meetings start again on monday, I'm concerned.



sue

Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
chiro
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 21,346
Likes: 1
Sue22 Offline OP
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Thanks Pea. Had the MRI this morning. I love places with Saturday hours, not having to fit in work and medical stuff. Its a challenge to not be able to swallow or breath deeply for the whole time. But must admit, they do have a set up to make a person as comfortable as possible. And I always take a muscle relaxant first; that helps a huge amount. Well, now we just wait to see what they find. See if there's anything new or if its pretty much just C4-C5 and C5-C6 facet joint osteophytes.

Thanks again! :holly2:



sue

Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
chiro
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 21,346
Likes: 1
Sue22 Offline OP
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Posts: 21,346
Likes: 1
Thanks Mike! Hope your surgery went well and you get some long(ish) term relief.

I know the neck is a lot more dangerous of a place to muck around in. But when the pain and disfunction get bad enough, we get pretty brave in what we will consider. Why its always good to get unbiased views here.



sue

Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
chiro
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)
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