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Recurrent c6-c7 herniation

  In Jan of 07 I was injured and found to have a large herniated disk c6-c7 area.  I had surgery in Feb of 07 and returned to work in March 07.  In Dec of 07 I began to have pain in my left elbow, tricep, first two fingers and pain and tingeling in my left leg above the knee.  I had an MRI which showed a recurrent disk herniation c6-c7.  I had surgery in March of 08 and returned to work in April of 08. About two weeks after returning to work I began to experience the same symptoms, severe pain in arm, fingers and leg.  It is important to note that I never felt 100% after surgery.  I always had some pain in my arm and leg and constent tingeling in my fingers.  I was told by surgeon that recurrent herniations in the c6-c7 area are about 3% and he has never had a second recurrent.
  Has anyone ever had a recurrent (twice)?  Has anyone been told that the nerve root could become damaged for ever and that the tingeling feelings in the fingers and leg may never go away?  Anyone with similar symptoms please let me know how you are dealing with them.  I am on pain meds (oxy) and Lyrica.  Other then making me sleepy and silly they dont do much.     Thank You....Mike
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Avatar universal
I am sorry to hear about your difficulties following your initial surgery. I wanted to drop you a quick note about my experience with permanent nerve damage. I progressively lost the fine motor function in my right hand (over a year) and because there was no pain I never went and had it evaluated. My handwriting became more difficult to read and I found I had more and more trouble gripping the pen. I woke one morning in terrible back pain. Long story short, I had C5-C6 successfully fused a short time later. I had nerve compression for some time but had no clue. I have permanently lost fine motor function in my dominant hand in spite of all the exercises and therapy since. I have had to learn to write with my left hand. I do not have pain, but I do have muscle weakness.

I am very lucky in that I have a high pain tolerance. The neurologist and the orthopedist  both think the extended pressure on the cord caused the damage and it will be permanent. We all hoped for the best but it just did not come back (surgery 6 months ago). I am now scheduled for a second repair C6-C7, L5-S1. Although I have minimal discomfort, the MRIs show cord compression at both sites. I have to be proactive this time to avoid any additional motor loss. I have learned the hard way that compressed nerves that go untreated can have a bad outcome-in my case anyway.

Good luck with your treatment plan!

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Avatar universal
Hi Mike,
Where are you located?
I've had two bone fusions, the first at C5-C6 back in 05, and then C4-C5 this past November.
What kind of surgeries did you have?  With mine, I had severe spinal stenosis, so I needed to the discs removed and bone fusions done.  I've had two metal plates in my neck.
Not sure what you mean by a "recurrent" disc herniation ... they didn't remove the disc the first time?  Or, did you have another disc rupture too?

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