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Spinal fusion

My NS recommends  a spinal fusion, as I have stenosis and bulging discs that have exemplified my chiari symptoms.  Has anyone had a fusion?, has it helped? I'm afraid that other discs will start bulging around the fusion and I'll be in the same rut i'm in now.  Any advice?
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620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Hi...I was told I would also need this, as I have some bulging disks in an area of stinosis...not a good combo....and like u I am concerned not only will I have other disks that could bulge but, why did they bulge...I found I do have Ehlers-Danlos, so I am prone to more of this happening...but since this is creating a CSF obstruction I may have to have something done soon......

Look for the y, and the possibility this will end the issue  or be the beginning of them...rule out conditions like EDS...

If u do not have it, or something similar the fusion and some PT may be ur answer.

    "selma"
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Avatar universal
He also suggested a spinal epidural, I'm afraid of that also.  Anyone have any bad response to an epidural.  Thank you for any input.  
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620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Hi...I had a reaction to an epidural , but it was not the epidural that was the problem...it was a student nurse that pulled me to a sitting position when I was to lie flat for an hour after the epidural was removed so I would not develop a leak, well I did as a result of her insisting I sit on a bed pan...nice...I had 5 horrendous days of pain bcuz of it...but I did not have my chiari dx back then.....

The drs know u have chiari and will be sure to keep u flat and do all they can to avoid a leak....

    Good luck
     "selma"
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1663373 tn?1333635989
What level would your fusion be at? I have a ruptured c5c6 with 2 herniated above and below.  I had decompression surgery 7 months ago and I still have a headache 24/7.  Dr Oro suggested doing the fusion for the one level and have been debating with myself.  On the one hand if it took half the pain so worth it but if it didnt not sure I am ready for another surgery.  Am really thinking I will do it in December as I have already maxed out insurance might as well take advantage.  Wish I knew if anyone had the same problems and if it helped.
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Avatar universal
Hi, I have bulging discs at c5c6, and a smaller bulging discs above and below.  I'm going for an epidural today, to see if that helps.  I had a rough night trying to sleep, and if the epidural doesn't help, I will have to get the fusion.  
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1663373 tn?1333635989
Wow I would love to know if it helps you please keep me posted.  Have you had decompression surgery? What are your symptoms from the bulging discs? Just curious as I am praying that my HA are from that and not something else.  Best of luck!
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620923 tn?1452915648
COMMUNITY LEADER


  Do keep us posted. My Disks have slipped further post op and now r causing some of the symptoms I got rid of...they can  obstruct CSF just like the tonsils...so u can get the whole gamete of symptoms u get from chiari with them giving u just as much of an obstruction......

cash242- the symptoms can be very similar depending on whether or not u have an obstruction.....so it can be very diff to tell which is causing the issues.

  "selma"
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Avatar universal
I've had mild chiari symptoms for a long time(tinnitis, nausea, dizziness, visual disturbance, sensivity to light and sound, tingling in my hands).  I always blamed them on other things, and didn't seek out help as everyone gets those symptoms now and then and I'm getting old.
I had an increase in symptoms this past spring, daily nausea and dizziness, vertigo with tinnitis, pain in my neck and shoulders, fatigue, and my hands and feet are tingly all the time.I'm also getting more pressure behind my eyes and headaches.  Thats when I got the diagnosis of Chiari 1.,cervical stenosis and bulging discs  it's become increasingly difficult to find a good position to sleep and by the end of evening i'm usually laying on the floor with an ice pack on the back of my head ( my way of decreasing the inflammation around my neck.) I'm keeping Advil in business as I can't get through the day without it.   My NS(Dr. Heffez) believes that my increase in symptoms are related to the disc bulging.  I have not had decompression surgery, he said i would benefit more from a fusion.  I would most likely lose my job if i had a fusion, so we are trying conservative things now.  The PT helped little, traction is like having my head in a vice,(I don't recommend it.)  I had a epidural yesterday.  I won't know how it will affect me for a few days.  I guess the hypothesis is that it will decrease the inflammation in my neck and temporarily relieve some of the obstruction.  I will let you know if it helps.  The procedure itself wasn't bad, except for my heartrate dropped into the 40's and my hands were pretty numb and i got quite dizzy.  (You have to lie prone with your chin tucked, neck flexed)  The pain doctor was nice and is in contact with my NS.  I have confidence in them.   I'll update you in a few days to see if I feel better.
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1663373 tn?1333635989
I truly hope that you find some relief.  Nights dont bother me very much it is the HAs and numbness tingling that I have.  I do have CSF flow issues but it is hard to decipher what causes what-egg/chicken scenario.  Dr Oro told me he would have done the fusion first as the decompression surgery puts your neck in a very bad position so am wondering if that is what caused the rupture. It would make sense that my symptoms came back as I became more active.  Definetly doing surgery in Dec. so hopefully I can share what stayed and what went away.Hate to do another surgery but while I have the insurance I need to do it.  My c1 was also unfused during decompression so I wonder if that made things even more unstable.  Good luck!
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