I would like to get your opinions about how common is this surgery, what are the percentages of favorable outcomes that you have seen, what are the alternatives that you have had experience with, etc. I am not asking for medical advice, but instead asking about your experience with this procedure since you guys are the ones with the most experience caring for these patients.
My brother's back Dr. is advising him to have surgery for a protruding disc at C5. The disc is "causing pressure on his cord and pinching the root nerve". Dr wants to completely remove his disc and replace it with an artificial one. He was also given the option of cortison injections for short term relief.
I told Mike to take his MRI and first go see what a chiropractor would advise (someone who is NOT trained only to cut). If nothing else, this could be a second option. I am not one of those people who think chiropractors can cure the world, but I am very anxious about the surgery option. I known many patients that regret back surgery for the rest of their life (and my brother is only 30).
My question about the cortison injections: are there CRNAs/MDAs that do this in a pain management practice? I would feel much better with a CRNA doing the injections (mainly because of the location - C5), but how feasible is this? As a nurse working in orthopedics, do you think I am wrong in seeking an anesthesia providor to give the injections given the potential problems if there is a "slip" and "human error" at C5.
We are in the DALLAS/FW area, so feel free to PM me if you have an specific info. I appreciate your comments.
Jan 12, '05
I don't believe that the ADR has been approved for cervical disk replacement, though I'm not current on the subject. I thought these were still in trials.
A second opinion is always an option. As much as I like my chiro, I will not let him work on my neck. I have been warned by my neurologist and my pain service doctor.
My choice would be a 2nd opinion with whomever his back doctor is not. For example get a neurosurgeon's oopinion if his doctor is an orthopaedic spine surgeon....and vice versa. I do stress ortho SPINE surgeon. They've done the study and know the work.
Both orthos and neuros are able to give the steroid injections. I have had both. My pain doctor is an anaesthesiologist.
Jan 13, '05
thanks for the reply..
just FYI, my brother found out that this replacement procedure is still considered "experimental", and his opinion of that was SIGN ME UP......NOT! And insurance will probably not pay for any experimental procedures.