Mark Price, back at what he loves to do after ACD surgery peformed
by Dr. Schiffer. The patients in the Testimonials list below
have had the same procedure as Mark Price pictured in the photo above.
August 25, 2008
Dear Dr. Schiffer,
you can use this letter to help others understand what the pain and associated
symptoms they are having actually mean. My hope is that they will seek
out appropriate care quickly. It is important for those suffering from
cervical spinal symptoms to get nerve root and cord compression early in order
to avoid permanent disability. I really appreciate what you did for me
and am so grateful to be able to enjoy a normal lifestyle without pain.
a dull, constant ache along the medial border of my left scapula and into my
upper back with similar aching running down into my left posterior upper arm
on March 28, 2008. I had no prior history of neck injury, but in 2000
had an episode of similar pain treated with Prednisone which did not return. Motrin
did not help. Over the next 48 hours the aching became much more severe
with pain in the left upper back and upper shoulder radiating into the left
posterior arm and forearm and onto the back of my hand. There were
muscle fasiculations or minicontractions in all those areas as well as numbness
over the triceps area. Also my deltoid and triceps muscles had become
very weak. I knew these symptoms were related to a cervical #7 nerve
root radiculopathy so to get some pain relief, I was started on a 10 day course
of Prednisone 40 mg. per day. The hope was that this would reduce
probable cervical disk swelling and decompress that nerve root. I got
about 80% pain relief while on Prednisone but still had a lingering pressure
at the base of my dorsal neck on the left. My arm also remained weak.
the course of Prednisone, I was improved for about 10 days. Then the
same severe aching pain and other symptoms returned with a vengeance. I
immediately got an appointment with a local Neurosurgeon and had a MRI and
neck x-rays taken. This showed two significant disk herniations at C6-7
and C5-6 levels. No bony abnormalities were seen. The neurosurgeon
offered me discectomies at both levels with bone grafts taken from my hip to
fuse those levels and placement of an anterior metal plate when I decided the
pain was severe enough. I had heard that some physicians were doing minimally
invasive cervical disk surgery in other parts of the U.S. so I went to the
internet under “cervical spine surgery” and was fortunate enough
to find your website. I also went back on Prednisone to get pain relief
as no pain medication, prescription or otherwise, helped.
with you by phone, sent my MRI and C-spine films to you and got that really
important CAT scan and further x-rays. The CAT scan showed extensive
bone spurring around the herniated disks at both levels extending into the
spinal canal and up against the spinal cord. The bony spurring was not
seen on the MRI. Minimally invasive surgery was not possible because
all that spurring had to be removed along with the disks. We scheduled
surgery for May 22nd and you did two anterior cervical discectomies and one
partial cervical disk at C4-5 level.
August 23 and I am fly fishing, hiking, jogging short distances (2 miles
or so) and regaining my strength. My left arm strength is improving and
I am essentially without pain. I no longer feel that pressure sensation
in my left posterior neck. And although I know I’am not completely
healed yet, I have very little limitation in the range of motion in my neck. With
bone grafting and fusion that would not be the case.
to anyone who has symptoms similar to mine or has other cervical nerve root
symptoms with numbness and/or muscle weakness and muscle fasiculations is to
please get to a neurosurgeon early and discuss your options. Don’t
fool around with “conservative” therapy like pain medications,
physical therapy, and steroids while nerve roots are being damaged by compression. Secondly,
the standard disk removal with bone graft and joint fusion is not the only
and probably not the best surgical option for most people. There are
surgeons like yourself who can offer better procedures with shorter recovery
times, less risk of complications, and more acceptable outcomes.
you for your help.
E. Boyles M.D.