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Old 10-01-2020, 02:47 PM
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Default Pinched Nerve: Herniated Disc surgery

I've had a pinched nerve (left side) from a herniated disc at C6-C7 going on 4 months now. My left tricep still doesn't work. Physical therapy hasn't been able to fix the problem yet (McKenzie technique). I really don't want to have surgery and a disc replacement, my sister was 1 in a million and died from this exact surgery 2 years ago. You can understand why I am extra paranoid about surgery.
Any alternative advice to surgery? Those who had this surgery, are you able to get back to playing without too much loss of strength and performance?
Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:32 PM
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Fear of surgery is a natural human response. In light of your very unfortunate circumstance, it is almost an expected result. You should seek the opinion of a few neurosurgeons/neurologist. Find out what your options are. Generally accepted options are likely physical therapy, medications or surgery. Here is some advice from the Mayo Clinic on your appointment.

Before you go:

Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions
Write down any symptoms you're experiencing
Make a list of all medications
Take a family member or friend along
Write down questions to ask----including the ones above

Some good questions for most appoints:

What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
What kinds of tests do I need?
Is my condition likely temporary or long lasting?
What treatment do you recommend?
What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

I would also recommend some serious consideration to talking to a therapist. Your fear is very real and can present as a detriment to your process of getting well again. Fear, like many things your body experiences, takes up resources. Resources needed to heal, fight pain, fight infection.....

You should be able to ask your primary care physician or the surgeon about talking to someone.

Good luck, man. Hope all of it turns out ok and you get back to bombing 400+.

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Old 10-01-2020, 04:20 PM
BillFleming BillFleming is offline
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The number 1 thing I tell people that are going to have surgery is: (sorry for the all caps, but this is very important)

TALK TO YOUR ANESTHESIOLOGIST!!!!! Tell that person anything you are on or any medical issues...etc. DON'T COUNT ON THE SURGEON TO TELL THEM! AND DON'T COUNT ON THEM TO READ THE RECORDS!

Two instances....
1. My dad went into surgery for an abdominal aneurysm surgery. He "died" on the surgical table - they were able to bring him back quickly because they had already opened him up. The cause? My dad was 6'3" and about 250 pounds (maybe heavier). The anesthesiologist gave him the anesthesia for a person his age/height/weight. Anesthesia lowers your blood pressure. My dad had very low blood pressure and the anesthesia dropped it too low.

2. A woman I talked to (different states/hospitals/etc) told me her husband had brain trauma from his surgery and it was traced to a bad reaction with the anesthesia. In this person's case, their doctor never passed the medical records to the surgery team and they (especially the anesthesiologist) didn't know he was on cardiac medicine.

So, whenever you are having surgery....make sure you talk to the anesthesiologist. I believe a lot of deaths/poor recoveries in surgery may be due to that issue.

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Old 10-01-2020, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillFleming View Post
The number 1 thing I tell people that are going to have surgery is: (sorry for the all caps, but this is very important)

TALK TO YOUR ANESTHESIOLOGIST!!!!! Tell that person anything you are on or any medical issues...etc. DON'T COUNT ON THE SURGEON TO TELL THEM! AND DON'T COUNT ON THEM TO READ THE RECORDS!

Two instances....
1. My dad went into surgery for an abdominal aneurysm surgery. He "died" on the surgical table - they were able to bring him back quickly because they had already opened him up. The cause? My dad was 6'3" and about 250 pounds (maybe heavier). The anesthesiologist gave him the anesthesia for a person his age/height/weight. Anesthesia lowers your blood pressure. My dad had very low blood pressure and the anesthesia dropped it too low.

2. A woman I talked to (different states/hospitals/etc) told me her husband had brain trauma from his surgery and it was traced to a bad reaction with the anesthesia. In this person's case, their doctor never passed the medical records to the surgery team and they (especially the anesthesiologist) didn't know he was on cardiac medicine.

So, whenever you are having surgery....make sure you talk to the anesthesiologist. I believe a lot of deaths/poor recoveries in surgery may be due to that issue.
Agreed. I will be extra careful if I have to have this surgery because of my sisters situation. I have had numerous surgeries before for other injuries and no problems but you never know.
Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillFleming View Post
The number 1 thing I tell people that are going to have surgery is: (sorry for the all caps, but this is very important)

TALK TO YOUR ANESTHESIOLOGIST!!!!! Tell that person anything you are on or any medical issues...etc. DON'T COUNT ON THE SURGEON TO TELL THEM! AND DON'T COUNT ON THEM TO READ THE RECORDS!

Two instances....
1. My dad went into surgery for an abdominal aneurysm surgery. He "died" on the surgical table - they were able to bring him back quickly because they had already opened him up. The cause? My dad was 6'3" and about 250 pounds (maybe heavier). The anesthesiologist gave him the anesthesia for a person his age/height/weight. Anesthesia lowers your blood pressure. My dad had very low blood pressure and the anesthesia dropped it too low.

2. A woman I talked to (different states/hospitals/etc) told me her husband had brain trauma from his surgery and it was traced to a bad reaction with the anesthesia. In this person's case, their doctor never passed the medical records to the surgery team and they (especially the anesthesiologist) didn't know he was on cardiac medicine.

So, whenever you are having surgery....make sure you talk to the anesthesiologist. I believe a lot of deaths/poor recoveries in surgery may be due to that issue.
I don't think you can have surgery without talking to anesthesia. Pretty sure it is a requirement for them to talk to/ interview you before you are put under. Great advice, either way though.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:58 PM
BillFleming BillFleming is offline
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Originally Posted by ru4por View Post
I don't think you can have surgery without talking to anesthesia. Pretty sure it is a requirement for them to talk to/ interview you before you are put under. Great advice, either way though.
Nope. I've heard from lots of folks that they never talked to the anesthesiologist. I think the only requirement is talking to the surgeon; who is then expected to brief the rest of the team and they are 'supposed' to check the patients records.

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Old 10-01-2020, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BillFleming View Post
Nope. I've heard from lots of folks that they never talked to the anesthesiologist. I think the only requirement is talking to the surgeon; who is then expected to brief the rest of the team and they are 'supposed' to check the patients records.
Hmmmmm.....just does not sound safe. It is indeed standard practice in my system, I assumed that was because of regulations. Why any anesthesiologist would work under the assumption that another clinician did their job correctly,is beyond me, it is dangerous. Surgeons are the last docs that anyone should be taking patient medication information from.

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Old 10-01-2020, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BillFleming View Post
Nope. I've heard from lots of folks that they never talked to the anesthesiologist. I think the only requirement is talking to the surgeon; who is then expected to brief the rest of the team and they are 'supposed' to check the patients records.
Dang, Bill....I honestly thought you had to be wrong. I took a quick look at some regulations, and while they seem to assume an anesthesiologist would see the patient, there does not seem to be anything mandating it. I cannot imagine why they would take the risk of not gathering the info needed to do their job.

Anesthesiology are the lifeguards in the surgical pool. They are responsible for the well being of the surgical patient.

But, like I said......great advice.

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Old 10-02-2020, 06:25 AM
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Dang, Bill....I honestly thought you had to be wrong. I took a quick look at some regulations, and while they seem to assume an anesthesiologist would see the patient, there does not seem to be anything mandating it.
In all my operations in switzerland i always met with the anesthesiologist.

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I really don't want to have surgery and a disc replacement, my sister was 1 in a million and died from this exact surgery 2 years ago.
My condolences about your syster. But ask yourself, what are the chances of two 1:1'000'000 probabilities happening in a row?
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason B View Post
I've had a pinched nerve (left side) from a herniated disc at C6-C7 going on 4 months now. My left tricep still doesn't work. Physical therapy hasn't been able to fix the problem yet (McKenzie technique). I really don't want to have surgery and a disc replacement, my sister was 1 in a million and died from this exact surgery 2 years ago. You can understand why I am extra paranoid about surgery.
Any alternative advice to surgery? Those who had this surgery, are you able to get back to playing without too much loss of strength and performance?
Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks.
I would stick with the PT. I have had 3 back surgeries due to sciatic problems in my legs. Even after each surgery it took 6+ months of PT to feel somewhat better.
Get any cortisone shots yet? Try any myofascial massages? Have you tried a traction device?

I regret having all the surgeries and would put it off as long as you can. Girl from my last job did the disc replacement in her neck with minimal pain reduction. Once you have surgery ,that area is compromised ,and could turn into a worse problem when you age.

Keep at the PT. Try everything you can before doing something permanent. Be patient. Especially if this is your first time dealing with this issue. If it has been a problem for years and years...then surgery should be a better option.

Last edited by Emoney; 10-02-2020 at 10:24 AM.
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