Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Pain In the Neck - Part II: Cervical Spondylosis

I have finally gotten a copy of my medical report from the Spine Specialist. I have several appointments in the coming weeks for a second, third & possibly a fourth opinion to see if surgery is the best way to my chronic neck & shoulder pain. Lately it has been affecting the mobility of my arms and hand and there are bad days when even my knees would fold on me before I even know it... oops --- I'm on the ground with all fours and a bruised knee!
The official title of my condition is Cervical Spondylosis.
What Is Spondylosis?
Spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis) is a degenerative disorder that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function. Although aging is the primary cause, the location and rate of degeneration is individual. The degenerative process of spondylosis may impact the cervical, thoracic, and/or lumbar regions of the spine affecting the intervertebral discs and facet joints.
Cervical Spine and Spondylosis The complexity of the cervical anatomy and its wide range of motion make this spinal segment susceptible to disorders associated with degenerative change. Neck pain from spondylosis is common. The pain may spread (radiate) into the shoulder or down the arm. When a bone spur (osteophyte) causes nerve root compression, extremity (e.g. arm) weakness may result. In rare cases, bone spurs that form at the front of the cervical spine, may cause difficult swallowing (dysphagia).
The spine specialist I saw before Christmas recommended surgery and the procedure is called Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion.
I am a little wary about all this but now that I have eliminated the endometriosis pain, I have to face this other chronic condition and see how I could remedy it. I am young, active, energetic. I cannot be stopped by some chronic condition to pursue the things I want to achieve in life, whether it be career or just our having fun.
My friend DeeDee have been great help as well, she gave me a 2.5 hour massage last Monday night targeting just the neck and shoulder area. We will have another session next week before I go back to practicing yoga and going to Physical Therapy. I will be proactive about this. I have let endometriosis bring me down for a long time, I won't let spodylosis make me lose my life again.
I will be strong... so help me God!