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Spine and Back Health

Bulging discs and surgery

05/02/2008

Question:

Jan 1 my right arm died from the elbow down. There was no pain at all. Later on it came back fine but the resulting MRI shows 3 bulging discs in my neck. The surgeon says that I may never have any more problems but I am set up with him to have the surgery done if needed. What is involved in the surgery? One of my co-workers had this done last fall but he is not employed there any more. He told me an overnight stay in the hospital and then he went bow hunting the next day, but was off work for two months.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I can’t give you too many specifics. There are a lot of different ways to tackle this type of problem, and the exact details of what you should expect from surgery can only be explained by your surgeon. You should insist that (s)he take the time to explain exactly what you will experience, how long recovery will be, etc. A lot depends on whether your surgery is planned through the front of your neck vs. the back. Please make sure that your surgeon explains everything to you before you have the surgery. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University