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Cervical FAQ

My 12-year-old daughter injured her neck in gymnastics, and there's a big competition coming up. Our doctor says it's okay for her to participate, but I'm worried. Should I let her compete?

I had a serious neck injury skiing last winter. I quit the ski team, but is it okay to do other sports?

I had a neck injury playing football, and I'm trying to decide whether to go back and finish the season. I asked two different doctors what I should do, and they told me different things. Why is that? Who should I trust?

I was in a minor rear-end collision a month ago and have been having headaches ever since. Could the headaches be related to my accident?

I have whiplash from a minor rear-end car collision. How long will the symptoms last?

Does the speed of your car at the time of an accident make a difference in how bad your whiplash will be?

Is conservative treatment enough for patients who have pressure on their spinal cords from a ruptured disc in their necks?

I have some problems from a ruptured disc in my neck that's putting mild pressure on my spinal cord. My doctor said I may need surgery but that I could just wear a neck brace instead. Am I better off deciding to have surgery right away?

My MRI showed I have a ruptured disc in my neck that is putting mild pressure on the spinal cord. My doctor feels my symptoms aren't too bad and that we can fix them without surgery. Is there any way to tell whether treatment without surgery will work for me?

A lot of my employees complain of neck pain. I've done everything I can to make the office more "ergonomic." Is there something else I should do?

I know that certain physical activities can cause neck pain in the workplace. But what about other, less visible factors? Does the "personality" of the office make a difference?

I seem to hold a lot of tension in my neck at work. My job isn't physical, but it's stressful. Could my neck pain have anything to do with my work?

Six weeks ago, I had a cervical spine (neck) fusion. Everything is going well and my pain is much less. Now, the doctor wants to take more X-rays. I've been poked, prodded, and tested to my limit. Is this really necessary?

After years of neck pain, my doctor has advised me to have a cervical spine fusion. Two of the vertebrae will be held together with a metal plate and bone chips from my hip. What will this really do for me?

I've heard there's a new way to treat cervical spine collapse with titanium cages. What’s the downside of this surgery?

I saw a report that patients with arthritis and collapsing bones may need a corpectomy. What is this?

My 66-year old father was just diagnosed with myelopathy due to congenital cervical stenosis. What is this?

I've been reading up on neck fusions since I'm expecting to have one this year. I see there are many different views on this subject. Some doctors think it's better to do the surgery from the front of the neck, others from behind. What can you tell me about this?

I am going to have my neck fused after removing any disc material that’s damaged or falling apart. The news reports patients having the wrong arm or leg removed. If this is possible, how can the doctor know for sure where the right bones and discs are inside the neck?

I am going to have neck surgery in two weeks. The doctor will remove a disc that is disintegrating. How is this done?

I am a schoolteacher working in special education. Everyday, I lift children weighing anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds. I’m planning to have an anterior discectomy and fusion in my neck. I know I’ll be off work for a while, but will I be able to go back to my work full-time?

My doctor has advised me to have a cervical discectomy. What are the benefits of this operation?

What are my chances of recovery after a whiplash injury?

I was involved in a low-speed car accident. Even though we were only going 10 miles per hour, I still ended up with a whiplash injury. Is this normal?

I had a car accident two months ago. The emergency room doctor told me I had a whiplash. The CT scan of my head and neck was negative at that time. Since then I've had blurry vision and dizziness off and on. Should I have another CT scan?

What is whiplash exactly? I had a car accident but no damage showed up on the MRI. If there's no injury then why is it so painful?

I've been told the pain in my neck and shoulder is caused by chronic trigger points. Is there any way to treat this problem?

I'm the manager of a large department store. We have several employees out on sick leave because of neck injuries from in-store accidents. Is there any way to tell when someone is faking symptoms to get benefits?

I had a very minor car accident last year. Ever since I notice I can't turn my head to the left quickly without getting dizzy. What could be causing this?

My father was just diagnosed with greater occipital neuralgia. What is this and what causes it?

Several years ago I was told I have fibromyalgia. Recently I started having headaches and neck pain. The neck pain is worse when I bend my head forward. Is this just part of the fibromyalgia condition?

Six months ago I had an operation to take pressure off a nerve that goes to the back of my head. I still have a place on the back of my scalp that is completely numb. Will this go away in time?

My doctor advised me to wear a back brace after having two of my discs heated up with a special coil. The operation was called "IDET." There were a group of us who had the operation at the same time. The brace gets in the way at work. Do I really need it? No one else is wearing one.

My wife was told she has myelopathy caused by degenerative disc disease. She has neck and arm pain that goes down to her fingers. Is this condition life-threatening?

I had my neck fused in two places six years ago. The most recent X-ray report says there is moderate degeneration at C4/5. What does this mean?

I had my neck fused 12 years ago. At the time of the operation, I was told to expect another operation when the nearby levels start to break down too. So far, so good. I've gone this long without problems. Will I really need another operation?

I had surgery to fuse my neck in two places. After the operation my arms ached for several days. What could have caused this?

After years of neck problems, my doctor says my neck has fused by itself. My pain is less, but I have less motion, too. Is this a common thing?

I was rear-ended in a minor car accident six weeks ago. I'm still having neck pain from it. It wasn't really a huge impact, so why am I still having symptoms?

When a whiplash occurs, what causes the pain afterward: the forward movement of the head or the snap back?

With all of today's modern technology, why can't they fix something as simple as a whiplash injury? When I went on-line to look at the studies about what causes whiplash, the results were still very sketchy. There's more that isn't known than is. Why is that?

Now that we have airbags, can seatbelts be eliminated?

They say seatbelts save lives, but isn't it true people die wearing seatbelts?

I have severe neck pain from a collapsed disc and bone in the spine. The doctor wants to remove the bone. Won't this just make my spine collapse even more?

I have a "mild" case of spinal cord compression from disc herniation at C4/5 in my neck. This diagnosis certainly isn't based on my symptoms, which are very severe. What does it mean?

I have diabetes and brittle bones. After a bad accident I also have a herniated disc in my neck. The doctors don't want to do surgery. They've suggested an epidural steroid injection instead. What are the risks of this operation?

I'm going to have an epidural steroid injection into my neck for a protruding disc. How long before I can go back to work?

I went to the doctor for a problem with neck pain. The insurance won't pay because the diagnosis is "nonspecific neck pain." They insist they need a real diagnosis. What is "nonspecific neck pain"? I was pretty specific about the symptoms and when they occur.

All the women in my family have long necks and suffer from neck pain. I have the same kind of neck, but so far no pain. Is there anything I can do to keep from getting this problem?

My sister and I were in a car accident together. I had a little stiffness and I was sore for a few days. My sister still has severe headaches and neck pain three months later. Why the difference between us?

I saw a report on whiplash injuries and mental stress. The researchers showed that psychologic distress isn't linked with neck pain after a whiplash injury. How can anyone really measure this kind of stress, especially when so many people are already taking anti-depressants?

After a car accident and whiplash injury, I notice my neck gets cold easily. I have to wear a scarf almost all the time. Even the slightest breeze can put my neck into spasm. Is this normal?

I can't figure something out. After a bad car accident and whiplash injury, I still don't have full motion. When I'm asleep my wife says I can turn my head all the way to one side. When I'm awake I can't seem to do it. Can you explain this?

Is it true that men lose neck motion faster than women as we age?

It's been eight months now since my car accident. I've tried drugs, acupuncture, and massage therapy. I still have pain and very little neck motion. What else can I do?

My uncle who is diabetic, a smoker, and in poor health was told he has an abscess in his spine (neck). He's refusing to have it drained or to take the antibiotics prescribed. What could happen to him if he doesn't have treatment?

My brother is going to have surgery on his neck. He says he has something called cervical spondylotic myelopathy and radiculopathy. I had him spell the words out for me but I didn't really get what that is. Can you help me understand this condition?

I'm thinking about trying acupuncture for my chronic neck pain. What can I expect in terms of results? How soon will I see a benefit?

Sometimes when I bend my head just right, I get a shock straight down my arms. What does this mean?

My 72-year old sister fell and hit her head in her home. She had an MRI that found a serious problem with pressure on the spinal cord in the neck. Evidently she's had some symptoms that she's been ignoring for a long-time. What happens if she continues to ignore this problem?

My 72-year old sister fell and hit her head in her home. She had an MRI that found a serious problem with pressure on the spinal cord in the neck. Evidently she's had some symptoms that she's been ignoring for a long-time. What happens if she continues to ignore this problem?

My doctor gave me some neck exercises to do for neck pain. My neck hurts too much to even attempt these. What should I do?

I've been having problems with chronic neck and shoulder pain. My doctor wants me to see a physical therapist. I'm thinking there must be people like me already in a group that I could join and save money. How do I find such a group?

My wife and I are trying to help her mother move into an assisted living facility. One of the requirements is a doctor's exam and medical diagnosis or summary of her condition. I noticed that everything on the list was really a symptom like knee pain, neck pain, or headaches. Why isn't a diagnosis listed?

After weeks of neck pain, I finally had an MRI. There was a tumor the size of a golf ball pressing on my neck nerves causing the problem. Why don't they make MRIs mandatory for everyone with neck pain? It could certainly save a lot of time and money spent on treatment that doesn't help.

I've been going to physical therapy for a whiplash injury in my neck. I notice there are several other people there with the same problem. Wouldn't it make more sense to combine us together in a group instead of treating us each one at a time? Seems like it would save time and money.

When is it too late to get help for a whiplash injury? My neck was hurt six months ago in a car accident. Although the X-rays and MRI show that my neck has healed, I still have very painful symptoms. Where should I go for help?

What's the prognosis for osteoblastoma of the neck? My 20-year-old son has just been diagnosed with this kind of cancer.

My husband is having a neck fusion using a piece of bone from his own hip pelvic bone. I think it makes sense that it's better to use your own bone for this, but just why does it work better than using bone from a donor?

I'm going to have an anterior fusion at C45 in my neck. The surgeon plans to take bone from my hip for the operation. The nurse gave me a sheet of paper with all the things that can go wrong with the graft site. Will I get all of these problems?

Have you ever heard of losing the ability to swallow after surgery? My 62 year old wife had a neck fusion for a disc herniation at C45. Now she's having trouble speaking and swallowing.

My mother was diagnosed with pressure on the spinal cord from a degenerative vertebra in the neck. After surgery, she ended up staying in the hospital much longer than expected. Does this seem unusual? Everyone acted like it was a rare event.

I work in a chronic pain clinic in a large rehab facility. I've been given the task of finding a way to help the rehab staff measure the results of treatment for patients with chronic whiplash. Are there any good tests already developed for this problem?

My insurance cut off reimbursement for therapy services saying that I have recovered from my whiplash. Since I still can't sit long enough to return to my job as an administrative assistant, I don't feel very recovered. How is this defined medically?

A couple years ago, I had a steroid injection for sciatica. It helped clear the problem up in no time. Now I'm having similar symptoms in my arm. Would a steroid injection help me?

Now that the disc replacement has been around for awhile, what are they saying about neck fusion versus disc replacement? I've been putting this decision off waiting to see what happens. Is it safe to go for the replacement?

I may need to have surgery for a bad disc in my neck. The doc wants me to try six weeks of PT first. If I need surgery, there are two choices: fusion or disc replacement. Is one better than the other?

I hurt my neck the other day when I fell and I was sure I'd hurt a disc, but my doctor said it was torticollis. What's the difference and how can he tell?

My mother has osteoporosis and is getting fractures in her back. Could she fracture her neck?

I've heard that some surgeon put in plates, screws, and wires to hold together a back or neck. Can that cause problems later?

I have a catalog of home healthy care products. would one of those over-the-door home traction units help with my neck pain?

About two years ago, I had a face lift and a neck tuck. I have a long neck and the cosmetic surgery smoothed out sagging skin down the front of my neck. Now I need neck surgery to remove a herniated disc. The surgeon will probably fuse the spine. Will this operation ruin how my neck looks?

Have you ever heard of a pneumocephalus? My wife got this after an epidural at C6-C7. What causes this? Will she be okay?

My sister had an epidural injection in her neck. She ended up with a puncture of the spinal lining and a major headache. We were warned that this was a possible complication. But everyone said it was rare. Is this caused by the injection itself? Or is it the way the injection was done?

How long does it take to recover from fusion surgery in the neck?

I have had neck pain for quite a while and would like to look into other treatments, like acupuncture, reflexology, or something like that. Is that a good idea?

I have neck and shoulder pain on both sides from a condition called syringomyelia. I also have a mild Arnold-Chiari malformation. If I have surgery for this problem, will I get better neck motion? I can hardly bend my neck forward.

I had decompression surgery for a condition called syringomyelia. The cyst inside my spinal cord extended over three levels. The MRI shows no change in the size of the cyst. But I feel much better. How do you explain this?

Our boss wants us to take part in a new group session. The idea is to prevent neck and shoulder problems from too much time at the computer. I'm not really a group person. How is this going to help me? Could I just take the materials and read them on my own and still get the help I need?

I sit at a computer all day working as a copy editor for a small publisher. After three years, I'm starting to get some neck and arm pain that doesn't go away with rest. What can I do to keep this from getting worse?

If I get a spinal fusion, I'm told that my neck won't be as flexible as it should be. Why is that and is there a way to avoid it?

I was in a car accident 2 years ago and I am still having neck pain. Is there anything that can be done for it?

I was in a car accident two weeks ago and was diagnosed with a whiplash injury. What is the best thing to do for it?

What do you think about a neck brace after cervical fusion? I'm having a metal plate installed from the front. Will I even need to wear a brace with that in place?

I'm going to have a neck fusion in two weeks. Ive been told that one of the possible complications is failure of the graft site to fuse. How will I know if this has happened?

I am seeing a physical therapist for neck and arm pain. My symptoms are caused by a disc pressing on the nerve. My pain seem much better after only a week. Since they always do three or four different treatments on me, how can they tell which one is really working?

I'm weighing the pros and cons of having surgery for a neck problem. I have cervical radiculopathy. What are the long-term benefits and effects of this operation?

I'm thinking about having my neck fused surgically. The neurosurgeon says if all goes well, we can expect good-to-excellent results. Anything would be an improvement over what I'm like now. But what can I expect in terms of getting better?

Next week I am going to have a cervical fusion of my C4,5 spine. Everything has been explained to me. And I understand how microscopic surgery is done using an endoscope. The surgeon showed me the tiny channel used to insert tools to complete the operation. But how does the surgeon get the channel in the first place?

Whiplash seems like such a common injury. How come we can't prevent it?

If psychological factors play a role in pain, like back pain or neck pain, will going to see a psychiatrist help?

Is surgery always needed for a fracture of the bones at the very top of the neck?

My nephew was in a skiing accident and fractured his upper cervical spine. They are treating him without surgery by using a special halo kind of contraption. How long does it take to heal? Will it really work?

I've been trying to do an exercise program to relax but also strengthen the muscles in my neck and shoulders. My biggest problem is that I can't hold heavy weights in my hands. I have a touch of arthritis there. What do you suggest?

I work at a desk all day and get muscle pain and spasms along the top of my shoulders. What can I do to help with this problem?

I was in a bad car accident two years ago. I've never fully recovered. I still have headaches, dizziness, and constant pain. X-rays were taken but didn't show anything. I've tried acupuncture and craniosacral therapy but nothing helps. What do you think I should do next?

Whenever I look up at the sky or try to look at the stars, my neck "clunks". I can't tell if this is a sound it makes, but I can feel the clunking sensation. What could be causing this? There's no pain but it makes me a little nervous thinking something serious is wrong.

What are some of the complications associated with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion?

Is it true there may be neck fusion surgery that can be successful even for a smoker?

Is is possible to know when to operate on a syrinx before the spinal cord is damaged enough to cause significant weakness?

I was rear-ended yesterday. My car was totalled and I got a bad whiplash injury. What's the best way to treat this? I don't have any sick leave at work so I need to get better fast.

I am a physical therapist getting ready to join the Peace Corps. One of my jobs will be to treat patients in various places around the world with neck and back pain. Is there a standardized instrument to measure neck pain and disability that has been translated into different languages? I can speak English, Spanish, French, and a little bit of German.

What is adjacent segment degeneration after fusion of the neck?

Does cervical disc replacement instead of cervical fusion make sense?

I have so many questions, I don't know where to start. My son hurt his arm in a waterskiing accident. Evidently the boat jerked his arm so hard, a nerve pulled away completely. They are talking about doing a nerve transfer from the pectoral muscle in his chest. If they do that, how will he use the chest muscle?

I was involved in a motorcycle accident six months ago. I was treated in the emergency room and hospitalized for two days. After I was released, I still had tremendous pain and loss of motion in my right arm. Come to find out, some of the nerves in my arm were pulled completely away. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon next week. Is it too late for help?

I hurt my neck the other week but I don't know how. One moment I was fine, the next, I was in agony. After waiting a day, I went to the emergency where they did some tests but couldn't find anything. My own doctor checked me a few days later but also didn't find anything. He said just to rest and take ibuprofen. How could they not find anything?

What are some of the causes of neck pain?

I've been having some neck pain, and I can't turn my head all the way to the left to match how far I can go on the right. My physical therapist assures me that this will all clear up with a few treatments. I'm worried there's more to it than that. What if there's a tumor on one side or some kind of blockage?

My sister is a physical therapist. She's been helping me after my recent surgery to fuse two bones in my neck. She says I don't really need the neck brace I was given, but it scares me to go without it. Is it safe to go without it now?

Can you help us navigate all the decisions facing us? Mother fell and broke a piece off the second bone in her neck. One surgeon told us she should have surgery to fuse her neck right away. A second surgeon said we could try using a brace and see if the fracture site can be stabilized. Bracing would be less traumatic, but can she get around okay? We don't know what to do.

My father is 88-years-old but in relatively good health. He went out motorcycle riding with our 20-year-old grandson. Through no fault of their own, they had an accident. Pops ended up with a fracture of the odontoid process in his neck. I saw an X-ray of the fracture, but it all went by so fast. Could you tell us again what this means and how it will affect him?

I was having some numbness in my fingers and dropping things. So I went to see my doctor who diagnosed me with cervical OPLL. Right now, it's mild. But I'm worried it might get worse. Should I have surgery to nip the problem in the bud, so-to-speak?

I have spinal stenosis that mostly affects my neck. The doctor says it's just another sign of aging. But what exactly is going on back there? He mentioned degeneration. What's breaking down?

I've been getting massages for six months now for chronic neck pain after a car accident. They seem to help, but since I don't have another me to clone (one who doesn't go for massage therapy), I have no idea how I would feel without the massages. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just fooling myself. Is there any evidence that massage really makes a difference?

I like to knit, crochet, and do other handwork at night after work. I've done this as a form of relaxation for years. But now with a disc problem and bad arthritis, my doctor has recommended fusing two or three of the bones together in my neck. Will I have to give up my sewing?

My best friend had a disc replacement in her neck and she hasn't stopped raving about all the things she can do now that she couldn't do before. She is just sure that I should have the same thing done for my neck arthritis. Can anyone have this operation?

My brother had a disc replacement in his neck about a year ago. I understand this is a fairly new operation. He doesn't really seem to have much motion even after surgery. He looks stiff and unnatural in his movements. Should I say something to him? Maybe there's something they can do to help him. I don't want to make him self-conscious by saying anything.

My wife has a condition called cervical myelopathy from 30 years of bending over a sewing machine for her job. Now the surgeons are suggesting a procedure to take pressure off the spinal cord to help relieve the pain and other symptoms she has. She isn't really in favor of having surgery. The surgeons say she can't wait much longer without the possibility of permanent disability. How long can she put off the operation? Is there any way to tell when it's the best time to do this surgery?

Dad is 72-years old and seems to be having more and more trouble walking. We know he has stenosis in his low back. He's also complaining about a shock sensation in his arms. Can these symptoms all come from his stenosis or is something else going on?

Okay, I'm thinking I might bite the bullet and have spine surgery. The surgeon will do a rotor-rooter and clean out bone spurs or anything else that might be putting pressure on my nerves. Then I'll get a neck fusion. I've already been warned that fusion stabilizes the area but also puts more pressure on the bones above and below the fused site. So my question is: how will I know if that's happening and what do they do about it?

I've heard that if you have a herniated disc, it will eventually heal itself. So why bother having surgery?

I was involved in a car accident that has gone into litigation. One of the problems is that I ended up with a condition called cervical spondylolysis. There is some question about whether I had this before the accident or if it developed as a result of the trauma. How does this condition usually develop?

Leave it to my mother-in-law to have some condition that is rare and potentially life-threatening. Among other things, now she tells us she has something called spondylolysis of the neck. She says the doctor told her there have only been 100 cases of this on the whole earth. Does this ring true? It sounds so made up. And what is the problem, anyway?

I am sitting in the emergency room with a co-worker who just got shot in the neck and upper arm by a random shooter. It was a bloody mess. This may seem weird, but I've never been in an emergency room or a hospital since I was born. What will happen to her?

Can you please explain a brachial plexus injury to me? My brother is a garbage man for the city. His arm got caught in the automatic trash compactor. They say he has this type of nerve injury and may never recover fully. I'd like to help him in any way I can, so I thought I should get a better understanding of what's going on.

I had a lumbar disc replacement last year that went really well. But now my neck is out so I'm thinking of having the same thing done there. How do these two surgeries compare? Is it easier to put a new disc in the neck or the low back area?

My sister had a neck fusion back a few years ago. I remember at the time, she thought about having a disc replacement instead. But the surgeon here wasn't doing those back then. Now it's my turn to have neck problems and disc replacement is an option. Which way should I go?

I had a cervical fusion at four levels because of various injuries from a life of hard living and working the rodeos. Must have been thrown from 100 broncs over the years. I came out of it okay but still have trouble swallowing. I don't regret the 30 pounds I've lost but I'm getting a little worried that this won't clear up. What should I do?

I'm searching for any information I can find about neck fusions. I had a laminectomy at four levels about two years ago. Now the spine is starting to collapse in that area. My neck curve is starting to reverse itself so the surgeon is advising fusion. Can a surgeon really put my neck back in place and will it stay there?

My mother fell in her house but she didn't hit the ground. She sort of sat hard but hit her head on the arm of the couch. When we brought her to the hospital, the doctor said my mom had broken her neck. She died the next day. She was perfectly healthy and was talking to us after the accident. How could this happen?

Does everyone who breaks their neck die or end up like Superman's Christopher Reeves?

What's the difference between a stinger/burner and a neuropraxia? Our 17-year-old son is in with the high school team physician being examined to determine which one he has. We'd like to get a jump up on the information so we know what questions to ask and what kind of treatment to expect.

How risky is it to play football with a previous cervical cord neuropraxia? That's the diagnosis I was given last year. I finished out the season okay. But now it's time for summer training and I have to make the final decision about returning to professional sports.

I have a severely degenerated cervical spine mostly at C2 but a little bit of C1. I've been wearing a halo vest until the surgeon can schedule me. I haven't even had a preliminary appointment yet. What kind of procedure can they do for something like this?

I am more than a little nervous about an operation my husband is going to have next week. It's called an occipito-cervical fusion. I saw a picture of the metal plate they will put at the base of his skull. The plate is attached to two curved rods on either side that go down to his spine and lock in with screws. I listened to the explanation calmly for his sake but I gotta tell you, I'm totally freaked. What are the chances this thing is gonna work?

I have been having problems swallowing and even sometimes breathing. Whenever it happens, I can't get in to see the doctor. Then when I have an appointment I seem perfectly fine. What do you suggest?

I'll be honest with you: I'm fat, over forty, and recently diagnosed with something called DISH (in my neck). Hurts to swallow and sometimes I just can get a thing down. Not good because then I eat more milkshakes. What can you tell me about this problem and what is my prognosis?

This is a complicated problem but I need some answers. I can't tell you all the details but quickly, my husband was involved in a skiing accident and injured his neck. The nerve plexus there (brachial?) was ruptured. He had surgery and got some use of his shoulder and elbow back but nothing in the hand. We are pretty disappointed and wondering who's at fault here -- the surgeon? my husband?

I heard that I could come to this site and get an honest answer to a difficult question. Our 23-year-old son was involved in a work-related accident. There were multiple injuries but the worst is what they call an avulsion of the brachial plexus. Right now his arm is paralyzed but the surgeon is going to do a C7 nerve transfer. There are no promises about the results. What can you tell us about recovery, prognosis, anything?

I am a 47-year-old woman working for an American company in China. I've had a work-related injury that has finally trashed my neck. The surgeon here (Chinese) is recommending either a neck fusion or a disc replacement. I've done a little research and found out that disc replacement for the neck hasn't been around very long and only in China since around 2003. Would you consider it safe to have this surgery here or better to come back to the States?

Can you run me through a list of things that could go wrong with a cervical disc replacement? I'm looking into this for myself. I have a C5-C6 degenerated disc. Don't want a fusion but not sure how good these replacement parts are.

I have two bones in my neck that have been destroyed by cancer. Thank God the cancer is gone now but my neck is terribly unstable. Could I be able to get a disc replacement? Would something like that work for me?

My brother was involved in developing and testing disc replacements for the neck when he had a car accident and died. That was two years ago. I was just browsing the web and wondering whatever happened with those anyway?

I'm looking into the newest treatment for neck fusion. What's available and what do you recommend?

I have significant degeneration in my neck at C56. The discs are almost gone. There are bone spurs everywhere. The surgeon I saw gave me some treatment options from doing nothing to a disc replacement. What do you recommend?

It is a holiday weekend and the first one without our beloved Grandpa. Our family is locked in the "what if" mode of grief. What if grandpa hadn't had that last surgery that surely resulted in his death? Would he have died anyway? Can you help me sort through this myself? He was 77-years-"young" (as he liked to say). He had a condition called DISH but it wasn't until he fell and fractured C567 that he needed surgery. Then it was all downhill: pneumonia, a blood clot, and he was gone in two weeks.

Our family was involved in a car accident over the weekend. Turns out my elderly father who was with us has a condition we didn't know about called DISH. Now on top of that, he has a fractured skull and two fractures in the neck. He's headed into surgery right now. Please help us understand this condition. What are his chances for a complete recovery?

I've made up my mind to go with a disc replacement for my neck instead of a neck fusion. Now give me the skinny on the problems I might expect with this approach. I don't want to go into this blind.

I've read everything on your website about disc replacements for the neck. I'm still searching the Web for anything I can find about choosing this surgery over having a neck fusion. I can see that the disc replacement idea is new enough that they really don't know what to expect five, 10 or even 20 years down the road. Would you let me know if there's anything new out there on this subject?

I have neck pain and discomfort from a pinched nerve at the C56 and C67 levels. I seem to be able to manage this with positioning, posture, and some stretching exercises. Now I'm starting to have hand and finger numbness and tingling. The doctor isn't sure if this is coming from the neck or the wrist. Could the original compressive nerve damage in the neck lead to this kind of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Are surgical interventions more cost-effective for my cervical degeneration than non-surgical techniques?

I have multi-level cervical radiculopathy should one type of surgical intervention be better than another?

I have had chronic disc caused neck pain and have a history of cervical fusion at several levels. I am once again being faced with the decision to have surgery to get rid of my returned pain. I have a new surgeon who is suggesting I get a disc arthroplasty this time instead of fusing another level. What is the evidence on this newer procedure?

I am slated to have a cervical disc arthroplasty to relieve my severe hand pain. I have a friend who has very similar issues to my own and he had a fusion. What is the benefit of having a cervical disc arthroplasty versus a fusion? Isn’t the fusion the more tried and true method?

I drive a forklift, and my neck is really getting sore from always turning my neck to see behind me. What can I do to keep my neck pain from getting worse?

I'm scheduled for spine fusion in the vertebrae in my neck. Will I be able to turn my neck after surgery?

My arm hurts, but my doctor says the problem is in my neck. How can that be?

I have pain in my upper arm. Why does my therapist do ultrasound treatments on my neck?

I am a professional singer who has to have neck surgery. The doctor wants to go in through the front of my neck to join the bones in my spine. Will I lose my voice?

I've heard that surgery to fuse the spine done through the front of the neck can make patients lose their voices. Does it matter which side of the neck the surgeon operates on?

What's the best way to predict whether patients will get good results from neck surgery to relieve pressure on the spinal cord?

My 70-year-old mother is having surgery to take pressure off the spinal cord in her neck. Does her age put her at a disadvantage?

I had surgery through the front of my neck to fuse bones in my spine, and now I have to have the same procedure again. Am I more at risk for complications the second time around?

I am having surgery to take pressure off of the spinal cord in my neck. My doctor says the results of my MRI can be used to predict how I will do after surgery. Is this really possible?

I had a cervical fusion many years ago. I'm eighty-two years old now, and I don't want surgery again. How can I take care of the pain in my neck without having another operation?

Does the success rate for neck fusion surgery change depending on whether two or three levels in the neck are operated on?

My surgeon says he's going to implant a piece of titanium in my neck when he operates. Is this usual?

I've heard that some of the devices implanted during neck surgery can break or malfunction. Are there any new types of implants out there with better results?

My doctor has mentioned attaching a metal plate and screws in my neck when I have my upcoming neck fusion surgery. He used the term "instrumentation" to describe the surgery. What is instrumentation?

I had a discectomy and fusion at C5 and C6 two years ago. I did well for about two years. Now I'm having more pain and problems with my neck. My doctor just did some tests, and apparently there is a bulge in the disc at C6 and C7. What should I do?

After losing strength in her left arm and having pain that keeps her up at night, my wife had an MRI of her neck. The doctor says she has a herniation of the discs between C5 and C6 and wants to operate. Are there options other than surgery?

When it comes to neck fusion surgery, do men and women have different results?

I have a herniated disc in my neck. Why does my surgeon want to operate on more than one location in my neck? Isn't the sore disc just in one place?

Last week I was sitting in my car at a red light when someone rear-ended me. The car that hit me was only going 20 miles per hour, but it caused considerable damage to my car. At the time of the accident, I felt fine. But the next day, I woke up with a headache and neck pain that hasn't gone away. Why is that?

I am driving a 1990 American-made minivan. The seats are designed with built-in head and neck rests, so there is no adjustment possible. I am much shorter than my husband, who also drives the van. The seats seem to fit him just fine, but I feel like the extended headrest pushes my head forward. Is this style safe for both of us in a car accident? What's the best position for a headrest?

I just bought a used car with pull-up head supports. How should I adjust these to get the best head and neck support?

Does whiplash actually change the way people move their necks, or does it only change how much they move?

I have whiplash from a car accident that happened six months ago. It still hurts to move my head forward and back. Is this common? What can I do about it?

If you have whiplash, is your ability to move your neck different from the average person's?

I was involved in a rear-end car crash. My doctor told me I have a "whiplash injury." What is this?

I have seen some commercials on television about the importance of wearing seat belts. The research for these infomercials always seems to be done on crash dummies. How do they know the results are the same for humans?

My 72-year-old mother was just diagnosed with spinal stenosis of her neck. Is this a common condition in women?

What is "Lhermitte's sign"?

I had a whiplash injury two months ago. Since I didn't get better with activity and exercise, the doctor sent me to a physical therapist. I still have a lot of pain and stiffness with movement. It seems like the therapist is asking me to do things beyond my abilities. How far should I push through the symptoms of this injury?

Sometimes I see people wearing soft neck collars after car accidents. When should these be used?

I had a car accident six months ago and suffered whiplash injury. After about six weeks, the painful symptoms went away, and I could move my head and neck normally. My neighbor had a similar accident. Two years later, she is still having trouble with her neck. Why is that?

I am 70 years old and had a stroke two years ago. Last week I slept too long in one position, and now I have a stiff neck. I would like to see a specialist for a neck adjustment. Is there a chance that neck manipulation will cause another stroke?

I've been having adjustments for neck and shoulder pain. I've been told it's possible to have a stroke after neck manipulation. How soon would this happen, and how would I know it was happening?

I've heard that having my neck adjusted can cause a stroke. Is this true?

My niece has been diagnosed with bone cancer. The doctors have talked to the family about "limb salvage." What is this?

I saw a report that patients with arthritis and collapsing bones may need a corpectomy. What is this?

I've heard there’s a new way to treat cervical spine collapse with titanium cages. What’s the downside of this surgery?

I was in a car accident 10 years ago. Two bones in my neck were damaged. The doctor fused them together at that time. Since then, I've managed to avoid any more surgery, but now the bones are collapsing and causing terrible pain. What can be done for this?

I went to see a physical therapist right after I had a car accident. The biofeedback we are using shows the muscles of my neck and shoulders are contracting when they should be relaxed. We are trying to change this pattern. What causes it?

After six months of daily neck pain, my doctor sent me to a chronic pain clinic. They gave me a test called the NDI. Can you tell me what the letters stand for and what the test shows?

My sister and I were in a car accident together. We both were stopped by air bags on impact. She came out of it okay, but I have a whiplash neck injury. I've had other neck problems in the past. I wasn't having any problems at the time of the accident. Is it possible that I was injured because I had neck problems before?

I've been to several different chiropractors for neck pain. Sometimes I have just one session. Other times I go for several weeks. It doesn't seem to make a difference how often I go. I get the same amount of pain relief. Does that make sense?

I was treated yesterday for pain from a whiplash injury. The doctor did a neck manipulation. Today I have ringing in the right ear and pain down my right arm. Is this normal?

I was looking on-line for some ideas on how to treat my neck pain. The reports I saw were based on studies with only a few patients in each one. Can they really tell anything from that?

After months of neck and shoulder pain, my aunt just found out her symptoms are caused by Pancoast tumors. What is this?

My 78-year old mother has been complaining of neck and shoulder pain that's getting worse. She started having numbness down the arm so we took her to the hospital. Two doctors consulted on the case and decided she just had degenerative arthritis of the neck. After six weeks in physical therapy, she was no better and maybe even worse. Now she's been told she has lung cancer. Why couldn't they find the real problem sooner?

How is Horner's syndrome related to neck pain? My father-in-law was just told by his doctor that's what's causing his neck pain. All this time we thought he just had a bad case of arthritis.

I had a car accident and got a whiplash injury. I saw two doctors and a chiropractor. They all told me different things to do and not to do. Most of the time what one doctor told me to do is what the next doctor NOT to do. What's going on here?

I've had neck pain off and on for two years from an old whiplash injury. I get the impression from my doctor that he thinks it's all in my head. Is that possible?

I had a car accident and got a whiplash injury to my neck. My doctor told me to stay on bedrest until the pain was completely gone. I'm ready to go back to work now but I still have some pain. Do I really need to wait?

I know I have neck pain from long hours in front of the computer, but what can I do about it? My job is computer based and I can't get away from it.

I hear a lot about people missing work because of back pain. What about neck pain? That's my problem. Seems like there would be more neck back than back pain because of so much time in front of computers.

I saw a physical therapist for neck pain about six weeks ago. Even though I'm just doing some nodding exercises, I seem to be much better. How can such a simple exercise make such a difference?

I had a car accident a week ago. The doctor gave me a soft collar to wear but it doesn't really seem to be helping. Can I stop wearing it without injuring my neck more?

My wife had a bad car accident 10 days ago. When she gets out of the hospital, she will be seeing a physical therapist. Our prepaid health care plan only allows her to see the PT once a week. Is this going to be enough?

I had a serious car accident two weeks ago. Besides a head wound that needed 15 stitches, I also hurt my neck. When I saw a chiropractor and a physical therapist, they both insisted the problem was in the middle of my back. Does that seem right?

I was in a front-end collision last year and still have neck pain. The doctors can't find anything and the MRIs are all negative. Is there any explanation for this kind of lingering pain?

My husband is going to have a disc removed from his neck and one from his low back. Is that all there is to this operation? What keeps the bones in place without the disc?

I'm going to have a disc taken out of my neck and the neck fused at C45. This is supposed to help take pressure off the nerves to my arm. Right now I have constant pain down my arm with numbness and tingling in my hand. I'm concerned because I'm a professional photographer. I need all my neck motion to do my job. Is there any way to get that motion back with exercises?

I've got a pair of false teeth, a total hip joint, and two total knee joints. What are my chances of getting a total neck replacement? I've got chronic neck degeneration from a car accident 10 years ago.

I had an ACIF neck fusion about two years ago. Everything is going well. I know I might need another fusion later if there's breakdown at the spine above or below the level of the original problem. If it hasn't happened by now, am I home free?

I just had my two-year follow-up after a neck fusion. The X-rays show some degeneration at the level below my fusion. I'm not having any symptoms ... yet. Should I just go ahead and have that level fused, too? Why wait until it becomes a problem?

I understand one of the drawbacks from neck fusion is a problem with the degeneration at the next level later. If I have one fusion what are the odds I'll need another next year?

I followed my doctor's advice about an exercise program for my neck pain, and I got better. I can't help but wonder if it was the exercises or if I would have just gotten better anyway. Is there any way to tell?

I've been doing some strengthening exercises for chronic neck pain for a year now. I'm not really seeing any change. What's the next step?

I see there's some research to show that exercise works for problems like neck pain but in the end everyone gets about the same results. Is it even really worth doing the exercise program?

I have a herniated disc in my neck. It's been there for two years and seems to be getting worse. I've started to notice my hands shaking more. I seem to be clumsier and can't always hold on to things. Why does a herniated disc cause these kinds of problems?

I've lost some of my feeling for where my legs are when I'm walking. This is because of a disc pressing on the spinal cord in my neck. Would exercise help me get my full sensation back?

What is a concussion and how can you tell if you've had one?

My 12-year old daughter is a very good soccer player. She manages to hit the ball with her head frequently during practices and games. I'm worried about head injury and concussions. How likely is this?

I had a car accident three days ago. I thought I was going to be fine because the first two days there was no pain or problems. This morning I woke up and my entire neck is sore front and back. Did I wait too long to have it checked out?

I've been told hoarseness is a common problem after anterior neck surgery. What causes this?

My wife had an anterior cervical spine fusion with removal of the bone and insertion of a titanium cage in its place. She woke up from the operation unable to speak above a whisper. How long does this last?

The letters to the editor in our newspaper are debating the use of seatbelts. I had an accident three years ago that I still haven't gotten over. I had my seatbelt on but I still got a severe whiplash. Is there any proven link between neck protection and seatbelt use?

How long does it usually take to recover from a whiplash injury? It's been three weeks and I'm still stiff and sore.

Why is it some people get better after a whiplash injury and others don't? I've noticed over the years with friends and family that you either get better or you don't.

I've heard that worker’s compensation patients are less likely to return to work after low back surgery. Is this true for neck surgery, too?

I am a two-pack per day smoker. I'm planning to quit smoking so that I can have three bones in my neck fused together. The doctor has advised me that smoker's have more failed neck fusions than nonsmokers. How long before the operation should I quit to get this effect?

I'm planning to have my neck fused in three places. I understand there are some risks with this operation. What can you tell me about these?

I've been having neck and arm pain on the left side for three months now. I’m supposed to see a physical therapist for this problem. What can I expect from this treatment?

What is cervical radiculopathy? Is this the same as carpal tunnel syndrome?

I have had upper back and neck pain off and on for several months. Nothing the doctor has given me has helped. Should I try something else like acupuncture or massage?

I'm seeing a doctor and a physical therapist for chronic neck pain. They seem to always be talking about disability and impairment. What do these two things mean in every day words?

I'm seeing a physical therapist for neck pain that's lasting much longer than it should. Pain is my biggest problem but the treatment seems to be focused on getting more motion. Shouldn't we be doing both?

I have severe neck pain that goes down my arm from a damaged disc at C6/7. I've heard artificial disc replacement might be an option instead of fusion. What are the pros and cons of each?

I have severe damage to the disc in my neck from a car accident. I was fortunate enough to get an artificial disc replacement instead of having a neck fusion. The surgery went well, and I've been in a soft collar for a month. The doctor wants me to stop using the collar. I'm really too scared to let it go. What can I do?

I'm thinking about having a disc implant for my neck at the C5-6 level. What can I expect after surgery?

What is a Dowager's Hump?

I've been thinking about having surgery to take pressure off my spinal cord in the neck area. The doctor tells me it's only a 50-50 chance that the results will improve my situation. Why aren't the odds better?

The doctor says I have a condition called cervical spondylotic myelopathy. I'm thinking about having surgery to take pressure off the spinal cord in my neck. What kind of results can I expect down the road?

I had a decompression surgery for cervical myelopathy. The tests don't show any difference in my strength or function from before surgery. But I can do so much more now and it seems like the surgery was a success. Is it all just in my head?

I had a steroid injection into my neck for neck and arm pain. My neck pain went away, but I had a terrific headache for three days. How often does this happen?

Over the summer our high school freshman was diagnosed with spondylolysis. He was treated by a physical therapist for a month and sent home with an exercise program to continue until school starts. He's still wearing a brace and it's time to start football practice. Is it safe for him to join the team this soon?

I've been having more and more trouble with painful muscles on the right side. I can't see any bruising or redness. I'm not aware of an injury. What could be causing this problem?

I went to see a physical therapist for muscle pain around my shoulder blade. He seems to be doing all the treatment on my neck. I am feeling better but what about the shoulder blade? Why isn't he treating that problem?

I saw a chiropractor for a neck adjustment. I was very dizzy and had a headache for about 24 hours. Would I be better off seeing my regular doctor or a physical therapist?

I had my first chiropractic neck adjustment yesterday. Today I have neck and headache pain. I'm also very stiff. Should I ever go back?

Have you ever heard of someone having a stroke after a chiropractic neck adjustment?

Whenever I lift my arm forward above eye level, my neck hurts. What could be causing this strange problem?

I notice when I raise my hands over my head for more than 10 seconds, I get a burning pain in my upper back. Is this serious?

What is a "neurogenic bladder?" I've been told that's what's wrong with me. It's coming from a condition called cervical myelopathy.

My doctor has told me I need surgery to remove a disc in my neck that's pressing on my spinal cord. What would happen if I didn't have the operation?

Even though my X-rays were normal the doctor says I have an "unstable" neck. What does this means exactly?

I'm looking for a physical therapist to help with my neck pain. There are several listed in the phone book. Two have OCS and FAAOMPT next to their names. What do these initials mean?

My neck often feels like I have to crack or pop it to get back to normal. Is this a bad thing to do?

I've been told the best treatment for early whiplash is movement and exercise. I'm not really sure what kind of exercise is good. What should I do?

I'm on my third day after a rear-end collision. What's the best way to treat the neck pain I'm having?

I heard that worrying can actually keep me from getting over my neck pain. Is this true? There's no doubt I am a worrier.

I'm self-insured and in need of some surgery to fuse my neck at two levels. I see they can do hip replacements on a same day basis. Could I have my neck fusion as an outpatient? It would probably save me a lot of money.

I've had three C-sections and have no abdominal tone at all. Would these new classes on core training help me?

After a cervical spine (neck) fusion I had a serious problem with swallowing. It lasted for about a month and then went away. No one seemed to know anything about it. What can you tell me?

I've heard it's possible to have many different types of operations on an outpatient basis. Are they doing spinal fusions this way yet?

I have a disc pressing on the spinal cord in my neck. I just found out the bladder problems I'm having are from the disc. How is that possible?

I heard you can get disc replacements now. Are these available for the neck? I have two discs that have to be removed. Maybe I could get them replaced instead.

I was in a front-end collision and had a bad neck injury. The MRI showed a torn ligament along the back of my neck. I wasn't even hit that hard by the other driver. Was this ligament defective and just ready to break?

I went to see a neurosurgeon about having an artificial disc put in my neck. I have severe arthritis and degenerative disc disease. I was turned down as a candidate. Do you think the surgery will be advanced enough in a couple years to include people like me?

I see there's a new disc replacement out for the neck now. If I've already had neck surgery, can I still qualify for a new disc?

How do they keep the new artificial discs in place once they're inserted into the spine? Are they stitched, screwed, nailed, or what?

Eighteen months ago I had an anterior cervical spine fusion. They took the discs out at two levels and used bone from my hip to fuse the neck together. I still have severe pain most days. X-rays show movement at one level. What's the next step from here?

Bummer. I had a neck fusion that failed. They took the disc out and fused the spine but I still have movement at the joint there. Is this a fluke? Did I have a bad surgeon? How often does this happen?

I had a very successful fusion at C4-5 about five years ago. It looks like I'm going to need another fusion at C5-6. The last time they used bone chips taken from my pelvic bone for the graft. That hurt for two years while my neck felt fine. I'd really like to avoid that problem this time. Is there any way around it? Any plastic substitute or glue they can use now?

I've heard that my life expectancy is less just because I have rheumatoid arthritis. Is this true? Can you explain the connection?

I fell from a scaffolding at work on a construction site. X-rays showed I fractured two vertebrae in my neck. They also found signs of rheumatoid arthritis I didn't even know I had. Now I'm having a clunking sensation whenever I look up to do any welding. What does this mean?

After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis of the hands and feet, now I find out I have it in the neck, too. The doctor is talking surgery. I'd really like to avoid any operations. Is there any way to tell if I'd be a good person to have surgery? Maybe I would do better with just exercise.

My 16-year old twin daughters are on the junior varsity cheer squad at their high school. They are learning how to do pyramids, back flips, and other floor tumbling routines. One of the girls is the smallest member on the team so she's being tossed in the air for what they call the "basket toss." Just how safe is this maneuver?

I had a neck fusion with titanium plates at two levels. I've had nothing but problems with loose screws, scar tissue, and nerve damage. Can't they invent some kind of plate or screw that is plastic or biodegradable?

The doctor is advising me to have a cervical spine fusion with bone graft and titanium plates. Do I really need both?

Back in the 1960s I worked in a factory putting together cars. That's about when they started adding head rests to help cut down on whiplash injuries. I'm long since retired but it doesn't seem like there are fewer people with whiplash after car accidents. Am I right?

I've been having headaches for months after a whiplash injury from a car accident. They say there isn't any nerve damage and by now the muscles have recovered. What causes this kind of pain then?

I saw a special on TV about cellular memories. They said many painful conditions may be linked to cells "remembering" the injury. Could this explain why I still have chronic head and neck pain after a car accident 10 years ago?

A long time ago I had a single-level disc fusion in my neck using bone graft donated by someone else instead of my own. It all went well but now I need a similar operation at a different level. My doc says the allograft isn't done much anymore. He prefers to use bone from my pelvic crest or even better, a titanium cage. What happened with the original method? It worked just fine for me.

I had neck surgery to fuse my spine in two places. The surgeon did the operation from the front of my neck to avoid damaging my spinal canal and the nerves in my neck. Unfortunately I ended up with nerve damage and can hardly talk. I work as an auctioneer and really need my voice. How long does it take for this problem to clear up?

A couple years ago I considered having a neck fusion but chickened out. I'm back again to think about it again, as the pain and weakness are worse then ever. When I looked at this before there wasn't that much out about which way to go ... bone chips or titanium cage. Is there any new news?

I'm searching for some kind of relief from a whiplash injury. It's been six months since the accident, and I still have neck and arm pain. My doctor has suggested a numbing injection like novacaine. Would that help?

Our 17-year old son dove into a shallow pool of water last summer. He fractured his neck at C56. He's home now after a long period of rehab. Is there any hope he could get better?

It seems like we are seeing more and more diving accidents from kids while swimming. Is this a national trend?

I went to see a rheumatologist because my regular doctor thinks I have rheumatoid arthritis. She ordered X-rays of my neck. Is this typical? What does it tell them?

My husband is 42-years-old and just took up mountain biking. He says he won't wear a helmet because if it's his time to go, he's ready. Is there anything I can say to help change his mind?

I need some surgery on my neck to help stabilize the spine. The surgeon is talking about a fusion at one or more levels with cages. I've been told the results are better if only one level is fused. What happens if we get up to three levels?

I'm a radio announcer home on disability after a neck fusion. It's been two months and I'm still having trouble swallowing. The doctor says it will probably go away slowly over the next few months. What do other patients with this problem say about it?

Eight months ago I had an ACDF to fuse my neck at C56. The X-rays show movement at that segment so I need another operation. What will they do next?

I have a cervical spine fusion that didn't work. The doctor wants to go back in and re-fuse the area. I already have a big bump of scar tissue on the front of my neck. Can they do this operation any other way besides cutting through the same area again?

I had a whiplash injury six months ago. The doctor says the tissues are healed but I'm still having pain. What's going on in the neck to keep the pain going? I'm not a hypochondriac...I really want to get back to normal.

I wrenched my low back and my neck in a car accident. The back pain went away after a couple of weeks but the neck pain keeps on. I guess I'm a little surprised because I usually get better fast after any injury. Why is the neck taking so long?

About two weeks ago I had a car accident and suffered a whiplash injury. I'm still having daily headaches and neck pain that goes down my left arm. Is there any way to tell if I'll come out of this okay?

Ever since I had a car accident I notice my neck gets stiff and I start getting a headache if I get chilled. Is this a common problem?

My daughter was involved in a rafting accident and fractured her cervical spine. The surgeon said they wouldn't know how severe the instability is until much later. What exactly does this "instability" refer to? Is her head going to be wobbly or what?

Whenever my father falls asleep in his chair and his head bobs forward, he stops breathing. I'm afraid to leave him alone. Is this normal in a 78-year old?

I recently had some X-rays taken of my neck and upper back. There were two large bone spurs in my cervical spine from C3 to C5. I'm not having any symptoms but the doctor suggested taking these out anyway. What could happen if I don't have them removed?

What is the halo effect in medicine?

My sister had a car accident that has left her with chronic pain. She has become depressed and fearful of riding in the car or even moving her head and neck. This isn't like her at all. She's been told there's nothing else that can be done and she should see a shrink. Any suggestions?

My friend and I have a bet riding on this question. Which is worse: neck pain from whiplash or arthritic bone spurs? She has the whiplash and I have the bone spurs. We're both 63 years old.

I'm seeing a physical therapist for neck problems related to a car accident. I'm still having trouble looking up toward the ceiling or looking behind me. So far my pain seems worse after the first two treatments. I understand that may be normal. What's a good way to tell if therapy is really helping?

My wife has multiple myeloma that has spread to the bone. Her neck is affected the most. The doctor has advised radiation to the spine. What would happen if we don't do this?

I have a type of cancer called multiple myeloma. It has spread to the bone in the neck area. Because of my other health issues, I'm not a good candidate for surgery to fuse the unstable spine. Is there anything else that can be done?

When I went to physical therapy for my neck pain, they put a plastic device over my head to measure my neck motion. The device shows that my motion is improving but I don't feel any better. Is it possible the neck piece isn't working right?

I'm seeing a physical therapist for neck pain. So far I seem to be much better. How can the therapist tell what to do without an X-ray?

Three years ago I had my C45 neck fused. Since that time the C56 level has become unstable. Is it possible there was something wrong at C56 back then and they missed it? I could have had them both done at the same time.

I had a neck fusion about two months ago. I can't believe how many people I've met since then who've had the same thing. I never knew anybody who had this surgery before this happened to me. How common is it?

I started seeing a physical therapist for neck pain last month. I noticed there are several other neck patients being treated by someone else who are already better. They don't need treatment anymore. Am I doing something wrong? Should I see that other therapist myself?

I'm seeing a physical therapist for neck pain, probably caused by too much time in front of the computer. My insurance bill came and I see my diagnosis is a load-bearing disorder. What does that have to do with computer use? I'm not doing any heavy lifting at all.

I was in a car accident 10-years ago and hurt both my neck and my low back. Last year I had a lumbar fusion with the new bone growth rhBMP. It worked beautifully. Now I need a neck fusion. Can they do the same operation to fuse my neck?

My father had neck fusion surgery four days ago. We had just gotten him settled at home when he had a bad episode of neck swelling and had to be rehospitalized this morning. They did warn us that problems could occur but we never imagined it would really happen. What will they do now?

I have a mild case of myelopathy from pressure on my spine at C567. I'm going to try using a collar instead of having surgery right away. How long should I wear this?

I was recently diagnosed with cervical spine myelopathy. I've been told the only real treatment for this problem is surgery. Is that really true?

I'm really wondering about my father. He's always been a bit of a hypochondriac, so it's hard to tell when something is real or imagined. Lately he's been complaining about neck pain that goes down his arms. He drops things like cups and glasses. He seems to be tripping over his own feet. Even though he's 71-years old, I've never seen him do this before. Could this be all in his head like so many other problems he's had?

I'm really worried about my husband. He's 52 years old and seems to be having some strange symptoms. Sometimes he feels an electric shock down his arms. Other times he walks funny and seems clumsy. He's even complained about having trouble holding his bladder from time to time. How serious does this sound?

I've had terrible neck and arm pain for years. My doctor has been encouraging me to consider surgery. The operation is to remove the disc and bone and fuse the spine. After I heard all the things that can go wrong, I'm not so sure I can't live with the pain. Would I really be better off after such a surgery?

What is a corpectomy? My mother tells me her surgeon has suggested this operation for her neck pain.

I got konked on the head by a moving beam at work. The X-rays and MRIs show that my severe pain is coming from bulging discs at several levels. There's also a reverse in the curve of my neck. I'm thinking about having surgery to remove the discs and fuse the spine. Except for pain relief, just what will this operation do for me?

My wife is going to have discs removed from her neck for a problem called myelopathy. I know the surgeon is going to fuse the neck in three places. They make it sound all so simple. Is it really that straightforward? I can't tell my wife but I'm feeling a little nervous about it all.

I've been told the best treatment for my neck problem is surgery. I've been diagnosed with cervical myelopathy. A laminectomy and fusion of three levels is what the surgeon is recommending. I know a fusion means I won't be able to move my neck. What's the benefit of that?

I've been putting it off and putting it off but I'm finally ready to have a neck fusion. It looks like they will have to remove some of the bone around the nerves and then fuse the spine at three levels. Are there any times when this operation just shouldn't be done? Am I one of those cases?

My brother was in a diving accident while on his honeymoon in Hawaii. He dove from a 65-foot cliff and broke his neck in two places. Right now he has titanium screws and plates to hold everything all together. How well does this work?

We have a new acupuncturist in town. I've been thinking about going there to see if I can get any pain relief from my chronic neck pain. I've tried just about everything else. Is there any proof that sticking needles in your ear really helps?

Two years ago I finally gave in and had my neck fused after 10 long years of pain, pain, and more pain. I'm certainly better but never without pain. Are there any new treatments out there now?

Last year I had a treatment with radiofrequency to destroy a nerve causing chronic low back pain. It seemed to work fine at first but after six months I was right back where I started from. Should I have it done again?

I work as a telemarketer on two four-hour shifts each day. I notice when my neck starts bothering me, I'm much slower and can't concentrate as well. Could this be from a whiplash injury I had in a car accident last year?

I had a car accident three years ago. Although I can move my neck okay, there are certain positions that are uncomfortable. I find myself stiffening up every time I have to look up or turn to look behind me. How can I get over this?

My husband has a very stooped posture from a problem he's had since he was 17. The doctors call it ankylosing spondylitis or just AS. If he has an operation to straighten his spine and help him hold his head up, will he be able to drive again?

Can you tell me what causes calcium deposits to form in the neck muscles? I've just had a CT scan that shows a calcium build up in the front of my neck. It's making swallowing very difficult.

An X-ray showed I have a lump in the front of my neck from a big calcium deposit. The doctor wants to do an MRI before treating me. Is that really necessary? They already know it's a calcium problem.

What is a keyhole foraminotomy? My father says that's the type of surgery he's having for his neck and arm pain. I've never heard of it.

Years ago I had a lumbar laminectomy because of a disc bulge pressing on the nerves. Now I'm supposed to have a foraminotomy for the same problem in my neck. Don't they do laminectomies for the neck area? Why not?

When should surgery be done to fuse the spine for older adults? How do you know when it's better to suffer the symptoms and avoid complications of surgery rather than have the operation?

My brother was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about two years ago. I notice he has trouble lifting his head up. His chin is on his chest, and he can no longer look at me when we are talking. Is this a common problem?

I notice my uncle can't seem to lift his head up all the way anymore. His chin is on his chest most of the time. Should I encourage him to get some help? He's 72, so maybe it's just part of getting older.

I've been having neck pain off and on for the last two years after a car accident. What are the chances this will just go away eventually with time?

I'm thinking about trying some acupuncture for my chronic neck pain problem. Are there any reasons to shy away from this treatment?

My insurance company is refusing to pay for further treatment of my whiplash injury. So far all I've received is a booklet on taking care of my neck, a special pillow, and some advice to keep moving. My neck pain and headaches are interfering with work. What else can I do?

I was in a car accident five months ago. I got some improvement in my neck pain and headaches but I seem to be stuck and going nowhere too fast. What can I do to get back to normal?

Someone on my son's football team was suspended for spear-tackling him. fortunately he wasn't injured. What could have happened that's so dangerous?

I'm working in a spine center with patients who have cervical spine (neck) disorders. Right now we are using the Short Form-36 survey to measure patients before and after treatment. Is there something more specific we could use for patients with neck problems?

I filled out a survey at my doctor's office about my neck problems. Almost everything it asked didn't have a score high enough or low enough for my answers. Am I just off the charts, or do they need a better questionnaire?

Six months ago I had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my neck. The surgeon wasn't able to get all of it, so I know I'm at increased risk for it to come back. How will I know if this happens?

We are setting up a clinic for chronic whiplash patients. We'd like to measure any progress our treatment may be having. There are dozens of tests out there. Can you recommend one that might work best for this patient population?

I've had chronic neck and back pain for the last 10 years because of a car accident. Would a spinal fusion help?

My sister has a condition called Chiari malformation. It's never bothered her until now. Last year, she had her appendix removed. She's had problems ever since with neck and back pain. Sometimes she loses normal sensation in her hands and feet. What's the connection?

My niece was just diagnosed with a problem called chiari malformation. Is this something I should have my children tested for?

How does whiplash happen and how is it treated?

How do I know if I have whiplash or if I just have a sore neck?

How is whiplash diagnosed?

What should I do if I think I have whiplash?

I had my neck fused at two levels and I'm feeling great. But the follow-up MRI shows there's still a narrowing of the spinal canal and pressure on the spinal cord. Is it just a matter of time before I get the pain and numbness back?

I've had neck and arm pain constantly for three years now. Ever since my car accident, I just can't seem to get back to normal. My doctor has suggested surgery to fuse the spine. MRIs show a significant disc bulge pressing against the spinal cord causing my symptoms. How can I know for sure this kind of operation will help?

What is whiplash?

How is whiplash treated?

I have a malignant tumor that has spread to the cervical spine. A team of radiation and medical oncologists have met with my orthopedist to discuss the best treatment for me. They will give me their findings at our next meeting tomorrow. What things go into this kind of medical decision?

Could you help me think my way through a medical problem? I have lung cancer that has spread to the bones of my neck. I know my life expectancy is limited. Should I even bother having surgery to stabilize my spine? I could be gone in 6 months.

I have pressure on my spinal cord in the neck from a condition called stenosis. Based on my MRI results, the doctor is recommending surgery. My symptoms aren't really that bad. Should I go with the test results or by how I feel when deciding what to do?

I've been getting acupuncture and biofeedback for a problem with chronic neck pain and trigger points in the muscles. I've heard they can permanently insert needles or something in trigger points so the person doesn't have to keep going back for therapy. Does this actually work?

I'm supposed to sing in a wedding at the end of the summer. But I have terrible neck pain from a herniated disc that needs to be removed. I'm supposed to have surgery to take the disc out. I will also have a cervical fusion at the same time. This all happens two months before the wedding. Will I be recovered enough to sing as planned?

Two months ago, I had an anterior cervical decompression for a herniated disc. I was warned there might be some problems with talking and eating afterwards. I just never thought it would happen to me. After all this time, I still have pain, difficulty swallowing, and my voice quality just isn't the same. Can anything be done about it?

If nothing can be seen by x-ray on your neck, but you still have a lot of pain, how else can your pain be diagnosed?

My 18-year old brother refuses to wear a seatbelt whenever we are together. He says this helps prevent neck strain from the chest strap. What can I say to counter this argument? Don't seatbelts really save lives?

Even though I was wearing a seat belt, I still fractured my spine in a recent car accident. What went wrong?

I'm a little confused. I just came back from an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon. They are planning to do surgery on me for disc degeneration in my neck. What I don't understand is why it wouldn't be better to have my neck fused. Wouldn't it be more stable and less likely to erode further?

My surgeon assures me that I will still have neck motion after she removes a disc in my neck and replaces it with an artificial disc. I'm not really asking for a guarantee here, but how do they know that for sure?

I had a minor fender bender last July. I still have headaches and neck pain. And I'm starting to notice problems with concentrating and memory. Can a whiplash injury get worse over time instead of better?

I'm in a bit of a panic here. X-rays just showed that my breast cancer has metastasized to the bone. So far, they've only found the cancer in the bones of the neck. The surgeon thinks radiation and then removing two of the bones is all that's needed. How in the world will I hold up my head without all the bones in my neck?

Why is chronic neck and back pain being called an economic problem?

My niece just called to tell me she has two congenital problems. The first is a Chiari malformation at the base of her brain. The second is a connective tissue disorder. What are the chances that one person could have both of these problems?

I am still having difficulty with swallowing after neck surgery. Will this go away?

I am needing a neck fusion but it is my understanding that there are improvements in the size of the plate that is used. Is this really important?

My doctor has suggested I have my neck fused from the front. What about disc replacement surgery?

Will my neck motion be decreased following an anterior cervical fusion?

Two years ago, I fell off a roof while working for a construction company. At the time, I was living in a small town where they did emergency surgery to fuse my spine. I had a Hangman's fracture. Now I find out I could have had screws to hold it together while it healed. I would still have my neck motion. Can the surgery be undone and fixed right?

My son was in a skiing accident over the weekend. They say he has a Hangman's fracture. We are trying to get to him but got held up by weather and air traffic. Can you at least tell us what is a Hangman's fracture?

I had a very sore neck the other day - the pain radiated from the middle of my neck out to the sides. The doctor in the emergency room did a scan and said I had crowned dens syndrome. I've never heard of that. What is it?

If I have calcium building up on my vertebrae, causing neck pain, wouldn't it be easier to have surgery to scrape it all away? I was treated for a condition called crowned dens syndrome. It was so painful and I'm afraid that it will come back.

My surgeon is going to do a laminotomy at C3 to take pressure off my spinal cord. I've been warned there can be some unpleasant effects from this operation. I know the doctor told me what they are but I can't seem to keep them in my mind. Could you please go over this with me again?

My mother had a laminotomy of the C2 and C3 areas. I notice now that her neck seems so much straighter. Is that part of the operation or something else?

It's been five years since I had my neck fused. Now another disc has started to bother me. I guess I thought the first surgery was going to be all I needed. Does this happen to other people?

Have you ever heard of a French door operation for the neck? My brother says this is what he's having done. What is it?

As a young adult, I fell and hurt my neck. Over the years bone spurs have formed in that area. Now there's pressure on the spinal cord causing neck and arm pain. The surgeon has shown me two types of operations I can have to treat this problem. One is a laminaplasty. The other is a laminectomy. Which one is better?

I had whiplash several years ago and it was no big deal; it hurt a bit but then it went away. My sister got whiplash a while ago and is still getting treatment for it. Now they're talking about injecting something into her neck. Why doesn't it go away like mine did?

If someone gets whiplash, how do you know if you should see a doctor or if it will go away on its own?

I have many trigger points in my neck and arms. Most of this is from sitting in front of a computer all day. I do what the physical therapist tells me but I still have this problem. What am I doing wrong?

Is it really true Botox can be used to treat neck pain?

When someone has neck pain, how can they tell if it is something serious?

If someone has damaged a disc in their upper back or neck, can they have the same type of surgery as someone who has hurt their lower back?

My parents are both seeing a chiropractor for neck pain following a car accident. I'm concerned at their age about stroke from neck adjustments. Is there any reason to be worried?

I went to the emergency room at our local hospital over the weekend for severe, severe neck pain. They did an exam, gave me some pain medication, and sent me home without so much as taking a single X-ray. Does this seem right to you?

I have been a headache sufferer for many years. Recently the doctor was able to do some tests to show that the head pain is really coming from my neck. Does the treatment differ? Now that I know the source, what should I do next?

Last year, a heavy box fell on my neck at home. Since then I've had chronic neck pain that goes down one arm. It's really affecting my work. I may lose my job if I can't figure out a way to do what needs to be done. What do you suggest?

It's been six months since I had a motorcycle accident in which I hurt my neck. I still have pain everyday. I barely make it to work and back. I have no life but to survive. Without health insurance, I'm stuck. What do other people do for their neck pain?

I had a car accident six months ago. I still have neck pain from the whiplash I received then. My insurance no longer covers my medical bills for this problem. This just doesn't seem right. Can't something be done to extend care when problems don't just magically disappear?

Some time ago, I was riding as a passenger in my friend's car when we had an accident. The air bags went off but not before I got a good whiplash injury. I'm not better yet, and it's been months. How much longer is this going to take to heal?

Twenty years ago, I had a car accident that caused a severe whiplash. I eventually got over it. Last month, I had another accident with another whiplash injury. This time it's called a whiplash associated disorder. What's the difference? Just new names for the same-old/same-old?

I've heard there is there a simple blood test that can show what's wrong with my neck. Is this true? What should I tell my doctor it's called so she can order one done?

It seems like there's no end to the tests that can be done for neck pain. I think I've had them all, and they still don't know what's wrong with me. What's the point of doing all these studies if they don't really work?

I've had stomach ulcers from taking too much aspirin for back pain. Now I have neck pain and I need to do something else. Without drugs, what are my options?

I saw a short report on the news about neck pain. According to some new research, my life expectancy won't change no matter what kind of treatment I get for neck pain. What does that mean, anyway? How would my life be threatened by treatment for a pain in the neck?

Mother has severe neck pain that goes down her arm from degenerative disc disease. She's 83 years old and wants to have the surgery her doctor recommended. Is this really advisable at her age?

I'm seriously researching steroid injections for neck pain. I've tried everything else (drugs, exercise, acupuncture, massage, Reiki). The acupuncture seemed to help for a little while, but it didn't last. That's why I thought maybe the steroid injections would help. But one of the possible complications is paralysis. How likely is this?

I had a car accident last week and got a pretty good whiplash. I finally went to the doctor yesterday. I was told to just let it heal and that less treatment is better. Is this good advice?

I just can't seem to get comfortable in bed at night. Ever since my car accident, I've had neck and back pain that's worse at night. I've been trying different pillows hoping something might help. Is there one type of pillow that you know works best for this sort of problem?

We have one family member who can be counted on to always have some ache or pain. Last night, we had a small fender bender while driving her home. I'm just sure she's going to end up with whiplash for the rest of her life. Is there anything we can do to keep this from happening?

My brother has been back from Iraq for two months. He seems fine but we are all worried about him. The slightest thing seems to spook him. This morning we had to brake suddenly in the car to avoid hitting a kid on a bicycle. Now all of a sudden, he's got a headache and neck pain. Could he be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder?

I have been diagnosed with cervical facet joint dysfunction. What are recommended treatments?

What causes cervical facet joint pain?

I recently heard the term, late whiplash syndrome. What does it mean?

What are some of the factors that can make whiplash worse?

My husband was diagnosed with a rare cause of a condition called Brown-Séquard syndrome. He has a very large disc pressing on one side of the spinal cord in his neck. He's in surgery now. What are the chances he'll come out of this okay?

Our 18-year-old son was involved in a serious hunting accident. He and a buddy were out using an abandoned tree stand they found. Our son fell out of the stand and broke his neck. It wasn't discovered until hours later because his partner was drunk and asleep. Could his paralysis have been prevented if he had been taken to the hospital sooner?

My doctor has suggested I undergo anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for spondylosis. He has offered surgery without the use of hardware, or with the use of a plate for hardware. Does it make a difference?

Is it really necessary to use a cervical collar following cervical fusion?

I've been having neck pain off and on now for six months. I finally decided to do something about it. My first choice is a chiropractor I saw a couple of years ago. Can the chiropractor tell from the start if I'm going to have a good result?

Can people really die from arthritis of the neck? I heard that on a report somewhere. I have rheumatoid arthritis. How dangerous is it?

I'm going to have a cervical fusion at the C2-3 level. I've been reading up on the dangers involved with this procedure. Is there anything I can do ahead of time to prevent these possible problems?

How come some people in the same car accident get a whiplash and others don't?

I'm still having neck pain after a car accident. I had a friend tell me that this is because I had my head turned facing the driver when the crash took place. It sounds reasonable but what's the logic behind this explanation?

Is there a difference in neck pain between fibromyalgia and whiplash? I've had both problems and can't really tell one from the other. I'm never sure which problem I'm dealing with.

I had a bad snowmobile accident and ended up with a chronic whiplash injury. My latest exam shows I have trigger points of several muscles in the upper neck. The therapist is going to work on those. What brought that on?

I have two problems in my neck. The first is too much of a forward curve. The second is fairly severe disc degenerative disease. I may have surgery to fuse the spine in two places. Will this make my neck curve better or worse?

I had my cervical spine fused at the C45 level about two years ago. I remember being told that it might cause the level above or below to go bad in time. So far, nothing has happened. How long does it take before this starts to happen?

What is the best treatment for cervical facet joint pain?

I am a diabetic and have concerns about having a medial branch block with an anesthetic and a steroid. The steroid has elevated my blood sugar. Is it effective without the steroid?

Mother just came back from a visit with the neurologist. We've been concerned about her for quite some time. The results of the testing suggest some kind of pressure on her spinal cord in the neck area. Just how do they diagnose a problem like this?

I had a car accident about three weeks ago. I started having neck and shoulder pain about two days later. From what I read on-line, I diagnosed myself with a whiplash injury. My symptoms haven't gone away yet. I really expected to be all better by now. So maybe I need to lower my expectations. How long does it take to recover from a whiplash injury?

My brother-in-law can turn even the simplest of problems into a catastrophe. We were all in a small fender bender last week. Everyone was wearing a seatbelt and came out of it fine -- except him. Now he's wearing a neck collar and says he has a severe whiplash. It was almost too predictable. What do the experts say about this? Is there any way to shake him out of his determination to be injured?

My husband and I are constantly at odds about how high the head rest in a car should be to protect us in case of an accident. Is there a set level?

Why is it that sometimes the signs of whiplash don't show until a day or two after an accident?

What kind of surgery can be done to take pressure off the spinal cord? I have a condition called cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). I was born with this problem, but the symptoms are getting worse. Surgery may be my next step.

I am going to have surgery for a problem called cervical spondylotic myelopathy. They are going to cut away some of the bone in my spine to take the pressure off my spinal cord. The reason I have this problem is because the hole for the spinal cord is too small. What are my chances for a good recovery?

Are certain people more prone to whiplash than others?

If whiplash causes pain in your neck from it being jerked forcefully, why does it affect the nerves in your arm?

In preparation for a neck fusion, I watched a videotape of the procedure at the surgeon's office. I saw that they used titanium cages between the bones. Sometimes the patient got a special metal plate to hold the cage in place, but not always. I don't really think I want that much metal inside me. Do I get a choice?

I had a cervical spine fusion at C45 six months ago. This morning I was in a hurry to get to work and ran smack dab into the garage door (it wasn't open all the way). I don't have a headache, but I'm scared to death that I undid the surgery. What should I do now?

I run a small chain of local hotels in the west. On any given day, there are always two or three desk clerks complaining of neck pain. Is there something about the job that's causing this? Or is it just that young people don't want to work so they call in sick with various aches and pains? I'm losing money over this issue.

I've had pain in my low neck area for three months now. I'm thinking I need to so something, but what? Is there an exercise program I should be doing? What do you advise?

I work as an EMT on an ambulance service. My sister is a nurse in an emergency department. We both see patients involved in motor vehicle accidents who end up with a chronic neck problem from whiplash. She thinks it's because the patients are told to expect that when they are discharged from the hospital. I think it's the ones who are hysterical and over anxious from the start. Does anyone really know?

I was in a car accident (my fault) while out shopping with a friend. My friend tends to be a bit on the hysterical side normally. I felt terrible about the accident, but she hasn't quit complaining about the pain in her neck from the whiplash. I had a little stiffness and soreness for a day or two but that was all. Are these problems really just personality driven?

I rear-ended someone last month who is making a mountain out of a molehill. She is claiming she has a severe whiplash injury from the accident. I was only going five miles per hour when it happened. The insurance companies will duke it out. But I'm sure I'll be paying higher premiums for it. Is there any way to prove this lady doesn't really have such a severe problem as she says?

I my first car accident -- I was hit from the side by a driver who ran a stop sign. My car and my neck were totalled. It's been six weeks and my neck is painful and stiff, I have headaches and ringing in the ears, and I can't sleep laying down. How much longer will this go on? I'm usually up and on my feet after a few days, but this has knocked me flat.

They say not everyone who has a car accident gets a whiplash injury. But it's my dumb luck to be one of them. I'm not an overly emotional or hysterical person. I usually heal quickly after a cut or other minor injury. So how come, after six months, I still have headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain from the accident? Why me?

I'm totally panicked. I just came back from a car accident that was my fault. I hit the other car head on. Fortunately, I wasn't going very fast. I'm worried the lady in the car will get a whiplash injury and sue me. Is there any chance that front-end collisions cause less injuries than rear-end fender benders?

I saw someone the other day who had one of those metal rings on her head with pins. Is that thing actually screwed to her head? That thing looks heavy.

My father had degeneration of his lower back discs and he had surgery called arthroplasty. I believe it is replacing the discs. My mother has the same problem just below her neck and her doctor says he can't do the same type of surgery. Why not?

With so many risks involved with neck surgery, is it really worth it to go under the knife if your problem isn't life threatening?

Do collars, the big soft ones, really help keep you from moving your head? I had one for a sore neck and I seemed to be able to turn my neck from side to side more than a bit, so I was wondering if it was any good.

My mother's doctor wants her to wear a brace after her neck surgery but she's only worn it for a couple of weeks and has since taken it off. I'm furious with her because she's going to cause problems, isn't she?

If cervical myelopathy is caused by pressure on the neck, won't it come back after surgery as the spine continues to break down?

My grandmother had a compression in her neck that her doctor said was myelopathy. Why did it affect both her hands and her legs at the same time?

I've been getting joint manipulation for a neck problem that developed after I slept in the wrong position for too long. Sometimes it seems like it's helping. Other times I feel better for a few days and then it goes right back out again. What do you recommend for patients like me?

My sister had a neck fusion and now tells me she has weakness and a heavy sensation in her arms. They call the problem myelopathy. Will this ever go away for her?

I am a newly graduated nurse now working in a large trauma center. The social workers tell me not to believe what patients say during the intake interview. They say that when it comes to car accidents, if it wasn't the patient's fault, they will report much higher pain levels and deny a previous history of neck or back pain. Is there any truth to this that you know of?

I was very relieved to wake up after a neck fusion without any hoarseness or loss of voice. They warned me many times that this could happen. I guess I'm wondering how I lucked out?

I am disabled and my wife is the main bread winner. I'm worried because she had a car accident about three months ago and she still doesn't seem back to normal. We can't afford for her to lose her job. I'm hoping the fact that her job doesn't require a lot of thought will hide the fact that she just isn't thinking right. Will she recover with a little more time?

I can't believe how many employees I've lost over the last year due to whiplash injuries from nonwork-related car accidents. Just looking at how many are now receiving disability pensions, I'd say it's a lot cheaper to take time off from work up front and get help before this becomes a serious problem. Am I right? Or maybe it doesn't matter -- if it's gonna happen, there's nothing stopping it. What do you think?

Our high school son has had two stingers playing football this past season. The coach assures us that everyone playing football gets these from time to time. Should we be worried?

This is my first year as a parent volunteer with a private high school football team. I played football in high school and college but I'm not a trained coach or athletic trainer. A couple of our kids got a stinger in the game last week. The symptoms seem to be lingering. How do we know when it's safe to let them play again?

I had a car accident in which I was rear-ended. The driver's insurance company is trying to get out of paying for my medical bills because I wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Is it possible I could have developed this chronic pain condition after the accident even if I had been wearing a seatbelt?

I went with Mother to her surgery appointment this morning. The surgeon said her neck was unstable and she has myelopathy. That's why they would have to do a fusion. Just exactly what does unstable mean? Is she in any danger with this problem? We just thought she had some neck arthritis and that's why her neck hurts so much.

My best friend is someone who makes a mountain out of every molehill. Every situation becomes a major catastrophe. These days it’s how she can't do anything because she has a whiplash injury. That car accident was months ago. How can I help her move on and get back to regular life?

Have you ever heard of an oblique corpectomy? What is it and how does it help with neck pain?

How is it possible to have pressure on my spinal cord but not have any signs that there's a problem? I had an MRI for another problem and they found significant cord compression in my neck. But I don't have any pain or neurologic problems so far.

I read my doctor's report on me and it said clinical diagnosis of cervical myelopathy. Order MRI to make the differential diagnosis. Can you please interpret this for me?

Mother fell down the stairs and broke her neck right at the top of the spine. Because she has diabetes and other health complications, they put her in a halo vest instead of attempting to do surgery to fuse the spine. What are her chances for recovery? She's not that old (63) but she seems more fragile now than she used to.

My 23-year-old daughter is living with me for a month while she gets used to wearing a halo vest for a cervical spine fracture. We are wracking our brains for ways to help her get more comfortable. The sheepskin lining the vest is supposed to make it more comfortable but she say its itchy. They showed us how to clean the screws and pins, but how do you take a bath or shower? Any tips you can offer would be a great help.

I have had migraine headaches since I was eight years old. I've heard that these might go away when I'm pregnant. I am trying to conceive, so I thought I'd check this out. What can you tell me?

Have you ever heard of chocolate triggering headaches? My husband is sure he has a chocolate-loving brain tumor causing his headaches. I think I've heard there's something in chocolate that can give some people headaches. Should he see a doctor?

When I had my neck fused, I developed a problem called dysphagia. I couldn't swallow anything that wasn't blended first and even then some things just wouldn't go down. I thought this was a major problem but the surgeon didn't blink an eye. Shouldn't they take this stuff more seriously than they do?

My physical therapist was doing joint mobilizations and traction on me for a pinched nerve on the left side of my neck. But a new study showed that it didn't really help, so we've stopped using it. I definitely feel a difference without it. Should I say something?

I've had a pinched nerve off and on in my neck for several years. I'm trying to avoid having surgery, so I've been seeing a physical therapist. It seems to be helping. I really like the traction treatments. That seems to help the most. Since this is an ongoing problem, should I look into getting a traction machine for myself at home?

I've been told that the neck and arm pain I have is from a condition called cervical myelopathy. No one seems able to tell me if I'll get better or not. What happens to most people with this problem?

I have some pressure on my spinal cord from bone spurs and compressed discs in the neck area. I heard that if this doesn't get better, there could be permanent damage to my spinal cord. Is that true?

I'm going to have a neck fusion next month. I have a few weeks to mull over how I want to have the graft done. I can use bone from a bone bank, bone from my hip, or some new product that is a bone substitute. What do most people do?

What does off-label use mean? My surgeon was telling me about using bone substitute for my spinal fusion and had me sign a paper saying I know it is an off-label use. At the time I thought I understood it, but when I tried to explain it to my brother, I got all fouled up.

My 16-year-old son has a cervical spine fracture rated as a three on a score called the CSISS. Can you explain this to me? The surgeon showed us the X-rays and went over everything. I am a nurse, so I do understand anatomy but I'll admit I was in a state of shock at the time. Most of it went right by me.

Can you help me understand a neck injury my husband got from a horseback riding accident? The surgeon says it's a moderately severe fracture of C34 and surgery is needed. They won't be able to tell until they do surgery how unstable it is. What makes a fracture moderately severe and/or unstable? I didn't really want to ask too many questions in front of my husband in case it's worse than we thought.

I was one of the first people in our area to have a disc replacement for a herniated disc that was pressing on my spinal cord. That was five years ago. So far, so good. They did warn me that anything could happen -- I could end up with the implant pressing on the cord or another disc going bad above or below the implant. I like to keep up on this technology, should I ever need another one. What's the latest?

I had a CT-scan that confirmed my worst fears: a herniated disc in my neck. The surgeons are talking about fusion versus maybe trying a disc replacement. I'm going in for more tests to see which treatment might work best for me. How do these two operations stack up against one another? Would you recommend one over the other?

I have a chance to be part of a study using a dissolving plate to fuse my neck. I'm wondering what you think about these.

My doctor has recommended a fusion for me (my neck). After two years of rehab, my pain is better but the X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs show it's not stable. Now we are talking about all the different options. The surgeon prefers to use something called ACDF with bone graft and a metal plate. I'd like to get by without the metal. Is it possible?

My aunt is in her sixties and she was diagnosed with something called cervical compression myelopathy and she had to have surgery for it. She had pain in her neck but no other symptoms that I know about. What is the danger (her surgery was a rush) and are there other symptoms?

How is cervical compression myelopathy treated?

I understand that fixing the neck is complicated because of what it does, but can a neck be fixed if it's broken?

I'm confused about something. I saw two different surgeons about a neck problem I'm having. The spinal cord is getting crunched because there isn't enough space for it in the spinal canal. One surgeon wants to do an operation called a laminectomy. The other doctor says it's a laminoplasty. Are we talking about the same thing or are these two different things?

I had a bit of surgery to relieve pressure on my neck at the C56 level. The surgeon made a little door in the bone to swing it open and away from my spinal cord. I thought it worked great because my pain was completely gone. But now it's starting to come back. Does this happen very often and what happens next?

Can you tell me what an odontoid fracture is and what causes it? We just got a call that our older brother (72-years old) is in surgery for this.

Mom is 65 and in the hospital for a work-up of her neck fracture. I guess there's a knob at top of her neck that has broken off. We could see it on the X-ray where they shoot the picture with her mouth open. There's been a lot of discussion about which way to go: bracing with a halo vest or surgery to pin the bone together and fuse the spine. Can you give us some of the pros and cons for each?

I'm looking into the possibility of having a disc replacement in my neck (around C6). I saw in a brochure about the procedure that the implant can shift causing problems later. If that happens, could my neck get stuck in a certain position or what?

How safe are the new disc replacements that can be put into the neck?

My neighbor recently had surgery on her neck because the bones were getting squished together, causing her a lot of pain. But, the doctor went through the front of her neck, leaving a wicked scar. Why would he do that if he could have reached it from the back, without leaving an obvious scar?

What types of complications can occur with a surgery to remove some bone from the neck?

My neck has been killing me for months. I didn't do anything to hurt it, it just began hurting one day. My doctor ordered x-rays but nothing showed up so I've been living with it. Now my doctor wants me to see a psychologist to work on my pain. I'm not nuts, how can this help me?

I am seeing a doctor about my chronic neck pain and she's working on helping me relax and manage the pain when it comes. I'm afraid to stop seeing her because I may not be able to do this on my own. Is this normal?

My mother fell in her house but she didn't hit the ground. She sort of sat hard but hit her head on the arm of the couch. When we brought her to the hospital, the doctor said my mom had broken her neck. She died the next day. She was perfectly healthy and was talking to us after the accident. How could this happen?

Does everyone who breaks their neck die or end up like Superman's Christopher Reeves?

I have neck pain that goes down my left arm. The doctor has ruled out any kind of heart symptoms and thinks it might be a pinched nerve. I notice when I put a soft collar around my neck, the symptoms go away. Does that point to a nerve problem?

My mother just had neck surgery to fuse three of her cervical vertebrae (C345). She's moving very stiffly and can hardly function. We keep asking the doctor if she should be in a brace but the answer is always it's not necessary. I'm wondering if she couldn't wear one of those soft collars just for a few days to help give her neck a rest. What do you think?

My 78-year-old mother insists on having a neck fusion surgery. She's overweight, has high blood pressure, and is borderline diabetic. Is it really safe for her to have this kind of surgery? I can't believe the surgeon is willing to do it.

I'm scheduled for surgery to fuse my neck at the C67 level. The surgeon is planning an operation called an ACDF. I don't worry about the surgeon's skills as much as I worry about my body cooperating. How often do people my age (67 years old) end up in a nursing home after an operation like this?

I just came back from my six-month check-up after having artificial disc replacement surgery. They put the new disc in my neck at the C5-6 level. I guess I already have some bone growing where it shouldn't be. I'm wondering if you can tell me why this is happening?

If a person develops heterotopic ossification after a disc replacement in the neck, will it affect how long the implant lasts?

I am scheduled to have a disc replacement operation for my neck. I'm worried because the surgeon said she would be removing the diseased disc (I'm okay with that!) but also taking some of the bone, too. That's what I worry about -- I don't have large bones to begin with. Will I still have enough bone to support my head and have what I need for normal motion?

I had a disc replaced in my neck at C56 and was expecting to have better motion after recovery. I do have relief from my pain but my neck is still so stiff. Any ideas why that is and what I can do about it?

My doctor wants to use Botox to inject my neck muscles and see if this will help take away the pain and numbness in my arm. Will it leave my arm puffed up afterwards? I know movie stars get Botox injections to make their lips fatter.

I am finally ready to put an end to my neck and arm pain. I have two choices: fusion or disc replacement. The surgeon is comfortable with either option for me. Is there any evidence out there that one is better than the other?

What sort of revision surgeries are needed after disc replacement in the neck? The surgeon mentioned this possibility to me but I forgot to ask what that means.

I had a car accident several months ago. At the time I had a whiplash injury but that went away. But now I notice my neck and arm don't move the same on the right side compared to the left and I'm starting to get neck pain again. Could this be from the whiplash injury or is it something else?

Last year I developed neck pain for no apparent reason. I didn't injure myself that I'm aware of. This year, I did hurt my shoulder. Now there's a noticeable difference in the way the neck and arm move on that side. Is this coming from the neck or the shoulder?

Please help me out. I am having pretty severe neck and arm pain from a bad disc in my neck. The surgeon I saw said surgery is an option but that I should try a more conservative route first. I was so upset by finding out I had bad discs, I didn't even ask what exactly is "conservative care" and how long does it take?

I had a neck fusion about five years ago. Now another disc in my neck has popped up with a similar problem. The difference now is that my surgeon can do disc replacements. Is there really any added benefit of this more involved (and more expensive) operation? Should I just stick with the fusion because I know it works for me?

I think I'm ready to take the leap into surgery for my neck. The surgeon wants to cut away the bone around the spinal cord in order to take pressure off the cord. They make a hinge-door and swing it away from the cord without actually removing the whole bone. It sounds too good to be true. What's the downside of this surgery?

The university hospital where I'm going to have a laminoplasty done on my neck using a new plating system. It's supposed to have better results than other ways of holding the bone away from my spinal cord. What kind of success rates have been reported for this procedure so far? My surgeon says she has a 90 per cent (or better) success rate. Is that better than average? I tried to find some information about this on-line but didn't come up with anything.

The X-rays and MRIs I had done suggest I have a pinched nerve at C56. Looks like flat, lifeless discs and some bone spurs are causing pinching of the nerve. What are the chances this will get better on its own? I don't have health insurance so I can't go chasing after a cure from every Tom, Dick, or Harry. What do you advise?

I have a place in my neck where the disc is paper thin and no longer cushioning the spine. As a result, I have chronic neck pain that goes down my arm. Why does a thin disc cause nerve pain and why don't I have this problem at other places in the neck?

I had a disc replacement for my neck (C5-6 level) about two years ago. I'm doing quite fine but wondering now just how long these things last. I'm sure we talked about it with the surgeon but I'm drawing a blank as to what was actually said.

I'm considering having a two-level disc replacement surgery in my neck. I understand all the risks and benefits. The surgeon's assistant has mentioned excess bone formation called heterotopic ossification. Why is this such a bad problem? It seems like the extra holding power would be a good thing. Please explain.

I heard that hand deformity with rheumatoid arthritis is often parallel by similar problems in the neck. Is there any truth to that statement? I'm noticing more and more neck pain and I do have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and feet. Maybe it's just the power of suggestion -- I read about it and now I'm getting neck pain. What do you think?

Mother has been complaining about neck pain and stiffness for the last couple of months. She has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but it's only in her hands. Is it possible these new symptoms could be from the arthritis, too? I'm not sure what to make of it. She hasn't hurt her neck that we know of.

I was an engineering student before I went into med school. Now I'm seeing all kinds of applications for the CAD programs I used with my engineering projects. It would be so easy to use this when planning orthopedic surgery for example. This has probably crossed someone else's mind. What kind of studies are being done in this area?

I know that artificial disc implants for the neck come in different sizes and types. My basic understanding is that one type has some movement of the core (center part) while others are stationary and don't move. If I have this surgery done, which type should I go with?

How long have the artificial disc replacements been out for the neck? Are they safe yet?

I'm 35-years-old but thanks to a bad car accident 10 years ago, I have the neck of an 80-year-old woman. Am I too young for a neck replacement?

I'm a division I college football player. Team doc says I've had one too many stingers and the problem has become "chronic". What does that mean -- does having more than one stinger make the problem chronic?

I've had eight stingers now since playing football. Fortunately the pain and numbness down my arm go away in a day or two (at the most). This last time the stinger hasn't gone away. I'm getting X-rays and an MRI today. What will they find out from these tests?

What's the difference between neck pain from a whiplash (car accident) and neck pain from fibromyalgia? I'm wondering if maybe I have both problems. It's too complicated to explain why I think this so maybe you can't answer the question without more details from me. But if you can tell me, it would be very helpful.

I was in a car wreck six months ago and diagnosed with a whiplash injury. Despite medical treatment, the pain and stiffness still hasn't completely gone away. The nurse practitioner I saw thought perhaps I was developing fibromyalgia syndrome. My sister has that so I know a little bit about it. Why would a whiplash injury cause fibromyalgia to develop?

Two years ago, I had a cervical disc replacement at C45. Just had my check-up and everything looks good. The surgeon said there was no "ossification" (bone build-up). If I don't have this problem by now, does it mean I am safe from it?

I am thinking about having a neck surgery that involves taking out a bad disc and fusing the spine there. I asked my surgeon to have someone call me who has had the surgery, so I can get an idea of how safe this procedure is. So far, no one has called me. What can you tell me about the safety of this surgery?

My favorite major league baseball pitcher is out on medical leave. The only thing I could find out on-line was that the problem is a herniation in the neck. What are the chances he'll make it back this season?

I understand that having neck surgery from the front can damage my vocal cords and/or leave me with difficulty swallowing. But if they know this is a problem, why can't they figure out a better way of doing the surgery to keep it from happening? This seems like a potentially serious problem -- maybe even worse than the neck pain I'm having.

I see from your website other people writing in and asking about having trouble swallowing after neck surgery. I'm one of those people looking for some answers. Any idea why some people get this problem and others don't?

Sometimes when I see my chiropractor, she manipulates my back with me lying down and sometimes sitting up. Why is that?

I've been having some neck and back issues off and on for weeks now (probably more like months). I've been warned by my parents not to have anyone crack my neck because it could cause paralysis. What about having the middle of my back adjusted? Would that help?

I was told after my neck fusion that it's possible the disc above or below the fused level might start to break down from the added stress and strain. I've thought about that but I don't really get it. Doesn't having the bad segment fused stop motion and protect me from having this problem again?

I've had a neck fusion at C56 and now the C45 level is starting to go. I see there are disc replacements available. Is it possible to have a disc replacement at C45 with a fusion at C56? And is it like a tooth filling -- can I have the fusion removed and put a disc in there?

I'm trying to figure out a way to afford neck surgery. I don't have very good insurance (high deductible, minimal coverage). I can either have an anterior discectomy and fusion or a disc replacement. The surgeon's assistant went over all the possible choices but I still can't quite tell which one is the least expensive but still do the job. Can you help me out?

Ten years ago, I had a cervical spine fusion using bone from a bone bank. Never again! I had the worst results with infection, bone rejection, and eventual breakdown of the fusion. Now I have to go in and have it done over again along with a fusion of the level above. I keep hearing horror stories about donating bone to myself but it couldn't be worse than what I've already been through. What do you think?

This might be kind of a weird question but I think about it a lot. Are neck injuries from whiplash something the developed after cars were invented? Or is this something that people have always experienced?

I've seen my regular doctor, a physical therapist, and a chiropractor for a whiplash injury I got three months ago. I'm still no better and in pain every day. I don't know what to do next. What do you advise?

About six weeks ago, I had a car crash that put me in a neck brace for a month. Now that I'm out it's very difficult to turn my head. I certainly can't turn quickly and that's a major problem driving. What can I do about this?

I had a bad fall yesterday and I think I gave myself a whiplash injury. I went to the emergency room and got an X-ray. Everything looks okay. I stayed in bed all day but I'm up now and need some help. Is it safe to do my normal activities?

I'm thinking about seeing an acupuncturist for my neck pain. I had a motorcycle accident and crashed into a tree. Most of me was okay but I still have headaches, ringing in the ears, and some blurry vision from time to time. Would acupuncture help?

I had a car accident last week that has left me shaken. I expected neck pain and got it. What I didn't expect was to be so dizzy. How long does this last?

I saw a special on TV about whiplash injuries. I was especially interested because I had a car accident three years ago and still have neck pain. What I wonder is how do they get those X-rays showing what happens to the neck during the sudden stop. Is it all just photo-shopped in?

What can you tell me about a procedure called neurotomy for chronic neck pain from a whiplash injury? Does it really work? How long does the pain relief last? I've heard it works for some people but not for others.

I have a feeling I already know the answer to my question but I'm going to ask anyway. Two years ago, I was thrown from a horse and hurt my low back. I know they say you should always get right back on the horse but I was in the hospital for two weeks and then therapy for another six months. So I never did go back to my riding lessons. And I ended up with a pretty bad case of what they call fear-avoidance. Now I've had a bike accident and dinged up my neck. Is there such a thing as fear-avoidance for the neck? I want to avoid the fear-avoidance!

I've been told that having a disc replacement instead of a fusion in my neck may help protect the other discs from similar degeneration. Right now all I care about is getting some pain relief but my partner wants me to look into the long-range results and not just settle for immediate gratification. I see the point so I'm checking to see what you can tell me.

I have constant neck and back pain. Sometimes it's just my neck but other times it's both neck and low back. I had an X-ray and the doctor showed me there is disc degeneration all along my spine. I don't really want to have my whole spine fused. Is it possible to have just one or two of the worst levels replaced with one of those new artificial discs? Or is that like putting a finger in the dike to hold back the water? In other words, am I just doomed to a life of back pain?

I see a chiropractor and a physical therapist alternately almost every week for my neck pain. My brother insists that all he ever needs is just a little "adjustment" and he's good to go for another week. My experience has been that the exercises I'm doing help "hold" the adjustment. Is there any proof either way?

I am doing the Internet version of crying, "Uncle!" and giving in. I've had neck pain for months now. In fact, it's probably been years when I really think about it. So I Googled 'neck pain' and your site came up first. Without seeing me, what can you tell me about the best way to get out of this hole I'm in?

I am having severe neck pain from a herniated disc pressing on the spinal cord. Since there is no numbness down my arm, the surgeon suggested a steroid injection. But when I went on-line there were cases of brain damage from this treatment. How does that happen and how often does it happen?

I'm trying to decide if I should have a painful disc in my neck removed and fuse the spine or replace the disc with a disc replacement. I've looked everywhere on-line for some direct advice which way to go but haven't found anything. What do you think?

I have a chance to be in a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration. But I could also go to my orthopedic surgeon and the get the same results. I'm thinking I'll get better (more personalized) care with my own doc as opposed to being a number in a study. The procedure in question is an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. They call it an ACDF. What's your best advice in something like this?

My surgeon and I are at an impasse. I had a neck fusion that wasn't what I call 'successful.' The surgeon says from his perspective, the X-rays look great, I'm healing well, and I'm fine. I don't feel fine. I have constant neck pain and numbness in my arm. How do you define a successful C56 neck fusion?

I'm seeing a physical therapist for neck pain from a car accident two months ago. She says I have "trigger points" that have to be released before I'll get my neck motion back. Is this a normal problem to have after a whiplash injury or am I unusual?

I feel like a zombie. I can't turn my head and neck more than a tiny bit or the pain shoots up from a three to a 10. If I even touch the tops of my shoulders, it is very painful. I did have a car wreck and a whiplash but that was a month ago. Why can't I seem to get over this hump?

I've been told that my dizziness is probably coming from an old neck injury from high school but no one seems to know how to correct the problem. Can you suggest anything? Any exercises that might help?

I've been watching the Olympics and thinking maybe I should get back into some kind of exercise program. But I've had neck pain off and on (especially when I do try to exercise). What can I do about this?

I am an assistant in a hospital library. So, although I'm not a fully trained librarian, I have learned how to do searches on the Internet and especially using PubMed to find things. This has been helpful since I am having some neck issues myself and looking at possible surgery to either fuse C56 or replace the disc there. However, when I did a search comparing these two treatments, I found almost 300 studies. I don't have the ability to really figure this out. I'm hoping you can just tell me how to get down to the basic information I'm looking for.

I've clearly made up my mind to have a disc replacement in my neck instead of a fusion. Now I'm surfing the web for any information I can find about the best kind of implant device to use. Do you have any information that might help me?

Neck fusion or disc replacement? These are my two options right now for my degenerative disc disease. I'm slowly learning the pros and cons of each one. I'll be doing a complete study before making the final decision. Just one question for you: does a disc replacement guarantee me normal neck motion once again?

Why does neck fusion have the potential for making things worse instead of better? Should I skip this treatment idea and just go for a disc replacement? I thought I understood everything my surgeon told me about these two choices -- right up until I got home and tried to explain it to my wife. Now I have more questions than answers.

I went through a special pre-operative program at the hospital for people considering a neck fusion. They spent a lot of time talking about adjacent segment disease or ASD as they called it. I understand what this is -- but how often does it really happen?

I saw a surgeon this week for neck pain that has plagued me for years. Nothing I've done has helped (acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments). It looks like the disc and bone around it is disintegrating. The surgeon is suggesting removing the damaged disc in a procedure she calls diskectomy. After thinking about it, I'm wondering how that will help. Without any disc there won't it just be one vertebra bone rubbing against the one next to it?

I'm debating whether to have a neck fusion or go for the newer disc replacement. I have a broken down disc at C56. I understand the disc replacement devices have only been around for 10 years or so. What do you recommend?

In talking with my spine surgeon, I was told that cervical fusion is the current "gold standard" but that disc replacements are on their way in. Which way should I go and why?

Can you explain the idea of cost for quality of life after surgery? When I balked at paying $15,000 for a neck fusion, the surgeon told me I would gain up to $100,000 in quality of life afterwards. How does that work? Where does the money come from?

My cousin had a neck fusion last year that cost about $20,000. He can't move or turn her neck but he says at least he doesn't hurt anymore. That seems like a lot of money to me. You could buy a boatload of painkillers for that and go on vacation. I didn't say that to him but I wonder what you think.

Our five-year-old grandson had a major fall onto the back of his head and now they are saying he needs surgery to correct a swan neck deformity. The only thing I can find on the internet about this problem seems to deal with the hands not the head. Can you help me understand what's going on here?

You may not be able to help me but I thought it might be worth asking. I'm having surgery for an unusual problem: my head dislocates off my neck. This is happening because I injured my neck years ago AND I have severe rheumatoid arthritis. The combination of the two has resulted in a very unstable head-neck relationship. They call the neck a "swan neck." What are my chances for a good recovery from this type of surgery?

I'm thinking of taking the plunge and getting a disc replacement for my degenerative disc disease at C56. This is just a little detail but I'm wondering if I'll need to wear some type of neck collar afterwards. I do have several I already used before, so if I can save a little money, I'll bring mine with me.

Can you help me figure something out? I'm trying to decide if I should have a disc replacement or fusion. The surgeon has gone over the pros and cons of each procedure. She seems to be leaning more towards the disc replacement but it sounds like I could have that surgery and still end up with a fusion if it doesn't work. What do you tell your patients?

Have you ever heard of a double-door laminoplasty? This is what the surgeon is saying I should have done for my severe neck problems. My formal diagnosis (at least on paper) is cervical myelopathy. The procedure won't touch the bone spurs that are causing the problem, so how is that going to help me?

The surgeon who is going to treat my neck problem (I've been diagnosed with cervical myelopathy) told me my cervical spine is "too straight." So I might not be able to have the surgical procedure he originally had in mind (double-door laminectomy). What does having a spine that is too straight have to do with it? I'm confused.

Is it normal for my neck to get more stiff as I get older?

Do men and women differ in the amount of mobility in their neck?

I have been suffering from neck pain and out of work for one month secondary to this condition. Would becoming involved in a specific return to work program be beneficial in getting me back to work?

What is the difference between an anterior cervical discectomy/fusion and a cervical disc replacement?

I am considering surgery for a herniated disc in my neck. Is there a difference in quality of life or outcomes after surgery between a microdiscectomy with fusion and a disc replacement?

I have been experiencing pain in my left forearm for months, it goes away when I rest with my arms behind my head but is otherwise always present. Recently I was diagnosed with a disc bulge and bone spur in my neck that is said to cause this. Why do I have pain in my arm but not in my neck?

If I have tried and failed all conservative medical treatments and therapies for improving radiating pain down my neck or arms, should I look into getting a surgery?

Which neck surgery is most cost-effective, a fusion or disc replacement?

How does training my “cervical proprioceptors” improve my neck pain?

So where could I get some exercises to improve my neck pain?

I have been suffering from neck pain and out of work for one month secondary to this condition. Would becoming involved in a specific return to work program be beneficial in getting me back to work?

I am part of a return to work focused rehabilitation program. What might this entail?