Hello / Osteophytes / surgery

Hi all,

my name is Matthew and I’m 39 from Yorkshire

got diagnosed with foraminal stenosis due to bilateral osteophyte disc complex at c5-6

all my symptoms are left side of neck, shoulder, arm and thumb

struggling with the mild to moderate but consistent pain and more so mentally

they want to ultrasound my shoulder too and then I have an appt in Feb next year.

most likely I’ll be progressing to injections first which I don’t like at all but after being in pain for 16 months, not sure what other choice I have.

and if that fails some kind of surgery? The consultant said something about shaving it off?!

am really scared, never had an surgery before. I also worry about my work, kids and big fluff of a dog as I don’t have help to look after them.

if anyone has an advice or has or knows someone with a similar condition and how it went for them I’d love to know. I know there are people so much worse of than me but mentally I’ve a lot on my plate and need to navigate this challenge somehow. Daily life is a real struggle and the only things that have given me some mild relief is a neck traction pillow and a very hot shower but only for short relief.

best wishes to all



  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 450

    hi @mra1984

    I have had a keyhole foraminotomy on my C6/7 in March this year which is done from the back of the neck because I couldn't have an ACDF which goes through the front. Both decompress nerves and clean out all the rubbish.

    I have also had subacromial decompressions on both shoulders which is again keyhole and again clears all the rubbish that shouldn't be there that causes pain.

    Yes both surgeries were painful in recovery but I had strong painkillers to see me through it.

    With the shoulders I was in a sling for about 3 days and started physio on the third day.

    Did my steroid injections help - not really but these days you have to have them before the NHS will let you progress to the next stage. When I had my first shoulder done in 2011 my surgeon at that point told me not to have any more as they can do more harm than good but don't have the choice these days.

    Did the injections hurt? yes

    Did the surgeries stop my pain - yes

    Would I have them again - yes

    You need a good surgeon who will talk you through exactly what needs to be done, how it's going to be done and what the recovery will be. I was back at work within 6 weeks for each shoulder sat at a desk as a PA. When I had the neck surgery I was retired and returning to work wasn't an option but I could have been back at my desk again within 6 weeks. However, that always depends on what your job is

    Good luck


  • mra1984
    mra1984 Member Posts: 2

    Thank you Trish, did the foraminomy help with stiffness and pain in the neck itself or only arm pain? Any advice for post surgery recovery? I try to find somewhere for a couple of weeks at first for my dog but maybe then I could look after him but depends on my recovery. How does one sleep, move around afterwards? For me it’s a difficult decision as the pain is not too bad most days but it’s always there and I find it hard to think I can live with it like this as I usually very active and do a lot of exercise so for me it’s impacting me more. Thanks