Donald Corenman, MD, DC
Post count: 8436

You have a left disc hernation at C6-7 that is compressing the exiting nerve root (C7 nerve). You have all the typical symptoms (pain, paresthesias, numbness) and also weakness. The weakness is the one symptom that really concerns me.

The other symptoms can resolve over time but the weakness can be permanent. It is true that cervical nerves recover from weakness better than lumbar nerves and the C7 nerve has a good record of recovery. Nonetheless, if the weakness is significant or atrophy occurs, I give my patients only 6 weeks to see if the nerve will recover without surgery.

If in this 6 week period there is no significant recovery, surgery is recommended to give the nerve the best chance of recovery. Atrophy is a sign of significant compression and would prompt me to consider surgery sooner than later.

If this is a typical disc herniation with good disc height preservation (the disc is not significantly narrowed from years of degeneration), then you would be a candidate for an artificial disc replacement (ADR).

WIthout Gabapentin (Neurontin), generally you would have greater nerve symptoms. This medication sometimes does not help symptoms but there is no way to know unless you stop taking it. For this medication, you cannot stop cold turkey but need to wean down slowly off.

Dr. Corenman