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Wondering if I'll need surgery

JEMJJEM Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had two MRIs in the last couple of weeks. First one I had in an open machine, but the radiologist said a closed machine would be better, so I sucked it up and had one in a closed machine. I only have the report from the open MRI. Everything has progressed from my last MRI of 18 months ago. Here's most of the report. I'm waiting on the report from the closed machine, which is supposed to reveal more, I'm told.

At C5-C6, there is a large disc osterophyte complex indenting the ventral thecal sac and deforming the spinal corld. There is severe spinal canal stenosis with moderate bilateral neuroforaminal narraowing. Disc Degenerative Disease.

The vertebral bodies are normal in alignment and marrow signal. The visualized portions of the posterior fossa are nomal. The intrinsic spinal cord signal is normal through all levels. Progressing spinal canal stenosis since the prior exam. Severe spinal canal stenonis at C5-C6 due to large disc osteophyte complex. Moderate spinal canal stenosis of C6-C7 due to similar degenerative changes.

I'm going to see a neurosurgeon. I went almost two years ago and was told I was not a candidate for surgery. I am a barely walking ball of pain. It's as if someone put a pain device in my body. Sorry for the drama, but it really feels as if I'm starring in a horror movie. I can't believe this pain. I take a lot of opiods. They're becoming less and less effective.

I also have fibro which started after this hell began three years ago. I'm starting to wonder if I even have fibro. The more I read up on the cervical spine, the more I realize how it can affect your entire body. My arms and legs are weak.

Has anybody had a similiar experience or is knowledgable about this? Does surgery ever lessen the pain? I'm a realist, and I have no unrealistic expectations. I appreciate all thoughts and advice.


  • Jem,

    I'm truly sorry for your pain.

    I am not in the medical field, but I have similar issues.

    In my signature I have a summary of my condition, but cervical disc fusion surgery did stop my pain 15 years ago. At that time, I had pain in my arm that they said was caused by a herniated disc. I was 28 at the time and did everything the doctors told me to do. After the surgery, I wore a soft collar for a while and was able to go back to work 6 weeks later. I got pregnant three months later and had a normal pregnancy (except for my having Crohn's disease which is totally unrelated!!!).

    In 1999, I had more symptoms and after a ton of tests over two years I was told I have fibromyalgia. .....despite MRIs indicating central cervical spinal stenosis, osteophytes, etc.

    Assuring I get good sleep helped trmendously, along with meds and rest.

    But over the last two months, my symptoms have returned this time they are more numbness/tingling/mini-electric shocks....along with some pain. And this seems to be getting worse...which is scaring me because I'm thinking this is due to pressure on my spinal cord.

    Anyway, here's what I really wanted to tell you:

    On Tuesday when I had an EMG, my neuro said I don't have fibromyalgia. He said all of my "pressure points" that they use for the test in fibromyalgia would always be sore because of the cervical disc issues I have!!! Nearly 10 years of thinking I have fibro and this doctor says no!!

    Anyway, good luck to you. Keep the faith. In my case, surgery helped....

    I'm thinking I probably need it again, though, but if the surgery then bought me 15 fairly good years, I'd say that's pretty good!!! But I know everyone is different!
  • I can relate to your pain and i can tell you what I have been through. You have a large bone spur pressing on your spinal cord. The narrowing of the spinal cord is also adding to your pain level. I just had a cervical laminectomy to remove a large bone spur that grew inside my vertebra inside touching the spinal cord and nerve. In 2006 I had the cervical fusion for all the symptoms you have on your MRI. I went to a orthopedic specialist not a neuro surgeon. For relief now you can swim. Get the water up to your chin and exercise all the painful areas. Buy a cervical collar to reduce the weight on your shoulders. Get some of those heat wraps and apply to the back of your neck to reduce tightness and tension. The surgeon may suggest epidural injections that can give you relief. They are done in a series of 3 and take less then 10 minutes and the risks of complications are very small. Also anti inflammatories help reduce pain if kept in your system. They work like a maintenance drug, take them several times a day and you'll see some improvement. Good Luck :)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
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