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C-4/5/6/7 T-1/2 Nerve & Spinal Cord ??'s

JoydancerJJoydancer Posts: 463
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Would appreciate some input from my C-spine comrades...

re: Current MRI CT Flexion X-Rays done in April, the OS assessed the following:

"bi-lateral nerve root compression at C-6/7 into T-1; compression of nerve root 8 on left side; facet arthropathy more changes at C-4/5/6 osteophytes noted; deformed thecal sac at C-5/6"

MRI & CT Scans done without contrast

Question:
What diagnostics would be able to more clearly define status of nerve root compression & degree of deformed thecal sac of spinal cord?

I have not had MRI CT Scans with contrast nor a myelogram for over 2 years.

Which of these or other diagnostics would be most important to do in trying to determine degree and positional status of severely DDD C-5/6/7 collapsing onto C-T-1/2?

(My wonderful NS who was a master of diagnostic studies and assessment unfortunately retired 2 years ago)

I want to be clear of options - - have an important NS appt out of state in 2 weeks; 2nd opinion and assessment since previous OS backed out from moving ahead with surgery; final decision being "highly unlikely to be successful outcome with doing interventional surgery".

Appreciate your input on the above & any other info you would like to offer to me.

Janelle
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Comments

  • Howdy Janelle!!

    As you know our levels on the top side are only 1 off, but the rest sadly, we are twins in many ways.

    I can only express what they've done with me that has worked so far. My NS has been more on the physical exam (functionality, strength, pain levels with xx moves), MRI and NVC/EMG thus far. He has been able to nail what's been going on with me until this Neuropathy came into the picture.

    As you know, a huge bulge on one person does nothing, yet another with a "small or tiny" they are writhing in pain! Go figure huh? I also opt for the positional MRI's anymore. I feel more of my symptoms standing or sitting (neck or back), and as such prefer though uncomfortable to have my spine under load to let the MRI image "see the real me" if you will. I hope this helps my friend. *HUG*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had a fusion done from C5 through C7 (metal plate and screws). I also had 2 discs that had completely ruptured (per the Doc's comments, after surgery "Wow.. I just kept finding more and more fragments - those discs were demolished!). So, now I have 2 "spacers" (as I call them) in place of those discs, and they help w/ compression and stability issues. Ask me anything, if you'd like to know more about the surgery and my outcome. :)
  • Hello and (((hugs))) Spiney Twin!

    Well, getting set for the big NS appt. which I know I MUST do with getting another re-schedule date of 10-7!! (oh let it just be that surgery fix on elbow/hand nerve entrapment only - - I'm having delusions of a miracle with the C-spine bypassing those surgeries - - oh gee and why would I want to do that !!

    Re: Diagnostics Picture based on always being symptomatic C-Spine on left arm/hand (past 2 yrs episodic) and chronic for past 6 months = advanced nerve damage wrist/fingers

    Focusing on Evaluating OS's Prognosis =
    "highly unlikely successful outcome" !!

    and

    Bi-Lateral Nerve Compression C-5/6/7 has taken out my left hand to advanced neuropathy ulnar damage

    and no evaluation or definitive opinion re: new changes of "deformed thecal sac" nor degree of how much ???

    Trying to determine what would be best diagnostic to have done in order to address where things are right now - - clearly c-spine advanced neuropathy and advanced stage in 3 months arm/hand nerve damage:

    Appt with NS second opinion will be to:

    1)establish accurate prognosis;
    2)address spinal cord compromise; and
    3)intervention to reverse more severe compression of 7/8 nerve roots


    Janelle

    As you know, a huge bulge on one person does nothing, yet another with a "small or tiny" they are writhing in pain! Go figure huh? I also opt for the positional MRI's anymore. I feel more of my symptoms standing or sitting (neck or back), and as such prefer though uncomfortable to have my spine under load to let the MRI image "see the real me" if you will. I hope this helps my friend. *HUG*

    Brenda
  • Janelle,

    Well, as you know, you and I are so similar it is almost scary! My issues for C5-8 per EMG are from lesions in my brain, and as such creating the Neuropathy issues in my arms and legs. I almost think my NS likes that, as he can 'ignore' the failed fusion and crack for now. My hubby is pissed and wants me to go to another surgeon.

    There is a renowned one down here - he invented hardware that 'breaks down' (bio-degrade type) over a 1 and a half year period. Pretty cool. Now trying to get in to see him, good luck! I tried when all my crap started, and his staff was such idiots, that was a mess...I went to another NS (Chief of NS at his Hospital), so it worked out.

    Just keep after them until you at least have ANSWERS, even if that means that surgery can't fix it, you at least know what the heck is going on.

    Off subject...did they just update the software here, the reply set up is different. Might be a fluke... weird.

    Don't give up woman!!! *HUGZ*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • BarbF01 said:


    Hi, Barb,

    Appreciate you sharing about your C5 thru C7 severe conditions...and in offering to share more and address any ???'s Thanks...I got several..okay?!

    Re: C-5 thru C-7 completely "ruptured" - - was that from trauma or an injury, or from degeneration (or both) ?

    Re: surgery done with plates & screws and what you are calling 2 "spacers", was that in addition to the plates, actual hardware spacers?

    What approach was surgery done, from front (anterior) or back (posterior)?

    What was the level of symptoms you had up to surgery-- best and worst phases?

    What was your prognosis / outcome?

    Thanks for jumping on here....hope to get more acquainted too c-spiney comrade !

    Janelle
  • Hi, Barb,

    Appreciate you sharing about your C5 thru C7 severe conditions...and in offering to share more and address any ???'s Thanks...I got several..okay?!

    Re: C-5 thru C-7 completely "ruptured" - - was that from trauma /injury, from degeneration (both) ?

    Re: surgery done with plates & screws and what you are calling 2 "spacers", was that in addition to the plates, actual hardware spacers?

    What approach was surgery done, from front (anterior) or back (posterior)?

    What was the level of symptoms you had up to surgery-- best and worst phases?

    What was your prognosis / outcome?

    Thanks for jumping on here....hope to get more acquainted too c-spiney comrade !

    Janelle
  • I had an ACDF C-5 to C-7 on August 3rd 2010 with plate and screws as they said my spinal cord was in danger and of course pain.

    How is your post op pain? How are you reating it?

    I also have been recomended for low back surgery as well foe severe pain in back, hips, and legs with nueropathy. My pain meds seem ineffective most times.
    AL S
  • Al,

    Re Your ? reply to my post...

    how is your "post-op pain" - - that's not where I am

    My post is about getting best diagnostics for crucial assessment phase - - I am needing surgery !

    Here's wishing you a very good and successful recovery and full stabilization of your c-spine with no further compromise to your spinal cord !

    ----------------------------------------------------
    My Post was...

    Question:

    What diagnostics would be able to more clearly define status of nerve root compression & degree of deformed thecal sac of spinal cord?

    I have not had MRI CT Scans with contrast nor a myelogram for over 2 years.

    Which of these or other diagnostics would be most important to do in trying to determine degree and positional status of severely DDD C-5/6/7 collapsing onto C-T-1/2?

    OS backed out from moving ahead with surgery; final decision being "highly unlikely to be susccessful outcome in doing surgery".

    -----------------------------------------------


    Janelle
  • Janelle I had the CT first this last time and the surgeon was able to clearly see the bone issues that he felt were the problem. He then wanted MRIs and when he saw those he changed his mind.

    My understanding was always that CT show bone best and MRI shows soft tissue and nerves best.

    I have no idea why in my case he changed his mind. I am going to another opinion from a surgeon who will hopefully explain what happened since no one else wants to tell me.

    You must be getting excited as your appt approaches. Have you contacted the office to see if they think you should get new tests before going? It might be unusual but if everything you have is old it could save time.
  • The best test to see the cord and the actual nerve roots is going to be a myelogram. Most doctors don't order them unless they suspect something is wrong. The last one I had done was after a MRI that clearly showed the cord was being deformed on the slice images so he went straight for the myelogram to get a complete visual of the cord itself. Also sense he follows them with a Ct scan it gives him more detail on the actual fusions themselves.

    But your doctor could also get more detail using a mri with contrast. The fact that you have hardware I would think contrast would be more in order to keep away from the shadows.

    But your doctor will need to make the call as to what they are looking at. If it is a stability issue then some good old flexion, extension films will get that. But then a myelogram will as well due to the positioning for the test. Also keep in mind that they orders those test with specifics on the slice depending on what they are looking at.
  • Tamtam, thanks much for your help here - -

    Re: Myelogram

    that's right on with the myelogram being to most definitive in regards to the nerve roots and the spinal cord issues. And from what I understand that myelogram is better than the CT with contrast in that regard.

    Re: Hardware

    My previous surgery 3/4 4/5 5/6 did not have hardware, bone implant fusion was done because of the complex deformity above two levels 1/2 2/3. That was an excellent call on the part of the NS who did that surgery in 1995!

    Re: Your Spinal Cord issues...was the myelogram the test they did for you pre-surgery and what is your status if you did have that surgery with regard to nerve/spinal cord?

    Appreciate the path of experience you have here :)
    but of course, no one would choose it!!

    Janelle
  • The "spacers" I refer to looked like very thick poker chips, and were put in so that the spine does not compress. These speacers were put in, and I also have the hardware and screws as well.
    And, yes, the 2 discs that ruptured were due to being hit, head on, in a major car accident - by a woman going well over the speed limt and I was at an almost complete stop. Umm.. the syptoms I had before srugery were (but prob. were not limited to): pain that radiated down both arms, severe headaches, severe shoulder pain and limited movement and strength in both arms. I now have better movement and strength - but nothing where I was, pre accident. But, I have had quite a bit of decreased pain! Because of the car acciodent, I also broke some of the bones in my chest, so I was on quite a few painkillers, and spent a lengthy time in PT (trying to rebuild many of my muscles). I was also told by my surgeon that we not only had to deal with the trauma from the accident, but that I also had degrenative issues going on - and he wasn't sure why I hadn't had pain before this too.

    Did I miss anything you wanted to know? :)
  • As far as the CT with contrast my surgeon follows the myleogram with a CT. So he has both at his finger tips they are not done on different appointments.

    Currently I am post surgery from a 360 fusion added into my existing fusion and wearing a Miami J. So the fusion is now c3-c7. AS far as the out come of the surgery the goals of surgery have been meet. The goal of surgery was to preserve my right hand given there is nerve damage to the left arm and hand. So I have gotten back the use of the right hand web, however there is still pain. But given the size of the surgery and the amount of surgeries I have had it would be to early for me to rate how successful the surgery itself was. In all reality I fully expect that it will take a full year to recovery from this surgery. So I am holding hope the lingering pain and issues I still have will lesson as time goes by. We knew doing the surgery would never make me pain free at this point and time, but rather stop anymore damaging from occuring. Also the neck issues were beginning to cause serious issues for me in the upper thoracic and surgery should have stopped that now. But we won't do anymore imaging for awhile now as it needs to fuse and I have a rather large tumor in the thoracic that will need to be addressed.

    If you asking if I felt i made the right choice you betcha. But I have to admit I have full confidence in my surgeon and I am following his guidelines and whatever it is he recommends. I am actually utilizing some other doctors he has connections with so all the information is shared and the lines of communications between the doctors are wide open.
  • Tamtam, thanks for sharing your path has been, looks like I'm following you STL Sister!

    My neuropathy nerve issues and currently progressive ulnar/median nerve damage is from elbow down into hand/three fingers, loss of strength dexterity, and now losing sensual more on tips of fingers. My right arm is only mildly overall somewhay weaker in hand, but functioning well compared to the left!

    I was told I was bi-lateral nerve compression most probably at 7/8 nerve root, severe DDD 6/7 onto T-1/2 kyphosis. Thoracic bridge surgery put off because I needed to be neuro symptomatic more than I was as of 09, but since 2010 flare-up in arm/hand left side Apr MRI CT Flexion got diagnosis (above) & not good prognosis 2 wks later after OS suggested surgery with ENT evaluation pending.

    Procedure approach for C-6/7 T-1/2 bridge decompression surgery originally was to be posterior, until nerve compression in April, then suggested anterior would be best with possible 60/40 chance of successful fusion with anterior approach, so 40% possibility to follow-up with posterior if fusion not complete.

    Hardware discussed/planned was plates & screws.

    Re: Your recovery - - how far out are you from post-op?

    Janelle
  • Barb, that is something to hear how "demolished" that was and surgeon finding so many fragments. Was there a challenge in implementing hardware? The spacers are new to me.

    Was it many years of progressive degeneration for you?

    The degeneration for me has been 15 yrs, since my first ACDF on the immediate 3/4/5/6 levels above. And a rear-end and broadside t-bone collisions sure didn't help. I went into angled shifting 6/7, (kyphosis) and multiple osteophytes, one large and several medium to small!

    Barb, how far out are you from your surgery and into your recovery/healing?

    Janelle
    BarbF01 said:
    I had a fusion done from C5 through C7 (metal plate and screws). I also had 2 discs that had completely ruptured (per the Doc's comments, after surgery "Wow.. I just kept finding more and more fragments - those discs were demolished!). So, now I have 2 "spacers" (as I call them) in place of those discs, and they help w/ compression and stability issues. Ask me anything, if you'd like to know more about the surgery and my outcome. :)
  • Barb, that is something to hear how "demolished" that was and surgeon finding so many fragments. Was there a challenge in implementing hardware? The spacers are new to me.

    Was it many years of progressive degeneration for you?

    The degeneration for me has been 15 yrs, since my first ACDF on the immediate 3/4/5/6 levels above. And a rear-end and broadside t-bone collisions sure didn't help. I went into angled shifting 6/7, (kyphosis) and multiple osteophytes, one large and several medium to small!

    Barb, how far out are you from your surgery and into your recovery/healing?

    Janelle
    BarbF01 said:
    I had a fusion done from C5 through C7 (metal plate and screws). I also had 2 discs that had completely ruptured (per the Doc's comments, after surgery "Wow.. I just kept finding more and more fragments - those discs were demolished!). So, now I have 2 "spacers" (as I call them) in place of those discs, and they help w/ compression and stability issues. Ask me anything, if you'd like to know more about the surgery and my outcome. :)
  • Barb,

    OMG a head-on and speeding that's bad! My MVA was t-bone broadside reckless driver, running a stop sign, speeding, no brakes! I had severe DDD on 6/7 then...and yes same symptoms as you for a year told to not do surgery unless neuropathy didn't improve and it did for about a year, now I am losing my arm/hand/fingers fast in 4 months!

    So sorry you also had to contend with chest bone fractures too.

    I hear your about not being able to get back where you were post-op before the accident...but to have the pain relieved and some strength back sounds like you did reach successful recovery. I know with this complex severe degeneration plus neuro-muscular spondylosis conditions from the MVA's are really tough and I expect about the same outcome for me.

    Wondering how far out you are from your surgery?
    I know my ACDF 3/4/5/6 took me 1 yr before I felt out of the woods and stabilized/recovered!

    Barb, did you have a NS or OS, do you live in a large metro area with a good choice of surgeons?

    I moved from large metro area down south into a small community 60 miles from biggest city in state, but still limited in getting the good surgeons I had where I moved from. So my trips are out-of-state driving 1,000 mi and now flying to get the good spine care (not good).

    Hey, it's great to get acquainted and this has been most helpful you sharing your path and with such similar DDD with mva. Thanks much, Barb.

    I'm sure I'll be bugging you with more ??'s as I move into this pre-surgery phase. :) NS appt out of state (secure a surgeon; second assessment).

    Janelle
    BarbF01 said:
    The "spacers" I refer to looked like very thick poker chips, and were put in so that the spine does not compress. These speacers were put in, and I also have the hardware and screws as well.
    And, yes, the 2 discs that ruptured were due to being hit, head on, in a major car accident - by a woman going well over the speed limit and I was at an almost complete stop. Umm.. the syptoms I had before srugery were (but prob. were not limited to): pain te severe shoulder pain and limited movement and strength in both arms. I now have better movement and strength - but nothing where I was, pre accident. But, I have had quite a bit of decreased pain! Because of the car acciodent, I also broke some of the bones in my chest, so I was on quite a few painkillers, and spent a lengthy time in PT (trying to rebuild many of my muscles). I was also told by my surgeon that we not only had to deal with the trauma from the accident, but that I also had degrenative issues going on - and he wasn't sure why I hadn't had pain before this too.

    Did I miss anything you wanted to know? :)
  • I can so relate to the symptoms you're experiencing. Right before my surgery, my left arm was extremely weak and I couldn't even lift a glass of ice water. In my blindness to spine problems at the time, I also had what I thought was tennis-elbow, not thinking that it could be related to my cervical problems. But, of course, it was.

    I also had numbness and tingling 24/7 in my right arm, but what really kind of freaked me out was how quickly my left arm declined from the time I was told I had to have surgery to the actual surgery, one month.

    My cervical problems stemmed from a MVA I had where I was hit head-on by a drunk driver, but it was over 30 years ago. I always wonder how I could've gone all that time with no symptoms, nothing, until 30 years later and *BOOM* such severe cervical problems, they didn't even suggest conservative approaches, other than initial PT.

    I just recently had an MRI and CT scan on my cervical spine due to ongoing pain, and the good news is that I'm completely fused at my three levels, although I'm showing addition spurring at C5/6, but the levels above, mostly C2/3 and C3/4 are giving me additional problems.

    I'm really glad they've decided to go in anteriorly. Posterior cervical surgery is the worst, as Tamtam can tell you. I sometimes worry that's in my future too, but I'll try and save it for when it actually arrives.

    Good luck to you and I know how you feel. Take care.
    Cath
  • Hi, Cath!

    Appreciate you sharing what's been unfolding for you...

    Cath, I think you and other seasoned C-Spine multiple levels who have been challenged with advancing phases/challenges - - we truly are C-Spine Warriors!! :)

    The issues seem to get more complex and at a higher price to pay with body function/ability...and to have it affecting extremities, it truly makes it more challenging to get through those hurdles of pain and yet even more disability!

    Interesting what you experienced with your left arm/elbow and then the right arm coming on so fast!

    Had my hand surgeon appt. yesterday finally (2 months to get in to high-demand in mid-Florida excellent surgeon highly skilled specialized in nerve and ligament surgeries). HS said, it sure confirms the c-spine compression being the issue with how quickly in just 4 months arm/elbow/hand and fingers and neuro/nerve damage has occurred. She said, if it was nerve entrapment/ligament issues in shoulder/elbow/wrist it just doesn't happen that quickily.

    She's advised to do C-Spine surgery(ies) NS determines necessary for the C-5/6/7 Nerve root 7/8 compression FIRST, because it could very well mean less surgery necessary for the "double crush" of nerves in elbow/wrist.

    Wow, you too had the MVA - - so many of us have had these, it truly is ashame the consequences our spines go thru with this kind of trauma!

    How far out are you from your 3-level surgery? Did you initial get relief from your pain post op and the pain you are experiencing now is that in your neck and arms?

    Boy, I know those posterior surgeries are a bear to have! It's being considered for me because of the junction level of surgery required C-6/7 into the T spine, T-1/2 possible T 2/3 for stabilization to be done only because of recent development MRI CT results showing bi-lateral nerve compression (best to be done from front), BUT it could mean a posterior as well to get proper and complete fusion, with a 60/40 chance of unsuccessful fusion and depends on stabilization of bridging c-spine t-spine for those levels.

    How are you doing with coping with the pain, and does it curtail your ability to function very much right now?

    Re: Timing of Doing Surgery - it's been 3 yrs since MVA broadside t-bone and 7 yrs since the C-6/7 advanced DDD has brought me to nerve compression and beginning of deformed thecal sac.

    I wish I could put this horrendous C-spine surgery forever - - it's no longer possible...sad to say.

    Glad your MRI has confirmed the fusion is still good for you...hopefully you can get some relief for the pain issues.

    Thank much for letting me know about your path. It's nice to get more acquainted and connect with you - - another C-Spiney Warrior Woman ! :)

    Janelle

    Cath111 said:
    I can so relate to the symptoms you're experiencing. Right before my surgery, my left arm was extremely weak and I couldn't even lift a glass of ice water. In my blindness to spine problems at the time, I also had what I thought was tennis-elbow, not thinking that it could be related to my cervical problems. But, of course, it was.

    I also had numbness and tingling 24/7 in my right arm, but what really kind of freaked me out was how quickly my left arm declined from the time I was told I had to have surgery to the actual surgery, one month.

    My cervical problems stemmed from a MVA I had where I was hit head-on by a drunk driver, but it was over 30 years ago. I always wonder how I could've gone all that time with no symptoms, nothing, until 30 years later and *BOOM* such severe cervical problems, they didn't even suggest conservative approaches, other than initial PT.

    I just recently had an MRI and CT scan on my cervical spine due to ongoing pain, and the good news is that I'm completely fused at my three levels, although I'm showing addition spurring at C5/6, but the levels above, mostly C2/3 and C3/4 are giving me additional problems.

    I'm really glad they've decided to go in anteriorly. Posterior cervical surgery is the worst, as Tamtam can tell you. I sometimes worry that's in my future too, but I'll try and save it for when it actually arrives.

    Good luck to you and I know how you feel. Take care.
    Cath
  • Whats an OS and whats an NS? Sorry, I know what most of these things are, but I get confused on the abbreviations. And, I had my surgery in 02/2008 and was told that it would take up to 2 years to fully heal. I don't think that it took that long, but I know that I still have trouble with my neck to this day (ie. tense muscles = migraines, pains that I never had before).
    I live in NH...about 25 minutes outside of Concord (capital) and 2+ hours north of Boston. I was prepared to have to go to Boston for treatment, but found a good Dr that I liked (and who did my surgery) at the Concord Ortho. Center. I was also able to go to the same place (diff. Dr.) for the injuries to my right leg and knee (all stemming from the same MVA). Just be sure to research your Dr. that you choose. I looked up medical licensing and saw that my Doc had no complaints filed against him, and was also able to see where he had praticed before NH and how long he'd been in pratice too.
  • OS = Orthopedic Surgeon
    NS = Neurosurgeon

    Hope that helps! Don't feel bad. I had problems with MIL ( = Mother in Law!)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • why are my hands so nunb when it get cold eso my fingers?????????????????
  • How far out are you from your 3-level surgery? Did you initial get relief from your pain post op and the pain you are experiencing now is that in your neck and arms?

    I had my cervical surgery in Oct 08. The arm symptoms were gone immediately upon waking up from the surgery. According to my hubby (I don't remember this) I was clapping my hands and giggling while saying "The pain's gone, it's all gone, I can feel my hands..." It really is a wonderful feeling.

    The pain I have now does not extend into my arms, and I suppose that's why I'm choosing not to address it at this time. I have deep aching in my neck, sometimes worse than others, and am prone to occipital headaches. Those come and go. My surgeon continues to give me pain meds and muscle relaxers on an as-needed basis, although I've never been completely off of either for some time. I'm trying to wean down to where I can truly use them only when needed. But as I taper, I can tell how much pain I really have. It's a difficult situation.

    How are you doing with coping with the pain, and does it curtail your ability to function very much right now?

    I've addressed dealing with the pain above, but I've found recently that my ROM has become less lately and it hurts more to turn my head in any direction. It could be from the swollen facet joints and some edema I have at C3/4.

    It just seems to be never ending. I also have a disc bulge and the spur at C5/6 is indenting the thecal sac, but the sac is very strong and from what I've been told is about three layers. So my doc doesn't think it's a problem as I have complete cord signal, and he likes the fact that the bone is growing.

    So, Janelle, hang in there fellow C-Spiney Warrior Woman (I like that :-)). Hopefully they'll get done what they need to and you'll find some significant improvement after your surgery. I know you're facing a long road and I feel for you. I wish you much success. Please keep us posted on your progress and what the next steps are.

    Take care fellow warrior.
    Cath
  • Cath,

    Don't know what happened - -but my reply message missing
    from first three lines on!

    Will try and resend!

    Janelle

  • Claudia,

    To not hijack, I've sent you a PM. :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Late to the program, my CT said exactly how deformed my thecal sac was (lumbar, so names and places are different).

    At the L1-L2 level, there is narrowing of the disc space height. There is posterior encroachment on the spinal canal by the posterosuperior aspect of L2. It encroaches by 7.4 mm. It causes a moderate spinal stenosis. The residual AP diameter of the spinal canal is 9.7 mm. The neural foramina are widely patent.

    Is that the kind of information you were looking for? Or you're looking more for information about the nerves themselves (hence the myelogram) and not the spaces in which they reside? I have found that different radiologists make different measurements- my first MRI had a measurement for the protrusion, but the second did not. But neither had as much detail as the CT!

    Good luck to you! Sounds like you have a hard road ahead of you, I'll be thinking positive thoughts :)
  • Cath,

    Thanks for sharing how things are unfolding and how far out you are from your 3-level surgery.

    So good to hear the result of your surgery - - you had the wonderful result of having pain relief. Boy I can sure appreciate the joy you relate when you discovered that!

    Yes, I know what you mean about the upper C-Spine problems and the pain/aching with occipital headaches. After the mva broadside collision for 6 months it was severe and felt like what used to be episodic was going to be intense and constant, but finally phased out as neuromuscular/nerve inflammation (spondylitis)into about a year finally eased down.

    Good to hear your surgeon is supporting you and you've got pain meds and muscle relaxers to help you through it.

    Re: Level of Pain/Pain meds

    I'm right there too, the intensity and duration is requiring me to take pain meds more consistent and as soon as I back off for a day or two, I just can't do it and function thru the day too.

    Re: ROM yes, I've had limited ROM too - - left more severe for many years, but very constrained, and no very limited ROM both ways, has dramatically and is difficult and since MVA

    As you are experiencing, the facet inflammation can really created consistent pain/aching. Nothing lessens that pain, pain meds, and never any injections help either (like in lumbar facet blocks were good), the injections made the pain worse! The only way I can relief, curtail activity, r & r and heat-wraps alternating with cold in my recliner!

    Re: C5/6 bone spurring/thecal sac
    OMG, you have the same issues with a "spur at C5/6 is indenting the thecal sac!

    Thanks for sharing about what your surgeon clarified for you and his reassuring you about the thecal sac being strong. With my MRI in April first reporting "deformed thecal sac" and no other detail, hopefully the issue of the spinal cord signal being okay maybe takes care of that -- but would still like to address that too.

    Cath, it sounds like you have a good surgeon, diagnostics and follow-thru in your recovery, glad that is so for you!

    So hoping to get one on board for me soon!

    Re: Facing a Long Road...
    You're right on with that. This gets more challenging and complex dealing with what to do, next diagnostic, assessment, for progressive adverse severe changes and then losing my left arm/hand to neuropathy is baffling. And to have fought so hard as my OS wanted me to, to avoid doing surgery as long as I could, knowing it truly was pushing the inevitable... and now needing to get a surgeon on board for second assessment

    BUT overall, I truly don't know how I can get thru two complex anterior & posterior surgeries which at this point I am told I need, let alone be able to secure a good surgeon who is confident of being able to do good stabilization AND fairly successful outcome on function/reversal of neuropathy !

    I'm not feeling much like a C-Spiney Warrior right now... it's difficult facing this right now asnd not hsving good surgeon highly skilled and supportive to me with my case! Hoping that won't be much longer before that is accomplished.

    Oh, Cath, what I would give to be where you are on the path....successful surgery and maintaining recovery! (sigh...)

    Thanks, again for you sharing your path with me in your C-spine journey...it gives hope and reassurance and to trust this to unfold with a good surgeon and my body/spine/psyche will be able to come through on the other side !

    Janelle


  • Yes, I have such a great surgeon and spine team. My surgeon is part of a spine center that includes fellowship-trained spine surgeons, physios and PTs, and mine specializes in severe cervical problems and fixing botched cervical surgeries. (Oddly enough, he also did my lumbar surgery.) He follows his patients for two years (so I have a long time to go with him) and like his PA said, who I happen to be closer to than my surgeon, they're not afraid to take care of their patients.

    I can't stress enough to any spiney the importance of finding the right surgeon and/or spine center. I've felt so lucky to have found this set of doctors; even when the physiatrist from the clinic was doing my lumbar injections, I felt so completely taken care of.

    Right now, I'm going through the added stress of looking for a job, which in itself is not so bad, but the interviews (which I've been lucky to have quite a few lately) are killing me. As I sit at the table, talking to a complete stranger, trying to sell myself, and my neck is killing me, and I'm trying not to show it - well, it's just really difficult for a spiney.

    Janelle, you'll find the right surgeon and you'll get through this. I've looked at it this way: You know how when things were normal you'd think about how time flies, how the next season, or birthday, or holiday comes around so quickly that it's almost amazing? It's the same with our situations, at least most of the time. I can't believe that I've gone through two surgeries and am now looking for a job - time has gone so fast that it seems like only a month ago I was worrying about my cervical surgery, but it's been two years already. Time still flies when we have surgeries and recoveries to face.

    Time will fly for you too and before you know it, you'll be past the surgeries, recovering and then you'll be on the other side of it all (with a bunch of new things to worry about LOL).

    Hang in there and use us to help you get through it. Although I haven't been faced with what you're going through, I can certainly understand and sympathize. I'll never forget any part of my spiney journey and will be there to help you and others through yours.

    Take care. You are indeed a warrior and will survive and get through this. We are all survivors here. All of us!

    Cath
  • Cath,

    Thanks so much for your heart-thoughts and kind support, it means very much to me in the challenges I'm experiencing right now! :)

    Wishing the best for you as you go through your job interviews. They certainly are stressful even though you know the positive ways on approaching the job search and landing that interview! I can sure relate when you express about the interview and wanting to be focused and connected to that one on one with this very important person, and have the reality of your neck and body in pain.

    The amazing things we Spiney have to extend beyong our pain and limitations and to have so much as stake...our financial survival!

    My heart-thoughts are with you in the process and hoping all goes well with having just the right job you not only can do but that you would thoroughly enjoy doing!

    Thanks again for you kind words of support and your faithful trusting strength of making it thru this spine path of pending surgery and coming out to the other side!

    I'm grateful to have such a C-Spiney Warrior friend to deal with the amazing and challenging journey we have! :)

    Janelle


  • TahoeGirlTTahoeGirl Posts: 1
    edited 07/25/2013 - 3:36 AM
    Hi Forum,
    This forum edited out my Doctor. So I would like a referral Reno, Nevada or Northern CA. I have had a MRI and my spine is in terrible condition. I went for a 2nd opinion and am educated enough to feel that this is the only option for me to proceed with my spine health.

    Any doctor recommendations you can send me in a personal message. I live near Reno Nevada. Would appreciate any suggestions on this Minimally evasive procedure surgery! Doesn't look to minimal to me.



    Thank you

    Post edited to remove specific doctor's name. Please read the Forum rules
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