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broad based central disc buldge

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was able to get a cervival MRI done as I felt all of this heavy lifting they say I am okay to do is causing me severe pain and weakness in my arms.
The results showed a "Severe broad based central disc buldge at Ct T1."
Does anyone know if the word Cental is of significance?This would be at a level below the fusion and above my fusion shows a mild cental disc buldge. So I have a mild above but a severe below.
I can here the NS now. He will tell me that it's normal despite the radiologists interpetation. My PCP said this is strong indication that I should NOT be lifting anything.
I did a little research and if I understand a central buldge is not what you want. Anyone understand this terminology?
Thanks Bethy


  • Hey Bethy,
    Not a doctor but this is my understanding. A central disc bulge is not what you really want as it tends to lead towards myelopathy which is not good. When it is centered it often times can involve the cord. When you see words like severe on the mri's usually not a good sign either. I personally wouldn't be lifting any heavy objects till you see your NS and get his/her opinion. If you don't feel comfortable with their opinion maybe you should get a second opinion.

    Let us know how it works out for you. Take care.
  • 100% agreement with Tamtam here. When my C5/6 started going, it was reported as a "moderate central disk bulge, but not indenting the cord at this time." 6 months later it changed to hernia on the cord! And some wording along the lines of recommending to check if there were neurological issues or something. I had surgery shortly there after.

    For what I saw on the images, it was a rounded bulge that was pushing back. When it herniated, I could only really see it on the side views vs axial. My surgeon tried to show me on the axial, but it didn't make sense to me. What was weird for me, was even though it was back on the cord, *most* of my symptoms where to the right. My NS never understood why that was? Please let us know how your appointment goes. Support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for your reply. My C5 C6 was a central bulge which was considered small on the MRI even though I had tons of neurological symptoms.It wasn't until they did a myelogram 4 months later that showed my cord was squeezed < 8 mm which he told me was serious. End result myelopathy,neurogenic bladder. My symptoms have increased recently and this central disc buldge went from small to severe. I called the NS to get an appt and the Rn keeps telling me she will call me back but doesn't. I am so depressed because I know its worsening but apparently the NS is not concerned. I was thinking last night,why should I even bother going to a NS because I don't want surgery and there is nothing they can do anyway.
    I just do not want any more neurological damage.
  • Thanks Brenda for your insight. I think mine said you can see mine more on a saggital view. Not sure what that means. I am so aggravated but not surprised. This NS released me back to full duty which requires lifting weights at time in excess of 60 lbs after already having 2 fusions. He told me back then I was too impatient and that it will take 2 years for neurological recovery to take place after myelopathy.
    I think I will get another opinion as this present NS has an inflated ego and he intimidates me.I just hate to start all over again!
  • When ever I get a "severe" something or other on my tests, I get another opinion! Their determination of serious, makes my brain serious to be as clear as possible. Sounds like you are basically seeing it the same way. :)

    I guess mine changed a bit as the disks 'true' weak area showed itself. It ended up on the cord, so my choices were dwindling fast! By the way, *that* surgery for me was 100%

    You just want to make sure you're not allowing yourself to get where you have permanent damage. That is not fun!! Please keep us posted on how it goes. Support *HUGZ* for ya!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Bethy,

    Look up myelopathy and you will find many articles dealing with it. I think you are going to find from most articles it says in cases of myelopathy surgery is done to prevent further damage but, can't undo the damage you already have. So without a doubt I would seek another opinion. One thing on the other two levels did you fuse 100% and how was it verified?
  • Does the MRI say anything about cord compression? Usually it will- my most recent list one of my tiny central bulges as causing "moderate mass effect" or "mild mass effect" on the thecal sac (mine are lumbar, so terminology might be different).

  • I second the opinions on getting another opinion. I know it's difficult and daunting to start over again with a new doctor/surgeon, but it's important that you're 100% confident in your surgeon, his or her diagnosis and suggested treatment.

    As usual, I suggest a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, either ortho or neuro, but one who only works on spines. Seeing a surgeon doesn't necessarily mean surgery, oftentimes they'll try conservative treatments before suggesting surgery.

    Good luck, Bethy.
  • They told me they were fused and I remember them doing flexion extension xrays. Thats the only test they did.
  • The Mri states I have a "mild" broad based disc buldge at C4 C5 which is above one fusion. It says the neural foramina is patent.
    report says At C7 T1 there is a severe broad based central disc buldge.This is best seen on sag sequences. The central spinal canal and neral foramina are patent. This is the area below the other 2 fusions I had.
    I had 2 seperate fusions within 14 months of each other. The last disc at C5 C6 showed a "mild disc buldge on MRI that ended up being a severe cord compression when they finally did a myelogram.
    I am very scared to death right now because my arms and legs are funky. Something is wrong and has changed. There is always a level of discomfort that you learn to live with after fusions. As long as I don't do much I am okay. If I walk to much my legs are wobbly. Too much arm movement causes pain and heavy muscles.I did get a call late afternoon by NS office that the NP will call me next week and get me in.If I don't get in I will call my PCP who is very concerned about this. I am very alarmed right now . My husband wants me to go to the ER but there is nothing they can do for me.I can't beleive this is happening to me again!!! Bethy
  • I realize most of these posts are old but I am really hoping someone will see this and help me figure some things out. I have just been through the last two months going through tests with my neurologist due to memory, speech, balance, handwriting, and terrible headaches in the back of my head. One of the tests he did was an MRI of Neck to see if he could figure out about the headaches. Basically the MRI showed a bulge. Bare with me as I just write down what the report says abutment upon the spinal cord and subtle alteration of cord signal intensity. There is mil/moderate certral canal stenosis measuring 8 mm ub sgirtest AP diameter, Mild left and minimal right, neuroforaminal stenosis and nerve root encroachment. Can anyone make sense of that. What the neurologist said was we could do shots or blocks but we know they are not going to work. However he wants me to wait for three to six months and I don't want to wait that long for surgery. I think I read in one of the messages above that they have problems with their legs well I walk with a cane due to balance issues and I cant go to far without being pretty tired out. Also just want to ask a question do you suppose the bulge in my neck could have anything to do with my handwriting? They found the memory issues and all that was going along with it was do to all the different medications I was taking but one in particular. (Topomax) Everything seems to be getting better but my handwriting and my balance. I want to make plans to go up North (MA) to see my Dad but I don't want to go walking with a cane and being in constant pain. I just need some suggestions. Anything will help. Hope someone reads this.
  • Any canal stenosis has the potential to be bad. Why neuro wants to wait is beyond me. Walking with cane and I assume your age is not old as your father is still alive is an issue. I would seek another opinion.
  • Thank you so much for your comment. I am already in the process of looking for another neurosurgeon. I may not be that old almost 56 but I sure feel like I am my Dad's age. The pain is only getting worse and now in my shoulders, elbows and down my middle back. Not fun. Again thanks for the help. I will keep you posted. Anything further to add with love the information.
  • jbnms99jjbnms99 Posts: 182
    edited 02/07/2014 - 8:14 AM
    Why the neuro would want you to wait is a very good question. Are they planning any kind of conservative treatment? I don't think there is much they can do with stenosis except for surgery but maybe they can atleast get you some sort of relief until surgery I know that even a little bit of relief is better than none at all.

    I didn't know memory loss could come from Topamax, I tried taking that for my migraines but just one dose of 25mg made me sicker than a dog, I called my doctor and I was put on Tegretol xr, It has done wonders, I haven't had one since I started taking it, the first couple of days I felt the pressure like I was trying to get one but it never became any more than just a headache and it only lasted about a half an hour. The list of side effects were a mile long which scared me but I am glad I did.

    I hope you find a good neruo, dont give up the fight and settle for one you don't trust. It's your body and your life that is on the line. I have heard horror stories about people who had surgery that didn't fix their pain but now their inoperable so they have to just live with it.

    Keep us informed of your progress
  • I have been off the Topomax now for two weeks and it has made such a difference, I would not recommend it to anyone. It's nice to be clear headed. Now to just get the neck taken care of. The neurologist I have been seeing did say we could do shots or blockers or PT but he knew that none of that would work that it would have to be surgery. I am going to see him again on the 18th and if he can't get me taken care of I will just have to ask him to give me a referral to someone else. I want to travel to see my Dad in MA but would like to have the surgery first. Don't want to go with a cane in hand, and in pain. I will keep you all posted as we go along.
  • Well I am off to see the neurologist this afternoon to finally see what he wants to do with my neck. It is still causing me pain, that goes into my shoulders and headaches. Balance is still bad too. It is always something. Woke this morning with a bulge in my back that really hurts. Not sure if I should wait and talk to neurologist about it or go to hospital. Just took a pain pill so doesn't hurt now but boy did it hurt when I got up. Any thoughts or suggestions. So tired of being in pain!
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