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spinal stenosis/degenerative cervical changes in neck

jsekief2011jjsekief2011 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have for the past 3-4 years now been experiencing something that I am sure all of us are familiar with and that is neck pain and leg pain. However I have been experiencing something new and that is my balance seems to be off more now and my arms seem to feel heavy and not necessarily numb however I have told doctors and all of them seem to always think its in my head and I hate that however I have been dealing with it more and more and coping with it as well however things never seem to feel like they are going to get better. I am not in a terrible pain but I am tired and do not like how this whole thing makes me feel. I am not I dont think a candidate for surgery and if I was I dont think i would get it.


  • Joseph,

    When was your last MRI? When it comes down to the cervical spine keep in mind you have the spinal cord in that area. If your cord is being compressed you can end up with myelopathy and then surgery is only done to stop progression but won't alleviate the damage that is done. Not that I am saying you have that, but it is important to keep track of your symptoms. Most of us have done surgery to stop paralysis, and then there are some who tried all conservative type treatments first then surgery as the pain only got worse. If your doctors are not believing you then find a doctor whom you can communicate and work with. But balance issues should be checked and the source of the issue determined. It may or may not be related to your cervical spine, there are many things that can cause balance issues.
  • Orthopedic surgeons I went to to evaluate my cervical problems had me try to walk heel to toe in a straight line (like in a DUI check). I couldn't do it. They said it was an indication of cervical spinal chord involvement. I knew I had a balance problem because I tended to list to one side or another when I walk, and bumped into walls on occasion.

    In the past I had been told I was not a surgical candidate but with the MRI results there was obvious spinal chord impingement and all recommended surgery to relieve it, which I did recently.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Forgot about that one. My Neurologist (not my surgeon) feels that I ended up with some damage from when my C5/6 disk was on the cord, as like KarenD, I can't do the "DUI" walk, nor can I balance on either foot.

    If you're going through that, like was said, you need to be pro-active and find a spine specialist (Neuro or Ortho) to give you a full exam, imaging (MRI) and other tests they deem based on their knowledge and your exam.

    With your describing your symptoms in both arms, legs and balance, I would get on that like 'yesterday' to find out the source. Please let us know how it goes. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

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