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roxygirlrroxygirl Posts: 24
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
mri results

Mild retrolisthesis of c6 on c7 and mild anteolisthesis of c7on t1 t2 t3. Marked multilevel cervical spondylosis contributing to mild central steosis and multilebel foraminal compromise. At c-4 moderate-severe bilateral stenosis c-5 there is a more focal left lateral recess disc osteophyte component. C-5 c-6 mild/moderate bilateral stenosis c-6 c-7 moderate to severe bilateral foraminal stenosis. Suspicious central right sided disc hernitation T2-3. The cervical spinal chord is normal in both caliber and signal. The craniocervical junction is within normal limits"

I have had chronic neck pain for years. Unfortunately, the pain has gotten worse and worse. My neck is stiff. I have limited ROM. I often get areas that feel painful to the touch. My traps are so sore that I can not wear a bra as the straps start to hurt within 30 minutes.

I recently went to a physiatrist who did facet injections but more in the muscle area two weeks ago. For the first several hours, I experienced reduced spasms but as the lidocane wore off, symptoms returned. The doctor warned me that this may happen and said that it could take up to two weeks for the steroids to kick in. In my case, they did not work. I saw the doctor today and he did injections in the facet joints. I couldn't believe it but about 90% of the pain was gone and ROM improved. Now, I could tell that the lidocane wore off. Some pain returned but not all of it. I am hoping that the steroids will kick in.

Depending on the results of this treatment, another possibility discussed was radio frequency ablation. If I were to be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation, first the doctor would do a diagnostic block and I would be given a pain diary. There are three doctors in the practice. They all do facet injections. One does most of the disc injections and another the radiofrequency so that they can be highly specialized. Both doctors had received training at the Mayo Clinic, Hospital for Special Surgery and Columbia Presbetarian so they have received training at top hospitals.

Could anyone shed information about these mri results?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of facet injections vs radiofrequency ablation?

Any additional insights would be appreciated.

Thanks a lot for your feedback. I am new to pain management. I have just been living with pain but now it is getting too difficult to live with


  • The injection symptoms and statements from that Doc are accurate. Every person is different, sometimes a couple days, sometimes a couple weeks for a determination of affect (positive or none).

    C5-7 stenosis can definitely cause / aggravate your symptoms and excited pain levels.

    Ablation can knock out the pain for awhile but it is not unheard of for it to return over time.

    You have a problem with the "hole" the nerve roots come out of the spinal cord from. This will most likely get worse with time.

    I do agree with doing the conservative stuff first (injections, ablation, blocks).

    I would ask the Docs to perform EMG's to make sure the nerve root itself is not losing signal function over time.

    Best of Luck to you,
  • Thanks for the response. The emg may be a good idea. About 7 years ago, I had a two level c-5 c-6 foramenectomy W/O fusion when some huge spurs were causing me to loose control of my fingers. The neurosurgeon said that if I ever let someone fuse me, I would be a victim of the domino effect and would be permamently disabled within two years. The surgery was successful and so far the loss of motor control has not returned
  • i would treat conservatively {with drugs } and leave the injection alone they really last /are painful and i have found the more i had the less they worked .stenosis {which seem to be you major problem} would respond better to a decent orthopedic surgeon widening the ;hole;
    but that just 16 years of pain talking..good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Backache Thanks for the response. I have to be fully functional at work so rx pain meds are not an option for me. When I had the 2 level foraminectomy w/o fusion 7 years ago, the neurosurgeon was very adament that I never allow anyone to fuse my neck. Due to the condition the other levels, he said that if I were fused, I would be a victim of the domino effect and end up permamently disabled. I gues that I see the spinal surgery as quite invasive. He went in throgh the front and had to move the trachea out of the way to access the neural foramen. The outcome was fine but it is still quite invasive. I did not have any iv sedation for the injections but they were not that painful....more uncomfortable.
    I guess I will see what happens after this latest round of injections and then see where to go. The doctor will be sending me for pt in a few weeks. Having spine issues really is the pits.
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