I woke on a Monday morning with a painful stiff neck. This pain has eventually spread down both arms. After numerous trips to the ER and my PCP I finally had a MRI last Wednesday.
It says that on c4-5 there is moderate disk narrowing with moderate broad based annular disc bulge that effaces the ventral epidural space and narrows the AP diameter of the spinal canal to 6.6 mm. There is advanced bilateral neural foraminal narrowing.
At c5-6 there is a prominent central disc protrusion with heterogeneous signal that narrows the AP demonstrate canal to 5 mm. There is no change in cord signal. There is mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing,
Now I've been reading online about the AP diameter of the spinal canal and those two numbers are not normal at all. In fact anything below 10 mm is considered absolute spinal stenosis.
I was referred to a Ortho PA today who says my problems had nothing to do with my spine. In fact, he said my MRI was normal for a woman of my age-49. He then said it was my muscles that were causing the problems-the pain in my arms that radiated down them the numbness and the tingling.
He then proceeds to give me an injection of some muscle relaxer in my neck and when that doesn't work he decided to manipulate my neck. Needless to say I left his office in more pain and the kicker? He won't give me any painkillers because they "rot" your liver!
As for my MRI results I got a phone call from my PCP on Fridsy saying that I had 2 bulging discs that were pressing on my spinal cord and I was to keep the Cervical collar on at all times. So did the ER doc that gave it to me-he was actually annoyed because no one told me not to move the neck-he was the one that suggested the MRI. That was the night he gave me 4 shots-valium, toradel, decadron and morphine. I have been in such excruciating pain the last 6 weeks.
I called my PT and read her the report and she said there was definitely something going on with my spine. Yes there is muscle spasms but she told to go to a Neurologist.
After I got done with the PA I checked a couple of other places and have FINALLY been referred to a Neurologist. Needless to say I won't be going back to him and plan on calling my PCP tomorrow and tell her what I plan to do.