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help me understand possible results of disk pressing into spinal cord

BuelaBBuela Posts: 67
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm getting very confused about some things.

My MRI showed that I have herniated disks at C5-6 and C6-7 that are both pressing into the spinal cord.

Some of what I read and am being told indicates that since it's pushing into the spinal cord as opposed to the nerves that come off the spinal cord at that point, then it could cause problems with my legs as well as my arm.

But other things that I'm reading and being told say that something pressing into the spinal cord at those points would still only affect my arms and never my legs.

I think I need a clarifying anatomy lesson here. Can something pressing into the spinal cord in your neck affect your legs?

And to get even more specific, if something is pressing into the right side of your spinal cord, could it affect your left leg?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    The best way for me to answer your questions is to post links to Spine-Health articles

    Cervical Problems

    This one is for the Spine-Anatomy:
    Spine Anatomy

    In this one you will finds lots of information to read.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I think one thing you need to look at is cervical spinal stenosis, and also look at myelopathy. There are articles out there that say cervical spine issues don't cause leg problem and yet there are articles that say they do. The difference is your doctor's clinical testing, as to which is which. You could have completely different issues going on at the same time. I can tell you that there are many here including myself that once surgery was done our legs felt better. If you have a true cord compression it can effect anything from that level and down. So the bottom line is there is not really a clear cut answer, and it depends on the clinical findings.
  • Thank you!

    Part of where I get so confused is that most of what I read focuses on neck pain, but I don't actually have any neck pain. I had read through most of these articles, and they actually are part of why I'm confused:

    The cervical stenosis article says that compresson on the spinal cord from cervical stenosis can definitely cause leg heaviness, which was my very first symptom. But I don't have stenosis, I have a herniated disk pressing into the spinal cord.

    The cervical herniated disk articles talks only about arm pain associated with it, but also implies that it's about the herniation impinging on the nerve root and doesn't address (that I could find) if the herniated disk is impinging on the spinal cord.

    Am I just missing something that answers my question - if leg heaviness could be caused by a herniated cervical disk pushing into the spinal cord?
  • I had cord compression from osteophytes and about 2 weeks before surgery I started feeling like my legs didn't belong to my body - heaviness in the legs. You don't have to have neck pain, especially if you have a lower cervical stenosis.

    Everyone presents with somewhat different symptoms. I had severe neck and shoulder pain as well as migraines. I never had terrible arm or finger pain, although I was losing strength in my biceps.
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
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