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Severe multi-level cervical forminal stenosis on MRI

I have been reading many posts on this forum for information and thought I would post my own questions in the hopes that someone might be of assistance.
I have cervical spinal stenosis which has progressed over the past 8 years based on my symptoms and MRI results. I am now at the stage where the burning pain down my neck and upper back is quite intense at times. Depending on how I hold my head or how I am sitting, my arms, hands and legs go numb and I am unable to perform tasks. (I use to be able to move my head around to get the circulation back but that is becoming more and more difficult now) My limbs tend to 'jump' on occasion without warning. I have neuropathy in both hands and substantial weakness in both arms and hands, as a result I often drop things. Walking is OK but I have neuropathy in the right leg with numbness down both legs, I trip a lot more now. After the results of my recent MRI were faxed to my family physician, she sent in a referral to a neurosurgeon. I was just advised that the surgeon refused the referral - not sure why. My question, here is should I be pursuing a consult or is this simply not a surgical issue? While I am not thrilled with the idea of a surgical procedure being performed on my neck, after reading the many posts, I thought that might have been a solution to my issues.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.



  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find others in the same situation as yourself. As far as your question about seeing a specialist, your primary care physician, thought it was a good idea, so you should seek one out. Just because that surgeon wouldn't see you there are others, and in the long run, maybe a good idea.

    If all the conditions you describe above are indeed a direct relation to your cervical spine, then it needs to be addressed. There is a condition called myelopathy, and once that happens surgery is done to stop the progression, but not cure it. Without myelopathy, typically one would relate the legs to the back and the arms to the neck. That diagnoses has to be done by a trained spinal specialist, through a series of test. The specialist you see will take the images along with their clinical findings to make a diagnoses and treatment plan, not limited to just surgery. A choice of surgery would be left between you and your surgeon, but ultimately the choice is yours. If surgery is suggested I would get more than one opinion, that also goes if it is not suggested.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Keep us posted on the out come of the surgeon and or specialist you see.
  • Thank you for the welcome and such a prompt response. My physician is consulting with another surgeon so I will wait to see what they say. My goal is simply to have the consult to discuss my options as my issues are progressing and I would like to arrest the progression if at all possible. I am normally a very active person and this is starting to alter my lifestyle.
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