Just got MRI results today:
* Broad asymmetric bilobed disc protrusion involving C5-C6 resulting in right hemicord effacement with associated cord flattened contour alteration. Concomitant effacement of the right C6 nerve root.
* Broad central/left paracentral noncompressive disc protrusion involving C6-C7.
*Left paracentral posterior disc protrusions involving T3-T4 and T4-T5, indenting the ventral aspect of the thecal sac at both levels, resulting in left hemicord abutment at the T3-T4 level. Concomitant left paracentral posterior annular tear at the T3-T4 level.
Long story short, I've been seeing a chiropractor for 4 months. I just woke up one day in may with a stiff neck that rapidly progressed to pain in right shoulder, weakness in right arm, and varying degrees of pain/numbness/tingling in arm/hand/fingers. Family doctor prescribed a week of Prednisone. No relief, so started seeing chiropractor after 1st week. After about 4 weeks of 3-4 times weekly adjustment and/or manual therapy & e-stim, my pain was greatly reduced. Still constant but at a tolerable level compared to where we started.
Gradually weaned down to 3x week, then 2x week, then 1x week at the 3 month mark. It was when dropped to 1 visit per week with no manual massage therapy that I started getting worse again. Peaks & valleys were normal, but as soon as this became apparent it was not just a valley, the MRI was scheduled.
Here am I today. My chiropractor tried to explain the results to me in ways I could understand, but she didn't fully understand it either! No more adjustments. e-stim for the pain/inflammation is ok if needed. I'm trying not to worry about the upcoming consultation with a neuro surgeon, because what good does it due to worry until I truly know what we're dealing with?
At the same time, I'm worried about my job. I'm concerned about how much time I'll miss from work for the surgery, the recovery. I will have my year anniversary with this employer mid-October, so I believe that's when I'll be eligible for FMLA. I also purchased short-term disability insurance earlier this year, prior to these problems starting. I still need to educate myself on exactly how that works, as well.
The pain is such that it's all I can do to get through the work day (I'm the Business Office Manager at a nursing home), and I literally can't do anything at home. I spend all night/weekend alternating heating pad & ice packs. If I spend 15 minutes doing housework or other such routine activities, I'm in miserable pain for days afterward. At least now I know there's a reason for it, I'm NOT crazy or lazy.
Not even sure what my questions are yet, but hoping to find some kindred spirits here.
C5-C6-C7, T3-T4-T5: disc protrusions, spinal cord & C6 nerve root involvement, tear at T3-T4
C6 nerve root injection 10/12/12 and at-home traction