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new and concerned

Hi all. It's great to be a part of such an informative and giving community. I've been reading for a while now, but decided to "take the dive". :)

A bit of history for me is that I had a cervical fusion at c 6-7 due to herniated disc pressing on left nerve, causing not only extreme pain but severe weakness in the triceps. The surgery was a success...for not quite a year.

I never regained full strength in my triceps but did get alot of the strength back. Less than a year after surgery my left arm began to spasm and twitch periodically. Then one day my arm clawed completely up and was disfigured due to massive spasm. It continues that to this day though I've learned what can bring that about and avoid it at all cost. Along with the arm claw I continued with pain, weakness (though not to the higher degree), twitching, etc. in my left arm, left chest area, wrapping around to left shoulder blade area. There are many other minor things that I'm just not remembering right now, but it's not been a walk in the park.

I had MRI of cervical and lumbar spine 2 years ago due to symptoms and there was alot on them. However, in the cervical spine it stated that I had two minimal indentations on the spinal cord from disc herniations. My doctor referred my back to the neurosurgeon but I didn't go. I know that's horrible but my daughter has been very ill and I had been caring for her and my little grandson. I consciously decided to "not look at it" at the time.

Fast forward to this spring where I still have all the same symptoms mentioned above. I began to develop a limp. I noted that was odd but continued on. The limp has turned into a full blown waddle favoring my left side. The waddle is such that I come down on my heel so hard that my heel hurts so badly almost all the time now. Again, that's been in the last several months.

What really stopped me in my tracks, though, is that I have had four episodes of fecal incontinence in two months. This is the type of incontinence that I had no urge to go, had no idea I'd gone and, further, I had no idea I was "wearing" it until I later went to the restroom to urinate. That's shocking and very scary. I told my doctor and was immediately issued orders for lumbar and cervical MRI's. He was pretty confident it was my neck he said.

Here is my report:

C2-3: Disc shows no posterior herniation.

C3-4: Shallow posterior mixed spondylotic disc displacement is eccentric right gently deforming right ventral cord near to right C4 nerve root.

C4-5: Righ paracentral disc herniation partially covered by osteophyte gently flattens right ventral cord at level of right C5 nerve root.

C5-6: Shallow posteror eccentric left disc herniation partially ocvered by osteophyte; abuts left ventral cord.

C6-7: Anterior fusion has been performed; with anterior fusion plate and intervertebran body screws in place. Slight posterior spondylotic change encroaches upon left ventral dural sac.

C7-T1: Trace anterolisthesis; listhesed disc eccentric left near to left C8 nerve root.

No intrinsic cervical lesion occurs.

No focal bone lesion to suggest fracture, infectious focus or neoplasm.
Sphenoid sinus is characterized in part per sagittal dataset; mild mucosal thickening is present within.


1. C6-7 anterior fusion with fusion hardware placed.
2. C5-6 posterior left disc herniation partially covered by osteophyte abutting left ventral cord.
3. C4-5 posterior right disc herniation partially covered by osteophyte gently deforming right ventral cord at level of right C5 nerve root.
4. C3-4 posterior right mixed spondylotic disc displacement gently flattening right cord margin.
5. C7-T1 trace anterolisthesis.
6. Sphenoid sinus inflammation characterized in part.

Can anyone share their experienced thoughts on whether my MRI explains my latest scary symptoms and if surgery is pretty much a given?

Please just share any information or thoughts you have as I know very little of all of this.

Thank you!


PS...lumbar MRI consisted of a bunch of bulges at almost every level but no neural compressions whatsoever. There was alot of facet athropathy and scant fluid indication inflammation as well. That's it, though, for the lumbar.

Thanks again!



  • I'm sorry. I forgot to mention that I'm currently in pain management receiving medical massage and using a tens unit at home. I take parafon forte every night and oxycodone every four hours. What really complicates things is that I'm pretty badly allergic to steroids and can no longer take nsaids.

    Thank you.
  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
    edited 01/13/2013 - 5:03 AM
    Welcome to Spine-Health. I'm sorry you're going through all of this, but you never know what's going to happen in the future with our spines, especially when you put off having it taken care of. I'm not surprised you have symptoms that have progressed, considering.

    Unfortunately, we are unable, by forum rules, to try and interpret MRIs or any other scans. We're not doctors and only your doctor will be able to answer your questions, especially since most like to look at the images and rarely even consider the written report. The report is what the radiologist sees and the doc/surgeon may see something completely different. I can't tell you how different my lumbar report was from the imaging before my latest surgery in late December. You'd think they were two different spines. LOL

    I can tell you that the symptoms definitely warrant a quick reaction by your doctor, namely the incontinence. Thats usually considered an emergency and does generally come from the cervical area, not the lumbar area.

    Take care and please keep us posted as to what your doc says about your MRI. Who's doing the interpretation, a surgeon you've used previously? Another doctor? Is this the one that ordered the MRI?

  • Thank you so much for response. It is very kind of you. I didn't expect an interpretation of results, but more a sharing of experienced knowledge and personal experience. :) I'm so sorry if I gave impression otherwise.

    My pain management physician ordered the MRI's and I'm thinking he'll then refer me out. That's what happened last time...he ordered MRI's then immediately referred me to neurosurgeon. I had surgery and the rest is history...lol.

    Again, I thank you for your response as it validates my own thoughts based on what I've researched. I did have a board certified neurologist look at my results and he said they would definitely explain my symptoms, get back to Dr asap and wear a hard collar in the meantime.

    I'm just trying to prepare as I go forward and it looks like I'm preparing for another surgery, possibly extensive, and that I should protect the neck in the meantime.

    Again, thank you so much and if anyone else has personal, experiential knowledge, please share knowing I'll take it as just that. :) I'd love to offer my support as well.

    Such a great place here...best wishes to all.
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