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Need advice on multiple levels

Hi Everyone----so happy to have found you.
Here's a brief summary of my past that has led me to the here and now (which isn't so terrific). In 1984 I had a car accident and the windshield won-----I fractured C-2 and wore a halo for 2 1/2 months. The next 15 years were manageable. These last (almost) 15 years---not so much. It's only been within the last year that I finally succumbed to pain pills (Nucynta 150). Sure wish I would have done that years ago. The pills are semi-working, but I knew I needed to find a good Dr for the furture, when they quit working.

In April, I had MRI's taken of my C & T Spine. The Dr. says I'm past the point of having injections and surgery is necessary on C6-C7. I'm going to list all that is wrong and will ya'll please give me your thoughts??? If I do have to have surgery, I would rather them open me up ONE time and take care of everything that needs to be fixed, rather than just fix the one and have to go back in later and still be in pain anyway. I know I'm acting goofey, but I know that ya'll know that the pain is unlike any other and I totally understand and identifiy with ya'll who say you can't take it anymore---I'm there. I try to "act" strong and hate that it's affecting my quality of life and am finally to the point where I so want the relief.

MRI results:
C3-C4 Small disc protrusion/osteophyte--Moderate bilater facet arthrosis and mild left foraminal narrowing.
C4-C5 Mild bilateral UV arthrosis...moderate bilateral facet arthrosis.
C5-C6 Moderate right & mild left UV arthrosis. Moderate left facet arthrosis;;;mild right foraminal narrowing.
C6-C7 Moderate circumerential disc bulge & moderate to severe bilateral UV arthrosis & osteophyte formation.
Moderate to severe bilateral foraminal narrowing....mild spinal stenosis is seen.
C7-T1 Moderate left foraminal stenosis lumpy due to left facet arthropathy.
T1-T2 Small disc bulges
T2-T3 " "
T5-T6 " "
T7-T8 Broad-based right paracentral 3 mm disc protrusion partially effacing the right lateral recess & indenting
the right lateral surface of the anterior thecal sac.
T8-T9 Small disc bulge
T9-T10 Small diffuse disc bulge, moderate bilateral facet hypertrophic changes & ligamentum flavum thickening
resuld in mild spinal stenosis (AP dimension of the canal is 9mm).

Sorry it's so lengthy, but I need help in understanding what the he** all this means! The Dr said I just need surgery on C6-C7 and just have arthritis in the rest. Why doesn't it just say that then??? This all looks really scary to me and truthfully, really makes me not look forward to my future. I'm 55 right now with all this and can't even imagine how bad it might be come 70....if I make it that long. :)

I told myself that come Monday, I'm getting back into Yoga (if I can), riding my bike (if I can), but definitely, changing my attitude. I've been in my "feel sorry for myself" since I got these results back and am tired ot that!!! But I am very terrified and would really appreciate your feedback.

Thanks for listening and I look forward to all your comments----good and bad. I deal better with the truth---even if I don't like what I hear!!



  • Honestly, that is a SMALL report. I'm sorry the terms are so scary for you. If you were to choose one of your friends that has no spinal issues (to their knowledge) and had them complete a MRI, you'd probably find their results similar to yours minus the C6-C7. At your next visit you should voice your concerns about what you read on the report. This will give your surgeon a chance to explain what is normal or "to be expected" in someone your age. Together you might decide to correct an additional level, but every disc that has a comment on your report doesn't need to be fixed, so don't think of it like that. Most surgeons don't bother with the radiologist report too much (and why should they? they are the spine EXPERTS not the radiologist). I'm very sorry about your accident, and that you have been in pain for so long. I'm glad you decided to seek pain relief. I'd advice anyone considering surgery to get a second opinion. I wouldn't have surgery until I found a doctor I felt like I trusted. I hope you are able to get the right treatment and relief from your pain soon. Keep us updated. Hopefully lots of others will see your post and be able to respond as well.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Thanks for giving me some comfort and I think I will go to another Dr----at least for his opinion. This is my 3rd over the past 10 years, but never stuck with the others ones either. I've been told that even though they may not be the best with the "bedside manner" part----they are very intelligent and good at what they do. This Dr did spend more than 5 minutes with me. I have an EMG scheduled for the 28th of this month. I'll keep ya'll updated----it's good to know that there are other people who really do know what I'm going through....thank for the support and good luck to you too!
  • Hi Amy, AllMetal made really good points. I have nothing else to add except Welcome and I hope you will keep us updated.

  • Thanks for the warm welcome......I really am so glad ya'll are here---or there---or wherever you are! LOL I've been in such a funk lately and that's really not me. Gonna get off my butt and attempt Yoga with my daughter tomorrow....clean this messy house (my husband will never be a maid for a living) and just try to get back to being happy----I'm not dead yet! LOL
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 05/19/2013 - 6:52 AM
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    As Allmetal said, just because you see things listed at several levels, doesn't automatically mean that surgery is warranted or necessary at all of those levels. Your surgeon should go over both the report, and your concerns or questions. If they don't do that, it might be time to seek out another opinion. You want a surgeon who talks to you, answers your questions and listens to your concerns.
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