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New to the Forum* Spinal Compression Restrictions

I am a 39 y/o F that started having severe pain approx. 1 month ago. It was originally diagnosed in the ER as a pinched nerve and I started chiropractic treatment, yoga and steroids. It progressively got worse with spasms and numbness and tingling in my left arm. I could not get adequate treatment in the very small, rural town I currently live in so on a visit to see my family in Jacksonville,FL I went to see my old doctor. He ordered an MRI . did several other tests and put me back on steroids , Soma and Loratb. I also have a friend that gave me some Lidocain patches and I tried them for the first time last night and it was wonderful relief! Prior to this, I never had any medical problems, car accidents (2 in my early 20.s w/no complications), etc., just had my arm go numb about a month ago and then intense pain in my left arm
My MRI results came back last week and revealed the following:
Disc Herniations with thecal sac compression and cord impingement C4-5, C5-6 AND C6-7
Annual tears C4-5, C5-6, C6-7
Multi level degenerative and hypertrophic spondilitic changes througout the cervical region as outlined
Multi level thecal sac compression with foraminal narrowing/ stenosis as described
There was also mild ventral cord compression at C4-5 and C6-7

The nurse at my doctors office told me to restrict all activity until I see the Neurosurgeon as they felt they would want to do surgery immediately.
The Neurosurgeons office did call me Friday to get my info and was supposed to callback yesterday with an appointment.
I have not heard anything.
i am concerned about what precautions I should currently be taking.
My aunt is a physical therapist and told me to go about my normal day, as to not atrophy the muscles but no lifting,etc., and my sister in law is a PA and I sent her my MRI to review.
I have to tried to review the boards for similar diagnosis. I am not going to hesitate to have surgery if it is recommended due to the potential for paralysis. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on what I should be doing daily until I see the Neurosurgeon? Should I lay on my back or stomach when resting (which puts the least amount of pressure on the spinal cord?)


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    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.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

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    Here are some you should take a look at:
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    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:






    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 07/24/2013 - 9:59 AM
    I can understand your anxiety about this and especially as your neurosurgeon hasn't got back to you as arranged.

    Please read the forum rules in Liz's post above, and you will see that we are not allowed to ask for an interpretation of tests or to respond to such a request. We are not medically trained and so not in a position to tell you what you should, or should not be doing while you wait to see your neurosurgeon.

    What we can do is to share our own experiences.
    I had cord compression of C3/4 and C4/5 and was left while they watched and waited for two years, having reviews every 6 months. I was told to 'be careful and look after myself' after each appointment, whatever that meant. I was told that I must not see a chiropractor or osteopath, take part in any sports or supervise in the playground (I was a teaching assistant). I was also told that bending my head forward would open up the space for my cord whereas leaning my head backward would reduce the space for my cord. I would only sleep on my side or back because that was most comfortable. I was told that as I had no fluid around my cord, if I was in an accident or even had a fall I could become paralysed or be left with a bruised cord and very weak arms and legs. I did continue in my job and normal life, walking a couple of miles each day.

    After two years, of watching and waiting I got a second opinion and that neurosurgeon felt that we should get on and do an ACDF. I had that last November. I do still have many of my presurgery symptoms and pains but I was warned that the surgery was being done to stop the progression of damage to my cord and not to deal with the symptoms. I had some signs of myelopathy but no high signal on the MRI.

    I hope that you will be able to see the neurosurgeon soon. I think I would phone them and ask when I could see them. Only the doctor that reviews your MRI tests, examines you and takes your medical history is in a postion to be able to advise you on your situation.

    Please do come back and let us know how you get on. :-)
  • I actually heard back from the Neurosurgeons office today and am scheduled to see them August 13th. Which seems like forever although I know it is not. I have been trying to rest on my back as much as possible during the day as per the nurse at my Neurologists office told me to do when they gave me the results. I am also trying to get into another Neurosurgeon from a well known clinic for a second opinion.
    Thank you so much for your feedback!

  • Glad to hear that your neurosurgeon got back to you and that you have an appointment scheduled for not too long away.

    Getting a second opinion is a good idea. If both say the same thing, that will give you more confidence to go ahead with their suggestions.

    I suggest that you read about possible treatments and surgery neck problems. Then when the surgeons talk to you, you will be familiar with the terms that they may use and will be in a position to ask questions.

    Under the FORUM FAQ in Liz's post, there is a thread about questions to ask your surgeon. Take a look at that and it may prompt you to think of others to ask too. I suggest that you take someone with you to the appointment. Two pairs of ears will hear and remember more of what is said and they may think of a question that you didn't think of.

    Good luck on 13th :-)

  • I finally had surgery August 30th to have C6-C7 replaced with an artificial disc. I spoke with 2 neurosurgeons before the surgery and both agreed I only needed surgery on the one disc and the others were not bad enough for surgery, thankfully. One even stated the other three may only be bulging? My recovery after surgery went pretty smooth. I have recently started to have spams in my left arm again but nothing really bad. My 2 week check up went fine and I see my Neurosurgeon again Oct.17th. My fear is injuring the other discs . I go back and forth between feeling I am not doing enough around the house to feeling like I am over-doing it. I do have to say that with the artificial disc I pretty much immediately had full range of motion in my neck, which was very nice. I can move my neck in just about every position I could pre-surgery. I hope anyone awaiting surgery has positive results and I will post more updates so others can read my progress.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 09/30/2013 - 5:54 AM
    Welcome to this side of surgery.
    Isn't the relief wonderful once you have had surgery and just have to worry about healing from it?
    It sounds like you are doing well. :-)

    Do give yourself plenty of time to recover from surgery. It is better to be on the cautious side rather than overdo it. Frequent short walks every day will help the healing get your muscles working again. Getting the blood flowing will help with healing and be good for your lungs too. I didn't have an artificial disc replacement, but I was told to avoid lifting anything very heavy and doing things with my arms above my head.

    There will plenty of time to catch up with things that need doing at home once you are fully recovered from surgery.

    I will look forward to hearing more updates on how you are progressing. :-)
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