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do I need more surgery?? any advice is appreciated

angie5aangie5 Posts: 2
edited 01/12/2014 - 7:49 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hi everyone, Im new here. I had C5-C6 fusion for nerve compression, herniated disc and severe spinal cord compression. my MRI from August showed severe cervical osteoarthritis, C5-6 herniated disc with nerve and spinal cord compression. Also C3-4 mild disc bulging and marginal spurring with small spurs seen in lateral recess and neural foramina on both sides and C4-5 diffuse disc bulging with minimal lateral recess and foraminal spurs. Reactive changes in the bone marrow at C5-6. Lateral root sleeve defects seen at C4-5 worse on the left. I also had cervical x-rays done a few weeks before the MRI that showed significant narrowing of the disc at C3-4,C4-5 and C5-6 and moderate to severe degree of cervical spondylosis. No SUBLUXATION or fracture.
I had C5-6 fusion last sept. I asked my surgeon at the time why he was only doing one level when I have two other bulging discs, spurs and osteoarthritis in three levels. He still only did the one level. I went through 6 weeks of physical therapy which caused me pain and I went right back to having muscle spasms/twitching, more weakness in my arms, hands and wrists, migraines after therapy and more scapular and chest pain. My lower back has been weak with pain for awhile also but took a back seat to my neck issues. Therapy brought out the pain in the lower back and now have tingling and numbness in both feet and my legs/knees have gotten weaker. back pain goes in hips and wraps around to the front with a burning type pain...a soreness. I went to my family doctor at the end of my 6 week therapy and told him about how most of my pain, numbness, soreness and weakness came back and told him about my lower back. He ordered a cervical MRI and lumbar MRI Dec 9. I now have a broad central disc protrusion with severe bilateral neural foraminal narrowing with nerve root compression with severe acquired canal stenosis at C3-4. there is now a large posterior broad central disc protrusion at C4-5 with mild narrowing of the neuroforamina. The spinal cord at C5-6 is still mildly displaced and mildly flattened. I now have a broad central disc protrusion at C6-7 with mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing secondary to uncovertebral joint hypertrophy....this was NOT seen in August before my surgery. I now also have a subluxation.
Lumbar MRI results: L5-S1 near complete loss of disc space with mild disc protrusion. L4-5 small disc protrusion. Within the spinal canal distally at the L4-5 and L5-S1, irregular configuration and clumping of the nerve roots...most consistent with an arachnoiditis. No definite evidence of tethered cord is noted. Posterior to the S2 vertebral segment there is a 1 cm area of abnormal signal intensity consistent with a synovial cyst with mild erosion of the posterior cortex .
OK, so....should my surgeon have done three fusion in my neck? I have had two doctors tell me more than likely. doing one can make the adjacent segments unstable when there is disease detected at other levels. Is this why my neck has gotten worse just within a few months of surgery with more nerve compression and another spot where my spinal cord is close to being compressed and now a bulging disc at C6-7?
I would like opinions on what needs to be done for my lower back, Should the cyst be removed? Should I find a doctor willing to do surgery on the clumped nerves in my lower back and is it necessary to have a fusion of my L5-S1 since I basically have no disc left? I don't want to go back to the neurosurgeon who did my fusion in sept. if he was wrong not to do more fusions thus causing me the problems and pain I am now having.
angie greider


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 01/12/2014 - 8:57 AM
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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