My neurosurgeon recommended surgery to fix the problems of C4-5 seen on the MRI results below.
He feels that the broken screw is not contributing to current pain. My chief complaints are pain in left scapula, pain when turning head to right and swallowing, or talking while head is turned, vertigo, unsteady balance. My pain is not constant at this point, but aggravated by activity and movement of neck at certain angles. Any movement to the right will cause a cycle of pain.
He didn't get into any specifics as to what the surgery involves - he only said that "this won't get better on its own and will only get worse". Currently, we are waiting for my insurance co to approve the surgery and I am to have an appointment with the surgeon a week prior to surgery to discuss details.
I guess I am feeling a bit unsure about the necessity of this surgery or if there are non-surgical options that would be recommended instead. I am employed as a full time graphic artist and hope to return to my job, though I have concerns over the large 27" monitors and the excessive neck movement to soon after surgery.
Does anyone have any feedback on these MRI results that might help to shed some light on my current confusion. Thanks in advance!
Susceptibility artifact is noted in association with hardware from C5-C7 ACDF. Hardware fracture involving the C7 screws seen on plain film less well-appreciated on MRI. No acute boney abnormality. Minimum retro listless of C4 on C5.
No abnormal cord signal, and craniocervical junction is normal
C2-3: No significant abnormality
C3-4: No significant abnormality
C4-5: Disc-osteophyte complex contributes to moderately severe canal and foraminal stenosis with slight flattening of the ventral cord
C5-6: No significant disc bulge or canal foraminal stenosis
C6-7: Osteophytic spurring contributes to mild to moderate left and mild right foraminal narrowing
C7-T1: No significant abnormality
Status post C5-C7 ACDF. Fractured screws at C7 were better seen on plain film.
At C4-5, disc-osteophyte complex contributes to moderately severe canal and foraminal stenosis.
Thank you so much for your input