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Cervical stenosis and success with conservative treatments?

dublushddublush Posts: 4
edited 01/14/2015 - 5:33 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Hi all. Wow this is such a great forum!

I have had moderate chronic neck pain most of my adult life due to various sports injuries, falls, etc. I’m 46 now – non-smoker, normal BMI. Had an mri scan of my neck recently as I’ve developed tingling, burning, electric shocks in my left arm and both feet. No major pain though. Nothing like what people experience here. The scan showed cervical stenosis and small disc bulges with DDD. I’m going to an osteopath for massage and dry needling which helps muscle spasms. I will see an NS in a months time - he deals specifically with stenosis and also specialises in minimal invasive surgery etc. My question is – have any of you had cervical stenosis with radiculopathy and gone down the conservative route, i.e. PT, traction etc... for any decent amount of time before having surgery? I’m just wondering how long I can put surgery off as a preventive measure before running into trouble with permanent nerve damage? I’m willing to get off my ass and work hard to do this and I need to be armed with as much information as possible before I meet the NS. Thanks so much in advance!!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Cheers Liz! This is such a great place to come to for support.
  • Hello
    Did your report say if the stenosis was mild moderate or severe? If you are not having any major pain I would defiantly think that you could avoid surgery or at least give conservative a really good try. Sounds like you have the motivation! Do you have any weakness in your arms and legs?
    Severe cervical DDD with severe neural foraminal narowing at C4,5,6,7 moderate central canal stenosis Spondylosis& impingement on C6 nerve root, moderate DDD thoracic High Signal T9 Lesion in vertebral body, posterolateral T8-9 disk protrution
  • Hi Nursekm! Thanks for your comment - you're the only one to respond to this! Much appreciated. I don't have weakness in my arms or legs. Just tingling in all limbs and burning in my right foot in particular. Sometimes my left leg gets a bit stiff but I think that's poor tone rather than weakness. I also have a poor reflex in my left arm but I'm not totally surprised at this as it has always been a bit 'dodgy'. I had an appt with my NS who was very leery about surgery and wants to try everything else first off. I have another mri next week for my lumbar spine and hip area as he claims there isn't cord compression at the cervical level (although it's clear the bulging discs are nudging it) and he figures the leg tingling and foot pain is related to L5/S1. I've started physio with a guy who treats rugby players [eek!!] and he thinks my issues are inflammatory rather than compression. All good news I guess although the tingling would make your head explode!! I'm swimming (backstroke) and giving up inflammatory foods very slowly - it's very hard to drop coffee - but I'm determined to stay out of the operating theatre. I will update here when I can.... trying not to use the computer too much and I've persuaded my husband to build a standing desk in my office (I work from home) so I don't sit for too long. I really hope your own situation gets resolved soon. I'll keep an eye out on the forum for your progress.
    Warm wishes and thanks again!
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